Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia: A Virginia Beach dog ate 7 corn cobs, and they nearly took her life — until a charity stepped in

VIRGINIA -- Roxie the boxer has been known to eat strange things.

Last year, the dog’s owner rushed her to the animal hospital after she ate a pack of cigarettes. Then there was the time that she ripped up a water snake after it bit her several times.

On Saturday, Roxie got into the trash.

Her find this time? Seven corn cob halves from the previous night’s dinner.

Several hours later, the dog began throwing up. She continued vomiting Sunday and Monday, expelling six cobs in all, said owner Dakota Hudson, who lives in Sandbridge.

By Tuesday morning, Roxie was sluggish and refused to eat. That’s when Hudson took her to the hospital.

“They told us they were going to do X-rays and blood work,” she said. “When they called us back, they said the corn cob was as clear as day on the X-ray and that they would have to do surgery to get it out.”

The next big shock came when Hudson learned how much it would cost: $5,000 – more than the 21-year-old or her family could afford to pay.

“I started bawling,” Hudson said. “It got to the point where I was considering euthanizing her because I didn’t want her to be in pain and suffering.”

Just as Hudson was preparing to sign an authorization to euthanize Roxie, veterinarian Beth Tynan told Hudson that the surgery would be performed at no charge to her.

Tynan had contacted Frankie’s Friends, a national pet charity that helps raise money for animals in situations like Roxie’s, and the organization agreed to help. Within less than 24 hours, the entire amount had been raised.

“The surgeon fell in love with her and said, ‘We can’t let a dog like her go. We have to do something,’ ” Hudson said. “That meant the world to me.”

The 8-year-old purebred was recovering Wednesday morning and should be able to return home soon, said Carrie O’Brion, communications manager for BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a national company with 50 emergency and specialty veterinary care centers in 18 states. Roxie was treated at the company’s location on Independence Boulevard.

Roxie’s is not the first corn-cob case vets at the animal hospital have seen, nor was it the strangest thing they had discovered a dog had eaten, O’Brion said.

“Dr. Tynan said she’s seen quite a few corn-cob cases this summer,” she said. Bathing suits, hair ties, a spoon and a plastic figurine of the “Star Wars” character Boba Fett are among some of the more unusual items BluePearl vets have found in dogs, O’Brion said.

“In some cases, we can use endoscopy to get things out, which is a lot less invasive and a lot less expensive,” she said.

Hudson said she and her family will be keeping a closer eye on what Roxie and her brother, Quigley, get into, but it’s not going to be easy.

“Her mind is controlled by food,” Hudson said. “If you’re eating something, she is in your face trying to get it.”

(The Virginian-Pilot - Sep 21, 2016)

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