Her owner also reported she had been acting strangely. Misty had acted similarly about a year previously when she had eaten a stone and her owner was concerned that perhaps she had done it again. The vet decided that we should take an x-ray to discover whether there was a foreign body present.
Misty was such a good girl that we were able to take the x-rays conscious without any sedation at all. We could very clearly see straight away that Misty had not lost her appetite for stones! You can see on the x-ray exactly where in her stomach the stone is as the bright white area!
Previously Misty had required surgery to remove her past stone snack however this one appeared smaller than the last so the vet thought we would be able to remove it by using the endoscope. The next day Misty came in for a general anaesthetic and scope to hopefully remove the stone. If we were unable to do this Misty would need to be taken immediately into theatre to operate and remove the stone from her stomach.
The procedure was very risky. There was a possibility that whilst being removed the stone could damage the oesophagus or even worse become stuck in the oesophagus. Francesca the vet had to proceed with great care and patience. She was able to see the stone through the camera in the endoscope. Francesca passed a specially designed forceps through the scope which has a wire net at the end of it. Through careful manipulation and skill she was able to capture the stone in the net. Very slowly she could then pull the stone up through the oesophagus and out of Misty's mouth.
Misty recovered quickly from the procedure and because she had not required surgery she could go home the very same evening. However a few days later she was still not well in herself. She was quiet and had a temperature of 40 degrees.
The vet began further investigations to try and find out what was wrong. Her abdomen was very distended and larger than normal. Misty underwent further x-rays, scans and has fluid drained from her abdomen which was tested. These results confirmed a diagnosis of peritonitis, a life threatening condition possibly caused by another unknown foreign body such as a grass seed which had penetrated her abdomen. Her previous gastric stone had been an incidental finding. Misty was taken straight into theatre to have the fluid in her abdomen removed. The abdomen was flushed thoroughly with sterile fluid and a drain placed.
Misty came round well from the procedure however required constant monitoring throughout the night by the nurse and vet. They were concerned that her condition could deteriorate rapidly. The next morning however she was brighter and wagging her tail. She was even eating small amounts of food. Over the next few days Misty was kept in hospital on an intensive course of antibiotics and pain relief. Her drain was regularly emptied and the amount of fluid produced monitored. Her drain was removed 6 days after the surgery and she was finally able to go home.