Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Can A Dog Swallow A Whole Tennis Ball?

The answer is yes!  Last week, Bubba (appropriately so named before being adopted), a nearly 100 lb. American Bulldog did just that.  He is known to play with balls of all types, and has on more than one occasion chewed up and swallowed tennis balls.  To try to avoid problems with this, his new owner has given him larger doggie basketballs and soccer balls to play with, but last week he somehow found another tennis ball.  A few days later, the owner noticed Bubba was very lethargic and wouldn’t eat.  This of course was not normal for Bubba.  When he came to the hospital, he was depressed and dehydrated.  He loped around and looked several years older. 
After a brief discussion with the doctor, it was determined that an xray would be helpful to be sure the tennis ball had not ended up in the stomach or small bowel where it could be stuck.  Luckily unlike some balls, tennis balls and golf balls show up pretty well on xrays.  This is what we saw:


The tennis ball was still in the stomach, and probably couldn’t pass causing poor Bubba to vomit whenever he drank or ate anything.  After a day or two of this, he stopped trying to eat or drink and he became very dehydrated.  After starting him on an IV and replenishing fluid losses, he started to feel much better.  Bubba went into surgery to have the tennis ball removed from his stomach.  As you might suspect from the picture, it didn’t smell very good either!
 After a few days recuperating in the hospital, Bubba is now back to being a happy big dog with lots of spunk and charm.  Tennis balls are all removed from the yard, and toys 3 times bigger than his mouth are now the norm.
Good luck Bubba!


AnnaP said...

Oh yes!!! My 8 month Weim Delia just swallowed one of those Chuck it balls (size of a tennis ball) WHOLE! Luckily the field she was playing in is literally a mile from our vet so my husband took her in. They were able to retrieve the ball after sedating her.

Hatton Vet Staff said...

Wow! Great job rushing into action! Delia was lucky to have a great Mom and vet team!