Surgeries

Pet surgeries

Our veterinarians adhere to the highest level of care standards for all surgical procedures. Our highly skilled doctors place the utmost emphasis on pain management to ensure your pet is safe and comfortable throughout the treatment process. Using technology, your pet's vital signs are monitored by our well trained veterinary technicians, who will remain with your pet through recovery.

After performing a complete examination and reviewing your pet's medical state, we will discuss treatment options that may include surgery and put together a plan that suits the needs of both you and your pet.

If surgery is recommended, you can feel comfortable knowing that our doctors will provide appropriate pain relief so that pain is identified and treated if present. Visual assessment and recording of vital signs is done by one of our trained veterinary surgical technicians. A technician is present during the entire surgery and recovery process to maintain the safety and comfort of your pet. We believe that keeping our patients safe and comfortable before, during and after surgery is of the greatest importance and an essential component of your pet's care.

Our clinic has a state-of-the art surgical suite where our veterinarians perform all common procedures, including:

Abscess Treatment

An abscess or localized area of infection that generally looks like a lump or bump and contains pus. Treatment depends on the cause and location of the abscess, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Treatment may include lancing and draining the abscess, antibiotics and cleaning the wound with disinfectant.

Abdominal Hernia Repair

A hernia should be repaired at the time of diagnosis. This repair can be performed at the time of the spay or neuter surgery since the pet will be already anesthetized. The surgery consists of manually reducing the contents of the hernia into the abdomen followed by the surgeon closing the hernial sac. Sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are used to close the deeper tissue layers, and the outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples that need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Abdominocentesis

Removing fluid from the abdomen to help diagnose a medical condition or to relive respiratory distress in some emergence cases. In order to perform an abdominocentesis, your veterinarian will likely shave a small area of hair from the abdomen. The skin is disinfected and a needle is carefully inserted into the abdominal cavity. Fluid is collected with special tubing, a syringe or allowed to drip from the needle into a sterile tube. After the fluid is collected, analysis is needed to help determine the potential underlying cause of the fluid accumulation. Analysis of the fluid may be done by your veterinarian or submitted to an outside laboratory. Test results may not be available for up to 3 to 5 days but sometimes, results may be available within a couple of hours. The length of time will depend on which tests are necessary. This will likely be repeated every few days, but in emergency cases it can be done every few hours.

ACL Tightrope Repair

Repair of Ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament (ACL) by TightRope Ligament Replacement Just as in the human knee, the most critical stabilizing structure in the canine knee is the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). The primary function of the CCL is to prevent forward thrusting motion and inward rotation of the tibia during weight bearing and to prevent hyper-extension of the knee. When the CCL is ruptured or partially torn, the abnormal, forward thrusting motion and inward rotation of the tibia during weight bearing results in an unstable, painful knee and ultimately, in debilitating, degenerative arthritic changes in the knee joint.

The newest procedure for repairing a ruptured CCL by ligament replacement is the TightRope Ligament technique. This procedure has been proven in over 200 knees and has been shown to be highly effective.

The TightRope CCL technique is minimally invasive, and more cost effective in comparison to the TPLO or TTA. The data suggest that TightRope can be successfully performed in medium, large and giant breed dogs resulting in outcomes which are comparable or better than TPLO or TTA. A MiniTightRope is also available for toy and small breeds.

The TightRope CCL counteracts the forward tibial thrust and inward rotation resulting from CCL damage, while providing optimal joint range of motion. This procedure mimics the natural cruciate ligament functions, perhaps better than any other procedure developed to date.

The TightRope Ligament is produced by Arthrex Vet Systems. It is an ultra-high strength, flat, smooth, braided, ribbon-like ligament composed of a multi-stranded long chain ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) core with a braided jacket of polyester giving it unsurpassed strength, virtually eliminating ligament breakage. The ligament provides an ultimate load of 225 lbs, approximately three times the strength of 80# nylon ligaments currently in use for CCL replacement. This procedure provides our clients another option when a less invasive, less radical and somewhat more cost effective procedure that does not cut bone is desired by the pet owner. A tunnel is drilled in the femur beginning at a very precise anatomical point on the inside of the bone, at an upward angle, exiting on the inside surface of the shaft of the femur.

A second tunnel is drilled in the tibia beginning at a very precise anatomical point on the inside of the tibial crest in a downward direction, exiting on the inside surface of the shaft of the tibia. The TightRope Ligament is passed from inside to outside through the femoral tunnel, then from outside to inside through the tibial tunnel. The stainless steel tibial toggle button is then turned 90 degrees to the ligament, placed against the surface of the tibia, and the TightRope Ligament is pulled taut through the tibial tunnel. The TightRope Ligament is then pulled taut through the femoral tunnel eliminating all “slack” in the ligament. The stainless steel femoral button is then slid down the ligament until it is snug against the surface of the femur, the ligament pulled tight and anchored in this position by tying it down against the femoral button. The ligament is now in place, very secure and mimics very closely the function of the natural cranial cruciate ligament. The TightRope Ligament now in place. Note that the TightRope Ligament is placed under the long digital extensor tendon, allowing it to function normally and to prevent any damage to the tendon.

Following release from our hospital, your pet must be strictly confined to leash activity only for a period of twelve weeks and the use of stairs must be eliminated. If entry to the home involves several steps, it is advisable to construct a temporary ramp for your pet to use. Jumping up on and down from furniture must also be eliminated. Until your suture removal visit, strict exercise restriction is required and your pet should be taken outdoors on a leash only as necessary for eliminations. When not directly with your pet it is advisable to separate your pet from other pets in the household and confine him or her to a small room or crate. It is advisable to keep an Elizabethan collar in place to prevent chewing of the incision until sutures are removed.

After sutures are removed, we will be meeting at specified intervals throughout the twelve week convalescent period to monitor your dog’s progress and advise activities that are appropriate for your pet’s recovery. Leash walking will be gradually reintroduced, swimming may be implemented and range of motion exercises may be reviewed. Laser therapy is also available to relieve pain and inflammation and accelerate healing.

Adenoma Removal

Surgical removal of a skin adenoma. Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, The hair is clipped over the area of issue and the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. A sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. A scalpel or laser is used to incise the skin at the middle of the site. The adenoma’s margins are identified and the vessels supplying blood flow are ligated, or tied off. The adenoma is then removed. The incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Amputation

Surgical removal of a limb. Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, with the leg in question exposed. The hair is clipped around the shoulder or hip area, depending on the leg to be removed. The skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area and a sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. A scalpel is used to incise the skin around the area of the shoulder or hip. In the foreleg removal, the leg can be removed at the level of the shoulder or the leg and shoulder blade can be removed. This will vary depending on the reason for leg removal and cosmetics. For the rear leg, removal is commonly done at the upper 2/3 of the femur, leaving a stump of the leg. In some situations, the leg is removed at the hip joint.

After determining the site of leg removal, the skin is incised. The muscles, nerves and blood vessels are also incised, after being ligated (tied off) if necessary. In the case of the foreleg, the leg is either removed at the shoulder joint or the leg and shoulder blade are removed together. In the case of the rear leg, the humerus is cut with bone wire or a bone saw. Muscle is used to fold over the rough edge of the bone.

Sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are used to close the muscles and deeper tissue layers. The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Anal Sacculectomy (Anal Gland Removal)

Surgical removal of one or both anal glands. Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on his stomach or side. The hair is clipped around the anal area, the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area and a sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. Your veterinarian uses a scalpel (or laser) to incise the skin along the anal glands. The gland is dissected free of associated tissues, and blood vessels supplying the gland, as well as the ducts, are ligated (tied off). The gland is then removed. Sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are used to close the deeper tissue layers, and the outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples that need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days. This procedure is repeated on the other gland.

Anastomisis

Surgical correction or removal and resectioning of damaged intestines. Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on his back. The hair is clipped over the middle of the abdomen and the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. A sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. A scalpel is used to incise the skin at the middle of the abdomen, and then the abdominal cavity is opened. The intestines are isolated and evaluated. The section of diseased or damaged intestine is detected. On either side of the damaged intestine, large clamps are used to close off the healthy parts of the intestine to prevent leakage of intestinal contents into the abdomen. The damaged section of intestine is then removed with a scalpel or surgical scissors.

At this point, there is a section of intestine missing and the healthy edges need to be sutured together. Using absorbable suture, the healthy sections of intestines are sutured together and the area is tested to make sure there are no leaks. A section of omentum (the lacy membrane that cover the intestines) is wrapped around the incision site to help protect against leaks. The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Aural (Ear) Hematoma Repair

Surgical repair of an ear hematoma. Treatments for hematomas involve a minor surgical procedure. Under sedation, an incision is made on the inside of the ear flap allowing the blood to drain, then your veterinarian will suture the skin together in a fashion that will help prevent the area from filling up with blood again. Sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are used to close the deeper tissue layers, and the outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical rivets and a bandage is placed over the ear that needs to be removed in about 7 to 10 days along with the sutures.

Auriflush Ear Flush (Ear-a-gator)

A video otoscope gives our veterinarians a detailed view of the inside of your pet's ears. We use the Med RX Video Otoscope and Irrigation System, the latest in video otoscope technology, to examine and treat your pet. We evaluate ears for several problems, including:
  • Inflammatory polyps
  • Laser ablation guided by the video otoscope for cerumen gland adenomas
  • Evaluation of the tympanic membrane; rupture, tear, bulging (myringotomy to relieve pressure and irrigate the middle ear and infuse antibiotics)
  • Follow-up evaluation and medical progress of the tympanic membrane and middle ear

Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, placed on advanced monitoring systems, and the video otoscope is installed into the effected ear or ears to identify the problem area(s). Once identified, using the scope your veterinarians can completely flush the ear canal, clear obstructions, masses, polyps, etc. using the scopes instrument channel we can even manually retrieve wax blockages and obtain tissue samples for testing. High resolution images can be taken for you the client to see the issues with your own eyes.

Barium Contrast Study

Abdominal radiograph series with the addition of a x-ray blocking fluid to highlight problem areas or foreign objects in the body. Abdominal X-rays provide an image of the bones and the outlines of a number of internal organs including the liver, stomach, intestines, kidneys, bladder, uterus and prostate gland. This test can be extremely useful for detecting changes in the shape, size or position of organs. Unfortunately, important structures can sometimes blend together on X-rays, so this test does have limitations. For example, a tumor may blend into the background of normal organs because they have the same "opacity," or shade of gray as the normal tissues. Some foreign objects (such as some plastics) can be invisible on the X-ray. Thus, abdominal X-rays are an excellent "screening test," but they do not detect all internal problems. In some cases, additional procedures such as ultrasound, endoscopy (scoping), contrast (barium). This procedure is normally done over the duration of a days stay in the hospital and up to 6 radiographs a taken to track the bariums flow over the day.

Cesarean Section (C-Section)

Surgical removal of all fetuses in the uterus. Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on her back. The hair is clipped over the lower abdomen, the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area and a sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. The veterinarian then performs a midline incision similar to that used to spay a female; however, the incision line will be relatively longer. A scalpel is used to incise the skin of the lower abdomen and then open the abdominal cavity. The uterus will be exposed and then incised to remove the fetus. The pup(s) is (are) handed to an assistant who clears the airway, stimulates breathing, and gives drugs if necessary. The uterus may be contracted with a hormonal drug and then the incision is closed with sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time. Alternatively, the female may be spayed (this procedure is explained elsewhere on this site). The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples that must be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Cherry Eye Repair

Treatment involves surgical replacement of the third eyelid to its correct position in the eye. It is important to have the surgical correction done as quickly as possible to minimize any further damage to your pet’s eye. If treatment is neglected or prolonged, the risk causing further damage is high. Remember, that the third eyelid is responsible for at least fifty percent of the tear production, so if neglected your pet will develop dry eye which can lead to vision loss.

Cholesectomy

Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a storage reservoir for bile, which is formed by the liver. This procedure is usually performed when the gallbladder is inflamed or infected, when gall stones form, when cancer of the gallbladder is present or in cases where trauma has ruptured it. Recovery times and prognoses depend on the reason for the surgery. In the case of infections without rupture, animals may be hospitalized for only a few days, and their activity level restricted until suture removal (in 10 to 14 days). In the case of rupture, which results in peritonitis (inflammation or infection of the abdominal wall lining), hospitalization may be several days to a week or more. As a result of the peritonitis, dog patients usually will come out of surgery in very critical condition; many will die post-operatively. In the case of cancer, prognosis depends on the type of tumor, whether or not the gallbladder had ruptured, and how completely the tumor was removed. Some tumors invade surrounding vital tissues, which may make complete excision impossible.

Corkscrew Suture Anchor

The Arthrex 5 mm Bio-Corkscrews are threaded bioabsorbable suture anchors featuring a braided suture eyelet molded into the implant. This is a patented design that eliminates eyelet degradation concerns and loss of fixation strength during the critical tissue healing period. The low coefficient of drag between the suture eyelet and the attached suture improves the performance of sliding knots and eliminates abrasion to the attached suture. The Bio-Corkscrew is ideal for open or arthroscopic soft tissue to bone repairs and comes preloaded with two #2 nonabsorbable sutures.

Surgical Technique

The Bio-Corkscrew is inserted into bone following pilot hole preparation. A Bio-Corkscrew Punch is initially malleted at a 45 ̊ “Deadman’s” angle and advanced until the laser line is below the bone surface.

In situations when dense cortico-cancellous bone is encountered, the pilot hole is further prepared by hand with the Bio-Corkscrew Punch/Tap until the laser line of the Punch/Tap is threaded below the bone surface. The Bio-Corkscrew is then inserted into the pilot hole until the laser line on the driver shaft is below the bone surface.

Cryptorchid (Unilateral & Bilateral)

Surgical intervention and neutering of a non-descended testicle. Castration is the recommended treatment of choice for pets with cryptorchidism. Depending on where the undescended testicle is located, the incision may be in the inguinal skin or into the abdomen. The normal (descended) testicle is removed in the regular manner. Sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are used to close the deeper tissue layers, and the outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples that need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Cystotomy

Surgical removal of urinary stones from the bladder. Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on its back lying on the surgical table. The hair is clipped over the lower abdomen, the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area and a sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. The incision is similar to a spay incision (midline). Your veterinarian uses a scalpel to incise the skin of the lower abdomen and to open the abdominal cavity. The urinary bladder is isolated with sterile sponges and an incision is made. Any urine is removed from the bladder to prevent abdominal contamination. The operation then continues; for example, the surgeon may remove bladder stones, a tumor, or extensive blood clots. Often a urinary catheter is placed at the conclusion of surgery, to allow urine to drain easily from the bladder. At the conclusion of the procedure, sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are placed to close the incision in the urinary bladder. The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Declaw Removal

Surgical removal of one or multiple dew claws. The skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. The dewclaw is often loosely connected to the paw, unlike other toes. This makes removal relatively simple. Using surgical scissors, the skin, bone and nail of the digit is quickly cut off. The skin is then sutured with absorbable or non-absorbable sutures. Some veterinarians use surgical adhesive. If non-absorbable suture is used, it will need to be removed in 5 to 7 days. In older pets, a bandage is placed over the incision site for 2 to 3 days.

Diagnostic Ultrasound

Ultrasound is perhaps most familiar in human medicine in studying fetal development in pregnant women. It works by sending sound waves, beyond the range of human hearing, through tissue and recording the waves as they are reflected back. Those reflections are then transformed into images of organs and other body systems for veterinarians to study. In simplest terms, ultrasound produces two-dimensional pictures of, say, the heart, kidney or spleen as they are actually functioning. The pictures enable veterinarians to see even the pulsing of blood vessels. It is not used, however, for diseases of the bone or muscle "If you take an X-ray of the heart, all you see is the shape and size of the heart. Is it small, normal or large, or is it enlarged at a certain spot?" explained Rappaport. "With ultrasound you can see inside the heart, see the valves and measure the thickness of the walls of the heart. It is the same with the kidney. With an X-ray you will see a bean-shaped kidney. With ultrasound, you can see the structure of the organ."

Diaphragmatic Hernia Repair

A diaphragmatic hernia is a tear or rupture in the sheet of muscle called the diaphragm. The diaphragm separates the abdomen from the lungs and chest cavity, and once ruptured, allows abdominal organs to pass through to the chest cavity. These intruding organs can push against the lungs making it difficult for your pet to breath or against the heart causing heart issues as well. Fluid from the abdomen may also flow through the tear into the chest, further crowding the cavity.

Dystichiasis

Removal of eye lashes (or distichia) on the inside of the eyelid. Some asymptomatic dogs with short, fine distichia may require no treatment at all, and some may be managed conservatively, especially those with mild clinical signs. Observation is commonly recommended for American cocker spaniels because they are often very tolerant of their extra eyelashes. Ophthalmic lubricant ointments may be used to protect the cornea and to coat the lashes in an oily film. Lubricants are most often chosen when mild tearing is the only clinical sign exhibited by the dog, if the lashes are few in number or short and fine in texture, or if the animal is not a good candidate for general anesthesia and surgery.

Surgical correction is undertaken to remove the lashes and kill the hair follicles if the dog is obviously bothered by the lashes, or if they are causing corneal changes. There is no single ideal surgical procedure available, as the hair follicles can be very difficult to kill. If only one or two lashes are present, then that portion of the eyelid may be surgically removed. If multiple eyelashes are present, then cautery of the meibomian glands or freezing of the glands with cryotherapy may be chosen. Care must be taken with both procedures so that excessive scarring of the eyelids does not occur. Regrowth of hairs is a common problem and may necessitate repeated surgeries. Eruption of new hairs at new locations may also occur.

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