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ISU Student Experience

Mirrah Case Study

Written by: Shae Atterberg • 2019 Scholar


Mirrah presented to IVS early in the morning after possible ingestion of a sewing needle and thread. She was a 10 month old spayed female domestic shorthair cat. She hadn’t experienced any past health problems.

Mirrah’s owner tried to retrieve the needle and thread from her mouth, and was uncertain whether she had swallowed it or it had fallen out. Her owner observed some gagging after the incident.

Physical Exam

Mirrah’s physical exam showed no abnormalities. Radiographic images of her abdomen were recommended to determine if she had swallowed the needle and thread.

Diagnostic results: The radiographic images showed a radiopaque needle and some kibble in Mirrah’s stomach. There were no other significant findings.


Mirrah was diagnosed with ingestion of a foreign body, more specifically a needle and thread.


As shown in the radiographic images, the needle and thread were still located in Mirrah’s stomach. Since the needle and thread hadn’t passed through the stomach yet, they could be removed using an endoscopic procedure instead of a surgical procedure. An endoscopic procedure doesn’t require an incision, so it is less invasive and has a shorter recovery period. Mirrah’s owner consented to the endoscopy.

Mirrah was sedated and placed under anesthesia. The endoscope was passed through her mouth and esophagus into her stomach. Endoscopic forceps were used to grip the needle, and the needle and thread were removed. Mirrah was taken off of anesthesia after her procedure and woke up soon after. She relaxed in her kennel at IVS and was supervised until she fully recovered from anesthesia.


The prognosis for Mirrah was excellent following the endoscopic removal of the foreign body. She was able to go home with her owner that afternoon and return to activities as usual.

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