I was given the choice of having Perrin undergo surgery to remove the remaining Kong toy pieces from his stomach and intestines or waiting to see if things became more clear about whether or not pieces remained and/or were passing successfully through the gi tract. The trade off was that waiting would cost more money as I would have to leave Perrin there hooked up to an iv and have more X-rays performed – while these hospitalization costs would get rolled into the cost of surgery. In other words, if it turned out that the wait and see approach failed, the overall costs would probably be higher than if I just decided to go ahead with surgery.
I decided though that I wanted to take that chance because it would be overall less risky for Perrin himself if we could avoid surgery.
I left him in the hands of my excellent vet and headed in to the office where I found myself feeling rather frazzled and unfocused as I waited impatiently for four hours to pass by and to hear word about what the next step would need to be. I grew more and more anxious that Perrin would have to undergo surgery and dreaded the two or three day period afterwards where the healing incisions into the intestines might open with failing stitches. I also did not look forward to the prospect of Perrin having to where the cone of shame for ten days.
Finally, after what seemed like all day, I received a call from the vet and she informed me that our fears seemed to have not come to pass. The gas pattern in the stomach that had suggested a foreign body was no longer there and the pattern in the intestines had changed locations and been reduced in size, suggesting that if there was a foreign body behind the gas pattern that it was moving through Perrin’s bowels successfully and that surgery would not be required.
We were able to pick up Perrin that evening and take him home for monitoring. He was on orders to receive bland food instead of his usual dog food, and we had to give him a tablet dissolved in water to line his gi tract and protect it and aid in the passage of the possible foreign body. Thankfully, he did not throw up again that evening, and we were able to sleep through the entire night without any disturbance.
The next morning we brought Perrin back to the vet for another X-ray to make sure that things still seemed to be progressing. Thankfully, they were. Perrin’s behavior that morning was much better. He cheerfully greeted the vet when I brought him into the room and he seemed full of his normal energy.
It was a close call!
We have since this incident removed all Kong toys from the house and will think twice about picking up another “indestructible” toy. In fairness, the particular Kong toy may not have been for “powerful chewers” like Perrin. There was a classic Kong toy in our house that was made for “powerful chewers” and probably is fine, but it was old and we didn’t want to risk the possibility that it may have begun to wear down.
We really would like to avoid another trip to the vet for foreign body ingestion!