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Medical management of metallic sharp-pointed straight gastrointestinal foreign bodies in dogs and cats: 18 cases

Crinó, Chiara; Humm, Karen; Cortellini, Stefano


Chiara Crinó

Karen Humm

Stefano Cortellini


OBJECTIVE – To describe the medical treatment of gastrointestinal metallic sharp-pointed straight foreign bodies (FBs) in dogs and cats
MATERIALS AND METHODS – Clinical records of dogs and cats presented to a university teaching hospital between 2003 and 2021 with gastrointestinal metallic sharp-pointed straight FBs (e.g. needles, pins, nails) were reviewed. Cases were excluded if the FB was identified outside of the gastrointestinal tract or if it was removed by endoscopy or surgery as the first treatment choice. Patient signalment, presenting complaint, location of the FB, treatment, complications, time for intestinal transit, length of hospitalisation and outcome were recorded.
RESULTS – Eighteen cases (14 dogs and 4 cats) were included in the study, being treated with primary conservative therapeutic approach (12) or following failure of endoscopy (2), surgery (3) or both (1). Clinical signs associated with the FB were reported on admission in 3 (16.7%) cases. Conservative management was successful in 16 (88.9%) cases, with no complications reported. In 2 (11.1%) cases, surgery was subsequently performed as the FB failed to progress within the gastrointestinal tract on repeated radiographs after 24 hours. Mean FB gastrointestinal transit time for patients treated conservatively was 53 (±25.2) hours. All patients survived to discharge.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE – Conservative management is a safe and effective treatment method for cats and dogs with sharp-pointed straight gastrointestinal FBs in the absence of perforation. Human guidelines suggest further interventions should be considered if the FB fails to progress within 3 days from ingestion or if a previously asymptomatic patient develops new clinical signs.


Crinó, C., Humm, K., & Cortellini, S. (2023). Medical management of metallic sharp-pointed straight gastrointestinal foreign bodies in dogs and cats: 18 cases. Journal of Small Animal Practice,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 2, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 30, 2023
Publication Date Mar 30, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 30, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 30, 2023
Print ISSN 0022-4510
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed


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