Veterinarians at Angell Animal Medical Center Come to the Mischievous Pet’s Rescue Just in Time
BOSTON, June 20, 2019 – A beloved three-year-old Bulldog named “Mortimer” is back with his family after having 19 pacifiers removed from his stomach at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center on Friday, June 7th, the organization announced today.
The pacifiers were removed at Angell by Dr. Erika De Papp by way of an endoscopy, a non-surgical procedure used to examine—and oftentimes remove—items from an animal’s digestive tract. And according to Dr. Doug Brum, Mortimer’s primary veterinarian at Angell, the procedure came in a nick of time.
A scary Few Months for Mortimer and his Family
“It’s likely that Mortimer started nabbing these pacifiers in April, perhaps one at a time, and that started a cycle of nausea and vomiting, which are symptoms that can be caused by so many other health issues,” he said. “If not for the urgency with which his family pursued veterinary care, things would have gotten much worse for him.”
Emily Shanahan, Mortimer’s owner, rushed him to the vet at the first sign of vomiting in the spring. “At the time he was diagnosed with an unrelated vomiting syndrome that we hoped would get better with medicine,” she said.
Dr. Brum said that Mortimer’s early symptoms can be common for dogs who sometimes experience acid reflux and who typically get better with more conservative therapy. Shanahan, a doctor herself, realized that the problem was getting worse instead of better after a couple of months.
“The vomiting lessened only temporarily and by mid-May his whole personality had changed,” she said. He stopped following Shanahan around the house like he usually did, and he would often be found napping upstairs away from the family he adored, and who adored him. On the evening before Shanahan rushed him back to Angell, Mortimer began shaking his head while eating, and he did not finish his meal.
Upon return to Angell, x-rays confirmed the presence of the pacifiers. “I was shocked because even though I have two small children at home I’d never imagined he was eating their pacifiers,” said Shanahan.
All of the pacifiers were successfully removed and Mortimer, now 13 days post-procedure, is recovering at home and, according to Shanahan, already back to his normal self. “We absolutely love this dog and would do anything for him—and I’m relieved that this was a problem that could be solved, as opposed to a chronic illness that would cause him long-term suffering.”
Dogs (and cats) eat the Darndest Things
As remarkable as Mortimer’s story is, it’s not unique. Angell surgeons have over the years removed all manner of objects from the bellies of pets, from guitar strings and wristwatches, to safety pins, diamond rings, perfume bottles and more. “Mortimer isn’t the first dog to land in this situation and he won’t be the last,” said Dr. Brum. “But we’re just so glad he’s recovered and back home with his family.”