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Molly and the annoying nail

Molly was brought into Moe Veterinary Centre one afternoon as she had occasional vomiting episodes
for the last week. Molly’s vomiting was getting worse and she developed diarrhoea.

Molly’s owners also noticed that she was off her food the night before and seemed
more lethargic than usual. Molly has a history of liking to eat rocks despite her owner’s
attempts to stop her from doing so.

On clinical examination, Molly had abdominal pain which was repeatable each
time pressure was applied.

At this stage, we had several differentials that could have caused Molly’s signs.
This included a foreign body in her gastrointestinal tract, gastroenteritis or
secondary gastrointestinal diseases such as pancreatitis,
renal or liver disease.

Due to Molly’s age and habit of liking to eat rocks, a foreign body was high
on our differential diagnosis list.


Radiographs were recommended as
a first step in our diagnostic
work up – they were taken
 and a foreign body was visualised!
 It had a distinctive outline of a bent nail,
 and was situated in Molly’s stomach.

Molly’s radiograph revealed the root of the problem!

 Molly was then placed on
 intravenous fluids and prepared for
 surgery to remove the foreign body.
 A nail was located in
 Molly’s stomach and removed.
 The rest of her gastrointestinal tract was
 checked for the presence of other
 foreign bodies,
 in which none were detected.

Dr Bridie Fitzmaurice doing surgery to retrieve the foreign body from Molly’s stomach, with Dr Melissa See assisting.

 Molly was lucky that the nail had not
 perforated her stomach or any other
 parts of her gastrointestinal tract.
 The nail had been irritating the lining of
 Molly’s stomach, hence causing her to
 vomit and to feel unwell.
 Ten days later Molly returned for a check
 up and removal of the staples that were
 placed at the surgery site to close the skin.
 Her wounds had healed very well and she
 was very bright and back to her usual
 happy self!
 Her owners are now very vigilant about
 keeping her away from any foreign
 objects after this episode!

A happy Molly and her owner Sarah 10 days after surgery.


Past feature cases: