Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists, LLC

2409 Omro Road
Oshkosh, WI 54904-7713


Flynn, the Secret Tailor

Flynn is a very sweet and handsome seven-year-old dachshund mix. He was adopted several years ago and loved playing with toys. Shortly after he was adopted, Flynn gradually started having trouble chewing. His new mom and dad noticed that he was not opening his mouth as much as he used to.

A few years ago, he also developed a sore on his head, between the right eye and right ear. The sore would improve on antibiotics, but it would return after several months. Flynn also became shier and more resistant to people petting his head or looking in his mouth. It got so bad he would sometimes snap if anyone tried to open his mouth. He had a few dental cleanings and extractions with his vet, but the problem continued.

In December 2019, Flynn’s difficulty with opening his mouth became much worse. He visited our friends at Animal Hospital of DePere for another dental assessment. They astutely noticed that it was difficult to open his mouth, even under anesthesia. His dental radiographs (x-rays) were normal. They decided to take x-rays of his temporomandibular joint to make sure there were no problems with the hinge joint of the jaw. To everyone’s amazement, they found a sewing needle was lodged in his head!

The sewing needle was vertically positioned with the sharp side up. The eye of the needle was on the tongue side of the lower jaw, but far behind the last molar. The needle continued along the inside of the zygomatic arch (cheek bone) and ended with the sharp point just behind, and to the side of the right eye. His veterinarian tried to retrieve the needle but was unsuccessful in doing so.

Flynn was referred to Drs. Honzelka and Kressin, at Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists for removal of the needle. When Flynn was anesthetized, our radiographs confirmed the continued presence of the needle. Dr. Honzelka could feel the needle deep under the skin, near the scars on his head from the chronic recurring sores.

A surgical incision was made over the spot where the needle was felt. After some gentle dissection, the needle was found and carefully removed. The nearly two-inch sewing needle was removed intact. The site was flushed and sutured. Flynn was discharged later that day with pain relievers and antibiotics.

Over two months later, Flynn’s mom reports that he is happy, playful, chewing on toys, and roughhousing with his “sister”. There has been no recurrence of the swelling and he is opening his mouth normally. We all hope he doesn’t take up quilting.

Flynn, patiently awaiting surgery.

Flynn’s head x-ray showing the position of the needle. (Radiograph courtesy of Animal Hospital of DePere.)

Flynn’s head x-ray showing the position of the needle. (Radiograph courtesy of Animal Hospital of DePere.)

Taking it easy at home a month after surgery.

The needle removed from Flynn.