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Migrating sewing needle in the cervical vertebral canal in a dog
  1. Pilar Lafuente and
  2. Colin John Driver
  1. Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pilar Lafuente, plafuente{at}


An eight-month-old female labrador retriever was evaluated for progressive cervical hyperaesthesia after being seen coughing, close to a broken sewing kit two weeks prior to presentation. Physical examination showed cervical hyperaesthesia and mild proprioceptive deficits in the right thoracic and pelvic limbs. CT imaging of the neck showed a thin metallic foreign body (sewing needle) going in a ventrodorsal direction through the vertebral canal at the atlanto-occipital junction. A ventral midline approach to the larynx, with dissection along the right side of the larynx was performed to gain access to its dorsal aspect. The exposed needle was grasped with Mosquito forceps, and removed in its entirety. Marked clinical improvement was observed the day after surgery. In a follow-up telephone conversation four months after surgery, the owner reported a complete recovery of the patient, with return to normal activities.

  • Dogs
  • Spine
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Neurosurgery
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