Vets at Willows Veterinary Group have treated a sausage dog who ‘blew up like a balloon’ when an injury to his windpipe caused his body to fill with air.
After careful examination they discovered a hole in his windpipe which had to be stitched up before the dog could be “deflated.”
His owner, Fran Jennings said it remains a mystery as to how the injury occurred which allowed air to leak out under his skin over his whole body and even caused his heart to lift off his sternum.
Jennings, who runs Pets Animal Hotel in Lymm, said: “Basically, we came down one day and found Trevor in a bad state, he literally looked like he’d blown up like a balloon and we had no idea what had happened. He was three times the size he should’ve been.
“We put him straight in the car and took him to the 24-hour emergency vets and they had never seen anything quite like it. Whatever it was, it affected his breathing so we had to leave him there while they tried to find out what was wrong.”
Trevor was kept in while tests were carried out and he was diagnosed with sub-cutaneous emphysema – an abnormal collection of air under the skin in the lowest level of the skin’s tissues and muscles known as the ubcutis or hyperdermis.
Vet Michelle Coward of Willows Veterinary Group helped to treat him.
She said: “Trevor was presented to us with signs of severe air ingress under the skin. There were no external injuries that would explain how air had got under the skin, so we suspected that an internal injury to the airway or oesophagus could have been allowing the air to leak into the body.
“Every time he took a breath, some of the inhaled air escaped through a hole in his windpipe around the muscles and fatty tissue under the skin, and X-rays showed the emphysema was worsening. Surgery was the only way to repair the injury but due to its location, there was a significant risk of complications. I have never seen a case like this before and it was a new surgery for me.”
She added: “Trevor’s surgery went well, he made a quick recovery and was monitored in the hospital. There should not be any long term impact to Trevor’s health.”