Computed tomography as an aid to management of chronic oropharyngeal stick injury in the dog

Nicholson, I and Halfacree, Z J and Whatmough, C and Mantis, P and Baines, S J (2008) Computed tomography as an aid to management of chronic oropharyngeal stick injury in the dog. JOURNAL OF SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE, 49 (9). pp. 451-457.

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the use of computed tomography scanning in the management of dogs with chronic signs after oropharyngeal stick injury. METHODS: Dogs with a final diagnosis of chronic oropharyngeal stick injury that underwent a computed tomography scan during their investigation were selected retrospectively from case files at the Royal Veterinary College, London. RESULTS: The six dogs were young (median age 3.1 years) and medium to large breed (19.0 to 42.0 kg). By the time of referral the most common clinical sign was cervical swelling (five dogs). Stick foreign bodies were apparent on the plain computed tomography images in all cases and appeared as well-demarcated, linear abnormalities. A ventral mid-line approach was used for foreign body retrieval, and the computed tomography findings corresponded well with the surgical findings, with stick foreign body length ranging from I to 7 cm. Closed suction drainage was used in five dogs, for two to four days. Clinical signs fully resolved postoperatively in all cases, although cervical swelling recurred three weeks after surgery in one case. This dog had the smallest foreign body, the greatest number of surgical interventions before referral (three) and the longest disease course before referral (eight months). CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Computed tomography scanning is accurate in identifying the presence and location of chronic stick foreign bodies. Recurrence of disease is possible despite successful retrieval of the wood fragments found by computed tomography scan.

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