According to Lori Laverdiere of Manville, R.I., her pug Harley simply isn’t “an eater.” Unlike most dogs, Harley had shown little interest in ingesting things he shouldn’t. Turns out, the crafty canine was waiting for the perfect opportunity.
“I picked up Harley from boarding at his veterinarian’s office, where he has frequently stayed since he was a puppy,” said Lori. “When we got home, I took him for a walk and he started pooping out rocks. Nothing else, just rocks.”
Lori immediately contacted her veterinarian to find out what had happened. The staff informed her that boarding dogs are let into individual runs for 10 to 20 minute periods, which is where he must have consumed the rocks. She was advised to monitor Harley and to bring him in if he was unable to keep food or water down. Lori could feel several rocks in her pug’s stomach, so she stayed outside with Harley, hoping he would pass them on his own. However, as the afternoon progressed, Harley’s condition worsened until he could no longer eat or drink anything without vomiting.
“By that point, I was hysterical. I took Harley to an emergency animal hospital where they took X-rays of his belly,” said Lori. “I wasn’t aware of how many rocks Harley had ingested until I saw the X-ray. We’re not talking about one or two rocks – Harley’s stomach was half-full and his intestines were jam-packed. According to the emergency vet, Harley had consumed more than 100 rocks. He had never seen anything like it.”
Fortunately, the rocks were small enough for Harley to pass without surgery. He was kept overnight at the hospital where his veterinarian administered medication to help him expel the stones. Within a couple of days, Harley was completely back to normal.
Harley’s incident is a great example of how important it is for pet parents to financially prepare for the unexpected. Prior to this occurrence, Harley had never displayed interest in eating rocks, or any other foreign object. He was comfortable with his boarding environment and had kenneled there on a regular basis. “I saw an ad for VPI Pet Insurance at my vet’s office and thought it would be worth it to spend the money,” said Lori. “I got it just in case, but it’s actually helped a lot with Harley’s expenses. Vet bills can be extremely costly.”