Wheaten terriers Claude and Cleo had been enjoying an afternoon walk by the sea when Claude spotted a carelessly discarded piece of sausage. As any self respecting dog would, he rushed over and wolfed it down before his owner could do anything to stop him. Unfortunately for Claude this particular sausage was attached to a fish hook shortly to be used at bait! Claude’s owner rushed him down to the practice where he was seen by vet John. Knowing how serious this could be Claude was hurried in and put under a general anaesthetic to find and retrieve the fish hook.
First x-rays were taken to establish the type of fish hook and find out where it was. Luckily for Claude the hook only had a single barb and was still sitting in his stomach. See if you can spot it on the x-ray below.
The next step wasn’t so easy- getting the fish hook back without causing any further damage. Fortunately for Claude, the practice is fully kitted out for endoscopy (small flexible cameras used to see into the body) and the team soon had Claude in the endoscopy suite ready for the procedure. Still under anaesthetic a small flexible camera with a separate port for instruments was slipped down the oesophagus and into the stomach. It didn’t take long before the hook was spotted still with the bit of sausage intact- it hadn’t touched the sides! (That is, until it reached the stomach where unfortunately it was hooked into the stomach wall.)
Now came the really tricky part, grabbing hold of the hook by the curved end so that it could be brought safely up through the oesophagus. With vet Clare operating the grasping forceps and some deft maneuvering by John the team were able to grab hold of the hook and bring it out the same way it went down. Have a look at the video to see for yourself! Vet John then checked that there wasn’t any lasting damage to the stomach or oesophagus and the hook and sausage were moved well out of reach as Claude recovered from his anaesthetic. Claude went home the same day and we are pleased to say made a full recovery.
I’m sure we all know dogs who would do exactly the same in Claude’s paws but thankfully with some high tech kit and the skills of our vets Claude managed to avoid surgery and was on his way home in a matter of hours. For more information on our endoscopy service click here.