A 16-year-old, 240 kg, female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) housed at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium suddenly presented with a swelling at the left side of the body near the mammary gland on January 14, 2013. Within a few days, it became larger in size. The blood work showed leukocytosis, neutrophilia, elevated ESR and fibrinogen and a low level of serum iron. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agent therapy were started on January 27. In the ultrasound examination, there was a calcified, fluid-filled lesion, which was characterized by high echogenicity in the muscular layer. Fine-needle aspiration cytology revealed turbid, yellow-green, viscous fluid containing high levels of neutrophils on February 1.
Despite the addition of the Chinese medicine (Haino-san-kyu-to) from February 2 to 27, which healed the subcutaneous abscess of another bottlenose dolphin in our past experience, the swelling continued to enlarge. The surgical section of her skin for draining pus was done with styptic, sedative and local anesthesia on February 13. To treat the infection, antibiotics were initiated in conjunction with antifungal for Candida glabrata in blowhole and feces. The result of the histopathological examination of excision site was “foreign body granuloma.” The granuloma was removed gradually and flushed with saline or tap water every day. We used topical steroid therapy two times for diminishing the granuloma. The resection for expanding the surgical field was conducted on February 20 because it was too narrow for scraping and flushing. The sectioned area remained open and was not closed with suture. Almost all the granuloma was removed by April. The sectioned area was almost closed by July and blood work returned to normal completely by August. This is the first report of foreign body granuloma and the first case it healed with aggressive surgical resection in bottlenose dolphin.
* Presenting author