Bessie, a nine-and-a-half-year old Labradoodle, was referred to Southfields Veterinary Specialists to see Internal Medicine Specialist Chris Scudder, as her owners reported she had not been herself for around five months previously. 

She had been quieter and eating a bit less than normal, which had, in turn, caused her to lose some weight. 

Also, the owner had noticed that she was panting more than normal, as well as drinking and urinating more frequently.  

A couple of weeks prior to her visit to Southfields, two lumps had appeared on her chest, one in the front of her chest at the base of her neck, and the other on the left side of her chest.

These lumps did not seem painful. Several diagnostic tests were performed but the most striking finding was seen on the CT scan of Bessie’s chest, where a long straight object could be seen in the lower portion of her chest, causing lots of reaction around it (see CT scan).

Suspecting this could be a foreign body, Bessie was taken to surgery the following day, when I opened her chest bone and removed an eight-inch long kebab stick!

After spending a few days in hospital to recover from her operation, Bessie returned home in good shape and the owners report she is back to her joyful normal self. 

The owners have no idea how the stick could have got into Bessie’s chest, but the most likely explanation is that she ate it during a barbecue in the summer and that the stick perforated the oesophagus and migrated into the chest, where it remained lodged. 

By Henry L’Eplattenier, Dr. Med. Vet PhD DiplECVS MRCVS
Southfields Veterinary Specialists Clinical Director
RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery
European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery