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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28281
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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My dog swallowed a sharp bone fragment on Wednesday night

Resolved Question:

My dog swallowed a sharp bone fragment on Wednesday night and started vomiting on Thursday. I took him to the vet on Saturday, had x-rays and blood work. Vet sent him home with antibiotics. Took dog back on Thursday due to lethargy and vomiting again. This time they did barium, recommended surgery and when his abdomen was opened it was determined that the bone had perforated the lower stomach at colon and dog was badly infected and had to be euthanized. Vet said surgery on first Saturday visit would not have saved him...I tend to disagree. He would have been sick but we feel he would have had a good chance of survival. Please render opinion.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 7 years ago.

Hi there.
I am so sorry to hear about your predicament. All I can tell you is how I would handle this situation. I would have done the radio graphs and the barium study all together on Saturday especially considering the history of ingesting a bone and the vomiting. Most likely this would have demonstrated a severe problem and I would have preformed the surgery on Saturday no matter what the time was.
I agree that your dog would have a much better chance of surviving if the procedure would have been done immediately. He may have already had a perforated intestinal tract but dogs can survive a peritonitis with aggressive treatment.
One entire week of allowing this bone to perforate is very bad in my opinion. I have learned over the years to not wait and see if things will happen but be sure to stop things from happening by being aggressive and performing the surgery even if it yields nothing. In your dogs case, he should have been in surgery a week before.
I am so sorry!! This is a terrible thing and I understand completely your frustrations.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and your poor friend!!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you so much. I wanted to add that Bear was only 3 years old and in perfect health. The vet took 4 x-rays on the first Saturday and did a blood test for pancreatitis which was negative. Bears' temp was 103.4 at the time. The x-ray did show some blockage and a 'shadow' higher up. I TOLD them the reason I brought him in was because I saw him swallow the sharp bone fragment (it was from a steak bone that my Labrador was chomping on). I will never give any bone again. We are meeting with the vet clinic owner this afternoon and I wanted to have another vets opinion. Again, Thank you. We were there for over 3 hours and paid $345--it's not the money, it's the loss of the dog we are upset about.

Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 7 years ago.

Trust me, I understand completely how you feel and, if it were my dog, I would be upset. This should have been treated as an emergency situation and these vets did you a disservice. I really cannot comment on the vets since I was not there. All I can tell you is what I would have done, and have done in many, many occasions .
Hang in there!!! I know nothing will replace your baby but you need to find justice!!

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