A nine-year-old English bulldog presented with an acute history of dyspnoea, tachycardia and discomfort localising to the ventral thorax following a fall down the stairs that morning. After the dog was stabilised, thoracic radiographs revealed a luxation of the third and fourth sternebrae with dorsal displacement of the caudal segment. The sternum was reduced and stabilised with a contoured 12-hole 3 · 5-mm dynamic compression plate applied to the ventral surface of the sternum.
The dog's initial recovery was rapid, cardiorespiratory parameters returning to normal in the first 24 hours. For 2 weeks postoperatively the dog exhibited difficulty in rising from a prone position. After this time there was a full recovery. Clinical examination at 8 months postoperatively did not reveal any abnormalities. Telephone follow-up was performed at 18 months and no complications or cardiorespiratory compromise were reported. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of a traumatic dislocation of the sternum and its management in the dog.