Severe intermittent lameness secondary to a migrating metallic foreign body in a dog

Justin D. Duval, Steven E. Epstein, Erin A. Gibson, William T.N. Culp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CASE DESCRIPTION An 11-month-old mixed-breed dog was evaluated because of a 2-day history of acute-onset, intermittent vocalization and collapse several days after ingesting metallic wire foreign material. CLINICAL FINDINGS Physical examination findings were initially unremarkable. After a brief period of hospitalization, the patient acutely developed non-weight-bearing lameness with signs of severe pain localized to the left thoracic limb and inability or refusal to rise. Results of cervical, thoracic, and abdominal radiography revealed a linear metallic foreign body at the thoracic inlet and a single metallic foreign body in the cranial aspect of the abdomen. Neuropathic pain at the level of the left brachial plexus was suspected. Results of a subsequent CT scan were consistent with a metallic foreign body in the left axilla with associated abscess formation and neuritis and an additional metallic foreign body within the omental fat near the pyloroduodenal junction. TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Intraoperative fluoroscopy was used to facilitate localization and surgical removal of the axillary foreign body. The intra-abdominal foreign body was removed laparoscopically. Complete resolution of clinical signs was observed before discharge from the hospital the following day. On telephone follow-up 8 months after surgery, the owners reported the patient had no signs of lameness or complications. CLINICAL RELEVANCE Migrating metallic foreign bodies may be identified as incidental findings with the potential to cause harm in the future or may be a cause for severe clinical signs. Migrating foreign bodies should be considered as a differential diagnosis for patients reported to have acute collapse or lameness and consistent clinical history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-700
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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