Lucky Dog: A Case Study from Our Surgery Department

Posted October 31, 2016 in Articles

Sean Kennedy, Chief of Surgery at Southern New Hampshire Veterinary Referral Hospital (SNHVRH), had a visit with Vader, a one and a half year old Husky mix, who was being evaluated for a possible foreign body in his eye area.

Vader was in the yard and came into the house with signs of squinting of his right eye and discomfort. He developed ocular discharge and had obvious pain when opening his mouth. His owner noted Vader frequently making a yawning-like motion that was associated with discomfort. Over the course of six weeks he failed to respond to courses of oral antibiotics.

Examination performed prior to Vader's referral to SNHVRH revealed only moderate discharge from the dog's eye and obvious pain on opening his mouth. No oral lesions were found. A foreign body was suspected based on the exam, amount of drainage and pain level.

A computed tomography (CT) scan was performed and the images were reconstructed to show a dramatic foreign body located in the temporalis muscle and the lateral orbit area. Vader’s eye was functioning normally and was undamaged except for his conjunctiva, so the decision was made to perform surgery to retrieve the foreign body that only the CT machine could see.

Vader was scheduled for surgery with our team, and with careful dissection, the foreign body was isolated and removed.  The foreign body turned out to be a large stick almost six inches in length!  

Doctor Kennedy is happy to report that Vader retains normal vision as of his last recheck, has no signs of ocular discharge and is free of pain on opening his mouth.  This was an incredible case for our team because the stick didn't create a single visible wound and caused no major damage even though it was a very large stick.   Vader is a truly lucky dog!

The stick and the CT Scan showing the foreign body