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Acute Oropharyngeal and Esophageal Stick Injury in Forty-One Dogs

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Objective

To report clinical findings, treatment, and outcome in dogs with acute (<7 days) oropharyngeal or esophageal stick injury. Study Design

Retrospective study. Animals

Dogs (n=41) with acute oropharyngeal or esophageal injury. Methods

Dogs had clinical and radiographic examination, and frequently, cervical surgical exploration. The decision to operate was based on radiographic findings of cervical emphysema. Outcome was determined by owner or veterinarian interview. Results

Of 41 dogs, 27 had oropharyngeal injury and 14 had esophageal injury. Five dogs with esophageal injury died. All dogs with radiographic evidence of cervical emphysema (n=34) had ventral median cervical exploration or necropsy; 11 had wood fragment(s) retrieved. In 7 dogs without radiographic signs of cervical emphysema, wounds involving the pharynx or soft palate were treated by local debridement and lavage using an oral approach. Mean follow-up time was 36.4 months. All wounds healed without complication; however, 1 dog that was not surgically explored had a piece of wood surgically retrieved 3 months later. Conclusions

Radiographic evidence of cervical emphysema is a frequent finding in dogs with acute penetrating oropharyngeal or esophageal injury and indicates trauma to the deeper cervical tissues. Acute penetrating injury of the oropharyngeal region, when treated appropriately, has a better prognosis than acute esophageal penetration. Clinical Relevance

Ventral median cervical surgical exploration is recommended in dogs with acute penetrating injury of the oropharynx or esophagus if there is radiographic evidence of tissue emphysema.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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