WELLESLEY, Mass. (WFXT/CNN) – A family in Massachusetts took their dog to an animal medical center because he’d stopped eating.
Imagine their surprise when the veterinarian told them their pet’s sickness was caused by nearly 20 baby pacifiers in his stomach.
"Quite shocking to see a dog who can swallow that many pacifiers over the course of a month – and unnoticed," said Rob Halpin of Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.
Mortimer the bulldog certainly had his fill of the hazardous snack.
Vets believe he’d been sneaking and snacking on the pacifiers for two months, adding up to 19 stuffed inside his stomach.
Halpin said Mortimer’s owners noticed he was subdued and getting nauseous before meals, so vets prescribed him medication for acid reflux.
But the 3-year-old dog’s symptoms only got worse, which led to the revealing X-ray showing a belly full of pacifiers.
"Pacifiers can be like hair ties. They just sort of disappear and go into the pacifier universe,” Halpin said. “No one ever thinks that the family dog is, one at a time, eating into this supply of pacifiers."
Vets acted quickly, plucking out the pacifiers through a nonsurgical procedure called endoscopy, in which a scope, light and camera are used.
"It's as if it never happened to him at all," Halpin said.
But vets said the situation could easily have had a different outcome.
“It could be a complete obstruction of the digestive tract, or it could be a rupture of the digestive tract … and in Mortimer’s case it could’ve easily been fatal,” Halpin said.
Mortimer is now back home with his family and has fully recovered.