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Dog Has Emergency Surgery to Remove Two Pounds of Rocks

Update Date: Aug 16, 2013 09:32 AM EDT
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Dogs may be loyal companions that love to please their owners, whether it is performing tricks perfectly or licking the owner's face. Even though these canines are highly intelligent, sometimes they can even have a lapse of judgment. For a seven-year-old golden retriever named Gordon, he must have mistaken river rocks for something tasty. Gordon had eaten 16 rocks most likely from the garden that weighed in at almost two pounds. Since then Gordon has received emergency surgery and is recovering.

Gordon's owner first noticed something strange when his pup's stomach appeared to be larger than usual. Since no other symptoms manifested, the owners did not panic and left Gordon alone throughout the night. The following morning, when Gordon was supposed to relieve himself, the owners noticed that their big golden was having difficulty trying to pass the first rock. The owners, who chose to remain anonymous, rushed Gordon to the Blue Pearl Vet in Eden Prairie, Minn. At the vet, the doctors took an X-ray, which found 16 rocks lodged in Gordon's stomach. Dr. Jeff Yu then performed a two-hour long surgery that saved Gordon's life.

"You don't see too many dogs eat this many rocks usually," Yu commented. "Most dogs will stop after one or two, but Gordon certainly had quite the hankering."

When dogs start to eat non-food items, it could be a sign of a larger, underlying problem at hand. According to ASPCA, this type of behavior can be classified as a disorder that develops if the dog is lacking some nutrients. Eating non-food items can also be caused by a digestive disorder, parasitic infection, a metabolic disorder, or poisoning. For young puppies and dogs, this behavior known as pica can be caused by boredom that when left unchecked, can become a compulsive behavior.  

For more information regarding Pica, visit the ASPCA page.

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