Bandit - named after the cartoon character "Johnny Quest's"
canine companion (!) - is a 6 1/2 year old Lhasa Apso Mix -
adopted from Woods Humane Society in 2005. He was named
after "Bandit” because he looked like him, sounded like him
and was also a little thief! He was adopted by the Gillette
family for their young son Wes who had been begging for a
little dog to sleep with as all their previous adoptees had
been larger black lab mixes.
Demonstrating his "whirling dervish" antics during the
adoption interview, the Woods Humane Society Coordinator
described him as a "little gremlin" Bandit was a stray and
had been out on the streets for some time prior to landing
at WHS. He soon acclimated to adopted life and learned to
play fetch, groom the companion lab Milo, bark at squirrels
and most of all go "in the car" - and if you say it you
better mean it, according to Jan Gillette. He got in the
habit of stealing shoes (mostly size 12's from Wes's room!)
And they would find single shoes strewn throughout the house
so they decided to buy him some chew toys instead - and the
rest is "his-story"!
had been to see us over the past few years for routine
vaccinations and the occasional foxtail removal, but
presented on a Saturday morning for ongoing vomiting over a
3 month period; however on this Saturday he had vomited more
frequently than usual. Jan even brought a picture of the
"evidence" on her phone - the new technical modality for the
explanation and "sharing" of animal symptoms!
His physical exam was fairly normal and he had a normal body
temperature so we discussed the myriad of possibilities
related to "dietary intolerance” - causing ongoing
gastrointestinal upset including gastritis, pancreatitis (an
inflammation of the pancreas associated with high fat
ingestion), foreign material and foreign body obstruction.
He was having normal bowel movements at the time of
presentation so it was decided to run baseline blood work
and treat with famotadine (Pepcid) and a bland, low fat diet
The "in-house” baseline panel was within normal limits
except for mild hemoconcentration (mild dehydration) and a
slight increase in a certain type of cell called "neutrophils"
- which can indicate a mild inflammatory response. This
helped us rule out conditions such as pancreatitis and the
need for immediate hospitalization so he was treated with
"SQ" fluids (Lactated Ringers Solution administered under
the skin) and an "anti-nausea" injection.
Sunday we called to check on the "B" - and were told that he
had not vomited in the last 24 hours but still seemed
slightly "punk". He had gone for his walk and had a normal
bowel movement but they did state that his urine seemed
slightly "darker" than normal - so again, we discussed a
radiograph or ultrasound exam to further assess the abdomen.
On Monday, Bandit re-presented for ongoing lethargy and
anorexia (lack of appetite) and even though his physical
exam and abdominal palpation was again within normal limits,
his abdomen did seem slightly distended. Based on the
chronicity (approximately 3 months in duration) and
presentation, an ultra-sound exam was performed. We could
visualize a mass in the area of the pylorus which is the
"aperture" by which the stomach contents enter into the
duodenum = the first part of the small intestine. The
remainder of the ultrasound exam was within normal limits so
we knew the pathology (disease process) was limited to this
one area of intestine. However, we could not discern from
the ultrasound exam if what we were seeing was a mass, tumor
or foreign body - so it was decided to stabilize him that
night with intra-venous fluids and antibiotics and perform
exploratory surgery the following day.
On Tuesday, Bandit was taken to surgery and Dr. Cherbinsky
discovered a part of a KONG chew toy in the duodenum and was
able to remove it through an enterotomy (incision into the
intestines). Bandit made an uneventful recovery - which is
the way we like it - and returned home to resume his daily
activities and squirrel monitoring!
This case just goes to show the body’s ability to adapt as
the foreign body had remained in the stomach for weeks but
only became problematic when it became lodged in the
duodenum - so dogs and cats can survive with gastric foreign
bodies but once they enter the small intestine, may cause
intestinal blockage and subsequent deterioration. The vast
majority of offending agents that dogs and cats eat will
pass in time but when they don't, we must surgically
intervene. So for now we will let Bandit dream of chewing on
shoes and offer him a safer, non-destructible alternative in
the chew toy department!