Case Description—A 2.96-kg (6.5-lb) 9-month-old spayed female domestic longhair cat was admitted for removal of a tracheal foreign body.
Clinical Findings—The cat had moderate respiratory distress but otherwise appeared to be healthy. Thoracic radiography revealed a foreign body in the trachea.
Treatment and Outcome—The cat was anesthetized and endoscopy of the trachea was performed in an attempt to retrieve the foreign body. Endoscopic removal was unsuccessful because of the shape and smooth texture of the foreign body. Surgical removal of the foreign body was not considered ideal because of its location and the risks associated with tracheotomy. Fluoroscopic-guided placement of an over-the-wire balloon catheter caudal to the foreign body was followed by inflation of the balloon and gradual traction in an orad direction, which resulted in successful removal of the foreign body (identified as a piece of landscaping gravel). The cat required supplemental oxygen and supportive care following removal of the foreign body.
Clinical Relevance—A fluoroscopic technique was used as a minimally invasive alternative to endoscopy or open-chest surgery for removal of a foreign body from the trachea of a cat. Use of this technique allowed uninterrupted ventilation of the cat throughout the procedure. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010;237:689-694)