Dog swallows rubber ducky, veterinarians solve 2 of 3 mysteries

Veterinarians at BluePearl Veterinary Partners removed this rubber ducky from a dog named Boost.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. – Veterinarians from BluePearl Veterinary Partners quickly solved a mystery that explained why Boost the 8-year-old Rottweiler was throwing up.

The culprit was a rubber ducky, which Boost had apparently swallowed. X-ray images showed the faint but undeniable outline of the plastic toy.

But that was only the first mystery. As Dr. Nicolas Berryessa attempted to remove the toy, a new mystery presented itself.

Why wouldn’t the ducky budge out of Boost’s stomach?


Berryessa is board-certified in veterinary internal medicine and has wide expertise in such things as infectious diseases, immune-mediated disorders and also the strange tendency of dogs to eat just about anything.

With Boost under anesthesia, he inserted a long narrow device called an endoscope into Boost’s mouth, all the way down to the stomach. He grabbed the ducky with the snare on the end of the scope, but for some reason it wouldn’t move.

Berryessa pulled, but not too hard – too much force could have caused damage. “I could not figure out why we couldn’t get it out,” he said.

Fortunately, BluePearl hospitals are home to veterinarians with many years of advanced training in various specialties, and these experts work cooperatively to treat patients.

So Dr. Lori MacDougall, who is board-certified in veterinary surgery, stepped in. She made an incision in Boost’s abdomen and removed the ducky from the dog’s stomach.

She also solved the second mystery – she discovered the ducky had a string attached to it, which extended all the way into Boost’s intestines. That’s why the ducky wouldn’t budge.

Boost’s owner Corey Penton of Ball Ground, Ga., said he’s pleased Boost got such excellent care and that his beloved dog is recovering so nicely.

We can’t thank the doctors enough for helping us through this whole rubber ducky incident,” Penton said

“He’s doing really well now,” Penton added. “He’s just a big teddy bear, he’s an awesome dog.” Penton, who races Mustang stock cars, said Boost’s full name is Boost Performance Penton.

Boost, a loyal dog who loves to be around Penton’s family, does have a tendency to swallow random things such as the occasional stick, blade of grass or – one time – a couple of pacifiers.

Which brings us to the third and final mystery of this story. Why do dogs eat so many unusual things over and over and over?

This is one mystery veterinary medicine has not completely solved.

Boost and family