A Thorny Problem for Ruby

Ruby is a happy 11 year old Beagle cross who got herself into some trouble earlier this year after her owners noticed a lump on her throat. This lump came up very fast and was leaking smelly yellow liquid (pus) which indicated it was infected, however, after a course of antimicrobials the lump remained unchanged. Ruby came into AdelaideVet Stirling to see Dr Tiffany who was concerned she may have something stuck inside her neck, preventing the infection from resolving, we needed a closer look so Ruby was admitted for an anaesthetic.

To prepare her for her anaesthetic, Ruby had a basic blood screen run to assess her internal organs and tailor her anaesthetic best for her needs. We also placed her on an intravenous drip before, during and after her procedure, this increases anaesthetic safety and also helps Ruby feel better on recovery.


Once in surgery, Dr Tiffany carefully incised Ruby’s skin and found a large lump sitting between her trachea (windpipe) and jugular vein. After some careful searching inside this lump, we found something very unexpected, a large rose stem...with thorns! This stem was very carefully removed from Ruby’s neck and measured in at a massive 8.5cm long! Some investigating revealed the stem had punctured under Ruby’s tongue and lodged deep into her neck, very fortunately not damaging any of the important structures nearby including the jugular vein, carotid artery, laryngeal nerve, trachea and oesophagus to name a few!

The wound was flushed out and sutured closed, with a Penrose drain in place to prevent excessive swelling and help any trapped pus drain freely. Due to the location of Ruby’s wound, she could not wear an Elizabethan collar (cone) for protection as this would be painful, so Ruby’s parents had to watch her very closely during her recovery.

Ruby is an incredibly lucky dog to have no major damage from this incident and hopefully, she thinks twice before playing with roses in the future!


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