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Not quite what Alfie wished for!

Alfie was seen early one afternoon at our Offerton branch having suddenly become depressed, lethargic and off his food. He had also vomited a number of times, had been growling and breathing more rapidly which was a concern.

During the examination he had vomited a small amount of frothy white liquid and occasionally gagged. A urine sample had been taken by cyctocentesis (a needle into the bladder) and he was given a pain-killing injection as he seemed uncomfortable.

He was immediatley sent to our 24/7 emergency hospital in Cheadle Hulme for symptomatic treatment. A blood test was taken and he recieved intravenous fluid therapy; this is important when an animal has been vomiting and is off their food to prevent dehydration and to provide electrolytes (important substances also lost with prolonged vomiting and anorexia).

The following day, despite treatment, Alfie had made no improvement and continued to appear dull, gulp, and refuse food. The hospital vet David Tymms was concerned there may be a pharyngeal or oesophageal foreign body (FB) so discussed further investigations with Alfie's owner.

It was agreed Alfie would be anaesthatised for X-rays and possibly an endoscopy (camera down the throat/oesophagus) and oesophageal feeding tube to provide the vital nutrition he needed whilst he was anorexic.

Alfie was anaesthatised and as David prepared to intubate Alfie (place a breathing tube in the trachea) he could see a FB deep in his throat. Gentle traction would not yield the FB so he intubated Alfie and took an X-ray which clearly showed a chicken 'wish bone' stuck in his throat! He managed to remove the bone by grasping each tip and guiding it out of his mouth. Luckily there was no bleeding or damage to his throat and he was woken up.

Alfie recovered well from his anaesthetic and remained in the hospital for observations over the rest of the day. Thankfully his appetite returned almost immediatley and he was fit enough to go home later that evening.

Luckily Alfie's owner spotted the problem and sought veterinary advice before any real damage could be done. Thank you for allowing us to share his story.

Alfie's x-ray clearly shows the breathing tube along side a foreign body in the throat

Luckily the wish bone was removed safely with no damage to Alfie's throat

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