Adorable Karma needs emergency surgery to survive ordeal

Meet Karma — the dog who nearly died after she swallowed a wine bottle cork which got wedged in the middle of her tummy.

Adorable Karma, who is a cross between a Staffie and a Boxer, was rushed into Vets Now on the verge of collapse.

She’d been suffering for six days from vomiting which anti-sickness tablets and then an anti-nausea injection had been unable to stem.

The team at our pet emergency clinic in Reading, Berks, checked Karma over and immediately suspected that she had swallowed a ‘foreign body’.

So they took a series of x-rays which showed – in amazing detail – a cork stuck life-threateningly in the middle of Karma’s intestine.

  1. Karma's cork drama

    Staffie/Boxer cross, Karma, was rushed to Vets Now after swallowing a cork

  2. Karma's cork drama

    Staffie/Boxer cross, Karma, was rushed to Vets Now after swallowing a cork

    Image of a cork for Vets Now article on dog ate cork

The pictures are so sharp that a long thin hole left by a corkscrew can clearly be seen drilled through the centre of the cork.

It was at that point that Karma’s worried owner Robin Stevenson realised what had happened.

To Robin’s horror, curious Karma had got hold of a bag of old corks which Robin had been saving for a kids’ art project run by a friend — and she’d then eaten one of them.

With five-year-old Karma’s life in danger, there was no time to lose.

Karma was put under anaesthetic in preparation for emergency surgery – then, with an anxious Robin watching the minutes tick by, our vet Anita Notenboom carried out an urgent enterotomy, surgery on the intestine, to remove the trapped cork.

Fortunately, Anita only needed to make one incision and was able to extract it relatively quickly. Now, Karma is back to her normal affectionate and bouncy self – to Robin’s immense relief.

Image of Karma and vet Anita for Vets Now article on dog ate cork
Emergency vet Anita performed surgery to remove the cork

Robin, who lives in Reading, said: “Karma isn’t just a dog – she’s my companion and part of my family.

“Anita was very honest and warned me that if the operation wasn’t a success that Karma might die. The way the cork was positioned it was blocking her entire stomach.

“As you can imagine, I was very emotional. Having your dog in emergency care is one of the worst things imaginable for a pet owner.

“But Anita and the team at Vets Now were incredibly caring and thorough – it felt like Karma was in very safe hands.

“As luck would have it, I was between insurance policies so I didn’t have cover and was very worried about paying the bill.

“So I asked some friends through social media if they might be able to help and before I knew it, we had enough money to pay.

“You always hate to ask anyone for anything but I was really touched by how generous people were and I’m very grateful to everyone who helped.”

  1. Back to normal

    Thankfully, Karma is now back to her bouncy, affectionate self

  2. Back to normal

    Thankfully, Karma is now back to her bouncy, affectionate self

  3. Back to normal

    Thankfully, Karma is now back to her bouncy, affectionate self

    Image of Karma the staffie/boxer cross for Vets Now article on dog ate cork
  4. Back to normal

    Thankfully, Karma is now back to her bouncy, affectionate self

Anita said Karma’s condition would have continued deteriorating had Robin not rushed her in.

She explained: “Karma was in a pretty bad way when she was admitted. She wasn’t eating, was very lethargic and vomiting continuously.

“The x-rays showed the cork lodged in her intestine so we had to act quickly. Thankfully, the surgery was a success.

“It really was a freak incident — one of those things you just can’t predict would ever happen — and we’re just very pleased indeed that we were able to help. It’s really heartwarming that she’s made such a full recovery.”

The pet emergency clinic in Reading is one of a nationwide network of Vets Now clinics and hospitals open through the night, seven days a week, and day and night at weekends and bank holidays.

All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and a veterinary nurse on site at all times.