Meet Riley, a four-month-old mixed-breed dog. Her owners were away at work, and a brother-in-law who lived with them was at home, performing maintenance on a firearm. The gun accidentally discharged, hitting Riley in the chest. Without delay, the brother-in-law brought her to AERC, and her owners left work to be with Riley at our hospital. When they arrived, they approved all of the emergency care that our team recommended for Riley.
Riley was in critical condition upon her arrival, and our team stabilized her with IV fluids, oxygen support, pain medications, and antibiotics. Radiographs showed the bullet had passed through the left side of her chest, causing extensive damage to her lungs and fracturing several ribs.
In the radiograph on the right, the red circle shows the broken ribs. The green circle shows increased whiteness to the lungs which indicates pulmonary contusions (bruising to the lung).
One of Riley’s lung lobes was punctured and needed to be surgically removed, so Riley went into emergency surgery. A temporary chest tube was placed to help drain any air, blood, or fluid that may accumulate after surgery. Then, she was moved to AERC’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she received a blood transfusion, oxygen support, IV pain medications, IV antibiotics, and chest tube care. After a few days of recovery in the ICU, Riley was able to go home.
Riley’s family reports that she has made a full recovery! She is enjoying running and playing with the other dogs in the house. The brother-in-law no longer lives in the home.
Our “Fur-tunately: Stories of Animal Survival” series feature real pets treated by our team at Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota. All images and information have been shared with the owner’s permission.