They Ate WHAT? 2012

The end of summer is here and we are once again proud sponsors of the annual They Ate What? Pet X Ray Contest in the September issue of Veterinary Practice News.

This year veterinary x rays came in from veterinarians across the country with highlights including a Mastiff who swallowed an eight inch long wrench, a Terrier who had eaten a Nerf arrow. and a short-haired cat who had a lamp cord twisted up in his esophagus, stomach and small intestines! Veterinary Practice News team members judged this year's contest and selected Dr. Gary Sloniker, DVM, of Spooner Veterinary Clinic in Spooner, Wisconsin, as the grand prize winner. Dr. Sloniker's radiographs show an unfortunate Lab puppy who had swallowed a fishing pole! Luckily the pup was sedated, the pole extracted and he went back home happy the next day. Dr. Sloniker wins a digital single lens reflex camera and the two runners-up each win a digital point-and-shoot camera.

A special thank you goes to Fuji for providing the winners with these cameras!

While we like to have a some fun with this contest, it goes to show how important radiography is when it comes to veterinary diagnostics. It is our mission at Sound™ to continue delivering innovative customer-driven diagnostic imaging and information management solutions that simplify and enhance workflow, promote better patient care and help the veterinary practice thrive. We hate to see your pets in pain and discomfort and will continue providing solutions to help get them back to feeling normal as quickly as possible!

Check out all of the winners below.

Grand Prize Winner

Fishing Pole

"This black lab puppy (6 months old) came in with the client saying the dog had ate something that they were unsure of but they could see it poking out by its ribs. After taking an X-ray we had figured out that it looked like a small fishing pole. we put the dog under sedation and was able to pull the jig pole back up and out its mouth.

The little puppy went home the next day and back to it normal puppy life. When the owners had come to pick up the puppy the next day sure enough they had figured out that the puppy had ate the owners most expensive jig pole."

Dr. Gary Sloniker
Spooner Veterinary Clinic

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veterinary diagnostic image- They Ate WHAT? handball-tn2
veterinary diagnostic image- They Ate WHAT? handball-tn3
veterinary diagnostic image- They Ate WHAT? handball-tn4
veterinary diagnostic image- They Ate WHAT? handball-tn5


Runners Up

Kong, Bone, and Rocks

"On November 30th, 2007 our emergency clinic received a call from an owner stating that she believed her three- month old Bull Mastiff had swallowed a very large kong bone. We instructed her to bring the puppy in for radiographs and to possibly induce vomiting. After triaging the puppy, radiographs revealed a 8" by 3" rubber bone, along with a handful of rocks in his stomach. We then referred the puppy to there regular veterinarian where surgery was performed to remove the items. The puppy recovered great, and the owners are now keeping a very close eye on him."

Harvest Kruggel, CVT
Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center

vet diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-chain collar
vet diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-chain collar

Eight Inch Wrench

"On 9/27/11, a 52 lb., one year old Mastiff was presented to Sachem Animal Hospital. The dog was adopted from a shelter the day before. The dog was having severe diarrhea and coughing. The dog was very thin and not thriving. Abdominal palpation revealed a large, firm foreign body.

Radiographs taken revealed a large metallic foreign body along with another metallic foreign body.

Surgery was performed, and an 8 inch metallic rachet wrench was removed along with the separated rachet pieces. The dog recovered and improved.

Two radiographs are submitted along with the photo of the removed foreign bodies."

Barry A. Lissman, DVM
John Corso, DVM
Howard Camay, DVM
Joseph Palmeri, DVM

Sachem Animal Hospital

vet diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-chain collar
vet diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-chain collar
vet diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-chain collar

Honorable Mentions


"9 year old, female, Bull Mastiff was presented to us in April of this year. Owner reported that the pet had not eaten or drank water in the past 3 days. Upon exam she was depressed and salivating excessively. Her stomach and intestines were full of air. It was suspected that she may have a possible esophageal irritation/stricture. We decided to do rads and see if it could shed light on the subject. Upon review - someone in our medical staff exclaimed that the dog had eaten an alien! This is not an actual object that had to be removed - just a coincidental image that caught our attention. Can you find the alien? Just above the intestines....."

Kim Rue
Dalton Animal Care

veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-duck1

Chock Full o' Rocks

"The owner of this 20 weeks old Labrador puppy is a breeder and thought this puppy had a gastric torsion because his "stomach" was so hard. Palpation certainly felt like a bag of rocks. A radiograph confirmed rocks. Surgery removes 85 rocks which the owner said came from the driveway and were "limestone." The electrolyte profile was bizarre but the puppy was normal except for the abdominal weight."

Dennie M. Bassham, DVM

veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-needles
veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-rocks

Pin Cushion Puppy

"A 10 month old male neutered mix breed ate a pin cushion with about 40 pins in it. One was stuck in the oropharynx and was able to be pulled out during intubation. During surgery, we thought we had gotten all the pins out, but post-op rads revealed that there were still 5 pins in the GI tract (including the one visible in the colon on the whole lateral abdominal view which we had purposefully left behind). Unfortunately, the patient was starting to destabilize under anesthesia and it was elected to wake him up and observe the dog for passing of the pins. Over the next 2 days, the puppy passed all 5 pins, confirmed by repeat radiographs, and he is doing fine."

Pitman Animal Hospital

vet diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-Pin Cushion Puppy
vet diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-Pin Cushion Puppy

Nerf Arrow

"This is an abdominal radiograph taken of a mix terrier puppy with acute gastrointestinal signs of mainly vomiting and retching since the last pm. A foreign body was palpable in the upper quadrant of the abdomen. However a mass was also palpated in the neck region. Radiographs of the abdomen and thorax answer the question. Our next question was do you have kids that play nerf arrows? I will not forget the look on the owners' face. Thorax radiographs and the extracted fb in following emails. Initially the arrow was not broken and could be felt inside the esophagus protruding out the upper neck area. The plunger is evident in the stomach. I performed surgery that day and the puppy recovered quite quickly."

Eve M Sheridan DVM,
Brooks Road Animal Hospital

veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-dinosaur
veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-dinosaur

Electric Cord

"Kitty Kitty ( 18 month old - white-neutered male-domestic short haired cat) presented for possible electrocution. The owner found him lying near the electric cord of a floor lamp. He has defecated on the floor and the electric cord has bite marks on it.

He is current on vaccination and is on heartworm prevention.

On presentation he was QAR. He had burn marks on his tongue and is hyper-salivating.

A digital radiograph was taken.

The radiograph revealed a radiodense material in his esophagus, stomach and proximal small intestines.

Jeff Sutton, DVM
Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital

vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-dog-rocks
vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-dog-rocks
vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-dog-rocks

40-inch Guitar String

"Owners noted their 2 1/2 year old cat playing with a 40" steel guitar string. They left the room briefly and upon return could not locate the guitar string. I can only imagine the effort required on the cat's part to ingest the whole thing!

Please note the incredible detail of the intestinal plication on the digital images!

The 40" steel guitar string spanned the GI tract from the gastric lumen to the ileocolic junction. Surgical removal performed via a single enterotomy was uneventful, and the patient is doing well."

Kjerstin Jacobs, DVM
Metropolitan Veterinary Center

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veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-false teeth2
veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-false teeth3

Whole Rib Bone

"Cosmo is a 8 year old, MN, Bichon. He presented on 2/15/12 for vomiting after ingesting a whole rib bone 2/13/12. Attempts by the owner to get him to vomit it up were unsuccessful. Physical exam revealed the cranial abdomen was painful on palpation but all else was within normal limits. Radiographs revealed an intact rib bone extending from the diaphragm on the left to the cranial abdomen on the right. Perforation of the duodenum was of concern. An IV catheter was placed and bloodwork (CBC, chemistry) revealed an otherwise health pet. Cosmo was taken into emergency surgery where no perforation was noted. The rib bone was contained completely within the (very distended) gastric lumen. A 2 cm incision was made proximal to the pylorus on the ventral surface of the stomach. The rib bone was removed easily and further exploration of the stomach and small intestines revealed no other abnormalities.

Cosmo remained hospitalized for 3 more days on IV fluids, tramadol, sucralfate, antibiotics and a bland diet. He was discharged with tramadol, antibiotics and sucralfate. Follow up calls indicated he was doing well. He was seen 3/13/12 for an exam and was doing very well."

Dr. Molly Cable, Dr. Christine O'Leary
Indian Creek Veterinary Hospital

veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-hair ties1
veterinary diagnostic imaging-they ate what?-hair ties2

Treble Hook

"8mth old Basset ate Fish hook, removed by endoscopy"

Elaina P Starman, DVM

vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-dog-screw
vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-dog-screw

Nerf Dart in Bearded Dragon

"Every year I get to see some really "interesting" objects consumed on a radiograph, ranging from a boxer that ate 3 1/2 pounds of material including office supplies washed down with a matching set of gloves and underwear, a lab (go fig) that ate 3 racketballs, numerous fishing lures and rocks and a doberman that ate a his & hers underwear set. All of 3 weeks prior to opening my most recent VPN edition to the page of your contest I cared for one that takes the, ugh, nerf dart! The patient in this radiograph is a 5 y/o, 3/4 pound male bearded dragon named "Spanky" who the owner was feeding his usual meal of calcium dusted grubs, when a 2 inch long foam nerf dart caught his eye nearby. Spanky must have thought he was staring at the Jabba the Hutt of meal worms, and wasted no time quickly snapping it up and swallowing it whole! Then he resumed eating the rest of his "organic" breakfast afterward. Spanky was brought in to us a few hours afterward here at the emergency clinic where he was initially assessed by myself. The following day he was transferred to the VCA in South Weymouth, MA where the offending nerf dart was endoscopically and easily removed. Spanky is doing quite well now, and the owners are hoping that the past history of the snakes taking first place in this competition will give their pesky pet an advantage. I also have numerous awesome pictures of the removal itself and even a comparison of the size of the dart lying next to Spanky as he recovers! I can't wait to see what else the cat will drag in to your competition. Your job must be a riot!"

Dr. Alexander E. Munroe
C/O The Animal Emergency Clinic of Mid-Maine

veterinary diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-jingle bell


"It may not be one of the strangest objects I've heard of, but it was certainly was one of the strangest and funniest scenarios I've ever seen!"

"46lb English Bulldog swallowed a 9" screwdriver. Dog did very well after cranial laparotomy and gastrotomy. However, after he woke up he promptly ate his iv injection port.."

Dana Ellis
Neartown Animal Clinic

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vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-magnets2

Needle In Cat's Tongue

"A 3 year old FS Maine Coon presented for gagging and vomiting for 1 week. Deep depression of the tongue and exam of the caudal pharyngeal area revealed a small piece of string. Inspection of the tongue depressor showed a small speck of blood. Exam of the tongue revealed a 1mm metallic point protruding from the mid-body of the tongue. X-rays revealed a sewing needle embedded from the root to mid-body of the tongue. The string was cut from the needle and a 12 inch piece was easily removed from the esophagus. The needle was pulled rostrally from the tongue. The patient recovered with no problems."

Melissa Seavey,
East Marietta Animal Hospital

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vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-pacifier2

Black Knight

"Attached is an interesting radiograph. This Dogo Argentina was presented because of anorexia and lethargy. No vomit or diarrhea. The question is who's turn is it? Black because Black just lost their knight. Unfortunately we are not digital so I hope the quality of the picture is adequate."

John Sowerby
Kingsdale Animal Hospital

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"My name is Dr. Katie Domann, and I practice in Salt Lake City, Utah. Last month we got a call from a client saying her dog, Daisy, had vomited a few nails while riding in the car. Radiographs revealed that Daisy had a lot of nails in her stomach and a few were in her small intestine. Surgery was done the following day, and over 100 finishing nails were removed via two gastronomy incisions. Post-surgical radiographs showed a few nails had escaped detection, but these later passed. Daisy recovered uneventfully! The nails had been put into her water bowl (by a naughty neighbor boy), and the unsuspecting Daisy lapped them right up."

Dr. Katie Domann
Hillside Veterinary Hospital

vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-magnets1
vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-magnets1


"'George, a 10- year- old Australian Shepherd presented for gagging. The patient had swallowed tweezers which were successfully extracted using an endoscope."

Dr. Fowell, DVM
East Ventura Animal Hospital

vet diagnostics imaging-they ate what?-magnets1

Rocks and 11 Puppies

"Hi, my name is Nanette Overway and I'm a licensed veterinary technician at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids Michigan. Smore is a 3 year old golden retriever that was 60 (out of her 63 day gestation period) days pregnant with 11 puppies. She was known to eat rocks and presented with 5 large rocks in her intestinal tract. We performed a (3 day early!) cesarian and foreign body surgery to save both Smore and all 11 pups! In the attached radiograph you can see puppy spines, skulls, and all 5 rocks."

Nanette Overway, LVT
Family Friends Veterinary Hospital

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Images courtesy of Veterinary Practice News