One Friday afternoon, a general practice some miles away had a problem:
One of their client’s dogs had eaten an apple, part of which was now stuck halfway down the oesophagus around the level of the heart. They had anaesthetised the dog, and they could see the apple on X-ray and even see it with their endoscope. But try as they might, they couldn’t push it onto the stomach or grab hold of it to pull it back. They rang us at West Midlands referrals for assistance.
They recovered the dog from anaesthetic to a level of sedation, and then one of their vets and nurses brought the patient to us in Burton-Upon-Trent. We re-anaesthetised the dog, and we were able to use our large endoscope and a pair of purpose-made forceps to grab the piece of the apple and pull it back to the level of the larynx. It proved difficult to pull the apple back any further, so it was held in position in the upper oesophagus with gentle pressure applied across the skin of the upper neck with fingers. At the same time, it was broken into smaller pieces that were easier to get out via the mouth.
Our colleagues took the patient for aftercare after recovery from general anaesthetic and reported that the convalescence was uneventful.
The same thing happened again recently on a Friday evening with another practice! A vet and a nurse brought a Staffy over with half a large apple lodged in its oesophagus. After an hour or so of trying to grab the hard part of the apple and nibbling away at the softer edges, we finally got a decent purchase with the forceps. We pulled it up into the upper oesophagus, where it was further broken down and manipulated out of the mouth.
29th December 2013