Animals Eat the Craziest Things! by Nancy Kay, DVM
Golf balls retrieved from Zeus’s stomach
Every year Veterinary Practice News (VPN) holds its, “They Ate What?” Contest. Here’s how it works. Veterinarians submit X-rays of patients who have eaten highly inappropriate things along with photos of the foreign matter once it’s been removed. The VPN editorial staff judges the submissions for originality. The prizes- $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place- are sponsored by pet insurance.
This year’s grand prizewinner was Dr. Gordon Schumucker of Lisbon Veterinary Clinic in Lisbon, Ohio. His patient Zeus, a one-year-old Doberman Pinscher, was examined because of vomiting. An X-ray revealed 20 round, foreign objects within the dog’s stomach. During surgery 20 golf balls were retrieved. Zeus was reported to have access to a driving range.
Second place went to Dr. Mike Jones of Woodland West Animal Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He removed the end of a fishing pole from the esophagus and stomach of a ten-week-old puppy. Yikes!
The third place winner was Dr. Theresa Taylor of Cherryville Animal Hospital in Cherryville, North Carolina. She examined a six-month-old Labrador Retriever because of vomiting and lethargy. Her X-rays revealed a metallic foreign body within the dog’s bowel. At the time of surgery, she discovered that this youngster had eaten a door hinge. After surgery, it’s reported that the mouthy puppy attempted to eat the wrap securing his intravenous catheter along with the plastic line connected to his intravenous fluids. Why do I think this puppy is in store for a lifetime of surgeries?
Some of the other reported foreign bodies included an animal’s collar, a studded belt, coins, a rock, a spoon, and a large bunch of hair ties. All of the stories had happy endings with one exception. After a python was “away from the house” for a week or so its owner requested an X-ray to determine what his pet ingested while MIA. The X-ray revealed a bejeweled collar within the snake’s intestinal tract. It turns out that a neighbor’s Siamese kitty disappeared right around that same time. It was reported that the snake owner fessed up and purchased another cat for his neighbor.
What’s the craziest thing your pet ever ate?