Carroll County Animal Hospital

Abdominal Surgery


Kapo is a one year old female spayed Chihuahua mixed breed dog. Kapo presented to Carroll County Animal Hospital after her mom noticed her eating an object from the floor. Kapo has an extensive history of chewing and eating things that are left on the floor. Kapo ate her breakfast normally that morning and had normal bowel movements and urination.

On examination, Kapo was bright, alert, and friendly. She did not show any signs of pain in her belly. Her temperature, heart rate and respiration were found to be normal. Kapo’s mouth was closely inspected and no foreign objects were found.

X-rays were then taken of Kapo. Please see the picture below. This is Kapo laying on her side with her head to the left side of the picture and her back legs to the right side of the picture. Do you see anything unusual?

Correct! Kapo has a nail in her abdomen! This is very dangerous!

Kapo was sedated so that an endoscope could be passed. An endoscope is a device inserted directly into an area of the body for close inspection. This procedure is much less invasive than making a large incision into the abdomen. The endoscope has a flashlight and camera closely attached for easy examination at the area of interest. The endoscope was passed into the esophagus. No foreign bodies were found in the esophagus. Next the endoscope was passed into the stomach. Due to the fact that Kapo had also eaten a very large breakfast that morning, the nail was not able to be visualized due to the amount of food in the stomach.

Kapo was immediately taken to the surgical suite in preparation for an exploratory laparatomy surgery. A laparatomy is the act of making an incision into the abdominal cavity. The entire g.i. tract was inspected closely for any trauma from the nail. The nail was found in the proximal duodenum. The duodenum is a portion of the small intestines where chemical digestion takes place. A 5mm incision was made into the duodenum to remove the nail. The nail was removed with no complications. The duodenum was sutured closed as well as the abdominal wall and skin.

Kapo was given i.v. pain medications, antibiotics, and medications to stop stomach acid production. Kapo was hospitalized for 3 nights.

Kapo began to eat normally with no vomit or stomach pains noted. She was sent home with strict orders to be restricted from exercise so that her incision in her belly could heal normally.

PLEASE keep your dog away from dangerous objects such as staples, thumb tacks, straight pins, or petite balls. These can be life threatening if swallowed! Let your veterinarian know if you have any questions regarding something your pet has ingested!