Case Study: Rocky
Rocky, a five year old Staffie presented with frequent vomiting. His owner reported that he chewed and ate all sorts of household object and they had noticed that for the previous two months his vomiting had become more frequent.
Thanks to our range of specialist diagnostic techniques w ewere able to investigate Rocky's condition and diagnose and treat his problems without the need for external referral or invasive surgery.
After a clinical examination in the consultation room failed to detected any abnormalities, we performed routine blood test to check that there wasn’t a systemic underlying problem with Rocky, and to be sure that he was well enough to undergo sedation if we needed to do any further tests.
As the blood tests were normal, we sedated Rocky to take xrays of his abdomen. These showed that there was a metal foreign body (a staple) in his stomach (see right).
We weren’t sure if the staple was the true source of the problem so we performed an ultrasound of Rocky’s abdomen. Unlike the xray, which only shows the silhouette of most internal organs, the ultrasound can show the internal structures of organs. In Rocky’s case it showed that his intestinal wall was thickened and showed changes suggestive of a generalised bowel disorder (likely to be inflammatory bowel disease). Normal intestinal wall thickness is 2-3mm though in Rockys case was 4.8mm.
In order to get a definitive diagnosis and also further assess the metal structure in Rocky’s stomach we decided to perform an endoscopy under light anaesthesia. This would involve putting a specialized long thin (6.9mm) flexible camera called an endoscope from his mouth into his stomach. The endoscope has a channel in it that allows specialized and delicate instruments called forceps to either remove things from the stomach or take very small samples (biopsies) of the stomach wall, as can be seen in where we retrieved of the staple (beware if you are sqeemish about surgery videos).
Fortunately for Rocky, the metal staple was not attached to the stomach wall and we were able to be retrieved it using the endoscope. We also took biopsies of the stomach wall through the endoscope, which were analyised at a laboratory. Rocky went home the same day with very little discomfort and without any need for any surgery or hospitalisation.
The stomach biopsies showed that Rocky had inflammarory bowel disease which we were able to manage with change in diet and a short course of steroids to alleviate the inflammation in the stomach.
Rocky continues to do well!
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