Phoenix presented to the clinic with vomiting and bird seed seen in the faeces he had eaten that morning and otherwise seemed absolutely fine. It had been a couple days prior to coming to the clinic that the Phoenix’s pet parent noted that there was full bag of bird seed that had gone missing! Phoenix was the main culprit at this point as to who had eaten the bag of bird seed but he had also eaten a pizza box as well.
Clinical examination of Phoenix found he was very bright and alert. Abdominal palpation found there was a very large impacted colon but no discomfort when palpated. His hydration was great and he was in good spirits. Phoenix was admitted and several abdominal radiographs were performed while conscious and confirmed that Phoenix had in actual fact eaten the bag of bird seed and pizza box.
At this stage, Phoenix still seemed very alert and bright. As he had been seen as an evening consult and had already eaten that day we gave him anti-nausea medication and something to ease colon pain. His pet parents were able to take him home with the strict instructions that if he vomited throughout the evening or refuses food they were to bring him back to Pet Doctors immediately the next morning.
Unfortunately, Phoenix did come back the next morning as he was not interested in food and was looking quite depressed and lethargic. He had not vomited throughout the evening, had been straining to go to the toilet and was just not himself. On clinical examination Phoenix was in fact dehydrated now. His colon was still very large and impacted.
Phoenix was admitted, started on intravenous fluid therapy and placed under general anaesthetic to perform an enema and colonic irrigation. During the procedure the majority was flushed from the colon but not everything could removed. While flushing there were pieces of plastic found as well. After discussions we decided it was best we do an exploratory laparotomy on Phoenix and assess how badly impacted the colon was and whether we could milk in towards the rectum.
When Phoenix was in surgery the colon was assessed and was so severely impacted the bird seed was not moving with manual manipulation. A colotomy was performed on Phoenix and the colon contents were removed through an incision in the colon. Once all the colon contents had been removed and the colon sutured up, the abdomen was flushed with warm saline fluids. Due to the high risk nature of the procedure, Phoenix was transferred to AES for monitoring and then to VSS the next day.
Phoenix made an unremarkable recovery and 14 days later is back to his normal happy self! Let’s just hope that there are no more bird seeds in Phoenix’s future!
– Dr Dylan