Innocent playtime quickly turned into a serious medical emergency when Griffin accidentally swallowed a squeaker from his dog toy. He was referred to BluePearl for foreign body removal surgery.

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Griffin, which is short for “Gryffindor,” is a one-year-old Doberman with a playful personality. His favorite activity is pulling apart his toys and investigating what’s on the inside. One day, this curious hobby got him into trouble when his owner, Miriam, made a startling discovery.

Griffin ate a squeaker.

Miriam knew something was wrong when Griffin refused to eat, especially since he usually loves mealtime. The situation got worse when he vomited six times overnight.

In the morning, a concerned Miriam took Griffin to their primary veterinarian, who took x-rays of his abdomen. The results revealed there was definitely something inside that needed to be removed. To make matters worse, Griffin was becoming progressively more ill and dehydrated.

A Doberman with his tongue lolling out stands at attention in a backyard with green grass and a white fence.

“We had a really, really sick dog,” explained Miriam. “We had to find somewhere where we could have surgery that day, right away.”

After making a few phone calls, Miriam learned about BluePearl Pet Hospital in Tampa, which offers 24/7 emergency care – including surgery and critical care services. She made the two-hour drive from Orlando to Tampa.

That’s where she and Griffin met Dr. Meghan Johnson, a board certified emergency and critical care veterinarian. She performed an exam and ordered additional diagnostics to get a clearer picture of Griffin’s condition.

“We did an ultrasound when he got here,” said Dr. Johnson. “We indeed confirmed a foreign body in both his stomach and small intestines, so we recommended surgery.”

Dr. Johnson discussed the treatment plan – including post-operative care – with Miriam and prepared Griffin for his procedure.

The surgery went great.

Dr. Johnson and her team removed foreign material from his stomach, as well as the squeaker from his small intestines.

“It was wonderful,” said Miriam. “We had constant updates. I knew what was going on with him.”

Griffin’s post-operative care included a few days of hospitalization to promote and monitor his recovery. Lizbet Luciano, a certified veterinary technician, spent a lot of time with Griffin during his journey at BluePearl.

“Animals like Griffin make my job worth it,” said Lizbet. “I come home and hug my dog tighter because I know that could be my dog.”

Thankfully, Griffin recovered beautifully.

A Doberman plays with two adults and a big red ball in a backyard with green grass and a white fence.

After his stay with BluePearl, he was discharged with oral medications before returning home with Miriam.

“Because the doctors took the time to explain what they were looking for and what they were going to do, I knew he was going to be okay,” said Miriam, reflecting on her experience. “I knew I could call them and the staff was going to be there.”

Foreign body ingestions like Griffin’s are common in emergency veterinary medicine, as many dogs love to tear apart toys and eat materials that aren’t meant to be ingested.

“In foreign body ingestion cases, time can be of the essence,” explained Dr. Johnson. “As soon as you notice that your dog or cat is off, refuses to eat, starts vomiting, or acts painful, and you think they might have gotten into something, get them to the vet right away. It’s really important in trying to assess because if they need surgery, it can really make or break your pet’s case one direction or the other.”