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Veterinarian Technician June 2012 (Vol 33, No 6)

Final View: Fetch, Anyone?

by Maria Bingaman, CVT

    A 3.5-year-old, 52-lb, spayed Labrador retriever mix presented because of being impaled with a stick. While playing fetch with the owners, the dog jumped to catch the stick but instead landed on an end of it when it “bounced” off the ground. The stick entered the left side of the dog’s chest (FIGURE 1), producing a slight pneumothorax, as shown on a thoracic radiograph (FIGURE 2). The stick had penetrated the chest cavity, missing the heart and all lung tissue and stopping at the diaphragm. Despite the injury, the patient was surprisingly stable and was taken immediately to surgery. The stick was removed, the chest cavity lavaged, and a chest tube placed (FIGURE 3). The patient recovered uneventfully and went home 2 days later (FIGURE 4). She had no clue how lucky she was but was probably upset when she could no longer play with her favorite “toy.”

    stick in dog's chest

    Figure 1

    thoracic radiograph

    Figure 2

    chest tube

    Figure 3. The chest tube (blue arrow) and Penrose drain (white arrow).

    recovery

    Figure 4

    Let's See Your "Final View"

    Do you have a unique, visual case to share through the popular Final View series? All you need is a high-resolution, clinical image(s) or video with a 100- to 300-word description, including the patient's treatment and recovery. E-mail your submission to editor@vettechjournal.com. Authors receive $75 per published case! 

    NEXT: Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs

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