Puppy Endoscopy


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For months I’ve been in contact with veterinarians around the country, hearing tales from the trenches about strange things dogs have swallowed. Never had I imagined that this scenario would hit close to home, but during a recent visit with my parents in St. Petersburg, Florida, their 7-month old golden doodle puppy swallowed a sock. Here’s the adventure (and surprise) of what happened next…

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Teddy “Rosie” Roosevelt – a pup you might remember from this Nat Geo Dogs blog post – has a reputation for mischief. And just around dinnertime my father spotted Rosie nibbling on a white cotton sock from across the room. But before he could reach her in time to grasp it from her jaws, the sock disappeared down Rosie’s throat.

A quick phone call to the veterinarian confirmed that a hospital visit was necessary. While Rosie appeared perfectly healthy and showed no unusual symptoms, this sock was a thick, plush cotton and had the potential to cause intestinal obstruction.

So we drove to Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center. Nicole Jones, DVM, performed Rosie’s initial evaluation. After a physical examination and learning more of the evening’s events, she determined that it was best to call in Gary Oswald, D.V.M, M.S. for an endoscopy.

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An endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure that requires the use of an endoscope – or small camera – to provide a clear picture of the internal cavity. This process also involves giving the dog anesthesia, inserting an endotrachael tube and monitoring her fluids.

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Some of the tools used in an endoscopy are a loop snare and rat-toothed grasper, small devices that enable veterinarians to grip and remove foreign objects that are discovered within the stomach.

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With the assistance of Dr. Jones and Rafael Gomez, Vet Tech, Dr. Oswald skillfully navigated Rosie’s esophagus, lower esophageal sphincter and stomach…

After the retrieval of the sock, Dr. Oswald continued the endoscopy examination to ensure nothing else was in Rosie’s belly. Something unusual on the screen caught his eye, and what happened next was a surprise to all in the room.

And the total weight of the two food-coated socks in a plastic bag?

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With two bottles of medication in hand, an arsenal of veterinarian-approved footwear-hiding tips and a lot less money in our pocket, we were able to take a healthier and sock-free Rosie home later on that night.

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Dogs are known for chewing and swallowing all sorts of odd things. Check out the National Geographic WILD show My Dog Ate What? to hear more real life stories on canine appetites and life-saving medical treatments.

My Dog Ate What airs Wednesday August 11 at 10P et/pt on Nat Geo Wild.

Photo and Film Credit: Jodi Kendall

Video Narrative Credit: Gary Oswald, D.V.M, M.S.