Susan the Spaniel back home in Telford after surgery to remove six-inch stick

An 'anorexic' dog from Shropshire has made a full recovery after a CT scan revealed it had swallowed a six-inch stick.

Susan the Spaniel
Susan the Spaniel

The one-year-old Cocker Spaniel called Susan underwent surgery at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull.

It comes after a CT scan revealed the stick had speared through her stomach, abdominal cavity and into the pelvic canal.

Susan the Spaniel

Worried owner Will Pool, from Wellington, took Susan to the vet after she stopped eating, didn't want to play and was struggling to go down the stairs.

He said: “A month before her operation, Susan had almost completely stopped eating, didn't want to play, and she struggled going down stairs and jumping up.

“We took her to our local vets who prescribed a course of antibiotics and she was fine again for a while.

“Then, when the problems returned for a second time the vet thought it could be steroid responsive meningitis and referred us to Willows for a specialist diagnosis.

“We were mortified when we were given the diagnosis. We weren't expecting her to need an operation and we certainly weren't expecting it to be caused by having a stick inside of her.

“The vet said the stick had been inside her for at least a few weeks, however we wonder if it might have been months because she’d been so reluctant to eat and really lethargic for so long."

Since her operation, Susan has made a full recovery and Will thanked the team at Willows for their care in nursing her back to health.

Susan the Spaniel

“The vets did a great job of looking after Susan and we can't thank them enough. We would absolutely recommend Willows to anyone," he added.

“Susan eats properly now, which she’d never really done before, and is far more energetic.

"We know that, without the specialist scans and subsequent surgery, things could have ended very differently."

Laura Bree, internal medicine specialist at Willows, carried out the initial investigations of Susan’s elevated temperature, lethargy and anorexia.

She said: “We carried out blood and urine tests along with CT imaging of the chest and abdomen.

“It was after the CT scan of her abdomen that we received a surprise – a foreign body, consistent with a stick, was found and Susan was transferred to my colleague Will Robinson for surgery to remove it.”

Susan the Spaniel

Soft tissue specialist Will added: “During surgery, a long piece of stick was removed along with a small section of her stomach.

“The suspicion is that at some point Susan ate the stick which then perforated her stomach wall and travelled to the pelvic canal.

“There was also evidence of an infection in the abdomen so she was started on a course of antibiotics after appropriate samples were taken.

“Susan was then sent for recovery in our intensive care unit under the supervision of our specialist-led emergency and critical care team.

“She recovered extremely well, and we are very pleased to report that she is now back to her old self."

Thanks to Willows' multidisciplinary approach, involving a number of specialists who worked together to diagnose and treat a complex condition, Susan is back to her old self.

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