Objective—To characterize clinical signs, diagnostic test results, foreign body location, treatment, and outcome for dogs and cats with sewing needle foreign bodies.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—65 dogs and cats with sewing needle foreign bodies.
Procedures—Medical records of 27 dogs and 38 cats examined because of sewing needle foreign bodies from January 2000 to February 2012 were reviewed for signalment, medical history, physical examination findings, diagnostic test results, interval from witnessed exposure and radiographic imaging to definitive treatment, definitive treatment, sewing needle location, complications, and outcome.
Results—7 (10.8%) animals had sewing needles in extragastrointestinal locations that were not causing clinical signs. The remaining 58 (89.2%) animals had known sewing needle exposure or acute clinical signs associated with ingestion. The esophageal and gastric regions were the most common location for a sewing needle (10/21 [47.6%] dogs; 19/37 [51.4%] cats), followed by the oropharynx (7/21 [33.3%] dogs; 11/37 [29.7%] cats) and small and large intestines (4/21 [19.0%] dogs; 7/37 [18.9%] cats). Gastrointestinal perforation was detected in 10 of 58 (17.2%) animals (5/21 [23.8%] dogs; 5/37 [13.5%] cats). Sewing needles in the esophagus and stomach were successfully removed endoscopically in 8 of 9 dogs and 18 of 19 cats. Survival rate was 98.1% (51/52) for animals receiving definitive treatment.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Endoscopic removal of ingested sewing needles was highly successful and should be recommended to prevent gastrointestinal tract perforation and associated morbidity. Prognosis for dogs and cats receiving definitive treatment for sewing needle foreign body ingestion was excellent.