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Look What the Dog Swallowed!

It's been said that dogs will eat anything, whether it tastes good or not, and regardless of whether it is edible. Some dogs not only eat weird things, but they eat as much of it as they can. Here are eight recent stories that illustrate that point.

Rubber Duck

Ozzie is a Staffordshire terrier from Cubbington, England. About a year ago, he was tussling with another dog over a rubber duck. Ozzie established his rights to the toy by swallowing it whole. The vets couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the x-ray, since most dogs chew their toys up before swallowing them. Ozzie required surgery to remove the duck, but made a rapid recovery.

Fish Hooks

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Toby is a rescue dog who had been abused and abandoned before being adopted by Brian Sales. Sales keep his fishing tackle box high off the floor, but curious Toby managed to get into it and swallow a dozen fish hooks, which on this occasion were loaded with bait. Sales rushed Toby to a veterinary clinic. Doctors said that the greatest danger would have been if the hooks caught in the dog's throat, but they had instead passed to the stomach. Because of the shape of fish hooks, they were able to pass through the dog naturally, and in record time because Toby is allergic to the fish that the hooks were baited with!

Cell Phone

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Nero is a Great Dane-Doberman crossbreed. The rather large dog from Pretoria, South Africa snatched a cell phone from his owner's daughter's hand and swallowed it in the blink of an eye. Nero was immediately taken to the veterinary clinic, where he was x-rayed and then had surgery to remove the phone. The vets found stones in Nero's stomach along with the phone. Nero recovered, but the cell phone never worked again.

Rocks

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Chester, who lives in Bangor, Maine, was attracted to the rocks around the family barbecue, because of those delicious drippings splattered on them. So he went a little overboard. Instead of swallowing one or two rocks, Chester ingested a total of six pounds of rocks! The vet said he's never seen anything like it. Chester was able to pass the stones naturally, so no surgery was necessary.

Homer Simpson

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A ten-year-old Dalmatian named Dixie lost her appetite and behaved strangely, so her owner took her to a veterinary clinic in Aberdeen, Scotland. An x-ray revealed that Dixie had swallowed a plastic egg with a plastic Homer Simpson toy inside. The goods had originally been inside a chocolate egg that Dixie got hold of. Vets removed the figurine from the dog's intestine, and she is fine now.

Dog

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Joanne Dutton of Wilmsly, England took her dog Alfie to the vet when he became ill and wouldn't eat. The x-rays showed there was a dog inside the dog. Alfie had stolen a miniature dog figurine from a dollhouse belonging to Dutton's daughter Madeline. Vets performed surgery to remove the toy.

Joanne said: "Alfie is back to normal again now - running around like a lunatic."

Golf Balls

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Bertie is pointer/bloodhound mix who lives in Great Totham, England. His owner, 12-year-old Ben Jewell saw him eat a golfball and so Bertie was taken to a clinic. X-rays revealed this was not the first time Bertie wolfed down a golf ball. A total of nine balls were inside the dog! During surgery to remove the balls, veterinarians found a completely unrelated surprise: a bullet was lodged in the tissue of Bertie's abdomen, indicating he'd been shot at some time. The bullet was removed as well as the golf balls, and Bertie has recovered.

Arrow

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Just last week, Betty, an 8-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier somehow managed to swallow a plastic toy arrow that was almost as long as her body! Her owner Emma Watson (not the actress) noticed she was sick a day later and took her to Thamesmead PDSA PetAid Hospital, where the arrow was found by x-ray. The arrow was 10.5 inches long, and extended from her throat to her small intestine. It was removed surgically, and Betty was on her feet in no time. But Watson had to keep a close eye on her.

'She doesn't appear to have learned her lesson because as soon as she got home she tried to eat the TV remote control so we're keeping a very close eye on her now to prevent anything like this from happening again.'

See also: X-rays in the News and 10 Odd Things Swallowed, with X-ray Evidence.

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Medicine
New Cancer-Fighting Nanobots Can Track Down Tumors and Cut Off Their Blood Supply
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Scientists have developed a new way to cut off the blood flow to cancerous tumors, causing them to eventually shrivel up and die. As Business Insider reports, the new treatment uses a design inspired by origami to infiltrate crucial blood vessels while leaving the rest of the body unharmed.

A team of molecular chemists from Arizona State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences describe their method in the journal Nature Biotechnology. First, they constructed robots that are 1000 times smaller than a human hair from strands of DNA. These tiny devices contain enzymes called thrombin that encourage blood clotting, and they're rolled up tightly enough to keep the substance contained.

Next, researchers injected the robots into the bloodstreams of mice and small pigs sick with different types of cancer. The DNA sought the tumor in the body while leaving healthy cells alone. The robot knew when it reached the tumor and responded by unfurling and releasing the thrombin into the blood vessel that fed it. A clot started to form, eventually blocking off the tumor's blood supply and causing the cancerous tissues to die.

The treatment has been tested on dozen of animals with breast, lung, skin, and ovarian cancers. In mice, the average life expectancy doubled, and in three of the skin cancer cases tumors regressed completely.

Researchers are optimistic about the therapy's effectiveness on cancers throughout the body. There's not much variation between the blood vessels that supply tumors, whether they're in an ovary in or a prostate. So if triggering a blood clot causes one type of tumor to waste away, the same method holds promise for other cancers.

But before the scientists think too far ahead, they'll need to test the treatments on human patients. Nanobots have been an appealing cancer-fighting option to researchers for years. If effective, the machines can target cancer at the microscopic level without causing harm to healthy cells. But if something goes wrong, the bots could end up attacking the wrong tissue and leave the patient worse off. Study co-author Hao Yan believes this latest method may be the one that gets it right. He said in a statement, "I think we are much closer to real, practical medical applications of the technology."

[h/t Business Insider]

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New Peanut Allergy Patch Could Be Coming to Pharmacies This Year
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About 6 million people in the U.S. and Europe have severe peanut allergies, including more than 2 million children. Now, French biotechnology company DBV Technologies SA has secured an FDA review for its peanut allergy patch, Bloomberg reports.

If approved, the company aims to start selling the Viaskin patch to children afflicted with peanut allergies in the second half of 2018. The FDA's decision comes in spite of the patch's disappointing study results last year, which found the product to be less effective than DBV hoped (though it did receive high marks for safety). The FDA has also granted Viaskin breakthrough-therapy and fast-track designations, which means a faster review process.

DBV's potentially life-saving product is a small disc that is placed on the arm or between the shoulder blades. It works like a vaccine, exposing the wearer's immune system to micro-doses of peanut protein to increase tolerance. It's intended to reduce the chances of having a severe allergic reaction to accidental exposure.

The patch might have competition: Aimmune Therapeutics Inc., which specializes in food allergy treatments, and the drug company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. are working together to develop a cure for peanut allergies.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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