Poor Buster had quite an ordeal last month. His owner brought him into the clinic as he was feeling very poorly. He had been vomiting intermittently for a few days and the vomit was tinged with blood. Buster was also off his food and just not himself. After getting a full history from his owner, Dr Lan Tran worked out that he had been given a lamb shank bone a few days early. Due to this and his symptoms, she suspected a foreign body; so the next step was to take an x-ray of Buster's abdomen and chest.
Dr Lan admitted Buster and Nurse Rebecca helped to sedate him for radiographs. Once the x-rays were taken it was apparent that poor Buster had what we call an oesophageal foreign body; the knuckle of the shank was lodged in his oesophagus. Due to the placement of the bone, with the splintered edge towards the stomach, and the fact it had been in stuck for a few days, there was a great risk that the bone might perforate Buster's oesophogus. Considering that Buster would require 24-hour intensive veterinary care, Dr Lan decided to refer Buster to Melbourne Veterinary Specialist Centre where he underwent surgery to remove the foreign body.
At the emergency centre, they identified the bone using an endoscopy and grasped it with a tool. With a bit of lube and a moderate degree of force, they managed to remove the bone via his mouth. Unfortunately, Buster was not out of the woods yet as the bone had caused some trauma to his oesophagus. He underwent a procedure to determine whether his throat had been perforated and to remove air and fluid if necessary. A small amount of air was removed. 15 minutes later Buster underwent the procedure again and this time no air was present. He moved into recovery and stayed overnight to be monitored.
Buster was able to go home the next day under the careful eye of his mum. He continues to improve everyday and is much happier in himself. Due to the trauma in his throat, Buster is currently being hand-fed. This ensures that he eats much slower, which is the best for his recovery. Buster's owner reports that he is doing much better, and hopefully with time, he will continue to improve.