Roxy's dangerous love of foam rubber balls

Our patient of the month for August is a young dog called Roxy, a nearly two year old Labrador, who had a run in with a piece of rubber ball. To her owner's concern, Roxy started vomiting early one morning and was unable to keep water or food down. She kept vomiting so her owners gave us a call here at the clinic and we advised them to come down as soon as they could.

An examination by Dr Tim revealed that Roxy was a little tender in the stomach so to start with we would need to x-ray Roxy's intestinal tract to see if there were any obvious obstructions. To do so we placed Roxy on intravenous fluids and she was carefully monitored during a general anaesthetic. On the x-rays there were no obvious obstructions so Roxy was kept on intravenous fluid therapy, kept in a warm safe bed and monitored overnight. The next morning Roxy was still vomiting so Dr Tim proceeded with an exploratory laparotomy. This involved making a surgical incision and exploring the abdomen. It was during this procedure that a foam rubber ball was found obstructing Roxy's stomach.

After her surgery, Roxy was allowed to recover in a warm, fluffy bed, and stayed in hospital overnight for observation. Once returned home, due to the invasive nature of major abdominal surgery, she has been confined to strict rest, and will return in two weeks to have her sutures removed. After that time, Roxy will be back to her old adventures, and hopefully not swallowing foam rubber balls.

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