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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > The Dog Swallowed What Buddys Mysterious Illness And Amazing Recovery

The Dog Swallowed What?

PetSmart Trish Spencer/PetSmart Charities

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Buddy Luv, a Mastiff/Boxer mix, was in trouble. For a dog that should weigh 90-plus pounds he was skin and bones. His big brown eyes were full of pain. He could only eat very little at a time and had diarrhea. To make matters worse, Buddy’s family gave him up after more than eight weeks of watching his health decline.

Buddy Luv, a Mastiff/Boxer mix, was in trouble. For a dog that should weigh 90-plus pounds he was skin and bones. His big brown eyes were full of pain. He could only eat very little at a time and had diarrhea. To make matters worse, Buddy’s family gave him up after more than eight weeks of watching his health decline.

Luckily, the Boxer Luv Rescue group in Phoenix, Arizona, took Buddy Luv in and he was rushed to the rescue organization’s veterinarian, Dr. Charles Pullen at the Animal Medical and Surgical Center of Scottsdale. Upon physical examination, it was noted that Buddy had a slight temperature, was emaciated and his abdominal area was tense. However, he was able to drink and eat small quantities of food. Routine laboratory test revealed he was not seriously dehydrated and that organ systems were working satisfactorily.

Next, abdominal X-rays were taken and revealed that Buddy’s intestines were greatly distended and full of gas which indicated that Buddy had ingested something that was causing an obstruction. Dogs eat all kinds of foreign objects from rocks to raquetballs, underwear to diapers. Buddy needed surgery to remove the obstruction, but what the veterinarian would find was anybody’s guess.

To help pay for the surgery, the Boxer Luv Rescue Board quickly raised funds. “When we heard about Buddy, we immediately sent out a plea online to over 200 volunteers, and over $1,000 was raised overnight to help pay for this poor dog’s emergency surgery,” said Dona Miller, medical coordinator of the rescue.

Early the next morning, Dr. Pullen took more X-rays to pinpoint the object as best he could; then Buddy was prepped for gastric foreign body removal surgery.

Soon after, the mystery was solved. 

Buddy had chewed, pulverized and ultimately swallowed a leather, regulation-size baseball and the largest part of it had worked its way all the way through his intestines, causing damage to the bowel, and was stuck where the intestines meet the colon. The interior strings of the baseball had unraveled along the way. Dr. Pullen cut apart the intestine and removed the ball, pulled out the yards of string and then sewed the two large incisions back together. The dog's intestines, which are normally as wide as a man’s fingers, were stretched out and inflamed to the width of a vacuum cleaner hose. It was no wonder Buddy was in such pain.

The surgery was a success. According to Dr. Pullen, Buddy's intestines would, in time, shrink down to their normal size and be able to move food through the digestive track normally. “It is a miracle how he survived,” said Dr. Pullen in a recent interview with Phoenix TV news station CW6. 

He was right: within two months Buddy Luv was back to normal, happy and pain-free. And he was adopted. According to his new family, he still enjoys chasing balls, but is only allowed to play with one ball at a time and only under supervision.

"Buddy's having a ball, he's just no longer eating them," said new Pet Parent, Angie Reif of Cave Creek, Arizona.

 

To see the TV news coverage of Buddy the ball-eating Boxer go to http://www.animalmedicalandsurgical.com/home/amsc_videos/buddy_theboxer.asp

 

Related article: Avoid swallowing hazards with these tips

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