Willow, a sweet little 10-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was referred to our Internal Medicine team as she had been sneezing for two months and had a discharge from her nose. The antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications she had been given didn’t seem to be making her better.
Nicoletta Fantaconi, a vet in our Diagnostic Imaging team performed the CT scan of her head to investigate and diagnose the problem. The scan revealed a 3.5 cm long thin foreign body that had entered her right nasal cavity through a palatine fissure. These fissures are two large openings in the bones in the roof of the mouth at the level of the canine teeth which connect to the nasal cavity.
A foreign body is a material which gets lodged or stuck in any part of a dog or cat’s body; if inhaled, it can become embedded in the nasal passage (nasal cavities), throat, trachea or deeper in the branches of bronchi in the lungs.
Now it had been identified, the foreign body could be extracted. And a twig was successfully removed using surgical forceps by Iris Heinsoo, a vet in our Internal Medicine team.
Willow was sent home to rest and recover. The sneezing resolved for a few weeks; however, her signs reoccurred, so she was re-examined back with us. From these investigations Willow was diagnosed with chronic rhinitis which is a non-specific inflammation of the nasal mucosa. It is unclear whether Willow had an underlying inflammation that had progressed further or whether the foreign material had caused permanent injury to her nasal mucosa. Willow was discharged from us with doxycycline – this is an antibiotic (although used for its immunomodulatory effects that may help reducing the nasal mucosal inflammation). Thankfully Willow has shown a good response to this treatment.