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Veterinarian Technician November 2012 (Vol 33, No 11)

Final View: A Not-So-Safe Safety Pin

by Tara Coleman, VT

    Bailey—a 5-month-old, 12-lb, intact, female Lhasa apso—presented with vomiting and a 1-day history of anorexia. The results of the initial examination and abdominal palpation were unremarkable, so the doctor ordered abdominal radiography and blood work. None of the staff expected what we saw on the radiographs (FIGURE 1; FIGURE 2)—an open safety pin in the large intestine!

    The doctor offered the clients a referral to an emergency clinic that could perform endoscopy or surgery and provide 24-hour care. However, the owners chose to take Bailey home and watch her, hoping the pin would pass on its own. The doctor gave the clients the referral information with instructions to contact the emergency clinic immediately if Bailey developed clinical signs such as vomiting, signs of pain, bloody stool, or lethargy. The clients were also instructed to check Bailey’s stool for the pin.

    Twenty-four hours later, the clients reported that Bailey seemed to safely pass the safety pin. We confirmed passage of the pin by radiography, and the owners watched Bailey for complications.

    Let's See Your "Final View"

    Do you have a unique, visual case to share through the popular Final View series? All you need is a high-resolution, clinical image(s) or video with a 100- to 300-word description, including the patient's treatment and recovery. E-mail your submission to editor@vettechjournal.com. Authors receive $75 per published case! 

    NEXT: Management Matters: The Organizational Chart: A Conduit of Communication

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