Sage had an intestinal foreign body but was a patient with a difference! He had swallowed some rope which was too thick and bulky to pass through his guts. This resulted in a complete gut obstruction leading to repeated vomiting and a loss of appetite, which would over a few days have been fatal.

Having established that Sage needed surgery to remove his obstruction we were presented with the dilemma of his blood clotting problem. Like many other Doberman Pinschers, Sage suffers from von Willebrand’s disease – this is a lack of a particular factor required for efficient blood clotting. Operating on dogs with this disease can lead to fatal intra-operative bleeding. Thankfully we were able to order fresh frozen plasma from the Pet Blood Bank* and administer this to Sage prior to his surgery, providing him with the necessary clotting factor. His surgery went uneventfully.

However, there was a further twist to this case. As you can see from the radiograph below Sage’s stomach had dilated to a huge size at the time of surgery making stomach torsion (where the stomach dilates and twists – another commonly fatal problem) a high risk. Doberman Pinschers, like many other deep-chest dogs (eg Great Danes and Setters) are at risk of stomach torsion. Hence we attached Sage’s stomach to the abdominal lining (called a gastropexy, using a strong ‘belt-loop’ technique) as part of his surgery to prevent the stomach from twisting and causing a torsion.

Sage recovered well from his surgery and is back to leading a normal, healthy life. Hopefully he will not include rope amongst his culinary favourites anymore!

*The Pet Blood Bank is a not for profit charity which provides a national canine blood bank. For more information about this charity or to find out how your dog can donate blood please visit