Pet of the Month - Hazel
Hazel is a 7 year old Labrador Retriever who presented to us after her owners noticed she was having troubles toileting. Hazel was fed a marrow bone 3 days prior to her presenting to the clinic and since then had been straining to defecate and producing small amounts of liquid.
Hazel was seen by Dr Shae who performed a physical exam on her. Everything checked out normal except that a firm palpable mass was able to be felt in her abdomen. It was recommended that x-rays be done so we could determine what this mass could be as we were suspicious of Hazel having an intestinal foreign body. Dr Gwen performed the x-rays for Hazel which showed significant hard fecal matter in her colon. This indicated that she was in fact constipated but we were still worried as the x-rays showed a pocket of air in her cranial abdomen overlying the pyloric region which meant there was a risk she had a pyloric foreign body.
We proceeded to the next step, which was a manual enema to flush out the impacted feces. Hazel recovered well from her enema procedure. We were able to remove some but not all of the dry fecal matter because she had a narrower than normal pelvic canal due to a prior surgery combined with feces that were rock hard. Because she was so constipated we had to stage the procedure so we placed her on IV fluids to help rehydrate her and to assist with softening the remaining fecal matter that we were unable to expel. Hazel stayed the night in hospital with the plan of doing another x-ray the following day to see where everything was sitting. A repeat set of x-rays were done the following morning which showed that the feces had moved into her colon but they still looked to be quite firm. Unfortunately Hazel required another two enemas to clear the fecal matter and stayed in hospital another few nights, but we are happy to be informed from her owners that since her being discharged home 3 days after she presented, Hazel is feeling much better.