Alfie’s Kebab-stick scare

Alfie, a beautiful 4-year-old Cockerpoo was referred to our Soft Tissue Surgery team at Anderson Moores as he had managed to eat three kebab sticks, with one of them perforating his tummy, his diaphragm (the muscle separating the belly from the chest) and one of his lung lobes!

The tip of the stick was dangerously sitting just a few millimetres away from his heart and main chest vessels – which if they had perforated could have ended up in life-threatening bleeding!

Alison Moores, Consultant in Soft Tissue Surgery, Juan Carlos Sandoval and Kate Holroyd, two of our Residents in Small Animal Surgery, operated on Alfie with a median sternotomy and celiotomy, followed by a gastrotomy, lung lobectomy and paraoesophageal abscess and thoracic debridement and lavage. That is the repair of his pierced tummy, diaphragm and lung lobe, as well as the removal of the three sticks and cleaning the abscess around his food pipe and main vessels.

The surgery went really well and Alfie was discharged from us in Winchester five days after surgery with the instruction to be rested until the breast bones healed (around 6-10 weeks).

He has been progressing very well since and has now been able to properly celebrate his 4th birthday! -Alfie was four years old on the day of his operation but had to miss his celebrations. He has since made up for it – lucky Alfie!

His owners said “Alfie is more than just a dog to us, he is part of our family, so we were very shocked to discover how much damage the skewers had caused. We knew the operation had to be carried out to save his life but we were so concerned about the procedure given the possible scenarios, one of which was Alfie not surviving.

“However, the Anderson Moores team phoned as much as they could during the five-hour surgery and our vet Juan Carlos was amazing. Alfie is now back home and completely back to his usual cheeky self. You wouldn’t even know what had happened to him. Alfie had his operation on Monday 20th March which was actually his birthday, so we decided as an end of medication celebration he could finally have his birthday presents! We cannot thank the team at Anderson Moores enough.”