Murphy – Foreign Body

image1 (1)Murphy is a 1 year old Miniature Schnauzer who presented to us due to vomiting, lethargy and appearing uncomfortable. One of our vets checked Murphy over found him to be painful when palpating his abdomen. The owners admitted that Murphy did have a tendency to eat things he should not, his favourite being stones.

Given Murphy’s presentation and history, it was recommended that Murphy undergo some further investigation to check that he had not eaten something that could have got stuck somewhere along his gastrointestinal tract.

ABDOMEN-Right Lateral SmA-04_05_2016-16_59_36-218X-rays were performed of Murphy’s abdomen which revealed what appeared to be a stone stuck in his small intestines, This is clearly visible by the circular opacity seen on the his x-ray (pictured). Not all foregn bodies are as easy to spot on X-rays so Murphy was lucky.

Foreign bodies are a common and very dangerous occurrence as if it is not diagnosed quickly it can result in the bowel perforating resulting in a potentially fatal peritonitis.

Murphy was placed on intravenous fluid therapy to correct any dehydration caused as a result of his vomiting, prepped and taken into theatre where he underwent surgery.

Unfortunately for Murphy where the stone had become stuck it had caused a large amount of damage. Although Murphy was diagnosed very quickly, the gut around the stone had become black, when it should be a nice pink colour. This indicated that this section of bowel had died and become necrotic. As a result of this the stone could not simply be removed but a section of the gut needed to be resected and an end to end anastomosis needed to be performed. This is where a section of the gut is removed and the remaining ends sutured together, this is a delicate procedure and needs to be performed accurately to prevent any leakage of gut contents into the abdomen during or post surgery. The rest of his abdomen was checked for any further abnormalities but none were found.

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The surgery went well and Murphy was soon in recovery being closely monitored by our dedicated team of nurses.

Murphy continued to recover well and made a full recovery with strict instructions to try and curve his habit for chewing stones!