One of my most unusual cases was a Golden Retriever who walked into the hospital chewing on the end of a stick that was lodged under its skin. The owner had called in advance to say that her dog had impaled itself on a stick, and I was imagining a small puncture that I would need to clip and clean, and then maybe administer some antibiotics. Well, she called back prior to arrival to say that it was actually a big stick. Still, I had no idea what was about to walk in.
This was no ordinary stick — it was about 2 feet long and 1.5 inches in diameter, and entered under the skin right by the front limb and exited by the tail. Oddly enough, not showing any obvious signs of pain, the dog walked in wagging its tail and chewing on the stick, looking at me as if it wanted to play fetch. I took a radiograph just to make sure that there was no surprise chest penetration, and then took the pup off to surgery. There was no muscle involvement whatsoever, and the stick was easily removed, after which the wound was lavaged and sutured. Truly a bizarre case, with a happy outcome, and a testament to some of the predicaments our pets can get into. My only regret is not having had a digital camera that day!
Dr. Elvira Hoskins
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