Thursday, August 13, 2009

My most unusual veterinary case

The Little Bear Kennels were perhaps the largest kennel of Newfoundlands in our Land and I was consulted regularly over the years. One Cesarean section resulting in 18 puppies was a record for our Clinic. Another case revealed a spherical object in the abdomen on xray that was a golf ball. That's when I learned that golf balls are made up with barium, the substance used in xray diagnostic tests in the medical field. But the most bazaar case was of a male Neuf that had been ailing for over a year and had been examined by experts in the Philadelphia area and in New York City without success. As presented as a last chance the huge framed dog weighed under 100 pounds skin and bones. There was no way I would repeat tests done at much more prestigious institutions that had treated the animal but one approach not mentioned and one I often found helpful was what is called a laporatomy or surgery to the abdominal cavity to look around. I did diagnose that case before he died. Moving the internal organs around out of the corner of my eye I noticed the throat move every time I moved my hand to adjust the view. I called for an attendant to look down the poor dog's throat- I, being in surgery and not willing to contaminate my hands. I was told there was some sort of cord under the tongue and descending down the throat. At that moment the dog died on the table. He had eaten a cord that is used for tying up a roast of beef, caught a loop under ihis tongue and the cord being long enough to reach into the intestine, the dog could not vomit it up. In the course of time the cord had not only severed part of the tongue but the severed part had grown back over the cord. The part of the cord in the intestine had caused a kinking of that organ where it had cut through causing an infection that was the last straw with the surgery. During the year of illness no one thought to look down the dogs throat including me until the end.

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