Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fun with radiation

After spending three hours of a glorious sunny September afternoon stuck in a dark room staring at X-rays, I decided I should let all of you in on the fun too! Credit to fellow vet student blogger Nearly-Dr Ferox, who started putting up X-ray challenges ages ago.
Here's one of the X-rays we had to interpret today. If it helps, we're currently focusing on abdominal radiographs. What's wrong with this dog?
A little history: the dog was presented with acute dyspnea (difficulty breathing). Click here to see a larger version.

For comparison sake, you can see a normal canine chest radiograph here, and a normal abdominal radiograph here.

*update: hint #1- check out that chest cavity compared to the normal dog...


Gayle said...

is it a diaphragmatic hernia? Justa guess. If it is the dog is in a heapo trouble Mom

Megan Watland said...

We have a winner! The dog has a diaphragmatic hernia. Normally we should see nice black lungs surrounding the heart, but in this dog, essentially his entire gastrointestinal tract is in the left side of his chest cavity. His left lung is collapsed and his right lung is compressed much smaller than normal (hence the difficulty breathing). His heart is also displaced to the right. Also note how "clean" the abdomen looks- no nice twisty gut loops like we'd expect to see. He also has quite the massive bladder- someone get a urinary catheter into him, or take him out to pee!

This is definitely a surgical emergency.

nice work mom :)

Gayle said...

Yeah no problem. I never saw an xray of a diaphragmatic hernia i a dog until now but I have seen enough of them in infants. It is a scary diagnosis that requires surgery, chest tubes, high frequency ventilation and sometimes ECMO. Most of the time the baby does OK but the hospitalization is long and hard and EXPENSIVE. How do dogs noramlly do after this type of surgery? Mom