Recently, an acquaintance of ours
stopped by for a visit. He told us that he had
just had his collie put to sleep, and that it was one of the toughest
had ever made in his life. The Collie has been a much loved family
pet and had
always been healthy: the family just couldn't understand why she had
gotten so ill
so quickly. He explained that they found the dog in the
kitchen vomiting one morning,
and that the vomiting continued through the day. That evening, they took
her to the
veterinarian, who checked her over, gave them some medication for
and sent her home. Thinking that her condition needed to run its
course, the family
gave her time to recover. However, things got worse: every time
she ate or drank,
she was sick A second trip to the veterinarian for a series of
tests and x-rays turned
up nothing. Since she was quite dehydrated at this point, she was
fluids for the next two days. The family picked up their collie on
Friday, expecting that
all was well. That was not the case.
By Saturday night, the vomiting
returned, and she would only lie still on the kitchen
floor. Signs of severe weakness were becoming apparent. Since it
was the weekend,
they took their dog to the emergency clinic on the other side of town.
Again, the tests
and x-rays; again no diagnosis. Because of her dehydrated and
the clinic hospitalized her until her regular veterinarian opened on
Since no diagnosis could be made, the
veterinarian suggested exploratory surgery.
They were warned that there was a great possibility that their collie
wouldn't make it
through the surgery because she was very weak. There was also the added
perhaps up to $700, to consider. A decision had to be made - a decision
be easy to live with. Yes, they very much loved their pet, but the
possibility of her
recovery was slim. They very sadly said good-bye to their companion of
Because this case was so strange, the veterinarian asked permission to
do an autopsy
at no cost to the family.
We talked to him a couple of days
later; as dog owners, we, too, were curious about the
results. The veterinarian found a ball lodged in the intestine of
the dog, totally blocking
any passage of food or drink. Because of it's consistency, it did
not show up on the x-ray.
My friend told us that they were quite confused by this discovery: they
ball with their dog and they did not even own a ball. She had not only
found a ball, she
had swallowed it , and it became lodged in her intestine.
Ball playing is a daily game with our
dogs. we pick up the ball, throw it, and the dogs
bring it back. When we eventually tire, the game stops. But what
about the ball?
Our dogs love balls, and they have been allowed to roam
freely with their favorite ball in
their mouths. But no more. If this could happen to a dog
who never played ball, how easily could it happen with a dog that plays
We won't take the chance of the same tragedy happening to our dogs that
this poor collie
suffered. There are still lots of ball games at our house, but as soon
as the games are over,
we're keeping our Eye on the Ball.
Written By: Karen Dunaway