A Yorkshire Terrier cheated death when he gobbled up a kebab stick at a BBQ.
Tiny Gizmo bit off far more than he could chew after devouring the skewer which somehow left his stomach and got stuck in his rib cage – putting him at major risk of developing deadly peritonitis.
PDSA vets in Gillingham removed a 9cm wooden skewer that had migrated from his stomach to the muscles between his ribs after he swallowed it at the barbecue.
Mischievous Gizmo, (5), gobbled up the stick along with some garlic bread which he managed to pinch from the table while guests were enjoying themselves during the party at owner Ruth Dalton’s home in Rochester, Kent.
Not long after the barbecue Gizmo became unwell and developed a huge abscess on his side.
Ruth, (46), took her beloved pet to PDSA Gillingham PetAid hospital where vets took x-rays but could not find anything untoward as wooden skewers usually don’t show up on an x-ray. However, after carrying out exploratory surgery the team discovered the skewer lodged in the muscles around Gizmo’s rib cage and operated to remove it.
PDSA Head Nurse Jennie Keen said Gizmo had been extremely lucky.
“The stick was actually wedged in the muscles between the ribs but it could have easily have punctured a lung, or led to him developing a life threatening peritonitis on its voyage from Gizmo’s stomach to his chest area,” she said.
“Once Gizmo was under an anaesthetic, we had the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the abscess on his chest and were amazed to find out what was the cause of the infection. Gizmo was a very lucky dog indeed, as the potential damage to Gizmo’s body from the skewer could have been much, much worse.
“With the hot weather expected this weekend many people will be enjoying barbecues but it’s important to remember the dangers and to clear up thoroughly after you’ve finished the barbecue. Make sure the food remains of the barbecue are put in sealed bags and put into a very secure bin. You’d be amazed at what pets can get into if they can smell those lovely barbecue juices.”
Thankfully Gizmo is now making a good recovery and he is due to have his stitches removed next week.
Ruth, who lives with Gizmo and her 14-year-old son Samuel, said she was now extra careful when having a barbecue.
She said: “I’d advise people to keep a close eye on their pets or put them in another room when you’re serving food.”
PDSA is advising pet owners to be extra cautious this weekend, as its vets across the UK see many cases of cats and dogs swallowing items at barbecues year after year, ranging from kebab skewers to corn-on-the-cob cores, toys and bones.
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