Actually, dogs will eat practically anything (some dogs, anyway). I remember giving post-op instructions for a pup after having removed plastic flowers, buttons, pieces of cloth and some other un-identifiable junk from his stomach. "He'll need to eat a bland diet for a few days after his stomach surgery." "Gee, I don't know about that, Doc. He's kind of a finicky eater." Ummm…yeah.
This guy looks a bit forlorn because he's still in post-op recovery mode. His owners were pretty sure he ate a fish-hook last night. You know, usually the hook gets caught on their lip. I couldn't tell you how many of those I've removed. You don't want to pull the barb backwards and rip things. Theoretically you just cut off the eye from the hook and shove it on through. That shoving it thing is the weak point in the plan. Unless you and the dog are both pretty stoic, one of you (maybe both) is going to flinch or scream or bite. A lot of dogs are going to need some heavy sedation, particularly since you're working in their mouth. I recall a dog who had grabbed a lure with treble hooks on each end. His left foot, upper lip, lower lip and tongue were all impaled…and there were two more hooks open, just waiting for a stray finger.
Surely this dog didn't actually eat the fish-hook and swallow it all the day down. He doesn't seem to feel bad. He's eaten since then and kept it down okay. Wouldn't you be having a cramp? Or something? Of course, if he did, we need to know how far it traveled. Hence, the whole-body X-ray here. And, of course, he did eat it and swallow it down. There it sits in his little stomach.
What you can't see in the X-ray (besides the fact that the hook is turned sideways so it looks funny), is that the owner was pretty sure there was quite a bit of line attached. "How much?" His four-years-old grandson replied, "Enough to reach down to the water and catch fish." That much, huh? That makes it more complicated, as the line can do damage all by itself, and make removal complicated. Not to mention that finding these things, as plain as they look on the radiograph, can be like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
As luck would have it, though, I found the hook almost immediately and was able to remove it through a very small incision in the stomach wall. I thought at first that the red stuff tangled in the line was some sort of elaborate lure. Closer examination reveals that it is simply what we, in these parts, refer to as a baloney string. Personally, if I were going to eat bologna (I'm not), I think I'd remove the plastic casing first. But then, I'm not going to eat a fish-hook either.
So, what kind of bait do you use when you're casting for Chihuahuas?