Geezer first came in to see our vet Tom on a Sunday out of hours after vomiting a couple of times and not seeming himself.

This wasn’t all that unusual for him as he had a naughty tendency of eating things he shouldn’t.

Tom gave him a good check over, treated him with some anti-sickness medication and booked him for a check-up the next day. Many cases of vomiting in dogs are down to dietary indiscretion leading to inflammation within the stomach.

Unfortunately the next day Geezer was no better – he was very depressed, not eating and still persistently vomiting.

The owner mentioned that little Geezer had been seen having a snack on the rubber swings at the park at the weekend, but were unsure how much he had eaten.

Hazel examined him and decided
x-rays were needed to investigate his symptoms further.

Geezer was admitted that morning for fluids, sedation and abdominal imaging.

Initial x-rays revealed an enlarged fluid-filled stomach. This suggested there was either something blocking the outflow of fluid and food, or the stomach wasn’t contracting properly because of inflammation.

The rest of Geezer’s abdomen looked normal on the x-ray, with no indication of a small intestinal obstruction at this stage. When we are looking for evidence of foreign bodies on an abdominal x-ray, we face the problem that many things dogs will eat do not show up clearly.

It was still possible in Geezer’s case there was something obstructing the outflow of his stomach – but we didn’t feel there was enough evidence to justify exploratory surgery, as this doesn’t come without increased risks.

He ate well with us and felt much better after some IV fluids, so he went home for the evening with the plan to x-ray again the next day if things didn’t look better.

Sadly, poor Geezer vomited several times overnight so he was admitted straight away for further imaging.

It was a similar picture, still with no small intestinal gas build-up but an enlarged fluid-filled stomach.

We would have expected a motility issue to be improving by now so our concern was there was a blockage.

After a long discussion with Geezer’s owner, we decided surgery was the best course.

Geezer was prepped for surgery and we proceeded straight away.

It didn’t take long to find the cause of the problem. There was a piece of rubber from the swing that Geezer had taken a fancy to lodged in the very first section of his small intestine.

This was removed routinely and the rest of his abdomen was checked to ensure this was the only finding.

Everything else was normal so he was closed up and taken to recover with the nurses.

Geezer initially did well and was up and about the next day. Sadly, he didn’t continue to improve as we would expect and over the next few days he developed a high temperature and didn’t want to eat.

A sample of fluid was taken from his abdomen and this confirmed he had developed an infection.

This was a very serious situation for Geezer has peritonitis (infection within the abdomen) which can be life-threatening.

His owners were completely dedicated and wanted us to do everything we could, so we immediately went ahead with a second surgery to give him the best chance we could.

Over the next week Geezer stayed in the vets and really did become part of the family.

He required very intensive care with multiple intravenous drugs throughout the day, cleaning and emptying his abdominal drain, four to six tube feeds over the day – and not to mention lots of cuddles.

Geezer’s owners visited him daily, spending time sitting outside in the sun together and tempting him with food.

It was touch and go but after days of seeing minimal improvement, he turned the corner and went from strength to strength.

We were all so pleased when he started to play with his favourite ball in the kennels and wag his tail again!

The drain was removed and he went home, and his owners continued tube feeds while he gained strength.

Another couple of days later, we were able to remove this tube and sign him off.

We were all so pleased he was back at home but everyone was going to miss him.

Let’s just hope he steers clear of eating unusual objects in the future.