Can a mango pass from a stomach? – only with some help from our team at SASH.
One of the lovely aspects of the imminent arrival of summer in this country is the accompanying arrival of mangoes. For many of us, mangoes are the taste of summer and whilst this is wonderful, we also need to warn our pet owners about a danger these seeds present.
Some of our patients cannot resist eating a mango seed if they find one and the shape is tailor made to slip down the food gullet into the stomach. However, they are much too large to pass through the exit of the stomach and so the mango seed remains in the stomach and causes vomiting and likely abdominal pain in the meantime.
Recently, Toby a 1 year old English bulldog presented to SASH, having eaten a mango seed to the owner’s horror. Thankfully though, his owners brought Toby into our emergency department who asked Dr Phil Brain, one of our Internal Medicine Specialists, to remove the seed endoscopically. This means that a tube with a camera on, is inserted into the stomach and the seed is located. Often tiny grasping instruments can be used through the scope; but a mango seed is just too big for this to happen. Because of this, we need to use larger bone grasping forceps and place these into the stomach beside the scope. Grabbing the seed can be tricky (slippery little suckers) but most of the time we can remove the seed without the need for more invasive surgery.
With Toby, the seed was able to be removed and in a true team effort, Dr Phil drove the scope and the forceps whilst out Specialist Anaesthetist, Dr Asher Allison gently manipulated the stomach to move the seed so it could be grabbed more easily. Toby made an excellent recovery and was saved the need for surgery.
So, enjoy your mangoes this summer but take care not to leave any seeds for your pet. Oh, and by the way, the previous mango seed that Dr Phil removed was from another Bulldog named Winston, so maybe take extra care if you own a Bulldog- they may have a taste for the ‘taste of summer’!