Massive stone impaction of the colon
Boof, a 7 year old un-desexed male German Shepherd was presented with problems defecting. He was straining a lot and passing a foul smelling bloody watery fluid from his bottom. He was in a great deal of pain when handled.
Boof had a chronic history of eating pebbles in the back yard and they had never bothered him in the past. His vaccines were current, so we were confident the bloody diarrhoea was not due to Parvovirus. We sedated him with a nice pain killer mixed with a sedative. This allowed us to place him on a drip, examine him more closely, collect bloods for testing and take x-rays of his abdomen.
His abdomen had a firm elongated large mass in the middle of it. Blood tests showed mild dehydration and elevated white blood cells which suggested infection and/or inflammation somewhere in the body.
X-rays of his abdomen showed a spectacular blockage in his large bowel caused by hundreds of small and large pebbles/rocks. A rectal examination revealed the blockage started just forward of an enlarged prostate gland, which is a common condition in older un-desexed male dogs (and men!). The enlarged prostate compresses the colon which lies above it, forcing faeces to make a deviated path upwards before being passed.
Boof was anaesthetised and we performed major surgery to remove the rocks from the colon. We made a 1.5" long incision in his descending colon and milked out handfuls of small pebbles. We had to take great care that the contents of the bowel did not leak into the abdomen as it was full of bacteria. There were 3 large rocks stuck just in front of his prostate. One surgeon pushed them as far backwards towards the rectum while another surgeon passed some large intestinal clamps up the rectum to slowly and gently dislodge them from their impacted position.
We closed the incision in the colon using a double layer inverting suture pattern (Connell-Cushing). We flushed the incision area with some antibiotics (Benacillin and Baytril). We then wrapped some omentum (fatty tissue in the abdomen) around the incision to help seal any potential small leaks. A brand new set of drapes, instruments and sterile gloves were then opened up.
We then flushed out the lower abdomen with 1 litre of sterile saline and placed another bottle of Benacillin into the abdomen.
The abdominal muscle were closed followed by the sub skin layer and eventually the skin. Boof was given some pain killer injection and antibiotic injections (Baytril).
All in all, the surgery took close to 2.5 hours. Boof was kept on a IV drip for 2 days and after 36 hours we stared him on very small amounts of soft sloppy food (Hills I/d tin)
He made a great recovery and was a much happier dog the next day. At check up at 6 days, he was bright and bouncy and the wound was looking great.