Surgical removal of a microchip from a puppy’s spinal canal

Publication date 1st July 2008
Authors Noel Fitzpatrick, T. J. Smith


A 1.6 kg, six-week-old Tibetan Terrier was admitted with a 12-hours history of acute onset of progressive tetraparesis following insertion of a microchip to the dorsal cervical region. Neurological examination indi- cated a lesion to the Ce1 to Ce5 spinal cord segments. Radiographic examination confirmed the intra-spinal location of a microchip foreign body at the level of the second cervical vertebra. Microchip removal was achiev- ed following dorsal hemi-laminectomy; significant intra-operative haemorrhage was encountered. The puppy was ambulatory at day seven. Follow-up tele- phone interview 18 months postoperatively confirmed that the patient had made a good recovery although it had a mild residual right- sided torticollis.