Hospital Cases

Chicken Bone Obstruction

Olle, a 5 year old Beagle, figured out how to push the pedal on the kitchen bin and get to the food scraps.  All was well and good until he ate a plastic bag full of cooked chicken bones. A day later, he was presented for depression and severe vomiting of all his food and water 1-2 hours after eating. He was also passing a small amount of foul smelling diarrhoea.

On palpation of the middle of his abdomen, we could feel a large firm mass. X-rays showed a distended section of his intestine full of bones.

Olle was placed on an IV drip. His liver and kidney function were normal except for slight dehydration. He was anaesthetised with IV Alfaxan and placed on Isoflurane gas. An exploratory laparotomy found a hugely distended section of the last part of his small intestinal where it joined the large intestine (colon) right above the cecum (appendix).

An incision was made in the relatively normal part of the small intestine above the obstruction. A plastic bag was removed followed by huge amounts of foul smelling bones, grass, faeces and food. A small piece of bone was discovered in wedged in the junction of the small and large intestines.  A second incision was made just below the junction in the colon and using forceps, a small shrp piece of jagged bone was removed.

Both bowel incisions were closed using 3-0 Monosyn with a double layer inverting suture pattern (Connell- Cushing). The areas were flushed several times with 0.9% Saline and antibiotic solution (Cephalexin). The abdominal wall and skin layers were closed routinely. The whole surgery took 1.5 hours. Olle was given post-op pain relief and antibiotic injections.

The IV drip was continued for 48 hours as Olle was not allowed food for 24 hours while the bowel healed. He was stated on an oral electrolyte solution (Lectade) and soon placed on a high energy recovery diet (Hills A/D recovery diet).

After 2 days, Olle was much brighter and more alert and had a normal temperature. There was no vomiting and he started to pass normal solid stools. He was sent home and made a steady recovery over the following week. At stitches out 10 days post op, Olle had put on weight and was on the road to a full recovery.

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