My friend's dog is about to have a critical surgery, and the vet hasn't seen this particular problem before. I'm hoping one of you can offer additional insight.

The stats... Species: Border Collie Age: 7 Sex/Neuter status: Nuetered Breed: Pure Body weight: 50lbs History: Rock-solid. No health issues.

The symptoms:

  1. Wouldn't eat much/at all for a week.
  2. Ultrasound showed foreign object in gut
  3. Surgery #1 found and removed a toy squeaker, which had moved a little and done enough damage to a section of intestine that about 1 foot of intestine had to be removed.
  4. Further fluid buildup shown.
  5. Surgery #2 revealed that body had reacted to first sutures. Used a different type of (longer) sutures to re-patch intestines.
  6. 2 days later, fluid build up had increased from 50ml to 100ml (I think that's the exact figure...I am sure that it was supposed to go down by half and instead doubled). Temperature up.
  7. The decision point: New fluid buildup COULD be just an infection, or it could be an remaining/new leak in the gut. Can do barium to find out, but if it's a leak then there will be barium in the gut too. Can wait on it to 'heal' but it could also get worse. We decided to do a 3rd surgery to look for a leak, and attempt to patch it if found.
  8. The dilemma: The vet says that he's only seen one other case where a foreign objected resulted in a gut that was still leaking after 2 surgeries. In that case, he did another patch but the dog died.

My question: It seems like we have bumped up against this particular vet's experience limit. HE has only dealt with one other case like this, and did not ever discover what went wrong (and what could have been done) in his last case. He admits that he's at a loss for explaining the current situation. My hope is that one of you will have seen it before and can offer some insight.

Any ideas for what could be going on, or how to treat it? Have you seen anything like this before?

Side note: You probably hear this a lot, but this dog means everything to his owner, who is about to get married this week. Our vet is out of ideas, but if you have any insight we would be deeply grateful.

  • 3
    we are mostly ordinary people here there are only one or two qualified vets on this site and they are not online often.my advice is to get the dog to an other vet if possible or ask your vet if he can get some help by calling another vet for asistance. Dec 31 '17 at 22:14
  • Hi Trond. Thanks for the quick clarification. It helped me from rabbit-holing too much here. Also, sad update for posterity: My friend decided to put him down after the 3rd surgery failed. :`(
    – MikePsych
    Jan 25 '18 at 2:47
  • thank you for the update even if it is a sad one,i am sorry for the loss of the dog.it was probably best for the dog to be put down after the failed surgeries to avoid the dog suffering any longer. Jan 25 '18 at 7:20

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