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Dog bounces back from death after needle found in neck

Yorkshire terrier Toby was saved by specialist animal surgeons in Edinburgh.

A much-loved dog has bounced back to full health after a lifesaving operation to remove a three-inch needle lodged in its neck.

The Yorkshire terrier's owners rushed 13-year-old Toby to a Highland vet, whose initial diagnosis was that the pet's acute pain, immobility and signs of seizure may have been caused by cancer.

However, a quick-thinking member of the team at the Moray Coast Vet Group opted for an x-ray which revealed a needle stuck in the dog's throat that had pierced its spinal cord.

Lifesaving: Toby with owner Heather Jamieson.
Lifesaving: Toby with owner Heather Jamieson. Iain Ramage

Specialist surgeons in Edinburgh were able to extract it and Toby has gone on to make a full recovery.

Owner Heather Jamieson, from Beauly, near Inverness, said: "Without the help of the experts, Toby wouldn't be here today.

"The care and attention he got was out of this world and we're delighted to see him back to his old self."

Danger: Heather Jamieson with a needle similar to the one lodged in Toby.
Danger: Heather Jamieson with a needle similar to the one lodged in Toby. Iain Ramage

In August 2018, Toby was referred to the specialist surgical clinic at the University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School for Veterinary Studies, where vets performed a CT scan to assess any major damage to his spinal cord.

They found that the sewing needle - which still had thread attached - was dangerously close to his brain.

Mrs Jamieson believes Toby was probably stabbed by the needle while rolling on a favourite fluffy rug.

'Without the help of the experts, Toby wouldn't be here today'
Heather Jamieson, Toby's owner

Samantha Woods, senior lecturer, and Jessica McCarthy, senior clinical training scholar in small animal surgery, said they were delighted with Toby's progress.

Ms Woods added: "We're really pleased to see Toby back to full health, thanks to the combined efforts of his vets and our specialist teams here in Edinburgh."

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