Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
Chica, a 2 year old female German Shorthair Pointer, had a broken forearm (radius and ulna) that required a plate and screws to fix. I operated at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center. You can see the broken arm and the repair x-rays below.
Chica had just a tiny bit of separation of anxiety during her recovery, which may have resulted in a bathroom becoming a little messier than normal.
Well over a year after surgery, her owner sent me a wonderful video of Chica playing with her sister.
Can you tell which one is Chica?
She’s the taller one!
Leia is a 4 year-old female Havanese who just so happens to be cuter than a button.
She was experiencing back pain and right hind leg weakness, in spite of pain medication and cortisone. An MRI showed a slipped disc in the middle of her back, between T13 and L1.
Leia did great! Just a few hours after surgery, she went outside for a little walk. Nothing is going to stop Leia!
Back pain can be treated with pain medications and a slipped disc can be treated with cortisone, but studies show that in 80% of cases, these dogs actually need spinal surgery.
Matches is a 13 year old female Cocker Spaniel who, as you can see, rules the home from her royal couch.
She previously had to have her left eye removed because of glaucoma, but she was referred to me because she had difficulty breathing. Her family vet diagnosed her with an unusual condition in a Cocker: laryngeal paralysis, or lar par.
This was very surprising. It’s a common condition in Labradors, but rare in other breeds such as Cockers.
Lar par is a stressful ailment where the two folds of the larynx (or voice box) do not open and close as the patient breathes in and out. The folds remain closed – paralyzed – and the patient literally suffocates. This can be fixed with “tie back” surgery, which involves placing 2 strands of heavy nylon to open the left side of the larynx.
It’s a delicate surgery, but typically successful as it opens the airway so that the patient can breathe. Matches recovered very nicely and quickly from surgery at Blairstown Animal Hospital in New Jersey. So far, she is doing great.
Below, you can see a preop and postop video of the larynx.
In the “before” section, don’t be fooled by the movement at the bottom of the folds! These are the vocal cords, which do nothing for breathing. Look at the top of the folds, and you will see that they do not move, even when she tries to breathe in.
In the “after” portion, the left side of the throat (which appears on the right side of the screen!) is open to allow air from going in.
It’s very important for veterinary professionals to never assume! I was surprised to hear from my colleague that he had a Cocker with laryngeal paralysis, but sure enough, that’s what she had.
Quinton is an 8 year old Pug, who had a small open wound that would not heal despite antibiotics.
Quinton’s vet, instead of ignoring the wound, decided to test it. Under the microscope, the cells looked like Quinton could have a mast cell tumor! Mast cells are normal white blood cells that can occasionally cause a tumor. In fact, it’s one of the most common skin tumors. However, they typically appear as a lump or bump, not as an open wound.
I performed surgery at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital and removed a very large portion of his right upper lip and small section of the left upper lip.
It is very important to remove enough tissue around a tumor in the hopes of getting it all.
The lab confirmed a mast cell tumor. There are 3 grades describing severity of the tumors: 1 is good, 3 is bad. Quinton had a grade 2 mast cell tumor, which we fortunately removed entirely.
Never neglect open wounds! You never know what they can be hiding.
Trooper is a four month old Labrador puppy, who wasn’t feeling well. He was vomiting and not eating well.
His owners took him to an emergency clinic and x-rays revealed something that looked suspiciously like a foreign body. The veterinarian recommended surgery, which I performed at Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center.
During surgery, I found hard foreign body stuck in the small intestine. The green arrow shows what the intestine should look like – small. The yellow arrow shows how the intestine is distended.
The moral of the story? You should always monitor your pets’ toys! No toy is completely safe. Trooper’s owners did an excellent job of puppy-proofing the house: trash was secured, dirty laundry was inaccessible, and there was no way Trooper could get into something that would hurt him.
But they did not realize that a toy this hard could be chewed to pieces and swallowed. Lab puppies are masters at finding and eating things they shouldn’t!
Luckily, Trooper had a happy ending. He pulled through very well after anesthesia and surgery. In fact, he started eating just a few hours after waking up.