This is the story of Jill and the frustration that foreign bodies can cause. Jill came to Pet Society Vet with a recurring non healing abscess near her jaw.  She had been under vet care for over 6 weeks, involving surgery to investigate and remove the suspected foreign body, which was elusive at the time, testing the infection for culture and sensitivity to find the best antibiotics to treat the abscess.  The resulting antibiotic treatment was continued for several weeks and helped significantly.  They thought they were close to resolution …. But as soon as she stopped the antibiotics the abscess returned.

Can you imagine the frustration?!?

Trust me when I say that us vets are JUST as frustrated as the pet parents when this happens. Sometimes things are simply not straight forward with medicine, and we need to persist with re-examinations, reassessing our approach, repeat procedures and often taking on other investigations.

Lucky for Jill, her pet parents were able to send her for the recommended CT scan at The Austin Specialists – awesome team they have there. Check out the cool images from her CT that shows the abscess, the frustrating foreign body within, and some of the surrounding structures that are important to be aware of before undertaking the next surgery.

CT images courtesy of The Austin Specialists

Shortly after the CT was undertaken, we received Jills report, called the owner with the results, and booked her in for surgery.

Jill was a brave and smoochy patient and we are pleased to share that everything went smoothy, and we were able to remove Jill’s foreign body object. We are still not certain what the foreign object was, but we have speculated it could have been a fragment of wood from a bark chip that somehow became lodged under the tongue and migrated through the soft tissues and into the resulting abscess space.

Jills’ surgery site and the offending piece of wood removed from the abscess

Jill had a routine surgery and recovery and is finally healing well.  We removed her sutures this week, with a happy family and a happy Jill.

Let’s just appreciate how a small little object such as this can cause so much trouble!!  As much as we wish we could find the “needle in the haystack” for our patients each and every time, sometimes this is just not how it pans out. Some cases, like Jill, will need repeat visits, tests, procedures, and imaging for us to get to the bottom of the case.

We would like to send a special THANK YOU to The Austin Specialists, who provided some critical information for us to achieve a successful outcome and Thank You to Jill and her family for trusting us with her care and allowing us to share her story.