Use of a gum elastic bougie in a cat with severe upper airway stenosis
Background: Gum elastic bougie (GEB) is an airway management device for patients who are difficult to intubate and its use has been reported in human medicine. However, to our knowledge, no reports in veterinary medicine have described oxygenation using GEB. We describe a case in which GEB was used to maintain oxygenation in a cat with severe upper airway stenosis.
Case Description: A 10-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair cat was diagnosed with a laryngeal tumor with severe upper airway stenosis. During anesthesia induction, the normal laryngeal structure could not be confirmed; orotracheal intubation was difficult, resulting in a “cannot intubate, cannot oxygenate” status. The GEB was inserted, making it possible to oxygenate the cat until a permanent tracheostoma could be created, but hypoventilation was noted.
Conclusion: Although GEB are not useful for proper ventilation, they can be useful for temporary oxygenation in veterinary medicine when airway management is difficult.