A curious canine who fell ill after exploring his new garden had to have emergency surgery twice in a matter of weeks after scoffing pieces of hidden hosepipe.
Rodney, a three-year-old black labrador began retching and being sick after rummaging through overgrown bushes at his new home in Chester. Owners, Richard and Oriana Kelly took him to Manor Court Veterinary Surgery in Tarvin where tests revealed a blockage in his intestine and he underwent an urgent operation to remove it. The couple weren't sure what the object was or where Rodney had got it, but described it as a "reinforced" piece of red plastic with a mesh lining, similar to a hosepipe.
While he was recovering, Richard and Oriana were struck by a sense of deja vu just three weeks later when Rodney started vomiting again. It appeared he had, once more, sniffed out the hosepipe. After going to Manor Court, he was referred to Willows Veterinary Hospital in Hartford, for emergency surgery which was done by Willows surgery lead, Becca Blagg.
Richard, 36 from Hoole said: "We'd moved house and the back garden is a bit overgrown. We let Rodney out and he'd go off behind the hedges, we didn't know what he was doing. Shortly afterwards, he got really ill, he was being sick and acting really weird so we took him to the vet. An X-ray and scan and found he had something lodged in his intestines.
"Three weeks later, after picking up a new puppy, we were doing renovations on the house. We didn't know he'd found the foreign object in our garden. We let both dogs out and Rodney started rummaging around in the hedges again. The following morning, he was being sick, retching; all the things he'd done three weeks prior. So we took him to our vet and tests revealed there was something in his stomach and intestines and he needed a slightly more complicated operation. They pulled out what looked exactly like the thing as he'd eaten the first time. We've got to get the garden cleared and find this thing that he keeps eating."
Rodney is banned from the garden without a muzzle until the clearing is done. The couple, who are expecting their first baby even use the muzzle when Rodney is out for walks.
Richard Nolan, the vet surgeon who saw Rodney at Manor Court, run by Willows Veterinary Group, said "He had had a lucky escape." and urged owners to check their surroundings for anything that could be harmful to their pet. The vet of 33 years said: "Rodney is a typical Labrador who suffers with digestive upsets, he's got a sensitive gut and the owners are careful about what he eats and when. I've been dealing with his sensitive digestion, but things went downhill when they moved house. The interesting thing about this case is the precautionary tale about moving to a new house. They were focusing on getting the house in order while the dog explored the garden. It serves as a warning to others moving house to think about what their dogs might find. Rodney probably hasn't learned from the experience but he's doing ok despite two significant surgeries.
"If we can avoid surgery and the foreign body can pass naturally, it's better all around. To cut into the bowel, runs the risk of infection and adhesions...for the dog to have it done twice, it's certainly not what the doctor ordered so to speak. Labradors often explore the world by eating first and asking questions later, that's what happened here."
Rodney is now back on the road to recovery.
"He seems fine now, bouncing around the place, he's definitely on the mend," said owner, Richard. "We'd like to thank everyone who played a part in looking after him."
Willows Veterinary Group, part of VetPartners, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise has a network of 23 small animal practices, a referral veterinary hospital, equine hospital and a farm practice, located across Cheshire and into Greater Manchester, North Wales, the Wirral and Staffordshire. Willows is accredited by The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. For more information about Willows Veterinary Group, go to www.willowsvetgroup.co.uk
Ed: Richard Nolan will be judging the Dog Show at Tarvin Fete on 2nd July