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How one husband and two vets solved the mystery of a missing wedding ring

 

 

Cindy McCombs and Bella. Photo courtesy of the McCombs family.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  – When Cindy McCombs couldn’t find her wedding ring, one member of the household immediately came under suspicion. It was Bella, a lively puppy who loves to grab things like dish towels and hide them in the back yard.

The mystery was soon solved, but only after a trip to the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Grand Rapids and the Thornwood Veterinary Clinic & Kennel in Ada.

After a long day last Saturday, Cindy had switched her custom-designed wedding ring to her pinky finger and woke up to discover it missing.

So Cindy’s husband Dan borrowed a metal detector and went through the house and yard. He was fully expecting to find the ring, a combination wedding and engagement ring which is made of rose gold and contains a pink morganite stone. Bella, a 10-month-old goldendoodle, loves to hide all sorts of things and often prances around happily as she does so.

McCombs searched and searched, but had no luck. Until he held the metal detector up to Bella’s furry belly.

 Beep-beep-beep!

Dan was suddenly sure he had found the ring – but clearly, there was more work to do. He drove Bella to Thornwood Veterinary Clinic, where an X-ray quickly confirmed that she had in fact swallowed the ring.

Thornwood recommended taking Bella to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Grand Rapids, which employs veterinarians who have taken years of advanced training to become specialists in internal medicine, oncology, surgery and more. BluePearl works closely with primary care veterinarians to provide the best possible care.

At BluePearl, Bella was examined by Dr. Kristopher Sharpe, who is board-certified in internal medicine. He and a team of skilled veterinary technicians placed Bella under anesthesia. Additional X-rays confirmed the ring was in Bella’s stomach. An attempt to induce vomiting to get Bella to cough up the ring was not successful.

So Sharpe used an endoscope, a device with a camera on one end that Sharpe hoped would allow him to remove the ring without surgery.

“This is a flexible scope that goes in through the mouth and through the esophagus and into the stomach, where we can visualize the object itself,” Sharpe said.

He attached a tiny snare to the end of the endoscope, but it failed to snag the ring. Next he used a tiny claw, which allowed him to clasp the ring and bring it back up through the esophagus. Twenty minutes after waking from the anesthesia, Bella was romping around playfully again.

 

The missing ring

“The experience with BluePearl was great,” Dan McCombs said. “They took time to explain everything which was very helpful.”

Now, Dan and Cindy McCombs are relieved that both Bella and the ring are safe.

“Cindy was very worried about Bella, and was so relieved to have her back with us and healthy,” Dan McCombs said.

An X-ray at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Grand Rapids confirmed that Bella had the wedding ring.