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Treatment of intrathoracic grass awn migration with video-assisted thoracic surgery in two dogs

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  • 1 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 17-month-old sexually intact male Vizsla and a 2-year-old spayed female mixed-breed dog were examined because of suspected intrathoracic grass awn migration.

CLINICAL FINDINGS Thoracic CT revealed focal areas of pulmonary infiltration in the right caudal lung lobe in one dog and in the left caudal lung lobe in the other. In 1 patient, bronchoscopy revealed 2 grass awns in the bronchi. Results of thoracic radiography and bronchoscopy were unremarkable in the second patient; however, a grass awn was recovered from the tonsillar crypt during oropharyngeal examination.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME In both dogs, grass awns were successfully retrieved from the pleural cavity by means of video-assisted thoracic surgery during 1-lung ventilation. In one patient, a grass awn was recovered bronchoscopically from the left caudal lung lobe bronchus and another was visualized distally in an accessory lung lobe bronchus but could not be retrieved. This dog underwent accessory lung lobectomy. The second dog underwent left caudal lung lobectomy. Both patients recovered uneventfully from surgery, were discharged from the hospital, and had no apparent recurrence of clinical signs at telephone follow-up 31 months and 18 months after surgery.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE With careful case selection, successful management of intrathoracic grass awn migration in dogs can be achieved by means of video-assisted thoracic surgery. Comprehensive preoperative evaluation including both computed tomography and bronchoscopy is suggested. Further investigation is necessary to evaluate whether treatment of this condition with video-assisted thoracic surgery is as effective as with traditional open thoracotomy.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Mayhew (philmayhew@gmail.com).