Emergency typhlectomy for caecal strangulation caused by chronic diaphragmatic hernia in a dog

19 May 2020

Correa, L., Silveira, F., Demetriou, J.

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A two-year-old female entire Catahoula leopard dog was referred for investigation and management of suspected chronic diaphragmatic hernia, 11 months post road traffic accident. The dog had a two-month history of progressive lethargy and one-week history of vomiting and anorexia. Physical examination revealed a slight increase in respiratory effort with normal respiratory rate. Cardiac and pulmonary sounds were muffled on thoracic auscultation and intestinal loops were not immediately palpable in the abdomen. Thoracic radiographs acquired before referral were suggestive of a diaphragmatic hernia, which was later confirmed on abdominal and thoracic ultrasound. Cardiorespiratory deterioration was evident eight hours post presentation and an emergency exploratory laparotomy was performed. The small intestines, caecum, and the ascending and transverse colon were found to have herniated into the thorax. Marked caecal necrosis was found intraoperatively. A typhlectomy and repair of the diaphragmatic defect were performed. The patient recovered uneventfully and was in good health nine months postoperatively.