A very lucky dog
At Filham Park we often see dogs with stick injuries. These usually result from them impaling the back of their mouths on sticks thrown by owners.
Early one Monday morning a worried client phoned to say that her dog Sebastian had a stick injury. Expecting to see a Labrador with a sore mouth we were surprised when Sebastian arrived with a stick protruding from his chest. The owner had found her dog impaled on a stick at the bottom of the garden and rushed him into us.
On arrival at the practice, Ray (one of our veterinary nurses) grabbed the dog and carried him through to the prep room where Sebastian was given life saving treatment with Oxygen.
X-rays were taken once Sebastian had been stabilised, these show that the stick had extended into his chest and the end of it was lying very close to his heart. Air had entered into his chest cavity through the hole made by the stick causing his left lung to collapse and causing him to have significant breathing difficulties.
Once Sebastian was given a general anaesthetic Clare performed open chest surgery to examine the damage to the organs in his chest. Fortunately she found that the stick had travelled between the lung lobes, not tearing any of the lung tissue, and the end was very close to the pericardium (the sac containing his heart). The stick was withdrawn and a chest drain was placed(this is to allow the air that is in the chest outside of the lungs to be drained off) and the incision and wound in the chest were closed; Sebastian made a fantastic recovery from the anaesthetic in true Labrador style and was up and eating within two hours. Within 2 weeks Sebastian was completely back to his normal bouncy self.