Emergency vet surgeons save pointer Max who found the discarded corn cobs in a park

A pointer cross puppy is lucky to be alive after swallowing six corn on the cobs.

Little Max wolfed down the husks after finding a pile of them abandoned in a Glasgow park. But one of them got stuck in the eight-month-old’s digestive system leaving him in need of major surgery at our pet emergency hospital in the city.

Max’s owner Alex said she thought he was ok after vomiting up five of the husks.

Alex explained: “It was quite late in the day when we realised how ill Max was. The morning after we’d been in the park I came downstairs to find him seriously ill. He’d collapsed and must have been very dehydrated. We have an older dog, Ace, who will pretty much come to sit on your lap to tell you he is ill, but this young pup just goes quiet when he’s unwell, so we missed a lot of the signs.”

An image of Max, the dog who ate corn on the cob husks and had to receive medical treatment, posing with his favourite string toy for Vets Now article on dog ate corn on the cob
Pointer cross puppy Max has recovered well after eating six corn on the cob husks

Alex and her family hadn’t realised that Max’s condition had been declining because of the corn cob as he’d been drinking quite happily after being sick. But when Max collapsed, she realised it was a “life or death situation” and knew she had to act fast.

She rang our pet emergency hospital in Glasgow and, once Alex had got confirmation we could care for Max, she gave the thumbs up to her husband, Steve, and daughter, Nicole, to drive there while she continued to explain the situation over the phone. Alex said: “They jumped in the car and managed to get there in 10 minutes. I think Steve just flew into Vets Now and as I had given details of exactly what had happened over the phone, the staff were ready for Max.”

Our emergency vets decided to delay operating on Max for 24 hours as he was so dehydrated, but, thankfully, once they had stabilised him, they were able to successfully remove the corn on the cob husk.

Alex said: “The staff were outstanding and not just in how they dealt with the puppy, but with us too. The whole team worked together to give the best care, and they also kept in touch to give us very clear precise information. They were able to reassure us, but without giving false hope as it was not a given that Max was going to pull through. After the operation, we were able to go in to give him some food when he was well enough.”

An image of Max looking unwell in the Vets Now Glasgow hospital for Vets Now article on dogs eat corn on the cob
Max was rushed to the Vets Now pet emergency hospital in Glasgow after falling ill

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Alex, who works as a pharmacist, said she couldn’t help wondering if she could have spotted the signs that Max was ill earlier. She added: “Looking back I’m not sure we’d have spotted it because he took ill late in the night and, after being sick, he was drinking quite happily and seemed settled.”

Thankfully, Max is now back to his boisterous best and an irregular heartbeat that he had during his ordeal, possibly due to his dehydration, has also corrected itself.

Alex said: “Max has made a full recovery, but he has quite a scar. There were 25 staples used in the operation, and the vet decided he should take them out over the course of two visits just to be on the safe side and to give him extra support. Now you’d never know Max had been ill as he’s already throwing himself into the line of fire and thinking later.”

An Image of Max with his owner's other dog taken just minutes before Max starting feeling unwell for Vets Now article on dog ate corn on the cob
Max with his brother Ace, just before his health took a turn for the worse

Marie-Philippe Bussieres, who is a vet surgeon at the Vets Now pet emergency hospital in Glasgow, said: “Thankfully, Max is a fit puppy and has been able to bounce back from this major surgery. The complications he suffered from his dehydration and heart did give us some concern, so it’s nice to hear that he’s back to his old self.

“Unlike most vegetables, corn on the cobs don’t digest in a dog’s stomach. That means they are likely to cause a blockage, and possible perforation, if they’re left to make their way through the intestines.

“Dogs will often pick them up from plates or the floor, from barbecues and out of bins. Our advice is always to dispose of the cobs in a large sturdy bin, preferably one which dogs have no access to such as an outside wheelie bin. This is especially the case now we’re coming into barbecue season”

The Vets Now hospital in Glasgow is Scotland’s first dedicated 24/7 pet emergency service. It operates as a pet A&E department with a team of dedicated specialist, referral and emergency vets on hand to provide care. It’s one of 59 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.