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Billy Bob - Swallows bones too quickly

On 23/10/2020 a lady presented Billy Bob, a ten year old, male, poodle, to our Mid Levels hospital, who was vomiting, not eating and was very weak.

The dog had eaten some pork soup bones, 2 days previously and the owner was worried that they were blocking the intestines.

Usually, dogs can eat bones and they just get digested in the dog’s stomach. However sometimes they can get stuck and cause problems.

We elected to sedate the dog immediately and to take some X-rays.

When the dog was relaxed, we made sure that there was nothing stuck in the oesophagus. Then, we could feel that there were some hard lumps in the intestines. These were revealed to be bones, on the X-rays.

More importantly, whilst we were feeling the abdomen, the dog vomited out some diarrhoea.

This is a very serious sign and we informed the owner that the dog would need surgery as soon as possible.

The owner took the dog to our Mong Kok24-hour hospital and Dr. Anthony immediately performed the surgery.

When he opened the dog’s abdomen he could see a large section of intestine that was dying and starting to leak, into the abdomen. He had to cut out the dying section and join the healthy bits back together. Then he had to thoroughly wash out the contamination from Billy Bob’s belly.

In the end Billy Bob had more than half of his small intestine resected!

Billy Bob took a few days to improve enough to go home, but is now back to normal.

This case is very unusual because most times, dogs can eat bones and digest them. However, this time Billy Bob did not chew the bones properly and the pieces remained too big and got stuck in his intestines. Then for some unknown reason, some bacteria started rotting the intestine wall very quickly, where the bones were stuck, necessitating a large section to be cut out.

Luckily the owner brought the dog in as soon as they realised that there was a problem. They agreed to urgent surgery and that surgery went well. The outcome has been successful. One more day and Billy Bob would not have been so fortunate.