My husky ate a bamboo skewer 3 weeks ago. He chewed it into 2-3 smaller pieces before swallowing. He was fine for the first 3 days and on the 4th day he threw up twice and was in a lot of pain. I brought him to his regular vet and they said it could be pancreatitis due to the fatty pork he ate or the stick puncturing through his intestines. Blood work was ordered for the pancreatitis and an ultrasound was recommended instead of a x-ray to look for symptoms of a puncture since wood doesn't show up on x-rays. Ultrasound came back negative as well as the blood work and was told to watch him closely for a few days and control his pain with medicine. A few days past and he is slowly getting better and for a few days back to full energy. Then the pain comes again and a slight temperature. I thought for sure they'd suggest to open him up but after another ultrasound as well an x-ray of the chest (just in case the puncture was not in the GI tract) both come back negative.
He is eating regularly and having normal bowel movements. Slight temperature every once in a while but I think that's more due to pain than an actual infection or being septic. He moves around fine albeit gingerly at times so he doesn't jostle himself and cause pain.
Not sure what to do because 2 different clinics are unwilling to make the call for surgery unless they are completely sure that it us necessary. Meanwhile It breaks my heart seeing him in pain and not knowing if he will eventually pass the pieces of the stick that are obviously poking him and causing pain but not actually puncturing anything ti cause serious complications. I have pet insurance but it only does so much and I can't continue to pay for multiple x-rays and ultrasounds that keep coming up negative and then a possible surgery if he does take a turn for the worse.
This is an interesting case. I think your instinct in wanting surgery is a correct one. Ultrasounds and xrays can miss things whereas an exploratory surgery not only is highly diagnostic, but then you are "in there" to fix the problem. I worry that a small splinter of wood is slowly moving around his abdomen and it is too small to be seen by ultrasound. There was a similar case like this that lasted for months here in my city. It ended up being a porcupine quill. While you cant force a vet to do surgery, you can ask one more time and if they say no then seek another opinion.
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