Vets in shock to find ‘anorexic’ puppy actually had a full belly but it wasn’t food

Vets were left shocked to find an ‘anorexic’ dog had actually swallowed a dangerous object which was stopping her from eating. Susan the one-year-old cocker spaniel worried her owner, Will Pool, when she completely lost her appetite, didn’t want to play and struggled to jump around.

Will took Susan to his local vets in Wellington, Shropshire, who prescribed a course of antibiotics that initially seemed to work. But when the problems returned for a second time, the poorly puppy was referred to Willows Veterinary Centre, where she received a surprising diagnosis.

A CT scan revealed a six-inch stick had speared through her stomach, abdominal cavity and into her pelvic canal.

Will said: “We were mortified when we were given the diagnosis. We weren’t expecting her to need an operation and we certainly weren’t expecting it to be caused by having a stick inside of her.

“The vet said the stick had been inside her for at least a few weeks, however we wonder if it might have been months because she’d been so reluctant to eat and really lethargic for so long.”

Laura Bree, internal medicine specialist, carried out the initial investigation of Susan’s high temperature, lethargy and anorexia.

She said: “It was after the CT scan of her abdomen that we received a surprise – a foreign body, consistent with a stick, was found and Susan was transferred to my colleague Will Robinson for surgery to remove it.”

Soft tissue specialist Will suspected that at some point Susan ate the stick, which then perforated her stomach wall and travelled to the pelvic canal.

The pooch underwent emergency surgery to remove the stick and part of her stomach, then started a course of antibiotics to fight the infection in her abdomen.

She recovered extremely well in the intensive care unit and is thankfully now back to her old self at home.

Her owner Will added: “The vets did a great job of looking after Susan and we can’t thank them enough. We would absolutely recommend Willows to anyone.

“Susan eats properly now, which she’d never really done before, and is far more energetic.

“We know that, without the specialist scans and subsequent surgery, things could have ended very differently.”