A little while ago we were presented with a work dog who was jumped on by a weaner. The right side of the chest had collapsed and there were several broken ribs, forming what is known as a flail chest. As he took and breath inward the right side of his chest would cave in!
The patient went straight to surgery in order to repair the damage. In order to do this, the chest was opened meaning that the lungs were allowed to collapse and the patient required manual ventilation. The beating heart was clearly visible to the eye during surgery - a clear reminder to the surgeon that is was a life or death procedure!
Fortunately the ribs were able to be stabilized, then reconnected to make a stable chest wall. The air was scavenged from outside the lungs via a one way valve chest drain and the lungs subsequently re-inflated.
The drain was removed after a couple of days, and the dog was home within a week with orders of strict rest.
His owners dropped in recently and we were very pleased to learn that he is back at work, doing what he loves best!
#surgery #flailchest #romavet #workingdogs