Buster, a one and a half year old Red Heeler presented to Casey and Cranbourne Veterinary Hospital a month ago, feeling very sorry for himself, having been off food and vomiting for 48 hours. He was very unwell and couldn’t keep water down.

He was examined by Dr. Yuen Lim and when she palpated his abdomen, Dr. Yuen could feel a hard, firm, painful lump in the middle of his abdomen.

Dr. Yuen took an abdominal X-ray and found a very obvious foreign body in the middle of his intestines.

It turns out Buster likes eating river rocks!


Buster was placed on intravenous fluids to re-hydrate him and correct the fluid loss he had from the vomiting. After a few hours of fluid therapy, Buster was prepared for surgery to remove the river rock.

The rock had made its way past the stomach and was stuck in the intestine. Luckily the rock did not cause any damage to the intestine lining. The rock was removed and Buster made an uneventful recovery!

He stayed in the hospital overnight to make sure he had adequate pain relief. He was also kept on intravenous fluid to keep him hydrated. The next morning, Buster was offered small amounts of cooked chicken (Red Rooster minus the skin as this is too fatty for dogs). He ate really well and kept the chicken down without vomiting so was discharged that evening without any further complications.

It appears Buster didn’t learn his lesson from the river rock episode as he presented back at the hospital 2 weeks later having eaten some wax candles. Luckily these candles did not obstruct the intestines and he made a full recovery from this as well.

Lesson of the day; dogs eat anything, even if it does not appear appetizing! If you notice your dog is vomiting or not eating, don’t hesitate to contact Casey and Cranbourne Veterinary Hospital, we can give you the best advice in your circumstances.

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