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Veterinarian Technician April 2011 (Vol 32, No 4)

Final View: A "Heart" of Stone

by Diane Becker, RVT

    Susannah, a 1-year-old West Highland terrier, had endured a rough first year. Just months after being spayed, she required two abdominal exploratory surgeries, 1 month apart, to remove a total of six rocks from her gastrointestinal tract. Even with strict owner supervision and a basket muzzle, 2 months later, Susannah started vomiting, so her owner brought her in immediately, and radiography revealed a surprising, but “lovely,” image (FIGURE 1) .

    An intravenous catheter was placed, and a bolus of crystalloid fluid was administered. Gastrotomy revealed a heart-shaped decorative stone (FIGURE 2) . After surgery, Susannah received pain control medication by constant-rate infusion as well as antibiotics and gastroprotectants. Susannah recovered from this surgery with no complications and was discharged 2 days later.

    Unfortunately, Susannah, now 3 years of age, has since undergone three more abdominal exploratory surgeries and an endoscopic procedure to remove rocks. Fortunately, she has recovered well from all the procedures.

    NEXT: Inside Behavior: Nail Trims Do Not Have to Be "Torture" for Dogs or You

    didyouknow

    Did you know... Chylothorax is definitively diagnosed by comparing triglyceride levels in paired pleural fluid and serum samples. The level of triglycerides in a chylous effusion is greater than that in serum.Read More

    These Care Guides are written to help your clients understand common conditions. They are formatted to print and give to your clients for their information.

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