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Unusual intravascular migration of a wooden skewer resulting in vena caval thrombosis identified postmortem in a dog
  1. P. A. Kelly,
  2. B. Cloak and
  3. J. P. Cassidy
  1. Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Pamela Kelly, pamela.kelly{at}


A two-year-old entire male dalmatian had a 60-day history of on-going depression and lethargy. Over this time-period, the dog had intermittent pyrexia and two subcutaneous swellings had been observed on the abdominal body wall. Abdominal and thoracic radiographs taken on 60 and 16 days prior to euthanasia revealed no significant abnormalities. Similarly, no abnormalities were noted following an abdominal ultrasound on day 16 prior to euthanasia. By day 60, the dog had a right-sided heart murmur, subcutaneous haematoma formation, a packed cell volume of 29 per cent, increased pro-thrombin (>180 seconds), and activated partial thromboplastin (>300 seconds) times. Following euthanasia, postmortem examination revealed a 16 cm long×4 mm diameter wooden skewer embedded in a partially occluding vena caval thrombus. This represents a clinically challenging and very unusual cause of vena-caval thrombosis and migratory route for a foreign body.

  • Vena-caval thrombosis
  • foreign body
  • skewer
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation
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