RufusCase Background

Name Rufus
Age 4 years
Sex Male, neutered
Breed Canine, mixed breed

Please review Rufus' history

Presented on emergency service for acute onset of difficulty breathing. No previous medical problems. No history of trauma. Heart rate on presentation 180 bpm and regular. Pink mucous membranes, tachypneic.

View Rufus' right lateral radiograph
View Rufus' ventrodorsal radiograph
View Rufus' annotated right lateral radiograph
View Rufus' annotated ventrodorsal radiograph  


Location of images: Thoracic radiographs obtained.

Views of images: Right lateral view and ventrodorsal views.


Technical issues: Films are straight and exposure is acceptable. On VD and lateral views, elbows are retracted rather than extended. On VD view, a lead glove artifact is present over the right antebrachium.

Cardiac size including VHS: Cardiac size is greatly reduced and the cardiac silhouette is retracted away from the sternum (yellow arrows) The VHS cannot be calculated because the edges of the cardiac silhouette are obscured by overlying lung and mediastinal tissue. Free gas is visible in the thorax extending to the diaphragm, and the retracted edges of the under inflated lung lobes are visible in both views (red arrows).

Other Findings: There is no evidence of thoracic trauma (broken ribs, soft tissue swelling).

 Radiographic Interpretation: Pneumothorax with no evidence of bony trauma.

 Discussion: Pneumothorax that is not due to thoracic trauma may result from rupture of a pulmonary bullae. In a young dog with no history of pulmonary disease, pulmonary bullae may be a developmental abnormality or be idiopathic.
Treatment/Management: Immediate thoracocentesis is required to remove air from the thoracic cavity. Chest tube placement and continuous suction may be necessary to acutely stabilize a pneumothorax.