Dogs Eating Strange Objects – See What Bella Ate

Dogs Eating Strange Objects – See What Bella Ate

I had always heard about dogs eating strange objects, and couldn’t help but think “How did they get that?” Well, I experienced my own personal nightmare when my dog ingested a sewing needle.

My mom always watches my girls, Bella and Cammi, my two pitbull mixes, for a few hours while I am at work. She always gave me a good report about how they did for the day when I talked to her after work. One afternoon while she was watching the girls, she was sewing at my house. Cammi was at the door and wanted to go outside, so she placed her needle and thread on the dining room table without thinking about it. Bella must have been eyeing up the thread. She jumped up to the table and got to the thread and needle before my mom even realized it. My mom thought that maybe it just dropped on the ground and she couldn’t find it. A few hours later, I called her after work. She very calmly told me that she couldn’t find her needle and thread that she was using, and thought it dropped on the floor. We both thought there was no way Bella could have eaten it. Well, I got home, and it was nowhere to be found. I frantically called work and talked to one of our technicians. I was in shock, disbelief, and panicked all at the same time. I took her right into work to see what was going on. An x-ray of her abdomen was taken to see if anything could be detected. I almost fainted when I saw the result. There it was, the needle showed up in the x-ray. I couldn’t believe this happened. My mom felt horrible beyond words; she loves the girls just as much as I do, and would never intentionally put them in harm’s way.


The only option for Bella’s safety was an exploratory surgery. I just wanted this nightmare to be over. For some reason, I wanted to be at work while the surgery was going on. I thought it would be better for me to be there, just in case. I could barely stand the thought of my baby going into surgery. But, I trusted my team and knew they would do what was best for Bella. Dr. Coniglario performed Bella’s surgery, and everything went smoothly. I was devastated when they told me she had to stay overnight. I cried quite a bit, threw a fit, and knew it was best for her to recover at the hospital. Cammi and I spent the night on the sofa, just the two of us. I was an emotional wreck. Cammi missed Bella; this was the first time they were not together since they were born. She was definitely not herself. My heart was crushed when Cammi would go over to her food bowl, grab a few pieces, and put them by the front door, like Bella was coming for them. The next day I was so excited to go see Bella. She was still a little groggy, and I was instantly emotional again. I hugged her for the longest time. Every time I went to see her, I cried. That day was so emotional for me but I knew I had the best team of people helping her to get better. It was finally time for us to go home. Her recovery at home went well, but we were all nervous about her incision on her stomach. Luckily, Cammi did not lick Bella’s incision or help her pull her stitches out, and they were removed about 2 weeks later. She still has her scar, and I see it every time she lays on her back for a “tummy rub”. Seeing her scar makes me thankful for the GVH team that took such great care of her, and it also makes me upset again to think about all that we went through during that time. This experience has made us extremely conscious about anything that is placed in my girls’ reach, even though they know better than jumping on the table!

Amanda Seller, HR Assistant


Ultrasound – The Learning Continues for Dr. Hanlon

Ultrasound – The Learning Continues for Dr. Hanlon

Dr. Hanlon enrolled in an intensive ultrasound course that took him to Sound Eklin in Arlington, Texas for four weeks.  The course was an extensive study of both abdominal and cardiac ultrasound and included many tests and even homework!  Dr. Hanlon loves to learn new things so this was a very exciting and challenging course for him.  He believes that ultrasound can be an incredible tool in diagnosing abdominal and cardiac conditions with little stress to his patients.  “Learning the latest technology and techniques helps to improve the quality of medicine that we can provide our patients”, Dr. Hanlon says.

Ultrasound Class 2Ultrasound Wet Lab 2





So what is an Ultrasound? 

An ultrasound procedure is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) diagnostic procedure used to assess soft tissue structures such as muscles, blood vessels, and organs.

Ultrasound uses a transducer that sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed at certain locations and angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the skin and other body tissues to the organs and structures within. The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer. The transducer picks up the reflected waves, which are then converted by a computer into an electronic picture of the organs or tissues under study.

A clear conducting gel is placed between the transducer and the skin to allow for smooth movement of the transducer over the skin and to eliminate air between the skin and the transducer for the best sound conduction.

Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function (in “real time,” like a live TV broadcast), and to assess blood flow through various vessels. Ultrasound procedures are often used to examine many parts of the body such as the abdomen and the vascular system. During pregnancy, ultrasounds are performed to evaluate the development of the fetus(es).

Ultrasound - Mary Grace Hanlon

Dr. Hanlon performing an ultrasound on Mary Grace.

 What are the different types of ultrasound procedures?

Different ultrasound techniques exist for different conditions. Examples of some of the more common types of ultrasound examinations include the following:

  • Doppler ultrasound. Used to see structures inside the body, while evaluating blood flow at the same time. Doppler ultrasound can determine if there are any problems within the veins and arteries.
  • Vascular ultrasound. Used to see the vascular system and its function, including detection of blood clots.
  • Echocardiogram. Used to see the heart and its valves, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the heart’s pumping ability.
  • Abdominal ultrasound. Used to detect any abnormalities of the abdominal organs (i.e., kidneys, liver, pancreas, gallbladder), such as gallstones or tumors.
  • Renal ultrasound. Used to examine the kidneys and urinary tract.
  • Obstetrical ultrasound. Used to monitor the development of the fetus.

How are ultrasounds performed?

Generally, an ultrasound procedure follows this process:

  1. In almost all cases, an ultrasound is performed while the patient is sedated.
  2. The area under assessment is shaved so that there is a smooth surface for the transducer to perform properly.
  3. A gel-like substance will be smeared on the area of the body to undergo the ultrasound (the gel acts as a conductor).
  4. Using a transducer, a tool that sends ultrasound waves, the ultrasound will be sent through the patient’s body.
  5. The sound from the transducer will be reflected off structures inside the body, and the information from the sound waves will be analyzed by a computer.
  6. The computer will create an image of these structures on a television screen. The moving pictures can be recorded.

-Diane, BA

GVH Business Manager


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