Sage is a 2 year old bull terrier. Sage is quite naughty and likes to eat things she shouldn’t (such as a whole deer hide rug). However on this occasion she was fed a large raw marrow bone, and in her rush to eat it she managed to swallow all of the joint (knuckle) in one go, this managed to then get stuck at the entrance to her stomach (called the cardia).
Here is the radiograph (x-ray) of Sage’s thorax (chest) the bone is circled in red:
With a large bone stuck here Sage was unable to eat anything without vomiting, and was at high risk of perforating her oesophagous (food pipe). Because the oseophagous is housed in the thoracic cavity (chest) if it is damaged there is a high risk of stomach fluids/food material to enter the chest and can result in severe respiratory distress and potential death.
Because of this Sage was taken straight to surgery where the only way to remove the bone due to it’s size was to attempt to bring it through the stomach.
A lubricated stomach tube was passed into her oesophagous by the veterinary nurse.
At the same time Dr Rachael accessed the bone by opening up the stomach surgically. Using her fingers and plenty of lubrication she managed to tease the bone through into the stomach.
Here’s the bone that caused all the trouble (as you can see it is quite large!).
Post-operative radiograph showing the bone is no longer there.
Luckily for Sage she has made a full recovery and is back to her normal naughty self, bones are strictly off the menu!
When it comes to feeding dogs bones there are many risks involved and we would like you to think carefully before feeding bones to your precious pet.
As we can see from Sage’s story just because the bone is raw and is really big doesn’t mean your dog won’t be able to swallow it.
Although bones are traditionally used to help clean the dogs teeth, there is potential for those bones to actually fracture the teeth they are intended to clean.
There is also the risk of bones getting stuck in the dogs teeth or quite frequently the roof of their mouth.
Even if the bones manage to get digested in the stomach and don’t get stuck, they tend to be the big culprits of causing significant constipation, quite often resulting in the dog having a soapy enema under general anaesthetic.
If you feed bones for the sole purpose for keeping healthy teeth, please contact us at Midwest veterinary centre so that we can offer you advice on safer alternatives.
Here is Sage fully recovered from her ordeal 🙂