Barbie, a young staffordshire bull terrier came to the vet hospital as she was looking most uncomfortable. Odd gagging noises were being heard from her after she had gulped a whole dog treat.
The vets moved quickly moved quickly to provide her support. They ascertained that she was still able to breathe, but where and what was stuck in her throat? If you cannot see it, then the best thing to do is take some x-rays. The veterinarians saw on the x-rays a dog treat stuck in the oesophagus. This is just above the heart – think of it as the main tube which connects the throat to the stomach. When things get stuck, this is a common place and prevents movement into the stomach.
The best way to treat Barbie was to gently place her under anaesthetic and use an oesophageal tube was used to gently manoeuvre the treat through to the stomach. Barbies family agreed to to procedure which went very well. The stomach then did its job perfectly and was able to dissolve the treat.
The take home message is some puppies and greedy dogs manage to gulp or swallow treats and bones. If you have a dog which is a gulper watch them when they are given a treat and consider two tricks. Either make the treat so large they are unable to swallow it, or small enough that if they swallow it isn’t a problem and passes through.