Removing a T-shirt from a dog
Zack had a history of swallowing things off the clothes line. He had lost a lot of weight and was vomiting everything he ate and drank.
We could feel a large mass in his abdomen, so we elected to have a look inside to see what was going on after giving him some IV fluids for 2 hours. This corrected some of his fluid and electrolyte imbalances making the anaesthetic a lot safer.
The small intestine had contracted down onto the long cord which was attached to the shirt in the stomach. One part of the small intestine had "swallowed" an adjacent part of intestine. This is called an intasusception.
In Zack's case, we could not pull the intasusception apart without damaging the intestine walls.
We decided to remove approx. 1 metre of damaged small intestine and join 2 healthy ends together. The main part of the shirt was in the stomach. This was removed via an incision in the stomach wall.
A long cord was attached to the shirt and went into the small intestines. We closed the stomach wall using a double layer of inverting absorbable sutures
Zack make an uneventful recovery but was not allowed anything by mouth for 48 hours.
We then started Zack on sloppy tin food (Hills I/D) fed in frequent small volumes.
After 1 week, we gradually increased the quantity of each meal.
By 2 weeks, Zack was back to old tricks, but the washing got hung out somewhere else.