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Howie the toy poodle is a regular at his veterinarian’s office. The energetic pup hasn’t reached his first birthday yet, but owner Heather Skinner of Monroe, N.Y., estimates that she’s taken Howie to see the veterinarian at least 15 times for various scrapes and illnesses. “He’s a real devil,” Heather said.
Howie’s latest trip to the doctor came courtesy of one of the thousands of acorns that have fallen from the large oak tree in Heather’s backyard. Heather’s husband Bill was playing with Howie when Howie scooped up an acorn, tilted his head back, and let the acorn slide down his throat, obstructing his airway. “My husband is a police officer and knows the Heimlich maneuver. He tried it on Howie, but it didn’t work.”
The Skinners called their veterinarian to tell him about the situation and that they were on their way. Because Howie had turned blue and passed out, the veterinarian put Howie on oxygen and induced vomiting in an effort to dislodge the acorn. Howie, however, swallowed the acorn, and it passed four days later.
True to form, Howie was undaunted by the experience. “When we brought him home,” Heather said, “we figured he’d be exhausted and go to sleep immediately. Nope. First thing he did was go out back and try to grab an acorn.”