Mingo, a young female spayed adult dog, presented to VSEC 9/3/14 for wheezing, inappetence and lethargy. She had been originally found as a stray with a collar embedded in her neck. The collar was removed prior to her being taken in by PAWS and fostered. Since being fostered, Mingo was noted to have a hacking cough after drinking that produced water and foam. On the day of presentation Mingo was noted to be lethargic, inappetent and have trouble breathing. Chest x-rays on presentation showed a tracheal stricture (narrowing of the tracheal lumen) as well as lung changes suspected to be associated with pneumonia.
Mingo was admitted to the hospital. The day after admission she was taken to surgery for removal the tracheal stricture via a resection and anastomosis procedure. In the days following the surgery Mingo recovered in the hospital and her breathing was significantly improved. She began eating well on her own without the need for supplementation through her feeding tube. Mingo’s pneumonia improved with antibiotic therapy and within 6 days Mingo was discharged for further care at home.
After returning to her foster care, Mingo’s cough persisted and she started having episodes of gagging and regurgitation at home. Over the next month Mingo developed hypersalivation. She presented 10/14 for a marked worsening over the previous 1-2 weeks with worsened lethargy and coughing/gagging despite a good appetite. Two small wounds were discovered on either side of Mingo’s neck during one recheck appointment. The wounds were clipped and cleaned.
In order to investigate Mingo’s new clinical signs of gagging and hypersalivating she was admitted to the hospital for a CT imaging and endoscopy of the trachea and esophagus. CT findings included abnormal esophageal dilation and collapse of one lung lobe. Inspection of the previous tracheal surgical site with endoscopy showed mild narrowing of the surgical site and the esophagus appeared dilated but otherwise normal. Following the CT procedure while Mingo was still under anesthesia a small piece of foreign material was identified within one of the previously noted cervical wounds. The foreign material was grasped with a hemostat and only partially removed. It appeared to be a piece of flexible plastic.
Following the CT procedure Mingo’s clinical signs worsened. Her hypersalivation and gagging became more constant, and she developed hard swallowing that was most prominent whenever her neck was manipulated. A cervical ultrasound was performed and revealed a linear foreign body encircling the neck that extended from the previously noted cervical wounds. The foreign body was noted to pass between the trachea and esophagus and would not have been seen during the surgical approach of Mingo’s initial surgery. Given these new findings, another cervical surgery was performed, during which the foreign body was identified deep within Mingo’s neck displacing the esophagus caudally. The foreign body was removed in entirety and appeared to be a red tubular object.
After Mingo’s second surgery, her hypersalivation and hard swallowing resolved and her gagging markedly improved. She was placed on anti-inflammatory steroids in addition to the azithromycin she was taking for treatment of her bordatella. Currently Mingo is off all medications and doing great. She only has intermittent regurgitation after exercise, but is eating great and has a wonderful energy level and disposition. She recently was adopted to a new home—we wish her the best of luck!!