Little Miss Molly by Megan Davis, VA and April McEwan, CSS

Molly is our 3 year old, long-haired, brindle, Miniature Dachshund. From the moment she was put in my arms as an 8 week old puppy, she has brought us tremendous joy, made us laugh, frustrated us and infuriated us all at the same time! What a personality!  Well, she’s a Dachshund.

We think she is part cat – she’s loves to be stroked and cuddled, on her terms. She loves walking along the back of the couch and sleeping there. One of her favourite things is to lay in front of the fireplace to warm her paws or groom her hair, which looks like she was plugged into a wall socket!

Molly was difficult to housebreak. Willful is the word that comes to mind. I would stand outside in the freezing cold for ages, waiting for something to happen. And then the moment I would bring her inside… well, you get the picture. She’d look up at me as if to say “So? What’s the problem? I did it!”  So we bell trained her; hanging bells on several doors so she could indicate it was time for her to go out. It worked amazingly well! Except now she rings the bell to go out, when she wants to eat, or have a cookie (which is always), when she wants water and when she wants to go to bed. It can get quite noisey!

She has always been a dog who loves to scrounge for things to munch on. If I’m not careful, she will climb up the back of a chair and I will find her standing in the middle of the kitchen counter! I have to watch anything that is remotely edible, like tissue, eyeglass wipes or facial wipes. She will get into closed wastebaskets to find something she considers yummy. We have so far escaped surgery, as she has returned 3 eyeglass wipes and a bounce dryer sheet… however recently, she was having difficulty. It was clear she was in distress. So off to Dr. Kerr we went…

Molly’s Latest Adventure at The North Hill Animal Hospital

When Gail called North Hill Animal Hospital we knew that something was not right. Molly had a history of eating things that she should not eat, a common problem with a lot of dogs. Gail felt that she may or may not have eaten a facial wipe but was not 100% sure. The fact that Molly presented with vomiting and lethargic behavior had us worried.

Molly’s X-ray

So Dr. Kerr recommended that we proceed with a series of X-rays and possibly barium meal; which would help to show any obstructions or foreign bodies within her digestive system.  It can be tricky to pinpoint certain types of material as it is quite opaque but X-rays and barium certainly help the veterinarian to assess if there is a blockage caused by such items.

Molly had several X-rays taken during the course of the day which did indeed show that there was possibly some type of foreign object in her stomach. The thing that the North Hill Animal Hospital team hopes for if a family’s pet has eat something they shouldn’t have, is that it will travel unhindered through their small intestines into the colon and safely out the other side!

After several hours and several more X-rays, Dr. Kerr felt that the obstruction was not moving and he became concerned that surgery may be required if the item was not excreted by the morning.

The following morning Dr. Kerr took a final X-ray just to make sure the object was not on the way out but sadly it was firmly lodged in her abdomen.  In consultation with Gail, Dr. Kerr decided to proceed with an endoscopy. The goal of the endoscopy was to see if he could find the blockage and possibly get it out, before taking her straight into surgery to have it removed. An endoscope is a long thin tube with a tiny camera attached to the end which is approximately 5 mms wide. The tube is passed into the stomach and slowly and carefully along the intestinal tract until the doctor reaches the object he is searching for.

So Molly was put under anesthetic and prepped for the endoscope. In Molly’s case she was very, very lucky. Dr. Kerr found the foreign object in her stomach which indeed turned out to be a facial tissue. There is a special tool called foreign body forceps that pass through the endoscope and can grab onto whatever the foreign object may be and hopefully pull that object out. Slowly and carefully Dr. Kerr was able to grasp the facial tissue with the forceps and pull it out, thereby avoiding a tricky and long surgery.

Molly went home that day and was back to normal the next morning and up to her usual tricks. Gail and Keven were very pleased that she did not have to go through a major surgery and we are sure that Molly is pretty pleased too!

The facial tissue removed from Molly’s intestine