Yorkshire terrier Toby’s owners took their pet to the vet after noticing that he was suffering from neck pain, struggling to walk and showing signs of seizures.
The vet suspected that the 13-year-old dog might have a brain tumour and took X-rays of Toby’s head.
However the X-rays revealed that he in fact had a 7cm metal sewing needle with thread attached lodged in his neck, piercing his spinal cord and dangerously close to his brain.
Toby was referred to the specialist surgical clinic at the University of Edinburgh’s Hospital for Small Animals at the Royal (Dick) School for Veterinary Studies, where vets performed a CT scan to evaluate any major damage to Toby’s spinal cord.
During surgery they used specialist X-ray equipment to view the needle in real time, an approach which allowed the surgeons to carefully remove the object without the need for an invasive operation.
Toby has recovered well since the needle was removed last year and is now back walking and running normally.
His owner Alexander Jamieson, said: “We feel that without the help of the experts in Edinburgh, Toby would not be here today.
“The care and attention he got was out of this world and we are delighted to see him back to his old self.”
It is not known how the needle ended up in Toby’s neck but vets suspect that he could have eaten it or laid his head on it.
Samantha Woods, senior lecturer, and Jessica McCarthy, senior clinical training scholar in small animal surgery at the Hospital for Small Animals at the University of Edinburgh, are 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.”