You Make The Diagnosis: Name The Foreign Body

A dog presented for limping on its front leg.  It had been doing so for one week.  As an aside, please do not wait one week to seek medical attention when your dog is limping!  The area below the elbow was swollen and extremely painful.  The lightest touch caused the dog to scream.  The dog is fully vaccinated, on preventative for heartworms, fleas and ticks.  Once the dog was anesthetized, two sharp foreign bodies were felt under the skin in the area below the elbow.  Look at the picture and name the foreign body.

Diagnosis:  Cactus Thorns

Close inspection of the image reveals a long thorn in the jaws of the forceps.  If you look on the left side, you will see another incision where the other thorn was removed.  Below is a close-up of the thorns.  Ouch! 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.