February 2012 Newsletter
When your pet stops eating, is very lethargic, and starts vomiting, one of the first thoughts to cross your mind might be "Did my pet eat something he shouldn't have?". Pets are commonly presented to veterinarians with just this scenario and as seen in these x-rays photos, pets will eat anything!!
The Backyard Landscaper
This is a photo of an x-ray of the abdomen of a German Shorthair dog that was presented for vomiting and anorexia. This shows eleven very white round smooth objects filling the stomach. The "R" is an x-ray marker showing the dog was lying on its right side on the x-ray table. Only very dense objects such as bones, metal, and rocks show as intense white on an x-ray. The dog was taken to surgery and the rocks were removed. Unfortunately, the rocks were the owner's landscaping rocks in their backyard. This dog has had four surgeries to remove rocks. After the second surgery, they tried to remove all the rocks from their yard but evidently a few were left!
The Faulty "Fashionista"
This is a photo of an x-ray of the abdomen of a dog that was presented with anorexia and bloody urine. The dog had bladder stones, but this stomach stowaway was found incidentally. The owner didn't even know she was missing her earring!
Take Time & Get Your Bearings
This is a photo of an x-ray of a cat brought in for vomiting and anorexia. The owner had no idea what might be causing the problem. The x-ray reveals a single, white, perfectly round object in the stomach. Since bones and rocks are unlikely to be perfectly round, the object is probably metal. At the time of surgery, the foreign body was found to be a metal ball or bearing.
The Laundry Burglar
This is a photo of an x-ray of the abdomen of a little dog brought in for vomiting and anorexia. Here you can see several small dense objects in the stomach. Veterinarians know that sometimes things you can see in an x-ray may be attached to things that don't show up in the x-ray. In this case, the dog had eaten a bra. The white lines are wires that form the hooks and the rest of the garment cannot be see as fabric does not show in an x-ray.
The Hot Dog Fisherman
This is a photo of an x-ray of a little dog that went fishing with his owners. They had baited the hook with a hot dog, but didn't cast soon enough! The treble hook is in the stomach.
A Presidential Problem
This is a photo of an x-ray of a cat presented with vomiting and anorexia. A single foreign body is seen in the stomach. Again, since it is perfectly round, it is not likely to be a rock or bone. It is probably metal.
Look up close and then from farther away. Can you see Lincoln's head? Yes, it is a penny! Surgery was performed but in this case that was not the end of the story. Pennies contain metals, copper and zinc, which cause heavy metal toxicity. After the cat was treated for that as well, she was fine. Hopefully, no more coins are in her diet.
As you might guess from these, veterinarians are frequently presented pets with symptoms of vomiting and anorexia. Why do pets eat weird things? No one knows for sure, but it is very common. When your veterinarian recommends an x-ray, please remember that you never know what a pet will eat!