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  • Tucker's Experience With a Rare Ailment

    April 29, 2014 2 min read

    This is a heads up for all gun dog owners. After a pheasant hunt last winter, my black lab Tucker developed a cough. The temperature was just below freezing with wet snow flying. I figured he just had some wet pheasant feathers caught in his throat and a good drink of water would wash them out. Well that wasn't the case. We hunted on Saturday and when the cough persisted through to Sunday with him occasionally throwing up a little bile I knew it was time to call the vet. I got him in on Monday and they said to try some antibiotics to see if that would help clear him up. With him still coughing after five days I knew that they weren't working so I made another appointment. This time they took x-rays which ended up showing nothing. They recommended that I have him scopedat Cornell Companion Animal Medical Hospitalto have a better look. I couldn't get an appointment for the procedure for two weeks. There was no way I was waiting two weeks so I did some research and found a local vet, Metzger Animal Hospital who had the equipment to do the scope. I got Tucker there with the x-rays from the previous vet which they said they couldn't use so we had to get another x ray done. First they gave him some food with dye in it to see if his esophagus and stomach were clear of any abnormalities. I was hesitant on getting another x ray because I thought the scope would get us the answer we needed. They suggested we stick with investigating the simpler and less expensive solution first. When the x-rays also showed nothing, we finally got to do the scope. We had been hunting in Milo and the scope showed two pieces of it curled into a U shape in his lungs right at the end of his esophagus. They removed this obstruction and the cough cleared up in days. Here are some of the x-rays and a photo of the plants that they removed from his lungs. If this should happen to your dog, my advice is to skip the antibiotics and x-rays and consider getting a scope done instead. You might save some money but more importantly, the time your dog is in discomfort and at the risk of catching pneumonia.


    The two pieces of milo found in Tucker's lungs.


    An x-ray of the obstruction reveals nothing.


    Here's the surgical instrument used for removal.

    Here's the surgical instrument used for removal.

    The scope image showing the obstruction.

    The scope image showing the obstruction.

    -John Sarver, LCS Warehouse

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