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Surgery: Case of the Month

(a) German Shepherd Cranium
May 31, 2013

(a) German Shepherd Cranium

A client brought his German Shepherd to Penn Vet because the dog had an open, draining wound on the side of his head. The wound had been draining for two years, even though the dog had already undergone an unsuccessful surgery.

Initial Treatment Protocol:
Penn Vet Radiology and Surgery clinical teams examined the dog's skull tissue using a CT-Scan.

Can You Find the Object?
Look at the top right portion of the bone tissue. Just above it, you'll see an arrow pointing to a lighter spot. Watch as the spot moves closer to the skull in the next radiographs.

(b) German Shepherd Cranium
May 31, 2013

(b) German Shepherd Cranium

The object (pointed to by the red arrow) has not only migrated closer to the skull tissue, but it looks as if there is now a small lip of bone starting to emerge next the object.

(c) German Shepherd Cranium
May 31, 2013

(c) German Shepherd Cranium

As the CT scan travels along the length of the skull, the bone tissue seems to be growing over the object.

(d) German Shepherd Cranium
May 31, 2013

(d) German Shepherd Cranium

Probably because the object has been in the dog's head for so long, the bone tissue seems to have continued to grow around the foreign object.

(e) German Shepherd Cranium
May 31, 2013

(e) German Shepherd Cranium

At its furthest point, the foreign object is now nearly completely surrounded by bone tissue that has grown around it.

Next: Watch as surgeons remove the object (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_KK6Dzfqpk)

What's been buried in the dog's head for more than two years is.... a stick!

Once the stick was removed from the dog's head, the wound healed without any further issues.

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  • (a) German Shepherd Cranium
  • (b) German Shepherd Cranium
  • (c) German Shepherd Cranium
  • (d) German Shepherd Cranium
  • (e) German Shepherd Cranium

What Happened: The Surgery

Watch as surgeons remove the object:



About the Surgeon

Dr. David Holt, Penn Vet, Ryan Hospital Surgery

David Holt, BVSc

Professor of Surgery, DACVS

Dr. Holt's specialties include soft-tissue surgery, imaging cancer during surgery, portosystemic shunts, brachycephalic airway disease, and laryngeal paralysis.