A team from Pride Veterinary Centre in Derby found themselves playing a very high stakes game of ‘hook a duck’ to save the life of Ronnie, a one-year-old British Bulldog from Nottingham who swallowed a child’s rubber duck whole.
They were able to pull out the toy intact and save Ronnie, whose owner Joe Fisher is now planning to frame the original X-rays and keep the rubber duck as a memento of the bizarre incident.
Joe said, “I came down to get Ronnie in the morning and when I opened the stair gate, he shot past me and right up the stairs. He ran right into my nine-year-old daughter Edie’s room, picked up the rubber duck that was lying on the floor and ran back down with it in his mouth.”
He added, “I chased him round the house and garden for a few minutes and when I got close to him, I suddenly saw it was gone. I’d only been chasing him to stop him chewing it up, I never for a minute thought he’d swallow it. It was so big I couldn’t believe what he’d done.
“We were obviously really concerned that it might block his airway or something, but he didn’t appear to be bothered at all. He was still quite happily running about as if nothing had happened.”
Despite Ronnie seemingly showing no ill effects, Joe phoned Pride Veterinary Centre in Derby, part of My Family Vets, and was told to bring his dog straight in.
Said Debs Smith, a senior vet at Pride Veterinary Centre, “We get a lot of cases of dogs having eaten things they shouldn’t, but this was really unusual. We’ve never come across one who has swallowed a whole rubber duck.”
“We sedated Ronnie so we could get an X-ray and it showed up the duck really clearly. It was still in his stomach and hadn’t passed into the intestines, but we were obviously concerned about it causing an obstruction.
“It was possible that we might have to operate but we tried an endoscopy first, passing down a camera and using it to guide us. It really was like playing ‘hook a duck’ and after about half an hour we got the loop around it and pulled it out.”
Ronnie quickly recovered from the ordeal and returned home, where he still picks up things in his mouth – but Joe says he is now much more careful to keep everything out of his reach!
Images by My Family Vets