Vets help dog with a nose for trouble

Published: 12 November 2008

University vets have helped a sheepdog which had a stick wedged up its nose.

University vets have helped a sheepdog which had a stick wedged up its nose.

Staff at the Small Animal Hospital removed the 8cm object have helped nurse the dog back to health. It's thought Bob the border collie collided with the stick at high speed, while working, pushing it up his nose, where it stopped just inches from his brain.

His owner John MacDonald had no idea what was wrong with the canine, and became concerned when he lost his usual zest for life. Dog stick

Now Bob is back to his old enthusiastic self. John, from Munlochy in the Black Isle, said: "This is a terrific outcome. I'm very fond of Bob and I was worried that he wasn't going to pull through when he got a bit off colour.

"I knew something was up, but I never suspected he had a stick up his nose. I've never heard of anything like it before. He's very lucky."

Bob is two years old and has lived and worked on John's farm, rounding up his 900 sheep, since he was six weeks old.  So when he suddenly couldn't be bothered working, and was off his food, John, 65, knew something was wrong.

John said: "I took him to the vet, who noticed his temperature was up, but he couldn't find out the cause."

But as the days passed Bob's condition deteriorated and John became even more anxious.

John's vet liaised with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine's Small Animal Hospital and Bob was referred to surgeon Kathryn Pratschke.

While x-rays had failed to pick up the stick, a 3D head scan pinpointed a foreign object straight away.

But Kathryn was still stunned when she found a stick about the size of a pen completely blocking Bob's left nostril.

She revealed: "Injuries like this are very unusual. When you do see dog injuries it's normally because they've ran into something and it's hit them in the chest or abdomen.

"Bob's case is not the kind of thing you see every day."

Dog head scanKathryn was able to remove the stick with forceps in about 15 minutes.  She said: "It was causing him a lot of pain and a build-up of infection.

"It looks like he hit it at speed, which caused the stick to splinter when it hit the bone which leads to the brain. If it had gone another couple of millimetres it would have hit the brain. He's a lucky dog."

After just a day in the hospital Bob was allowed home. He's now made a rapid recovery and is desperate to get back to work.

John said: "I've given him a few days off to let him recover. But he's raring to go. I'm very happy with the way things have turned out. Bob's a great dog, I would hate to have lost him.

"It's great to have him back. The farm would have been too quiet without him."

First published: 12 November 2008