A dog in Minnesota is finally back to normal after having surgery to remove a stick that had become lodged in her neck.
The episode began in July, when Cuddy, a 1-year-old Irish Setter, went for a run through the woods.
"What she likes to do is hunt and chase things and track and she knows where all the squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks are in the yard," owner Myrle Croasdale told WCCO.
But this time, Cuddy came back from her run yelping in pain.
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"All of a sudden she comes screaming out of the woods and kind of choking," Croasdale told KARE. "I've never seen her like that."
Croasdale was at a loss. Cuddy was not bleeding, but it was clear that something was very wrong.
"There wasn’t a mark on her. I couldn’t figure it out," Croasdale told WCCO. "Then she went in shock and we thought we would lose her on the way to the emergency animal hospital."
The X-rays came back normal, and the vet speculated that Cuddy may have been stung by a hornet. She returned home, but her condition did not improve. She began to develop an abscess on her neck and she suffered from fevers.
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"The abscess was bad and if we hadn't done something we would have had to put her down," Croasdale explained. "I just couldn't live with that."
Finally, vets at Blue Pearl Veterinarian Partners diagnosed the problem. Using a special dye, they gave Cuddy another X-ray, which showed that a 2-inch-long stick had gotten caught in her throat.
"I was so relieved," Croasdale said. "Finally they found it."
Dr. Andrew Jackson, the vet who treated Cuddy, explained to WCCO why the stick had gone undetected in previous tests.
"Wood doesn’t show up on X-rays, so you could take X-rays of her neck and you wouldn’t see anything," he said. "So we did a special X-ray where we injected dye into her neck, through the holes of the draining track and that highlighted the stick pretty well."
Cuddy had surgery to remove the stick on Dec. 26 and is expected to make a full recovery.
"I'm just so relieved that she's going to be getting better and get to do what a dog does," Croasdale said.