Canine Intestinal Blockage | A Good Friend’s Story

Yellow Lab Puppy at Christmas

My dear friend Sue contacted me the other morning very concerned about her new puppy, Zadok. She informed me Za had been vomiting and couldn’t keep anything down. Za, also, was in apparent pain and was lethargic. I advised Sue to bring him in right away.

Za’s Story of canine intestinal obstruction

After arriving at the clinic, Za was examined by Dr. Mike and sent to x-ray. The resulting x-rays were inconclusive. Za was given an anti-vomit injection and sent home. Sue was instructed to keep close observation on Za. Several hours later, Sue called in an update stating Za was no longer vomiting but was not interested in food or water and remained lethargic. Dr. Mike wanted Za to come back to the clinic for more x-rays.

The second set of x-rays were also inconclusive but the intestines appeared to be abnormal. Dr. Mike recommended exploratory abdominal surgery. Sue agreed and Za was prepared for surgery.

Some time into the surgery, Dr. Mike exclaimed,”I got it.” I went into the surgery suite to the site of Dr. Mike holding part of Za’s small intestine with an obvious obstruction.

Since Sue and Dr. Mike were proactive and the blockage hadn’t been in the intestine for long, the object was able to be removed with a small incision. In many cases, where the obstruction isn’t found quickly, the intestine develops necrotic tissue and portions of the intestine require removal. Dr. Mike sutured the intestine and closed Za’s abdomen. Za was sent to recovery where the staff kept a close watch on him.

One Lucky Dog!

Not all dogs have the fortunate outcome that Za experienced. I lost a very young puppy to canine intestinal blockage about two years ago. You can read his story on Doc’s Memorial. Za was lucky to have a watchful mom and a wonderful veterinarian. As with many medical issues, early detection leads to quality outcomes.

As Sue is a diligent furkid parent and lives just minutes from the clinic, Za got an early release this morning along with medications and strict after care instructions.

The next post will cover the signs, symptoms and treatment of canine intestinal blockage. In addition, I will cover steps you can take, as a furkid parent, in providing a safe environment.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Cheryl October 19, 2012, 11:31 am

    I’m glad to hear that Za was able to get the blockage removed.
    We have a West Highlander Terrier approx. 15 lbs. She had intestinal blockage too. The Vet suggested surgery, after viewing the grey mass in her lower intestines. The amount of the surgery was going to be from $1600 to $2500. a family with two young kids are money was tight. So we asked if they could try other alternative measures and if that didn’t work we would somehow collect the money for surgery.
    The Vet agreed and put our dog on an IV and flushed her system with fluids and a laxative – mineral oil , substance. She seemed that after 24 hours this worked.. The blockage had passed through her system. It ended up being tissue, plastic, human hair and bits of hard plastic. I would suggest trying this method first before selecting surgery… I’m not a vet but four other people I know had the same issue with blockage with their dog. They did this IV flush and all their dogs passed the blockage too after a day or so!

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