Does this Dog have a GI Obstruction? To wait or to cut?

Small Animal

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Anaesthesia & Pain Management

Diagnostic Imaging

Emergency & Critical Care

Internal Medicine – Endocrinology, Haematology, Infectious Diseases, Parasitology & Oncology

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Recorded on: 18th April 2024


Will Robinson   BVetMed, MSc, BSAVA PGCertSAS, DECVS, MRCVS - Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral, UK
Elizabeth Rozanski   DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC - Tufts University, USA
Marc Seitz   DVM, DACVR, DABVP (Canine and Feline Practice) - Mississippi State University, USA


Dan Lewis   MA, VetMB, CVA, DACVECC, DECVECC, MRCVS - Vets Now 24/7 Emergency & Specialty Hospital, UK



Gastrointestinal upset is a common presenting complaint in small animals, often accompanied by abdominal discomfort, and frequently caused by foreign bodies or other obstructions.
A multidisciplinary panel of internationally respected specialists consisting of a surgeon, a radiologist and two criticalists will be discussing the following questions amongst many others:

  • What diagnostic tools can we use to decide whether such cases have an intestinal obstruction or other ‘surgical’ disease?
  • How do we make the decision to go to surgery without having an imaging specialist to guide us?
  • With many of these patients also suffering from significant fluid losses that cause cardiovascular instability – how might we best prepare these patients for anaesthesia and how do we best decide when to cut?

The panelists will discuss and debate these aspects and more, using their extensive experience to help practitioners determine how to make key decisions in these often-confusing cases.

Following graduation in 1995 from The University of Cambridge, Dan worked in mixed practice for five years, where he gained the RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia. In 2000, he moved to Petmedics, a large hospital-based emergency clinic in Manchester, where he remained for eight years.

In 2008 Dan embarked upon a residency at The Royal Veterinary College, obtaining his Diploma in Emergency & Critical Care in 2011. Following this, Dan spent a period in charge of the ICU at Bristol vet school before returning to Petmedics. Dan joined the Vets Now 24/7 Emergency and Specialty Hospital, Glasgow in January 2015 as part of our existing ECC team and has since been promoted to National ECC Lead.

Dan is interested in all aspects of critical care, but particularly in septic patients and poorly cats.

Growing up outside of Chicago, near the Brookfield Zoo, Dr. ElizabethLiz Rozanski developed a love for veterinary medicine from age five. As a member of the Foster Hospital for Small Animals' Emergency and Critical Care team, she treats animals at one of the nation's busiest academic emergency rooms. She is board-certified in both internal medicine and emergency and critical care.

Dr. Rozanski graduated from the University of Illinois with her DVMdegree. After completing a residency in Philadelphia, she was drawn to Tufts by the position's combination of research, teaching, and service. She teaches toxicology and respiratory medicine throughout the four-year Cummings School DVM curriculum, and lectures in others. I love the students, she says. They are a continued source of inspiration and enthusiasm.

She has also been involved in student efforts to provide free rabies vaccinations in low-income housing in the City of Worcester, serves as a faculty mentor for summer student research projects, has raised funds for the American Heart Association (with her dog, Brie, named after one of her favorite cases at the Foster Hospital) through the Central Massachusetts Heart Walk, and lectures often at continuing education and community events. She is also the past president of the Veterinary Comparative Respiratory Society.

Dr. Rozanski's primary research interest is in respiratory function in small animals, and she recently co-authored, with the help of fellow faculty member Dr. John Rush, A Color Handbook of Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Medicine (Manson, 2007). She lives near the school's Grafton campus with, as she notes, a menagerie of pets—all rescues.

Dr. Seitz is an Associate Clinical Professor of Diagnostic Imaging at Mississippi State University (MSU). He earned both his B.S. in biochemistry and his DVM from MSU. After graduation, he spent eight years in private practice as both an emergency clinician and general practitioner prior to returning to MSU as an emergency faculty member. While in private practice, he earned Diplomate status with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Canine and Feline). Due to his interest in performing and teaching ultrasound, he completed a residency in diagnostic imaging and is now a full-time board-certified radiologist. In addition to clinical practice, he thoroughly enjoys teaching, with the ultimate goal of translating sound medical practices and current veterinary literature into useful clinical skills for both general practitioners and emergency clinicians. His passion for teaching has been recognized through the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teaching Award (2016) and the MSU-CVM Dean’s Pegasus Award for Teaching (2022).

Will graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2010 and since then has worked in multiple small animal hospitals across the UK. He undertook a rotating internship at the Willows in 2012 before going to Bristol Veterinary School to complete his three-year residency in small animal surgery and a clinical masters degree (MSc). During this time, he also completed his BSAVA post graduate certificate in surgery. Will successfully passed the European diploma exam to become an EBVS European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery in 2020 and currently is head of soft tissue surgery at Willows Referral Service in Solihull, UK. Will’s research interests include minimally invasive surgical techniques and oropharyngeal stick injuries. He is interested in all aspects of soft tissue surgery but particularly enjoys emergency surgery. In his spare time Will enjoys exploring the countryside with his family and two Cocker Spaniels, Olive and Rocket.

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