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Treatment of a perforating thoracic bite wound in a dog with negative pressure wound therapy

Mirja C. Nolff Dr med vet1, Korbinian Pieper Dr med vet2, and Andrea Meyer-Lindenberg Prof med vet3
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  • 1 Clinic for Small Animal Surgery and Reproduction, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Veterinärstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.
  • | 2 Clinic for Small Animal Surgery and Reproduction, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Veterinärstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.
  • | 3 Clinic for Small Animal Surgery and Reproduction, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Veterinärstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 4-year-old male Dachshund was examined following a bite attack that had occurred 5 days previously. The dog had acutely deteriorated despite IV antimicrobial treatment and fluid therapy.

CLINICAL FINDINGS On initial examination, the patient was recumbent with signs of septic shock and a flail chest. Three penetrating wounds in the left thoracic wall with malodorous discharge were evident. The animal trauma triage score was 8 out of 18. Thoracic and abdominal radiography revealed displaced fractures of the left seventh, eighth, and ninth ribs and extensive subcutaneous emphysema. Additionally, a marked diffuse bronchointerstitial pattern, areas of alveolar pattern, and pneumothorax were present bilaterally.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Open surgical debridement with left lateral lung lobectomy and resection of portions of the left thoracic wall were performed. Extensive soft tissue loss precluded primary reconstruction. The defect was stabilized with a polypropylene mesh implant, and negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) at −100 mm Hg was initiated. Microbial culture and susceptibility testing of tissue samples indicated the presence of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius. The NPWT dressing was changed 2, 5, and 7 days after surgery. Treatment was well tolerated, and the mesh was completely covered with granulation tissue 10 days after surgery. On follow-up 5, 7, 12, and 19 months after surgery, the dog was clinically normal with no apparent complications.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that NPWT may be a valuable adjunct when treating small animal patients with severe thoracic trauma.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 4-year-old male Dachshund was examined following a bite attack that had occurred 5 days previously. The dog had acutely deteriorated despite IV antimicrobial treatment and fluid therapy.

CLINICAL FINDINGS On initial examination, the patient was recumbent with signs of septic shock and a flail chest. Three penetrating wounds in the left thoracic wall with malodorous discharge were evident. The animal trauma triage score was 8 out of 18. Thoracic and abdominal radiography revealed displaced fractures of the left seventh, eighth, and ninth ribs and extensive subcutaneous emphysema. Additionally, a marked diffuse bronchointerstitial pattern, areas of alveolar pattern, and pneumothorax were present bilaterally.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Open surgical debridement with left lateral lung lobectomy and resection of portions of the left thoracic wall were performed. Extensive soft tissue loss precluded primary reconstruction. The defect was stabilized with a polypropylene mesh implant, and negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) at −100 mm Hg was initiated. Microbial culture and susceptibility testing of tissue samples indicated the presence of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius. The NPWT dressing was changed 2, 5, and 7 days after surgery. Treatment was well tolerated, and the mesh was completely covered with granulation tissue 10 days after surgery. On follow-up 5, 7, 12, and 19 months after surgery, the dog was clinically normal with no apparent complications.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that NPWT may be a valuable adjunct when treating small animal patients with severe thoracic trauma.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Nolff (m.nolff@lmu.de).