We told her that two weeks is a long time to carry a fishing hook around in your belly even if it will dissolve, and convinced her to come in anyway. While I waited, I had a mental conversation with myself. What would a dissolvable fishing hook be made of, and would it show up on my X-rays? If I find it, can I persuade the owner to allow me to remove it? And, can I do a GI foreign body surgery and still get lunch?
We called every fisherman we knew - husbands, boyfriends, uncles. None of them had ever heard of a dissolving fish hook.
The puppy came in for her exam. She was bright, happy, not painful, surprisingly well-mannered, and I could not find any fishing hook or line in her mouth.
You know what's coming next - an X-ray. Can you find the fish hook in this puppy?
Oh, yeah, it's where you think it is.
OK, the good news is that the hook is radio-opaque, and that it is not hung up in the esophagus, the stomach, or the small intestine. Even more importantly, I don't have to take her to surgery, and I will get my lunch break. The bad news? I have to glove up and go in for the hook.
With a little digital manipulation and the judicious application of KY jelly and a pair of Kelly forceps, I extracted a wad of dog doo-doo with a stiff object in the middle. Dissecting the material, I found a clump of dog hair wrapped around ...
... the hook.
This little dog was SO lucky! I have seen a lot of fish hook patients in my time, and never have I seen one go all the way through a pet with no trauma. The hair coated the hook so it didn't have the chance to snag any tissue along the way, and it was even coming out rounded end first. I suspect she would have passed it on her own with the next bowel movement, but then I would have missed out on a most blog-worthy post.
The staff's comment when they saw me washing off the hook and reaching for my camera? "Are you going to BLOG about THIS?" You betcha!