Down boy! A case of acute abdomen following a dog bite to the scrotum

Edwin S. Palmer, Phitsavanh Saysamoneyeu, Jennifer M. Siu, Annkham Thammaseng, Indi Trehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Dog bite injuries are an ongoing concern in pediatrics. The majority of these occur in low- and middle-income countries where resources, especially subspecialty support services, are limited. Scrotal bites are relatively rare, and even fewer cases of abdominal viscus involvement have been described. No case has previously been reported of a dog bite to the scrotum leading to abdominal viscus perforation. Case presentation: A 2-year old boy presented with an acute abdomen as the result of a dog bite to his scrotum in the presence of an unrepaired inguinal hernia. Without revisiting a detailed trauma history and exam, this would have been missed, as the dog bite occurred several days prior to presentation and was nearly completely healed. The patient initially had an emergent laparotomy, small bowel resection, and hernia repair. He then suffered from a delayed anastomotic leak requiring repeat laparotomy with creation of an ileostomy. Following a prolonged post-operative course, the patient was discharged home with his ileostomy in place. He returned 3 months later to have his ileostomy reversed and was discharged after an uncomplicated operation in good condition. Conclusions: This case demonstrates the primacy of an accurate history and physical, specifically with regards to recent trauma, in the presentation of a pediatric patient with an acute abdomen. Acquiring this may involve multiple re-interviews with the family as new facts may come to light. This is especially important in resource limited areas where advanced imaging and laboratory services are not available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 28 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute abdomen
  • Case report
  • Dog bite
  • Perforated bowel
  • Scrotal trauma

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