Bella the Labrador Retriever’s Emergency Endoscopy

Davies Veterinary Specialists

Internal Medicine

10th December 2020

Open and Shut case of safety pin puppy

Bella, a seven-month-old Labrador Retriever, was referred to our Internal Medicine service for emergency treatment after she swallowed an open safety pin.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Endoscopy case study

She swallowed the safety clasp while rummaging in a bin, and x-rays at Vets Now in Milton Keynes revealed the safety pin lying in her oesophagus.

The puppy was referred to the Internal Medicine team at Davies Veterinary Specialists for emergency treatment.


Internal Medicine Resident Emma Rogers-Smith said: “It wasn’t possible to tell from her x-ray if the safety pin had perforated the oesophagus. We discussed the options with the emergency team at Vets Now: either giving Bella a meal and making her sick, or performing an emergency endoscopy.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Endoscopy case study x ray

Right-lateral chest x-ray showing the safety pin. Image: Vets Now

“While it was very likely that making her sick would have enabled the safety pin to be passed without complication, there was the risk of damage to the oesophagus, which could lead to a life-threatening pneumothorax and subsequently require emergency surgery.

“Because of this risk, the referring vets felt it was best to send Bella to us. But there is still a risk of oesophageal damage with endoscopic removal, especially given the fact that the safety pin was open.”

No complications

Bella was anaesthetised and the safety pin retrieved from her distal oesophagus, with both the anaesthesia and soft tissue surgery teams on standby in case she needed emergency surgery.

No complications resulted from the procedure, and Bella recovered quickly and was discharged the same afternoon.

Davies Veterinary Specialists Endoscopy case study

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