This is ‘Lucky’ a Cockalabapoo. Lucky first presented to us when she was only 5 weeks old when she was found by the owners with a hook of metal lodged in her throat. The metal was removed by her owners and she was rushed straight into the surgery. Poor Lucky was in quite a lot of pain when she was first seen and she had a lot of swelling around her neck. Air pockets were also detected under the skin which could have been caused by trauma to the windpipe or the oesophagus. She was given some strong pain relief and was given a general anaesthetic so the throat could be examined properly and a tube was passed into the stomach to make sure the oesophagus was still patent. No major problems were found and it was initially felt that Lucky’s larynx was just very inflamed and she was quite shocked by the whole incident. She was kept in overnight for observation and was sent home the following day with medication.

Unfortunately 24 hours later Lucky was brought back into the clinic in Maybole for major surgery. Despite initially looking like she was improving, her owners noticed that while she was eating an area of skin on her neck burst open and food was escaping from the hole. This confirmed that there was a hole or tear in her oesophagus which required immediate repair.  Lucky was place on a drip to help her tiny body cope through such a big surgery and she was also given antibiotics and painkillers. A small tear was found in the middle of her oesophagus which was repaired using tiny suture material. The surgery was very delicate and every millimetre of the hole had to be sutured back together to ensure it didn’t leak again.

The area and wound which had burst open was flushed out with large amounts of saline. To reduce the risk of the hole in her oesophagus opening up again a feeding tube was placed in a different location of her oesophagus so we could directly feed her into her stomach and by-pass the damaged area.

Here is Lucky on the same day as her surgery. The swelling down the right side of her face is quite obvious in this photograph and her feeding tube can be seen under the blue net jumper on the right hand side. Luckily the sad face didn’t last long and she made a remarkable recovery over the next few days. Her daily feeding and water requirements were calculated and she was fed and watered through the tube 4 times a day. Her owners continued to do this at home until her tube was ready to be removed a week later. Lucky had other ideas however, and after about 5 days she managed to pull her feeding tube out all by herself! By this point her oesophagus was well healed and she was ready to eat soft meals herself. The stitches in Lucky’s neck were removed 10 days after her surgery and by this point she was back to being a typical bouncy pup. Lucky has gone to a new home now where I’m sure she will be spoilt and hopefully she has learned her lesson and will stick to chewing toys rather than pieces of metal!

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