Fielding D. O’Niell, DVM, MS
A Labrador Retriever came into the hospital after vomiting for five days. On physical exam, he was dehydrated, painful and I could feel a hard spherical object in his small bowel. You could almost read the word "Titleist" on the X-ray of the foreign body. It turns out the Lab's owner is an avid golfer who brings his dog to the driving range. I showed him the X-rays of his missing golf ball and advised immediate exploratory surgery to remove the intestinal obstruction. He then asked, "Doc, what's this going to cost me?" I replied, "Well, for one thing it's going to cost you a stroke unless you play through." We had to remove the golf ball and several inches of necrotic bowel. He made a complete recovery from surgery but caused a "bogey" on that last hole.
A Pitbull was taken to surgery to remove an intestinal foreign body which turned out to be a pair of tiger-striped thong undies. When I showed the foreign body to the couple, the husband became very uncomfortable as his wife explained she didn't own a pair of tiger-striped thong undies. Apparently, his mistress did. The dog survived, the marriage didn't.
Another dog came in spitting up pennies like the coin return slot on a Coke machine. Pennies minted after 1973 contain a toxic level of zinc which can prove fatal if ingested. X-rays revealed a single penny remaining in the stomach. The X-ray image was sharp enough to reveal the date 1971. The penny went on its merry way and was found in the stool the following day.
Over the years, I've acquired an eclectic group of gastrointestinal foreign bodies. This private collection of "object d'Art" includes: rocks, sticks, bottle caps, beef and chicken bones, rawhides, string, thread with sewing needles attached, children's toys, articles of clothing including the entire fall line of Victoria's Secret thong underwear and lastly, forty-seven cents. It just goes to show that there's not too much money in dogs anymore.