A 'tail' of no poop!
Narla is a young energetic, playful and happy Australian cattle dog. So her owners knew something was wrong with Narla when she stopped being her usual bouncy self and appeared to be having trouble taking her regular number twos. She had begun vomiting the morning that she presented to the hospital and was not her usual fun loving self. She was really uncomfortable in the tummy. It turned out that Narla had been enjoying an additional bone daily for the past few days which had now turned from tasty treat to a serious impaction in her intestine.
Radiographs confirmed her diagnosis and showed the extent of her obstruction throughout her bowel. Just like the pipes that run through our houses, at times there is nothing left to do but unblock the problem. To do this Narla was placed under a general anaesthetic and had a warm water and lubricant enema performed until her pipes were free flowing again! A messy business to be sure but on recovery the relief was visible and she was no longer bloated and uncomfortable around the belly. Narla went home that afternoon and made a full recovery and is now toileting happily again.
Bones of all kinds whilst being entertainment for our canine companions, can carry many unfortunate risks that it is good to be aware of. Obstruction of the bowel and constipation are commonly seen when our doggie friends cannot digest the bone adequately or have too much of a good thing. Bones can also be responsible for broken teeth, airway obstructions, lacerations of the oesophagus and intestinal tract, choking hazard and can sometimes cause a bacterial gastroenteritis. All of these problems can result in an unfortunate and expensive trip to the vet.
For many owners and vets, the benefits of a raw bone is outweighed by the risks associated with feeding bones and there are now many tasty chew treats available that can be used as an alternative. Treat balls or chew toys that can be filled with food, pigs ears, and many dental treats are available and present in many cases a safer alternative to the humble bone.