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Complete Tracheal Rupture in Small Animals

6 March 2018 – News

Complete tracheal rupture in small animals is normally due to trauma and a potentially fatal condition. Fortunately, this is not a common occurrence.

As far as the authors know, this is the first article that describes how the anesthesia and the successful surgical treatment of complete tracheal rupture was performed in a dog and a cat. Both pets displayed difficulties breathing and subcutaneous emphysema on their initial clinical assessment.

All procedures required careful management to favor these animals’ ventilation and oxygenation. Diagnostic tests were kept to a minimum and clinicians opted for computerized tomographic (CT) imaging over routine radiography to cause less stress and discomfort to the animals involved. A complete tracheal transection was diagnosed in both cases, which were surgically repaired shortly after.

The animals were kept in a sternal position or lateral recumbency whenever possible, including during the preparation for surgery, and were only turned into dorsal recumbency once the surgeons were ready to begin. Thanks to an effective and well-coordinated team this dog and this cat were able to go home just a few days after surgery.

In Morath U, Gendron K, Revés NV, Adami C. (2015). Perioperative and Anesthetic Management of Complete Tracheal Rupture in One Dog and One Cat. American Hospital Association (51:1)