Today’s case comes straight from the ultrasound clinic. This is a 1 year old Pit Bull Terrier with a swelling over the 4th metatarsal bone of the left front limb for one month. Previous surgical exploration was unrewarding. Hint: click on the ‘Show annotated images’ linkÂ if you need help identifying the structures.
There is a similar appearing hyperechoic diamond shaped foreign body present between the fourth and fifth left metacarpal bones, oriented obliquely to the axis of the metacarpal bones. There is a large surrounding granuloma composed of hypoechoic tissue. There is no evidence of gas within the tissues.
Foreign body in the subcutaneous tissues of the left front foot, most likely a plant origin.
Plant foreign bodies can be seen as angular, hyperechoic structures within draining tracts or abscesses. In this case, there was no visible gas in a draining tract. The foreign body was clearly visible superficial to the 4th metatarsal bone.
Here is the foxtail about 20 minutes after the ultrasound examination.
- Gnudi G, Volta A, Bonazzi M, et al. Ultrasonographic features of grass awn migration in the dog. Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2005;46:423-426.
- Della Santa D, Rossi F, Carlucci F, et al. Ultrasound-guided retrieval of plant awns. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2008;49:484-486.
- Armbrust LJ, Biller DS, Radlinsky MG, et al. Ultrasonographic diagnosis of foreign bodies associated with chronic draining tracts and abscesses in dogs. Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2003;44:66-70.
Case originally posted on July 9, 2009