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Gastrointestinal tract perforations caused by ingestion of multiple magnets in a dog


  • Presented in part at the 15th International Veterinary Emergency Critical Care Symposium, Chicago, IL, September 2009.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to
Dr. Mara C. Hickey, Advanced Critical Care of Los Angeles, 9599 Jefferson Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232-2917, USA. Email:


Objective – To describe a case of gastrointestinal tract perforation, septic peritonitis and coagulopathy caused by ingestion of multiple magnets in a dog.

Case Summary – An 8-month-old castrated male Rottweiler, weighing 30.5 kg was presented for evaluation of vomiting and weakness. Abdominal radiography and abdominal ultrasonographic examination identified a metallic foreign object within the gastric lumen, presence of free peritoneal gas, and peritoneal effusion. Septic peritonitis was diagnosed by abdominal fluid analysis. Exploratory celiotomy revealed the presence of an omental abscess, and gastric and colonic perforations. Four magnetic foreign objects were found within the lumen of the perforated stomach. Surgical management including removal of the magnets, abscess debridement and excision, perforation repair, and abdominal drainage combined with intensive medical therapy resulted in complete recovery of this dog.

New or Unique Information Provided – This report describes in detail the case management of a dog that developed both gastric and colonic perforations and severe morbidity secondary to ingesting multiple magnets.

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