BARBARA is a 12-week-old labrador puppy who presented with a huge abdomen.
The owners had left her home alone for two hours. When they returned it appeared she had swallowed a basketball. Whole. When I examined her, Barbara was a bit subdued. Her enlarged abdomen was uncomfortable and she was whimpering.
Labs in particular have a reputation for eating things they should not. I took Xrays. These revealed one of the biggest stomachs I’ve ever seen. It took up the entire abdominal cavity. Barbara had overindulged – but how?
Some detective work at home revealed that Barbara had chewed a hole in the bottom of a bag of food belonging to Bruce – the family’s older labrador.
The bag was on a shelf, so Barbara sat below and gorged herself on the ensuing cascade of kibble. I induced vomiting, but because those biscuits were packed so tightly in Barbara’s stomach they barely budged. So she was placed on a drip overnight to hydrate her and help move that gut along.
The following morning, Barbara was a different dog. She’d passed a huge amount of stool, her abdomen appeared to be deflated and her tail was wagging. Never underestimate a labrador puppy!