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