Today’s WordPress one-word prompt is gorge.
One definition of gorge is: to eat a large amount greedily; fill oneself with food.
A veterinarian at times sees some pretty unusual things and I often wish I would have documented some of those unusual cases with photos.
One particularly memorable case came one night when a client called the veterinary clinic to report that her 10 week old puppy wasn’t feeling well. She said he appeared very bloated and was moaning as if he had a belly ache. She was instructed to bring the pup in for an exam (the clinic I worked at was open until 10 pm). Just a few minutes later, in she walked with a cute little black and tan shepherd mix puppy.
While taking a history, the owner told us she had cooked hamburgers for dinner that night and had disposed of the hamburger grease in her driveway.
The pup went outside to play with her children, found the hamburger grease she had poured in the driveway, and began licking at the grease. Soon after, it came back in the house with a very bloated belly, and moaned and groaned with every movement it made.
Upon entering the exam room, I found a lethargic puppy with a very bloated abdomen. Despite it’s lethargy, the pup managed to greet me with a tail wag and then flopped to the exam table where it moaned and grunted with every breath. I palpated its little abdomen and the only way I can describe it is to say that it felt like a rather large bean bag. All I could feel were small pebbles and lots of them. The puppy, while licking the hamburger grease in the driveway, had swallowed probably close to two cups of gravel in the process.
When I picked the puppy up and moved him from side to side, and up and down, it literally sounded like someone was shaking these.
Yep, maracas. No, I’m NOT kidding. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen and heard it for myself. Poor sweet little fella literally had a belly full of gravel and one heck of a stomachache to go along with it. Other than the rocks in the belly, he checked out okay. His color and capillary refill time were good, his temperature was normal, his eyes, ears, nose, teeth, and throat were all normal, and his heart and lungs sounded good. His hydration was normal and surprisingly he was not vomiting or making any attempt to vomit.
I passed a stomach tube and administered a small amount of mineral oil to start lubricating his digestive tract from the top down. A while later he was also given a mineral oil enema to aid in the removal of the gravel.
We put him in a run and kept him for observation. Once he began to blow out the gravel, he returned to normal fairly rapidly. By the time he was done, the run he was in resembled a small rock quarry! I couldn’t believe that one small pup had gorged that much gravel. His abdomen went down to normal size. He became a happy, active, playful little puppy again who no longer sounded like maracas.
It was a case I would never forget.