Pepper is a wonderful dog that presented to us one morning after a restless night with lots of vomiting. Pepper was extremely lethargic and just not herself. Her x-rays showed some changes in her abdomen that were very suggestive of an intestinal blockage. The presence of this blockage was confirmed with a procedure known as a barium study where a contrast agent is fed to the dog and a series of x-rays taken to watch as the contrast moves through the GI tract. Or doesn’t move in Pepper’s case! So Pepper was taken to surgery to find out what was causing the life-threatening blockage. A large piece of a towel was removed from Pepper’s stomach and intestines. The surgery was performed by our Board Certified Surgeon, Dr. Philip Pacchiana, and Pepper is now doing very well.

Pepper’s case illustrates just how key it is to investigate vomiting in a dog or cat. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that certain things that they eat will cause a life-threatening blockage and that surgery is the only cure. If you ever notice repeated vomiting in your dog or cat, it is very important to have it investigated in case they ate something they shouldn’t have. In the case of cats, pay particular attention to toys with string or ribbon and things like dental floss as cats are very prone to eating these. With dogs, watch out for just about everything if your dog is prone to chewing or eating things that they shouldn’t. Early intervention in a case like Pepper’s is key! She had a very attentive caretaker and all is well for her now. Hopefully, she won’t be eating any more towels in the near future.

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