Christmas was a nightmare for this dog

By Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM | December 31st, 2019

Christmas is a huge season of sharing love with family and friends. Here in Nigeria, the Christians migrate in mass to visit their loved ones at home with lots of goodies. This period attracts a lot of merriment, drinking, and eating. Of course, the dogs tend to get overflow of leftover food & meat. This Christmas was a nightmare of one of our patients.

The owner called that his dog could not bark anymore but making some sound that looks like he really wants to bark but hindered. I didn’t understand his complaint until I got there to see for myself. This dog has never been my friend since he was acquired at the age of 3 months and now I needed to look into his mouth to see what was hindering him from barking. He is a German shepherd dog, 4 years of age at the time of this incident.

Surprisingly, this dog did not attempt to attack me but rather was wagging the tail. To me, I felt the dog was trying to lure me to his side so that I will get a bite. On getting closer I discovered the dog was drooling saliva profusely and showing signs of great discomfort. I asked the handler to help me open the mouth so I could see through the throat. It was a little struggle getting him to be steady with his mouth open.

I looking inside and saw a huge fish vertebra bone stuck on his throat like a basket placed on a bucket. This bone has been in his throat for 2 days and kind of blocked the passage of any food or water. The bone was also responsible for the struggle to bark which greeted the dog and costed the dog further enjoyment from the abundance of food which had to be wasted due to his inability to eat them. I’m sure the dog will regret picking up that bone to chew.

I could feel the huge relief the dog felt after we succeeded in removing the bone. Although the removal had to be done under anesthesia because we needed to remove it smoothly.

The client and his household did not check the leftover food they were serving their dog for bones like that, they simply dumped everything for him as he devoured them thankfully only to be punished by one bone with dangerous spikes.

The days he had this bone must have been a nightmare to a dog that should just sit and eat as he likes. Please remember to sort the meal you serve your dog for hard and dangerous bones especially during the festive periods like Christmas when you have to serve your dog some leftover food from the celebration.

NB: The dog in the picture is not the dog in this story! Thank you!


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    Kodichukwu Okonkwo, DVM

    Founder of Fairvet Animal Clinic Ltd since 2011, studied at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He is well experienced in small animal, large animal & poultry medicine, and also skilled at zoo medicine. He loves animals and builds both professional and personal relationship with pet owners in order to sustain a good interaction with pet and animal owners, coupled with His great skills in programming; he brought about which he personally built from scratch.

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