The University of Florida Health Science Center sent out a media alert Tuesday warning pet owners to monitor their dogs’ chewing behavior.
The alert was prompted by a recent case at the U.F. Small Animal Hospital involving a puppy named Regal. The owner, Faye Johnson, took the Shih Tzu to the hospital when he woke up one night having trouble breathing.
“Our initial physical examination showed signs of expiratory respiratory distress, meaning he was having difficulty getting air out of his lungs,” said Ashley Allen, D.V.M., a small animal medicine and surgery intern who worked with Regal. “Chest films showed a suspicious object blocking most of his trachea, or main airway, and severe collapse of the trachea in front of the blockage.”
Veterinarians also found that Regal’s stomach was filled with fluid and gas. An ultrasound revealed the presence of a fibrous-like foreign body in his stomach. With an endoscope, the vets were able to remove the foreign object, which turned out to be stuffing from the inside of his dog bed.
This case illustrates that with prompt medical attention, patients with critical needs can have a good outcome, Allen said.
“I think Regal’s story also serves as a reminder for owners to provide puppies with toys and bedding that they cannot easily chew up,” she added.
In Regal’s case, Johnson didn’t even know he had been chewing on the bedding, according to Allen.
“Now that she knows he has a habit of eating things, I think she will be making some environmental changes at home to try to prevent this from happening again,” Allen said.
Regal is reportedly doing very well and is back to being “a happy, playful puppy.”