Traumatic Bilateral Mainstem Bronchial Avulsion in a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)


  • Seth M. Ganz DVM Veterinary Specialty Hospital
  • Susan L. Bartlett DVM Cornell University
  • Mauricio Solano MV, ACVR Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Florina S. Tseng, DVM Tufts Wildlife Clinic
  • Mark A. Pokras DVM Tufts Wildlife Clinic



Red fox, Vulpes, trauma, bronchial avulsion, respiratory distress


An adult male red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was hit by an automobile and presented in respiratory distress. Radiographs and a physical examination indicated that both bronchi had been avulsed from the lungs and euthanasia was elected.

This is the first report of a bilateral bronchial avulsion, as well as the first report of large airway avulsion in a canid, as a result of blunt thoracic trauma. Tracheal avulsion is a sporadically reported sequel to blunt trauma in domestic cats. Preliminary diagnosis can be made from history, clinical signs, and radiographs. Bronchoscopy yields a definitive diagnosis. Treatment is most often surgical resection of traumatized ends of airway and anastamosis. Depending on the location and extent of injury, other surgical techniques may be considered.

An index of suspicion for this injury must be maintained in any patient suffering blunt trauma, as patients with this severe injury may present with mild signs and initially respond to conservative therapy. Thoracic radiographs should be obtained promptly in all cases of suspected blunt thoracic trauma.


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Author Biographies

Seth M. Ganz DVM, Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Seth Ganz graduated from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. He is currently with the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego, CA.

Susan L. Bartlett DVM, Cornell University

Susan Bartlett received her DVM from Cornell University in 2003 and completed an internship with the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in 2005. She is currently a resident in zoological medicine at Cornell University.

Mauricio Solano MV, ACVR, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

Mauricio Solano received his veterinary degree (MV) at the Universidad de LaSalle in Bogotá, Colombia in 1986. Dr. Solano completed a residency in radiology at Tufts University, where he currently works as an assistant professor of radiology.

Florina S. Tseng, DVM, Tufts Wildlife Clinic

Florina Tseng graduated from Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and did an internship at Wildlife Center of Virginia. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Wildlife Clinic at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Assistant Director of Tufts Wildlife Clinic. She is a former member of the NWRA Board of Directors.

Mark A. Pokras DVM, Tufts Wildlife Clinic

Mark Pokras graduated from Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine in 1984 and also did a residency in wildlife and zoologic medicine there. He is Director of the Tufts Wildlife Clinic and serves as Director of the Center for Conservation Medicine.


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How to Cite

Ganz, S., Bartlett, S., Solano, M., Tseng, F., & Pokras, M. (2006). Traumatic Bilateral Mainstem Bronchial Avulsion in a Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes). Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin, 24(2), 35–39.