Tails from the ER – For the Love of Bones
Kuro, a 9 year old black labrador retriever, presented to the Urgent Care service one evening with a marrow bone stuck around his lower jaw. He walked into the treatment area wagging his tail and looking pretty pleased with life, as many Labradors do, but when I tried to wiggle the bone off of his jaw, it was clear that it was stuck and he was uncomfortable.
The bone was stuck behind his two lower canine teeth. First, we sedated Kuro to help him relax. It was not budging and he still reacted when I tried to maneuver it. We placed an IV catheter and administered an anesthetic to relax him even further, but that did not work either. We knew we were going to have to cut the bone off. With help from our surgeon, Dr. Mathieu Glassman, and a cast cutter (a type of saw used to cut casts off that won’t cut skin), we made two cuts into the bone and were finally able to get it off.
Luckily, Kuro had no wounds, cuts, or broken teeth from the bone. He woke up from anesthesia and soon after, walked out of the hospital no worse for wear.
I am still not sure how Kuro managed to get that bone stuck around his jaw the way he did, but I am glad we were able to get it off. Hopefully he learned his lesson!
Dr. Christina Klare grew up on the Gulf coast of Florida and attended the University of South Florida for her undergraduate degree, followed by Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She discovered her love of emergency medicine early on and has been exclusively practicing in an emergency setting ever since. Dr. Klare works in Emergency & Critical Care department at Friendship.
* Featured image courtesy of Pet MD.