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Traumatic lung injury attributed to tornadic activity–induced barometric pressure changes in two dogs

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 7-year-old castrated male Italian Greyhound (dog 1) and an approximately 1-year-old female Labrador Retriever (dog 2) were evaluated because of respiratory distress 8 and 10 days, respectively, after a tornado.

CLINICAL FINDINGS No obvious external injuries were identified auscultation revealed decreased bronchovesicular sounds in the affected hemithorax of both dogs. Clinicopathologic changes were mild, with evidence of inflammation in both dogs. Thoracic radiography of both dogs revealed pneumothorax and pleural effusion with effacement of the diaphragm; findings on CT included severe pulmonary atelectasis of affected lung lobes with normal bronchial tree configurtion and no evidence of diaphragmatic hernia.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Exploratory thoracotomy of both dogs confirmed CT findings Pulmonary parenchymal damage consistent with a large rupture was found in both patients. A large hematoma was adhered to the ruptured lung lobe of dog 1. Grossly affected lung tissue was removed; histologic examination revealed atelectasis, pulmonary fib osis, thrombosis, and minimal (dog 1) to marked (dog 2) inflammation Microbial culture of lung tissue yielded no growth for dog 1 and Streptococcus spp and Escherichia coli susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid for dog 2. Dog 1 had a recurrence of pneumothorax treated by drainage with a thoracostomy tube 1 month after surgery. Eighteen months after surgery, both dogs were reportedly doing well.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Development of clinical signs after a tornado, together with clinical, diagnostic imaging, surgical, and histologic findings led to a presumptive diagnosis of pulmonary barotrauma for both dogs. Long-term outcome for these dogs, treated at a referral hospital, was good.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Cichocki (brandy.cichocki@okstate.edu).