It is official, snakes have dominated the Eklin Challenge for the past two years.
This year’s grand prize winner is the snake that ate a snake that ate a mouse submitted by Laura Chenault, DVM, and Scott Johnson, DVM, of the Animal Emergency Clinic of Northwest Austin in Austin, Texas.
Their patient was a 5-year-old female boa constrictor named Princess who shared the house (but not a cage) with a pit viper. Princess’ owners took her to the emergency clinic after they found her loose in the house curled up inside the pit viper’s cage. The viper was nowhere to be found.
The winning X-ray clearly shows that Princess had eaten the pit viper who had recently eaten a mouse meal. Drs. Chenault and Johnson will share the grand prize, a Canon Digital Rebel XT single-lens reflex camera courtesy of Eklin Medical Systems of Santa Clara, Calif.
This year, Veterinary Practice News and Eklin recruited some of the best veterinary radiologists in the country to judge the “You Found What?” annual radiograph contest. Judges included Rachel Schochet, DVM, of Southern California Veterinary Imaging in Culver City, Calif., Brian Poteet, DVM, Dipl. ACVR, of Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston and Matt Wright, DVM, Dipl. ACVR, of AnimalInsides.com and DVMInsight.com.
The winning radiograph “is of very good quality and nicely positioned,” says Dr. Poteet. But there were many contest submissions that followed suit displaying good technique, superior quality or very interesting objects and pathological processes.
“Once again, we had extremely interesting cases submitted for this year’s Eklin Challenge,” said Gary R. Cantu, president and chief executive officer of Eklin. “Not only is the contest entertaining, but educational, as well.”
In addition to choosing an overall winner, judges were allowed to choose two runners up: one winner out of the objects animals swallowed and one winner out of the submissions revealing remarkable pathological findings.
Mary Stauder, DVM, of Manchester West Veterinary Hospital in Ellisville, Mo., submitted the ingested objects winning radiograph of Zach, a 2-year-old male neutered German shepard.
“Zach had showed a 33 percent weight loss since his previous visit six months earlier,” says Dr. Stauder. “He reportedly only ate one cup of food at a time.”
That’s because Zach had eaten 33 golf balls that were surgically removed the next day.
Alan Givotovsky, DVM, of Fair Isle Animal Clinic in Vashon, Wash., submitted the winning pathological finding in a 16-year-old domestic shorthair cat named Miss Kitty who was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and renal failure. Miss Kitty’s owner relinquished ownership to one of Fair Isle’s veterinary technicians who cared for her until the end.
“At final exam she weighed just over three pounds,” Dr. Givotovsky says. “Firm linear structures were palpated in the abdomen. Necropsy of the abdomen revealed mineralization of multiple blood vessels.”
For their radiographs, Dr. Strauder and Dr. Givotovsky will each receive a Canon digital point-and-shoot camera.
There were so many other remarkable X-rays that the editors of Veterinary Practice News chose several honorable mentions whose radiographs reveal everything from a giant lunge whip to bone restructuring and feature a number of unusual animals.
Jim Micinilio, DVM, of Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Shelton, Conn., submitted an editors’ pick. His X-ray reveals a large quantity of metallic objects impacted in a pet chicken’s gizzard.
“The owner allowed me to do my first and last venticulotomy,” says Dr. Micinilio. “[The chicken] recovered uneventfully and within a week, was back to following the owner around the yard.”
One hundred and fifteen objects including several screws, nails, wire, pieces of glass, linoleum and a bullet were found in that little chicken … beating out any of the dogs who swallowed random objects.
Julia Larson, DVM, of Woodland Veterinary Hospital in Woodland, Calif., was paid a visit by Roper 10-month-old male neutered Queensland healer walking with his neck outstretched and gagging.
“Radiographs showed a foreign body extending from the pharynx through the wall of the stomach into the abdomen,” Dr. Larson says. “The object was a broken handle and portion of an equine lunge whip he had been seen running with at the barn.”
Sadly, Roper injuries were so extensive that his owners elected euthanasia.
Jennifer Cochran, DVM, of Nansemond Veterinary Clinic in Suffolk, Va., encountered a surprising pathological process in a Walker hound who returned home after being missing for three weeks.
“Radiographs were taken to evaluate a swollen left thigh wound and a palpable right hip luxation,” says Dr. Cochran. “The dog was fully weight-bearing on the right and mildly lame on the left.”
She describes her finding, “At first glance the right femur appeared well seated in the acetabulum on the VD view. However, the actual acetabulum is caudal to a well-formed false coxofemoral joint.”
Her patient probably sustained the luxation years ago, she says, and has been able to form a “new” acetabulum to stabilize the femoral head. Now that’s adaptation at its best.