Bomber's bony meal

Bomber is a very lovely 13 year old Jack Russel Terrier. She came to see us one afternoon as her owners had noticed that her belly had become swollen and she had not been eating for 2 days. She was also gulping a lot as though she had a sore throat.

Dr Kylee examined Bomber, noting her to have a very swollen abdomen which seemed full of air. Bomber also had a very sore throat. Upon further questioning, Bomber's owners thought that she may have had a bone to eat shortly before becoming unwell.

Bomber came into hospital for further investigation. She had x-rays done which revealed a bone caught in her oesophagus. Under anaesthetic we tried to remove the bone using an endoscope, but the bone would not budge. We then tried to push the bone into Bomber's stomach using a large tube, but yet again the bone would not move. So the only option left now was surgery. We made a hole in Bombers's stomach and managed to pull the bone from her oesophagus. Once surgery was finished we re-examined Bomber's oesophagus to assess what damage the bone had caused, and it looked remarkably healthy.

Bones can sometimes cause various problems in dogs including tooth fractures, foreign bodies (oesophagus, stomach, intestines) and gut upsets. Bones however are generally very good for dental hygiene.

A few rules should be followed when feeding bones to dogs.

Number 1: RAW bones, not cooked.

Number 2: Feed bones under supervision, making sure they are being chewed "sensibly".

Bomber is so far recovering well and we wish her a speedy return to her normal happy self.