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Veterinarian Technician January 2013 (Vol 34, No 1)

Final View: Getting the Point

by Amy Hodneifield, RVT, Carrie Schwake, RVT, VTS (SAIM)

    A 5-year-old, 18.2-lb (40-kg), neutered pointer mix presented to the Iowa State University Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center with a 3-week history of lethargy, weight loss, and inappetence and a 1.5-week history of left nasal epistaxis. The results of a complete blood count, complete blood chemistry profile, and urinalysis were within normal limits. In addition, thoracic radiographs appeared normal. Computed tomography and rhinoscopy with the patient under general anesthesia were recommended for the next day.

    Computed tomography showed the exact location of a foreign body—an approximately 6 × 3–cm, metal, broad-head arrowhead. Skull radiography helped characterize the position of the arrowhead (FIGURE 1FIGURE 2). The owners had no idea how the arrowhead had gotten into their dog’s nasal cavity.

    Due to financial constraints and the need to better visualize the object during removal, fluoroscopy was used to attempt to remove the arrowhead. Unfortunately, this procedure was unsuccessful due to the size and location of the arrowhead. The owners elected to take the dog home until a rhinotomy could be performed at a later date.

    The dog underwent a rhinotomy 3 days later. The procedure and recovery went well, with only minimal epistaxis and mild subcutaneous emphysema. The dog was discharged to the owners the next day. Two weeks later, the dog presented for suture removal, and the owners reported no nasal discharge.

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