Toxic Pennies to Blame for Clearwater Critical Care Case

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital here treated their first critical care case at BluePearl’s Clearwater location, Saturday, after a chihuahua was transferred there from the family veterinarian for a blood transfusion due to signs of anemia.

This was the first critical care emergency since the hospital started operating 24 hours a day in July.

Once at BluePearl, Dr. Jacqueline Nobles, a critical care resident, performed an initial assessment of the 6-month-old, male chihuahua named Sasha, and recommended for X-rays to be taken.

The X-rays confirmed Noble’s suspicions and showed what appeared to be foreign objects inside of the dog’s stomach.

Nobles then performed an emergency endoscopy procedure to remove what ended up being three pennies, one-by-one.

The pennies were being eaten away by stomach acid, which caused the dog to develop toxicosis, a form of poisoning, due to the zinc inside of the pennies. If left untreated, the results can be deadly.

Since being treated at BluePearl, Sasha’s mom said his appetite has returned and he is doing much better.

“I’m glad we were able to help,” said Nobles. “Since going 24-hours a day, we have already seen a steady increase in the number of Pinellas county families we’ve been able to help.”

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners employs more than 1,350 people including more than 350 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals offer referral-only, specialty care services and most offer 24-hour emergency care. BluePearl does not provide primary care. The company is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship programs. BluePearl also participates in clinical trials that investigate the effectiveness of new veterinary drugs and treatments, providing pet families access to cutting-edge medicine that is not yet commercially available. BluePearl is headquartered in Tampa, Fla.