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Neck ultrasound in 2 year old French Bulldog

Figure 1. Taro getting her neck scan.

Taro is a very friendly 2-year old female desexed French Bulldog who presented to the clinic with a swelling on the right-hand side of her chin and neck.

She enjoys chewing on sticks, so it was thought that the swelling may be an injury secondary to her habit.

Initially the swelling reduced with antibiotic treatment, but came back when antibiotics were stopped.

It was suspected that a piece of stick or other foreign body (e.g. grass seed) may be causing poor Taro’s swelling. An ultrasound of the neck was deemed the best next step to non-invasively assess the swelling. (Figure 1 and 2).

Figure 2. Probe in transverse plane to scan the neck, where you can see in the ultrasound screen the foreign body as a echogenic line.

Although all structures of the neck (including her thyroid, parathyroid, oesophagus and salivary glands) were assessed, the main finding from Taro’s scan was a hyperechoic linear structure in the region of the swelling (Figure 2, 3 and 4). This was considered likely to be a piece of foreign material and its location in relation to the surrounding structures could be relayed to the surgeon.

Taro underwent surgery to explore the swelling and a small piece of stick was removed! (Figure 5).

Fig 3. Foreign body imbedded in soft tissue in the neck (arrow).

Fig 4. Hyperechoic soft tissue in the neck region surrounding the foreign body in the neck.

Figure 5. Foreign body found in the neck at surgery, which matches the image obtained on ultrasound.

We wish Taro all the best with her recovery - she was a lovely patient and a great example of how neck ultrasound can be so helpful in investigating localised swelling.

Click the video below to watch Taro's surgery.

Thanks to Dr Adam Marques at Sandringham Veterinary Clinic, for the video provided of the surgery and for letting us work together scanning Taro.

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