Emaciated Dog Found With Rocks in Its Stomach, a Swollen Belly and No Teeth

A malnourished dog was found in a Las Vegas junkyard after having eaten rocks in a desperate attempt to survive, causing his belly to swell up.

Volunteers from non-profit Vegas Pet Rescue Project (VPRP) found the dog—a pit bull mix now named "Anakin"—on February 3 hiding among stacks of construction material.

The dog had been roaming around the junkyard for around a month. When rescuers found him, he was barely able to walk and appeared to be frightened of humans.

"He is skin and bones and has a big swollen belly," VPRP said in a Facebook post on February 4 after the dog was found. "He also has terrible diarrhea. We will find out if he is obstructed from eating whatever he could find or what exactly is going on."

At the time of being found, Anakin weighed only around 33 pounds. This is around double his previous weight.

VPRP uncovered documents showing that Anakin was previously named Rocky and had been adopted from an animal foundation in October 2021 when he weighed around 65 pounds, according to a Facebook post.

VPRP said it was searching for his adopter and that the animal foundation was aware of the situation. It is not clear if the dog escaped or was abandoned, according to the nonprofit. The video of volunteers finding the dog, which can be upsetting to some viewers, can be seen here.

After Anakin was found, X-rays later conformed that the "emaciated" dog had "countless" rocks in his intestines and colon.

"He also has no teeth from trying to chew on them to survive. He was obviously starving and trying to satisfy his hunger pains. He is very anemic too," VPRP said in a Facebook post on February 5.

"They have hooked him up to fluids to try to flush out what they can and we are praying they come out and do not cause a critical obstruction. If they do then surgery is the only option."

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Vets considered performing surgery on the dog to remove the rocks from his body, but in the end he began to pass them on his own.

One of the vets looking after him said they were optimistic that all of the rocks would pass through his body.

"His anemia is now more on the mild side they are treating his chronic diarrhea and he is eating small amounts so we are very hopeful we think he is going to pull through out of this without surgery," VPRP said in a Facebook post on February 6.

The nonprofit said the dog had a "long way to go" and will likely stay at a veterinary clinic for a few weeks before it is safe for him to move to a foster home.

A pit bull
Stock image showing a pit bull. A malnourished pit bull mix was found in a Las Vegas junkyard after having eaten rocks in a desperate attempt to survive. iStock