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Veterinarian Technician October 2011 (Vol 32, No 10)

Final View: Herbie “Rocks”!

by Karen Barnett, RVT, VTS (ECC)

    Lateral abdominal radiograph

    Figure A. Lateral abdominal radiograph revealing a large amount of radiopaque material.

    Ventrodorsal radiograph

    Figure B.Ventrodorsal radiograph.

    Herbie, a 5-year-old, neutered basset hound, presented with a 2-day history of lethargy and intermittent vomiting. The owner had noticed a small number of pebbles in the vomitus. On physical examination, palpation revealed a slightly painful abdomen and a bean bag–like feel to the cranioventral abdomen. Abdominal radiography revealed a large amount of mineral-density, radiopaque material in the stomach, with diffuse gas and additional mineral-density opacities in areas of the intestines and colon (FIGURE A; FIGURE B). During gastrotomy, 2 lb of pea gravel was removed! The owner later discovered that a family member had emptied a pan of grease on some outdoor gravel, and Herbie did what any red-blooded dog would do. Herbie recovered normally from surgery and is back to being the perfect basset hound (FIGURE C).


    Figure C. Besides his bad experience with some greasy gravel, Herbie is a picture-perfect basset hound.

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