When Susie Hermit, Senior Vet at the PDSA Glasgow Shamrock Street Pet Hospital, saw the x-ray of Mastiff-type Chico, she could scarcely believe her eyes: it looked all the world like the pup had an extra rib. There actually was an extra rib in Chico’s body – just not his own: the one-year-old dog had swallowed a six-inch cow rib bone whole, and had somehow managed to do so without injuring himself in what seems nothing short of a magician’s trick.
Chico’s owner, Craig Anderson, said, “I thought if I supervised him it would be fine but he literally swallowed it in one mouthful. He seemed fine but I knew he wouldn’t be able to digest it properly so I took him straight to PDSA.”
“I’ve never seen an x-ray like it before, the position of the bone really did look like Chico had an extra rib!” Susie said. “Amazingly he’d managed to swallow the bone whole but didn’t seem to be in any pain. However, we knew we had to carry out emergency surgery to remove it because it could have caused a life-threatening tear to his stomach or intestines.”
Chico has since recovered, and will never again get a chance to show off his magic rib-swallowing trick: from now on, bones are strictly off the menu for him.
“It goes without saying but I don’t give bones to him anymore after this,” Craig said. “It’s definitely a case of once bitten twice shy.”
According to Susie, Chico was very lucky, and PDSA doesn’t recommend bones to be given as treats.
“They can cause digestive tract damage and blockages,” she explained. “Surgery is usually needed to remove the blockage and, in some cases, the damage is so serious that it can be fatal.”
Images by PDSA.