Contest: Name That Bowel Obstruction

Happy 2013 loyal readers, I hope each and every one of you is enjoying good health, spirits, and liver function!

Me? I’m hemorrhaging shekels in the form of a hospitalized dog.

It all began with vomiting on New Year’s Eve. Not my vomit, but Velma’s. (Regular readers will recall that Velma is our rascally Whippet-cross who loves road trips, my shoes, and eating manure.) My romantic New Year’s get-away was downsized by a day so I could come home to embark on the veterinary odyssey that is now in Day 4. We’ve just completed the Diagnostic phase and tomorrow will commence with Treatment.

Diagnostics determined that this is not a simple and cheap ailment (I was hoping for a bacterial infection) but a mysterious and expensive one which can be summed up with one tidy word: blockage. There appears to be a “ball” stuck after Velma’s stomach, but before her intestines. A ball? Velma doesn’t play with balls. We don’t own balls. I do not play golf or ping-pong or marbles. The last I checked, manure does not come in round, smooth balls, unless you own a horse, which we don’t. Unlike Diego, Velma is not an indiscriminate eater. She does not chew up toys. She doesn’t even like toys. What then? Avocado pit or Christmas ornament? Candle, clay, stale muffin? Your guess is as good as mine.*

Only tomorrow’s surgery will reveal the answer, and I will post the results as soon as I find out. Meanwhile, here is a pictorial of the experience so far, which has been not just a little stressful. For both of us.

*I think this is a good time for a contest. If you feel so inclined, please post your guess in the comments below. The person who comes closest to identifying the obstruction will receive a gift — either the obstruction itself, or a pretty, ceramic bowl made by me. Your choice.


Hard to get a last-minute appointment with the regular vet on New Year’s Eve, so we waited to be seen at the 24-hr Emergency hospital.


Then we waited in the exam room for blood test results.


And waited.


And waited.



Fluids for dehydration, two nights in hospital.



Visiting hour is good for belly rubs.


19 thoughts on “Contest: Name That Bowel Obstruction

    • Thanks, quarteracrehome. Yeah, they do. Just went thru the same thing with another dog less than 5 yrs ago. What are the odds? I see pet insurance in my future.

  1. Obviously, something that doesn’t digest – a “round” rock? Even a marble should have passed through. We’re anxiously waiting for the discovery and hope Velma will recover. Unfortunately, dogs cost more than dog food. :-}

  2. Poor thing, both you AND Velma. I’m guessing it’s a remnant of six geese a laying. Or a turtle dove. Maybe one of those 5 golden rings which would be SWEET because it’d pay all of those vet bills. Good luck Laura!

    • Thanks, Staci, I appreciate the support. I like your ideas too, very visual! I’m trying not to panic right now… surgery still not over. I replied to you on FB as well. Seriously, think about insurance because this just sucks out loud.

    • Thanks for your guess, Mike! If it’s anything involving sparkles, fake beards or ugly sweaters (still thinking of your Thxgiving post…) you, my friend, will be the winner. Oh, or a thing without its legs. 🙂

  3. She looks so sad. I hope the surgery was successful and that the “blockage”, whatever it was, at least had some comedic value. My guess is hairball. I have heard that it happens with dogs, too.

    • Oh, thanks, Heather. I like your guess. I haven’t actually been knitting lately, but I thought about it all through December, so that must be what you picked up on 😉

  4. I LOVE Velma who is totally and obssessively devoted to you. My theory is that she retaliated after you left her at loose ends while you went off have a fun New Year’s Getaway. Especially bad was that it was romantic. Since she is digitally impaired and cannot open a bottle of Excedrin, she swallowed the whole thing to make a dramatic, dangerous, and expensive statement of her fury.

  5. Hoffa’s teamster ring!
    What? Too soon?

    Hope they get her sorted and home for a gourmet manure dinner really soon!
    Well, no. Just that they get her home safe and sound.

Talk to me! I spend too much time alone in the studio.

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