Manhattan Dog "Jack" Saved After Eating 111 Pennies

Thursday, Mar 14, 2013  |  Updated 10:44 AM PDT
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A local dog needed some special veterinary care after swallowing 111 pennies.  Roseanne Colletti reports.

A local dog needed some special veterinary care after swallowing 111 pennies. Roseanne Colletti reports.

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A 13-year-old Manhattan pooch has lived to wag his tail after veterinaries performed emergency surgery to remove more than 100 pennies from his stomach.

The Jack Russell terrier, named Jack, swallowed 111 pennies last week when his owner, Tim Kelleher, wasn't watching and quickly became ill. Once he started vomiting, Kelleher rushed him to BluePearl Veterinary Partners, a specialty and emergency hospital on West 55th Street, to find out what was wrong.

Veterinaries took X-rays and discovered what appeared to be foreign objects inside of the pup; they recommended Jack have an emergency endoscopy to remove them. 

Using a scope fitted with a camera, Suliman Al-Ghazlat, a board-certified internal medicine specialist with BluePearl, was able to extract the pennies four or five at a time until all 111 cents were removed from the dog's belly.

The procedure took about four hours.

Amy Zalcman, the senior emergency doctor at BluePearl who oversaw Jack's treatment, said the dog could have died if the change had been left in his stomach. Pennies minted after 1982 are mostly made of zinc, which is considered toxic to pets. It can damage to animals' kidneys, liver and red blood cells. 

"Early and safe removal was absolutely imperative to Jack’s health,” Zalcman said. “If Jack would not have had the pennies removed, the consequences would have been fatal."

The dog's owner said his best friend is back to his normal self.

"He's doing great," Kelleher told the Daily News. "He's driving me crazy again." 

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