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Interesting Cases – Intestinal Foreign Body

By September 28, 2011 December 13th, 2011 Interesting Cases

Diesel is a 6 year old Chocolate Labrador Retriever who presented to us for vomiting a latex glove 4 days ago and has been vomiting and not eating since. On physical examination he was bright and alert and otherwise normal. However radiographs (X-rays) revealed a suspicious area in his intestines that was dilated with a lot of gas around it. This was highly suspicious of a foreign body and he was immediately taken to surgery.

A lateral x-ray view of Diesel’s abdomen revealing gas in his intestines (dark loops).

Diesel was sick a few months prior to this event and blood results revealed elevated liver enzymes. He had a laparoscopy procedure which is a special camera that travels into his abdomen to get a biopsy of liver which revealed a very small liver due to a liver shunt (Porto-systemic Shunt – PSS). This is a birth defect that he was born with where the blood bypasses his liver. This makes it more difficult for him to metabolize drugs or break down toxins. We therefore needed to choose his anesthetic drugs carefully to minimize any stress to his liver.

During surgery, the foreign body was found in his intestines (duodenum) and was surgically removed.

Diesel’s intestines in surgery. Note the white structure in his intestines which turned out to be a obstructed latex glove.


Diesel’s intestines inmmediately after removing the latex glove with sutures closing the surgical site.

Diesel was kept in the hospital on IV fluids along with pain medication, antibiotics and medications to reduce acid formation in his stomach. After 3 days he was eating well on his own and was sent home. He has since made a complete recovery. However his desire to eat bizarre objects did not change since this was his second incident of eating latex gloves. Labrador Retriever’s love getting into trouble and Diesel is no exception.