Penny Costs Family Thousands In Veterinary Bills

By: Nadia Galindo Email
By: Nadia Galindo Email
A single penny ended up costing a local woman $9,000 in veterinary bills.

This miniature pinscher named Mollie is lucky to be alive after she swallowed a penny.

SPEEGLEVILLE (January 19, 2013)--A miniature pinscher named Mollie is lucky to be alive after she swallowed a penny back in October.

Mollie's owner Jerri James said she was vomiting and having diarrhea so she took her to an emergency veterinarian.

"They had diagnosed her with pancreatitis which is not common for a dog of her age and size," James said.

Even with the diagnosis Mollie was still touch and go.

"She was feeling better but she was stilling having the diarrhea and her blood count was dropping," said veterinarian Vickie Surbur, Live Oak Veterinary.

A specialist in Dallas ordered an x-ray and discovered a penny which was removed without surgery.

"Pennies have zinc in them, and as your stomach acids start to work on the zinc, the zinc goes into your system and is toxic to your blood," Surbur said.

James was shocked to learn that the cause of Mollie's poor health stemmed from a penny she swallowed.

"I figured they could choke on it, but not to that extreme in that way, I had no idea," James said.

All the special care Mollie needed to survive cost James $9,000 and a penny.

"It's a massive bill that we still have to pay back," James said. "It's a lesson learned, pick up your change, because you have no idea what it can do."

Mollie is doing better now but is still on some medications as her body works to get rid of the remaining zinc in her system.

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