Rare surgery procedure saves dog after being mauled by animal

Posted at 1:31 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 14:31:05-04

Texas A&M veterinarians used a rare surgery procedure that saved the life of a 2-year-old dachshund named Klause after he was mauled by an unknown animal.

The dog's owner let Klause and his sibling Chloe out before bed around 10:30 p.m. when she heard a loud noise. Klause was found with severe penetration and puncture wounds.

Klause was brought to the Small Animal Hospital at Texas A&M. Emergency room doctors found puncture wounds in his abdomen and a hole in his lung. Part of the dog's liver had also been torn and was displaced in his abdomen.

Dr. Laurie Torkildsen, third-year critical care resident said Klause ranks in the top-5 most severe trauma cases of her career so far. She said the penetrating wounds to both Klause's chest and abdominal cavity, as well as the damage to his lungs, made it a rare and more severe case.

"Anytime we have any penetrating wounds into a body cavity, we flush it out so an infection doesn’t brew. Then we went into his chest. He was very critical under anesthesia and we almost lost him a few times," Torkildsen said. "We were able to partially tie off his lung to try and stop the leaking, but he was not doing well enough for us to completely stop it."

During the surgery, Torkildsen performed a rare procedure called pleurodesis. This procedure requires taking blood and putting it into the chest cavity.

"The hope is that all of the things that make your blood clot will cause the hole to plug," she said. "I actually used my own personal dog, took his blood and gave it to Klause. After the second procedure, it worked, and we were able to stop the leaking lung."

When the operation started, Klause was given a 50/50 chance of survival. Klause's owner says she never lost faith.

"I was not panicked about it. I just felt like he was going to be OK," the owner said.

After spending six days at the hospital, Klause was allowed to return home where he is expected to make a full recovery.

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