A 6-year-old, spayed female German shepherd crossbreed had a 6-month history of a draining fistula in the left flank. Fistulography demonstrated an enterocutaneous fistula. Surgery revealed a granuloma that was enveloping the left ureter and caudal mesenteric artery and adhering to multiple loops of bowel. The granuloma centered on a gauze sponge inadvertently retained at time of ovariohysterectomy. Retained surgical foreign bodies can be avoided, and their frequency is likely underestimated. Risk factors identified in human medicine include emergency surgery, changes in surgical procedure, and obesity. A foreign body should be considered a potential cause of draining tracts in veterinary patients.

You do not currently have access to this content.