Acute and chronic oropharyngeal stick injury in dogs: What protocol should be followed?
Vor, K. de
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When dogs play with, chew on or persistently carry sticks, injuries to the mouth, pharynx and possibly the oesophagus could occur. Acute oropharyngeal stick injuries (when the incident has been less than seven days ago) and chronic oropharyngeal stick injuries (when it has been more than seven days) can be dangerous and even life threatening. The University Clinic for Companion Animals at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht therefore has a protocol for the treatment of these cases. With the combination of a literature study, a patient review of 32 client owned dogs treated for (possible) acute or chronic stick injury at the UCCA between 2004 and 2011 and an evaluation of two surveys held among the patient owners and attending veterinarians, this protocol was reviewed for suitability and usability. It turned out that the protocol was largely in agreement with the current literature and was redeemed clear and understandable by the veterinarians who treated the patients. Most veterinarians used the protocol during treatment of their patient. Twenty-five dogs made a full recovery after treatment, five dogs died or were euthanized and the in two dogs the problems still remained after initial treatment. Looking at these results and positive comments from the veterinarians, it seems the protocol is suitable for treatment of oropharyngeal stick injury and usable by veterinarians. However, some improvements could be made, including a differentiation between acute and chronic oropharyngeal stick injury and the approach of the chronic case will have be described. Furthermore, the post-operative treatment should be added. The results of the literature study on how to handle patients with oropharyngeal stick injuries was combined with the approach described in the current protocol and the comments made by the veterinarians on what they thought of the protocol and what they would like to see into a new protocol. This protocol consists of a decision tree for a quick overview of the approach of acute and chronic cases of oropharyngeal stick injury and contains a step by step explanation of each step that should be taken during treatment of these patients.