Einstein’s family brought him in to us when they found he was laying around a lot, wasn’t eating and then he started vomiting. His blood work results were very non diagnostic but the plain radiograph was suspicious of a foreign body.
It was decided to perform a Barium Series as this would outline the pattern of the gastrointestinal system. What came back was what we call a text book image of what happens to the intestines when an animal swallows a string.
In Einstein’s case one end of the string was twisted around the very base of his tongue, so every time the intestines contracted during normal peristalsis they pulled in on themselves like an accordion. To further complicate things as the string is pulled taunt it becomes like a little knife and can slice right through the intestinal wall.
The only way to save Einstein’s life was to perform emergency surgery. For three hours Dr. Suderman and Dr. O’Brien carefully removed the string in small sections at a time to minimize further damage to his intestines.
It was amazing how quickly Einstein recovered afterwards showing interest in food the next morning. We made sure he had pain medication and some local freezing for his damaged tongue.
It’s been a few weeks and his family is happy to report Einstein is doing well and acting like his old self. Thank you to Einstein and his family for allowing us to share his story.
Written by Angelina Johnstone RVT