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Gastrocutaneous fistula in a dog
A non-healing wound at the caudal thorax wall in a middle-aged dog. Of course a fistula caused by a foreign body is one of the most likely differentials. But in this dog, the foreign body came from the stomach, and just its removal was not enough. A very informative case report!

A six-year-old, female Tibetan terrier was referred for investigation of a non-healing wound on the left caudal thorax.

A subcutaneous swelling had initially developed on the chest wall, followed by a draining tract from which seropurulent fluid drained for two months. There had been no response to antibiotic treatment.

Following radiographic and ultrasonographic examinations, a bone sequestrum from a fractured rib or a foreign body was suspected.

Surgical exploration of the wound identified a sinus tract and a wooden foreign body (an ice-lolly stick) was located in subcutaneous tissues.

Partial wound dehiscence of the surgical site occurred postoperatively, but healed after 10 days.

One month later, fluid began to discharge from the area again.

Further surgical exploration confirmed a gastrocutaneous fistula. Dissection of the fistula and surgical closure of the stomach, body wall and skin led to resolution of all signs.


Source: Brennan SF, Connery N, Tobin E, Mooney CT, Jones BR. (2004): Gastrocutaneous fistula as a result of migration of a foreign body in a dog. In: J Small Anim Pract. 2004 Jun;45(6):304-6.



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