They Ate What?

For ten years Veterinary Practice News has devoted an entire issue to a pseudo-competition amongst Veterinarians nation wide to determine a winner of ‘the most bizarre item ingested by our pets’. A case story and accompanying x-ray are submitted, and then we all vote. Strange? Not really. Remember, groups of Veterinarians will step into elevators with complete strangers onboard, while we are engaged in spirited conversation about bloody diarrhea. Don’t be a victim, check with your travel agent and verify that there is not a Veterinary convention in the town where you are vacationing.


Last year a frog named Kermit “won” the competition by eating over 30 ornamental stones out of a garden.

This year’s finalists included the cat from Massachusetts that consumed a buck-eighteen. Impressive when you consider she ate 22 coins to do it. If you believe in the power of numbers to win the competition, then Yogi the cat should have garnered a few votes for polishing off more than 30 of those elastic hair ties found at the root of women’s pony-tails.

Or how about Willow the Australian shepherd putting away 18 buttons and an entire belt to bring the ensemble together?

Taking a cue from Kermit, four month-old Danner somehow managed to make room for 2.6 pounds of garden gravel. The owner said the puppy looked full and felt “crunchy” when she found him.

Puppies are notorious for finding edible interest in anything. Among the finalist a 10-week-old black Labrador that ate the entire top portion of a fishing rod, intact. Those are about 12-18 inches in length (2nd place). A little older, and apparently no smarter, a 6-month-old black Lab, named Avery, felt that a door hinge would be good vittles (3rd place). To make a bigger impression on the voters, after surgery to remove the hardware … she ate her IV line, with tape and wrap.

Dogs and cats were well represented in the competition, but there was also a yellow rat snake that ate two peacock eggs without crushing them and another python who, after missing for a few days, returned home with a bulge that the owner assumed was a rat.  It was a cat; unless rats wear collars with rhinestones and tags. A classmate of mine in Minnesota removed a piece of metal and a rock from the gut of a Scribbled Angelfish!! I’m more impressive she did “fish surgery” than with what the fish ate.

Other honorable mentions included a dog that ate six steel wool soap pads, another ingested 5 miniature knick-knack statuettes, and a third dog ate three 8-ounce lead fishing weights. A full size Kong found its way into the belly of a monitor lizard. There were also the Bulldog that snacked on a teddy bear and the labradoodle that made a meal out of a plastic T-Rex dinosaur toy.

My favorites: the boxer that ate a tube of Gorilla Glue which ultimately expanded and hardened before being removed as a perfect cast of the dog’s stomach, and Emily the Chihuahua. She had a bottle of momma’s glitter-perfume, free-floating in her abdominal cavity, with no surgical evidence as to how it escaped the GI tract!!

Zeus the Doberman “won”; 26 golf balls were retrieved from his stomach.

Rox Layman Rad

While most of these scenarios elicit head shakes and smiles of disbelief, some of the animals did not survive. If your pet is menu challenged and consumes a non-digestible, see your vet sooner rather than later; if they’re the next “They Ate What” winner, it’d be nice to have them with you at the awards ceremony.

Bon appetit.


The picture above shows a dog that ate a rib bone! Do you see it?

Also, the picture at the way top, shows an engagement ring inside the dog!


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