An emergency veterinary clinic on Long Island made the news recently when two dogs were brought in within an hour of each other, both in life-threatening choking situations from swallowed toys.
One of the dogs had swallowed a tennis ball and the other one swallowed a rubber ball while playing. The staff performed a procedure known as the external extraction technique (XXT) to save the dogs.
They posted videos of these procedures on their Facebook page and noted, “Most often, panicked vets will try prying the ball out of the back of the dog’s throat with their hands or forceps instruments, which has a high rate of failure, and the dog will then require an emergency tracheotomy to prevent suffocation. Sometimes, many times, it’s too late.”
XXT is intended for:
- Full airway obstruction
- Ball or similar hazard
- Unconscious patient
The procedure involves laying the dog on its back, straddling it, and then using a special technique to manipulate the ball from the outside of the throat until it comes out of the mouth.
This procedure works best for smooth objects like balls or kongs and should only be done by trained veterinary professionals with an understanding of canine anatomy.
You can watch a news story about the incident HERE, and a YouTube video of the XXT procedure below: