A LYMM vet got straight to the point and saved a Staffie dog who swallowed a whole kebab skewer.
Vet Rachel Dean of Lymm Veterinary Surgery, part of Willows Veterinary Group, acted fast when she discovered Patch was at the sharp end of a perilous situation.
After a full examination, Rachel realised the six-inch wooden stick had made its way almost entirely through the much-loved pet’s digestive system, getting stuck just towards the end.
Patch’s owner Becky Bambrick, who hand reared six-year-old Patch as a tiny pup, has joined forces with vet Rachel to issue a warning for other pet lovers to be on their guard against discarded barbecue waste during the rest of the summer months.
Rachel said: “I’ve been a vet for 20 years and never seen anything quite like this case before.
“When I examined Patch I found something slightly embedded in the wall of her back passage. It was thin and sharp and at first I thought it might be a stick or sharp piece of spare rib-bone that she’d picked up and swallowed.
“After sedating and x-raying her, I discovered it was actually a kebab skewer that was the problem and I gently manipulated it out of her. If I hadn’t been able to get it out that way she could have needed surgery.
“If it had been left there it would have had some very serious consequences and she might even have died.
“It was incredible that the skewer hadn’t done any damage. It came all the way through her stomach and bowel without perforating anything, which was so lucky for her.
“At times it must have been very painful but she’s a very brave dog and just seemed to take everything in her stride. She’s since made a tremendous recovery.”
Patch’s owner, Becky, 27, a mum-of-three from Tulip Road, Partington, said: “I have nothing but praise for the way Rachel spotted what was wrong and then acted so quickly to do something about it. She’s brilliant and but for her we’d have lost Patch.
“My partner Andrew and I spotted Patch wasn’t acting like herself. She didn’t want to get out of bed, which isn’t like her as she’s usually very lively, and wasn’t going to the toilet as normal.”
A concerned Becky decided to ask vet Rachel’s advice and took her for a thorough examination at Lymm Veterinary Surgery in Booths Hill Road where vet Rachel discovered the skewer and managed to carefully remove it.
The practice is part of the independently-owned Willows Veterinary Group and has a network of 25 small animal surgeries, a referral veterinary hospital, two equine centres and a seven-office farm practice located across Cheshire and into the Wirral, North Wales and Staffordshire.
Becky, who has three young sons Alexander, Jamie and Codie, added: “Amazingly, the tests showed no damage had been caused and Patch was allowed to come home later that day. She’s now doing fine and seems none the worse for what happened to her.
“It was a miracle that the skewer hadn’t pierced any of her internal organs. She swallowed it and it just passed right through her digestive system without cutting or sticking into anything.
“Patch is a bit of a crazy dog and this isn’t the first time she’s been in trouble after swallowing something she shouldn’t. She’s guzzled down one of the kids’ dummies on three occasions and had to have an operation to get one of them out when she was about six months old.
“If the skewer hadn’t been spotted and removed by Rachel, things could have been much worse and we might have lost her. That would have been unbearable as we all love her so much.”
Becky, who has two other dogs – a six-year-old Bulldog named Ice and another Staffie called Princess who is seven – warned other dog owners to take care of used skewers now that the barbecue season is in full swing.
“We do have barbecues in our garden during the summer but we never use any kind of skewers because of the dangers they pose to our dogs,” she said.
“I have no idea where Patch picked up the one she swallowed.
“But I’m telling Patch’s story so that owners can be on their guard against this sort of thing. She was so lucky that we got her to the vets in time and didn’t suffer any internal damage.”
Rachel agreed and added: “Nobody knows where Patch picked up the skewer but I’d like to underline what her owner Becky says about other dog owners being very careful when it comes to discarding barbecue waste, especially at this time of year.
“This case also shows how important it is to have animals properly checked over by a vet if you think there’s something not quite right with them.”