Emergency vets save life of dog who downed lamb and the wooden skewer it was on
Patch the Jack Russell was so eager to scoff some lamb at a family barbecue — he swallowed the wooden skewer it was attached to.
Owner Adam and wife Holly watched in horror as Patch pounced on the meaty skewer within seconds of their six-year-old daughter dropping it.
Holly even grabbed hold of Patch’s mouth in a desperate bid to stop him.
But her efforts were in vain as the 12cm skewer with a pointed end quickly disappeared into Patch’s tummy.
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The 18-month-old Parson’s Jack Russell — a longer legged breed of the popular terrier — was oblivious to the danger and continued to bounce around the garden.
But his owners knew they had to act quickly.
“Patch wasn’t in any distress and was actually looking for more food,” said Adam.
“It all happened pretty quickly when my six-year-old daughter Cara dropped the lamb skewer. It had a 12 cm wooden stick and the dog was underneath her and put it in his mouth straight away.
“Holly grabbed Patch’s mouth and held his jaw open, but somehow he managed to swallow it whole. Luckily it didn’t puncture anything on the way down.”
Adam, who lives in Daventry, rang his local vet, but as it was a Sunday he was transferred to Vets Now which provides out-of-hours emergency care for pets.
He was advised to head straight to the clinic in Milton Keynes where vets examined Patch using an endoscope — a camera on a long thin tube that’s inserted through the mouth to examine the oesophagus.
“After two hours the vet phoned to say she’d managed to get the skewer out. I went to pick Patch up and he was absolutely fine,” Adam said. “You wouldn’t even have known he’d been under anaesthetic — he was jumping up and running around, happy to be at the vets.”
And what was the first thing Patch did when he go home? He ran out into the garden to the spot where he had snaffled the lamb skewer to see if there were any more treats waiting to be gobbled up.
“He definitely hasn’t learned his lesson,” Adam joked. “We’ll lock him indoors next time we have a barbecue. So much stuff gets dropped and you don’t realise until something bad happens that it can be dangerous.”
Adam and Holly have learned their own lesson though — to keep up to date with pet insurance. They’d only recently got Patch from Battersea Dog’s Home and his insurance policy had expired just two days before his barbecue mishap.
“It ran out on the Friday and it was on our list of things to do that weekend. We made sure we got it that Sunday evening,” Adam added.
Iva Nikolova Vets Now emergency vet
Patch seemed to enjoy his visit to the vets despite his ordeal, but it’s a reminder that barbecues and parties can be dangerous for pets.
The Vets Now clinic in Milton Keynes — where Patch received treatment — is one of 55 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.
Iva Nikolova, the vet who treated Patch, said: “It was a relief that we were able to get the skewer out with our endoscope and avoid the need for surgery.
“Patch seemed to enjoy his visit to the vets despite his ordeal, but it’s a reminder that barbecues and parties can be dangerous for pets.
“You should always keep potentially dangerous human foods out of your dog’s reach and if you suspect your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have eaten then you should seek urgent veterinary advice.”
All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.