Chico and Emily
Chico with PDSA vet Emily Frazer and the rib bone he swallowed.

A PDSA vet had to perform emergency surgery after discovering her canine patient had swallowed a cow rib in one gulp.

Mastiff-type Chico had been given the 6in spare rib bone as a treat by his owner Craig Anderson.

Mr Anderson said: “I thought if I supervised him, it would be fine, but he swallowed it in one mouthful.

“He seemed fine, but I knew he wouldn’t be able to digest it properly, so took him straight to PDSA.”

Unusual x-ray

Susie Hermit, senior vet at PDSA’s Glasgow Shamrock Street Pet Hospital, said: “I had never seen an x-ray like it before – the position of the bone really did look like Chico had an extra rib.

x-ray
Chico’s x-ray (click to zoom).

“Amazingly, he’d managed to swallow the bone whole, but didn’t seem to be in any pain. However, we knew we had to carry out emergency surgery to remove it because it could have caused a life-threatening tear to his stomach or intestines.”

Miss Hermit added: “Chico is very lucky. We don’t recommend bones to be given as treats because they can cause digestive tract damage and blockages.

“Surgery is usually needed to remove the blockage and, in some cases, the damage is so serious that it can be fatal.”

  • For more information on PDSA, or to make a donation, visit www.pdsa.org.uk
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