He was immediately put on oxygen while a rapid clinical history and physical exam were performed. Intravenous (IV) access was also achieved via two peripheral veins. He was tachycardic, but no pulse deficits were detected and the pulse quality was good. He seemed very painful, so we administered a test dose of 10mg of methadone IV that seemed to calm him down. On auscultation, lung sounds were particularly increased dorsally on the left side. A tension pneumothorax was suspected and confirmed on DV and lateral chest radiographs.
An initial 1.3 litres of air was drained from the left side of the chest and the respiratory pattern improved.
However, Quest deteriorated over the next few hours, so a permanent chest drain with a Heimlich valve was required.
Quest spent the next two days in the ICU under constant SpO2 monitoring and nasal oxygen supplementation. His arterial oxygen saturation gradually improved until he could be weaned off the oxygen. On the second day Quest was able to stand up and started eating and drinking. A vacuum was obtained when the chest drain was aspirated. On day three his demeanour had improved markedly, his chest drain was removed and he was discharged with oral medication. We were all very pleased with Quest’s speedy recovery.
The ICU at Chestergates is increasingly busy and enjoys high survival rates for its seriously ill patients. Animals may now be referred directly to the ICU.