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Marli Corcoran

Marli Corcoran is a 7-year-old Miniature, black and tan, Dachshund.  She belongs to an ex-nurse of ours, Jaimee. Normally she is inquisitive and full of fun but Marli’s family noticed that she had been lethargic for 24 hours and were concerned that her abdomen seemed bloated.

Upon examination her abdomen was firm and uncomfortable so radiographs were required.  These X/Rays showed distended intestine loops with gas present.  This is suggestive of a foreign body. 

Marli had been seen swallowing a tampon the previous day.  The only way to retrieve this is via a laparotomy, so Marli was prepared for surgery.  She was placed on intravenous fluids, medicated and the surgical site prepared. 

Initially she had a laparotomy, which is a surgical incision into the abdominal cavity to gain access to the intestine, then an enterotomy which is the surgical cutting of the intestine. Upon checking the intestine, two tampons were discovered.  These were removed and the intestine checked before suturing closed the abdomen.  Since the Corcoran family were quick to notice the change in Marli’s health, the prognosis was promising.  Sometimes these foreign body patients are not presented to us for many days, which means the recovery may not always be successful.

Marli was on nil food and water for 24 hours, whilst still on intravenous fluids, and then test fed with an intestinal diet in small portions.  She handled this extremely well, with no vomiting or diarrhoea and then on day 3 after still eating and drinking well and defaecating, Marli was ready to go home.  The most important thing at home is strict confinement.  Marli has been through invasive surgery and the recovery is reliant on low activity and time to recuperate.  She also went home on a bland diet along with antibiotics.  Once home, Marli must have been a little too active, as there was some discharge from the surgical site.  She overcame this quickly and is now back to her healthy self with the family.  Marli is soon due for a revisit to have sutures removed and will hopefully see the happy little patient back to normal.

If our pets swallow any type of foreign body, depending upon the shape, we can induce vomiting within a few hours of consumption to try and avoid surgical intervention.