You won’t believe what I removed from Daisy’s head!

Daisy, a 1 year pitbull, was found as a stray in the woods. She had wounds on her face and body, as well as an issue with her left eye. She had a hard time opening her jaw. Here is a picture of her head while under anesthesia.

Daisy, a 1 year old pit bull

She was taken to her family vet for medical care. A physical exam revealed a large, firm swelling on her lower left cheek. The mass was draining.

The mass was draining

To be safe, the vet wisely decided to take some X-rays to see what was going on inside. To everyone’s amazement, Daisy had a huge nail inside her head!

A nail in her jaw
The nail across her head

At this point, the vet contacted me regarding surgery to remove the nail.

We were able to fit Daisy in our schedule the very next day. This couldn’t wait!

There were multiple unanswered questions: How complicated would the surgery be? How was the nail involved with the jaw bone? How about the eye?

Luckily for Daisy, the surgery turned out to be simpler than anybody thought. I made an incision over the firm lump on her cheek. Once we found the nail head, I grabbed it with an instrument and gently pulled, and pulled, and pulled.

Here is the amazing, very short video showing removal of the nail – BUT PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IT IS A BIT GRAPHIC AND NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!!!

Link to

After surgery, we measured the nail at a whopping 3.5 inches long (9 cm). That’s more than half the width of this poor Daisy’s face! She recovered smoothly from anesthesia.

Her treatment nurse commented: “Daisy did very well after surgery. She was comfortably standing up in her run. Her vitals are normal. She can safely go home.”

So Daisy was sent to her new home, where she will hopefully live happily ever after.

Her new owner shared the following observations:

“Before surgery, she had this bizarre howl/growl/squeal. She now has a real bark.

Before, she couldn’t fully open her mouth. She can now, and she’s eating well.

She is acting like a real puppy. So happy! She is almost smiling!

She acts like a NEW dog today.

Thank you again!!!!!!!!!!!”

No one knows how Daisy ended up in the woods. Nobody knows what tragic events happened prior to her discovery. And certainly, no one knows how she ended up with a giant nail in her head!

She is lucky to have found such a generous soul, so willing to adopt her and care for her.

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free Certified

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling veterinary surgeon in Pennsylvania & New Jersey. An award-winning author, he loves to share his adventures in practice along with information about vet medicine and surgery that can really help your pets. Dr. Zeltzman specializes in orthopedic, neurologic, cancer, and soft tissue surgeries for dogs, cats, and small exotics. By working with local family vets, he offers the best surgical care, safest anesthesia, and utmost pain management to all his patients. Sign up to get an email when he updates his blog, and follow him on Facebook, too!