Miracle Yorkie Toby with X-ray showing three inch needle lodged in spine (Image: University of Edinburgh/Alexander Jamieson)
The three-inch steel needle had left 13 year old Toby displaying the worrying signs of a deadly brain disease. He was struggling with neck pain and having difficulties walking as well as showing signs of seizures. Toby’s worried owner rushed him to the vets whose initial suspicions that he had a tumour were confirmed by an X-ray.
These remarkable images demonstrate how the needle had passed through Toby’s neck and pierced the spinal cord dangerously close to his brain.
For Toby, the discovery of the needle, with its thread still attached, meant undergoing emergency specialised veterinary treatment at the University of Edinburgh's Hospital for Small Animals at the Royal (Dick) School for Veterinary Studies.
After undergoing a CT scan to ensure the needle had not caused serious damage to the spine, Toby was admitted so that vets using state of the art technology could carry out intricate surgery.
Vets fears Toby the Yorkie had a brain tumour. (Image: Alexander Jamieson)
CT scan shows needle embedded in Toby's spine (Image: University of Edinburgh)
Three-inch needle removed from Toby's spine with thread still attached (Image: University of Edinburgh)
By focussing on his neck with specialist X-ray equipment to provide real-time images, the operating team were able to remove the needle without having to resort to invasive procedures.
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Weeks after having surgery, Toby is back walking and running normally, but how he managed to get the potentially deadly needle lodged in his spine remains a mystery.
Vets suspect Toby could either have swallowed the needle or somehow laid his head on it.
Toby’s relieved owner Alexander Jamieson, from Beauly, near Inverness, said: “We feel that without the help of the experts in Edinburgh, Toby would not be here today.
Toby is back walking, running and resting (Image: Alexander Jamieson)
"The care and attention he got was out of this world and we are delighted to see him back to his old self.”
Senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh's Hospital for Small Animals at the Royal School for Veterinary Studies Samantha Woods, along with senior clinical training scholar in small animal surgery Jessica McCarthy, are both delighted with Toby’s recovery.
Ms Woods said: “We are really pleased to see Toby back to full health, thanks to the combined efforts of his vets and our specialist teams here in Edinburgh.”