Chest injuries following a car accident
Lola managed to escape from home only to be hit by a car.
One of our clients was driving by, and picked her up and brought her straight to the surgery. She had pale gums and was breathing very rapidly with short shallow breaths. Lola was able to walk on all 4 legs but was unsteady. There was a graze on her forehead. There were no detectable injuries to her abdomen or legs.
Mark administered pain relief and setup an IV drip as she was in shock. X-rays showed she had fractured 5 ribs on the right side, and her right lungs had filled up with blood (pulmonary contusion). This had happened due to the whiplash effect of internal organs from direct blunt trauma to the body. Luckily, none of the ribs appeared to have penetrated the lungs.
There was no evidence of a punctured lung or pneumothorax (air inside the chest cavity).
At 10pm that night she was slightly better and managed a wag of her tail. Her colour had improved but she was still breathing rapidly. The oxygen and IV drip were continued. Mark gave more pain relief for the evening.
The next day, Lola was still breathing rapidly, but she was generally stable. Her vitals were all ok. The oxygen was continued, but the rate of IV fluids was lowered in case it had started to leak out of the damaged lungs. As a precaution, we gave an IV injection of a diuretic to try and shift some of the bloody fluids inside her lungs. Lola did a big wee an hour later, and during the day here breathing slowly improved.
On day 3, Lola was feeling a whole lot better and was sitting up and moving around freely. She started to eat with gusto (as most labs do!). The oxygen and IV drip were removed and she went home that evening on strict confined rest.
At check-up 48 hours later, Lola was back to her old self but was still slightly sore. Her colour was great and her breathing was normal. She is on strict rest and pain killers for the next few weeks.