Yup, it happened. Just another of the glamorous things that could happen to you if you worked in an animal hospital.
It wasn’t actually a colon, but it rolls off the tongue better than “Nancy stepped on the small intestine”. It sure smelled like a colon, big cloud of funk wafted from said organ upon being unceremoniously squished.
The colon/small intestine in question belongs to a Mastiff who has a habit of eating the toys belonging to the kids in his family. He had surgery a couple of months ago to remove a little hippo finger puppet he ate (it was cute, she wore a tutu). The object this time was thought to be a “Littlest Pet Shop” toy, but turned out to be some kind of stuffed thing that was stinky, bile-stained and unidentifiable by the time it was removed (we’ll have the owners ID the victim when they get here to pick up the pooch).
By the way, things that are extracted from the intestines of a dog smell unbelievably foul. Far worse than poop. It’s pretty amazing. The inside of a dog doesn’t smell so good.
Anyways, back to the colon, the reason it was on the floor was that it had to be removed because the dogs blockage was so bad that it killed the surrounding intestines. This guy lost a good 3 feet of small intestine in the process. It ended up on the floor because things got fairly hairy during the surgery, and, well, excised organ placement tends to not be a high priority item when keeping the dog from bleeding out.
He’s doing ok so far, but he’s very much not out of the woods. The road to recovery from an intestinal resection and anastamosis (that’s the fancy schmancy term for: the surgeons had to cut out the sick intestine piece, and sew the healthy pieces together). The biggest risk is the newly joined intestine pieces start to leak bowel contents into the abdomen (ooo gross).
Fortunately, this is a young, strong dog (he is such a cool guy, not scary at all as 150 pound dogs are wont to be), and he didn’t go too long before surgery, so he’s very likely to be totally fine. The next 48 hours or so are the most critical.
We’ll see how it goes…