Welcome to Lab Blog!

I started Lab Blog to share my experiences and help other dog lovers with their beloved furry companions. Some articles will deal with specific medical conditions and treatments. Others will just recount the many joys and sorrows of living, loving and losing our best friends.

PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT a veterinarian, nor am I trying to play one on the Internet!

My intent is simply to offer the knowledge and insight I have gained in nearly 35 years of owning, training, breeding and loving my own dogs. I hope you find it amusing, informative and useful.

Thanks for visiting!

Lab Mama

Deer Antlers & Similar Chews Can Be Extremely Dangerous!

This information was provided by the Veterinary Speciality and Emergency Center in Pennsylvania.  PLEASE supervise your dog when giving toys or treats!

These are digital x-rays and photos of one of our patients who presented to the hospital gagging, retching, vomiting, and appearing uncomfortable. On examination, he was tense, guarding his neck, and hyper salivating during the general examination, worse when palpating the neck. 

Radiographs were taken showing a radiopaque structure in the cervical and ventral neck. (Lateral and V/D thoracic radiographs are the top 2 photos)

Based on the history, examination, and radiograph results, the decision was made to place the patient under general anesthesia for surgical evaluation. When attempting to intubate him for general anesthesia, the object was visualized in the oropharynx (picture 1). During further evaluation, while shaving the patient to make a surgical sterile field, picture 2 (middle on the right) shows the deer antler attempting to exit through the skin on the ventral chest.

Fortunately for the patient, the deer antler did not actually enter the thoracic cavity, rather exited through lateral oropharynx into the subcutaneous tissues, sparing important structures including the esophagus, trachea, and major vessels. The object was removed digitally (bottom picture, picture 3), and endoscopy was used to confirm the esophagus, stomach, and other vital structures were unharmed.

Our patient is doing well, but he was one of the lucky ones.

Deer antlers, large bones, and rawhides can be dangerous! If swallowed, they can block the air passage or gastrointestinal tract.

Please avoid using large or sharp bones as treats. Moreover, when using rawhides or larger treats, supervise your pet. When the rawhide or treat is small enough to be potentially swallowed whole, replace it with another treat to prevent complications.

Dr. Garret Pachtinger, DACVECC
Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center.
301 Veterans Highway Levittown, PA 19056
1114 South Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

No comments:

Post a Comment