Patch is a one and a half year old inquisitive and active male whippet who presented to the Prospect clinic one night in respiratory distress after an impaling chest injury.
He had been chasing a cat in the yard and ran straight into a sharp object at high speed. Patch immediately seemed to have trouble breathing and had a puncture wound through the skin on the front of his chest. His quick thinking owners rushed him to the clinic whilst trying to keep him calm on the way.
Patch was quickly admitted to hospital, placed on oxygen therapy and given strong pain relief. The wound through the skin was communicating with his chest cavity and made a sucking noise every time he took a breath. This was distressing for both Patch and his owners. A compressive bandage was placed over the wound to prevent anymore air from entering the chest cavity whilst his treatment was started.
X-rays confirmed that Patch had a pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity surrounding the lungs) on the left side of his chest and thoracocentesis (placing a needle into the chest cavity) was performed to retrieve the abnormal accumulation of air that was making it hard for Patch to breathe. He was soon rushed into theatre for emergency surgery to explore the penetrating injury and pieces of wooden material were removed deep within the wound.
Patch’s breathing soon stabilised after the surgery although he was monitored closely throughout the night. Patch stayed in hospital for two days post surgery, receiving fluid therapy, pain relief, and antibiotic therapy to prevent a serious infection in his chest.
Patch was also diagnosed with having Horner’s syndrome, where his pupil became small, his third eyelid prolapsed and his eye was sunken. This was due to the damage of nerves from his penetrating injury. He has normal vision from the eye and we are hoping that his eye will begin to appear more normal with time.
Patch showed great bravery during his treatment and is now recovering very well at home. He is being kept quiet and his exercise level will shortly return back to normal over the next few weeks. Patch is lucky to have such caring owners and we hope to see him soon without any injuries.