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  • Houdini’s thorn in his side

    Posted on by Cat

    Houdini presented with a one month history of a 5 cm by 4 cm swelling and weeping wound to his flank. The swelling had previously been drained and flushed but had recurred again. The wound was sore and Houdini was feeling very under the weather.

    Houdini was given a general anaesthetic and a radiographic contrast dye was injected into the wound to outline its extent when x-rays were taken. The x-rays also confirmed that the wound did not extend into the abdominal cavity. Methylene blue dye was then injected prior to surgical exploration – this allows the surgeon to follow the wound tract down along the dyed tissue. On surgical exploration a small tract of blue dye eventually lead to a 1mm long (or short!) blackthorn tip. Blackthorns are well known for causing severe infections and tissue reactions so it should be no surprise that this tiny foreign body was causing such a huge problem. The wound was flushed, debrided and closed.

             

    Contrast X-ray              Methylene Blue Dye      Blackthorn                  Immediately Post-Op

     

    Three weeks later there is now no sign of recurrence and Houdini is back to his Springer Spaniel self.

     

    Cat
    ABOUT CAT ARTHURS BSc (Hons), DVM, CertSAS, MRCVS
    Joined Towcester Veterinary Centre in 2005 and now a partner, Cat enjoys all aspects of surgery but has a special interest in orthopaedics and laparoscopy.
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