Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
Marlee is an adorable four month old female Labradoodle, who was constantly licking her lips.
Her family took her to the emergency vet whose first thought was something might be stuck in Marlee’s mouth or throat. An exam under sedation confirmed the suspicion: there was a string wrapped around her tongue. He gently pulled on it, but it was stuck.
Marlee had a classic “string foreign body” or “linear foreign body.” It typically goes down into the stomach or intestine. Once it reaches the intestine, the string can cut into it and cause leakage of its content. This causes peritonitis, which can be deadly.
I performed Marlee’s surgery at Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center. Marlee’s belly was opened up in surgery. Her stomach was full of food. Luckily, the intestine did not seem to be affected, which meant the string was stuck somewhere in the stomach.
I felt around, but it was impossible to recognize anything because of the amount of food. I asked the anesthesia nurse to gently pull on the string from inside the mouth. It was stuck. If the nurse couldn’t pull the string out, our only other option was to open the stomach, and dig around until the string would be found.
At the last second, just before I cut into the stomach, something slipped between my fingers and I distinctly felt a round foreign body slide from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube between the mouth and the stomach).
This stroke of luck allowed the anesthesia nurse to gently pull on the string. Little by little, she managed to pull two feet worth of string through the mouth!
Marlee recovered beautifully! She woke up smoothly after anesthesia, and by the time of her staple remove two weeks post-op, she was completely back to normal.
Harper, a 6 month old female German Shepherd, had a small problem.
Lots of small problems actually.
Her femur, or thigh bone, was shattered. You can see two large pieces at the break, and multiple small pieces in the middle.
I performed a surgical repair at Berks Animal and Emergency Center & Referral Center, using 1 pin, 2 wires, 9 screws, a stainless steel plate, and a bone graft! You can see the fractures and the repairs in the x-ray images below.
After 6 weeks of strict confinement, it was time to play in the snow!
Sadly, she had a tibial crest avulsion, or broken shin bone, shortly after turning 4 months of age. Because the fracture was minimally displaced, we tried to skip surgery. Two weeks later, follow up X-rays showed that the fracture was significantly worse!
Jules was scheduled for surgery at Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center in Shillington, Pennsylvania after the holidays. We were literally about to make an incision in the skin when I had a hunch. Something didn’t feel right. I thought that we should repeat X-rays and know how the fracture was before jumping into surgery. We moved Jules from the OR to the X-ray room.
Amazingly, the fracture had healed enough on its own that I decided to abort surgery.
Jules’ owner writes: “I am so very thankful to Dr. Zeltzman for helping out with my puppy Jules, who was scheduled for surgery this week. Before beginning surgery, he listened to his gut feeling and decided to re-X-ray her leg to make sure it hadn’t improved with rest. Much to everyone’s surprise, it had! Jules and I are both so very grateful that he did that rather than go directly into surgery. Thank you, Dr. Zeltzman!”
After a few weeks of rest, we’ll start to increase Jules’ activity progressively and she’ll be in top shape in no time!
She had several mammary tumors that needed removal at South Mountain Veterinary Hospital.
Before we removed any of the masses, we spayed her. During surgery, a mass was noticed on the spleen, so we obtained the owner’s permission to remove the spleen. Finally, we removed the mammary masses.
Babette recovered quickly from anesthesia and went home the same day. One week later, the biopsies came back as entirely benign! The mammary masses were adenomas and the spleen mass was lymphoid hyperplasia.
Babette’s guardian says, “Babette is feeling great, she seems 6 years younger!”
The mammary masses may have have been totally prevented if Babette had been spayed before the first heat cycle. Her owners didn’t know and felt terribly guilty. Thankfully Babette’s story had a happy ending, but remember spaying and neutering pets is the best option for their health!
His owners decided to proceed with surgery even though Fred was a senior and cancer was likely. I removed the mass at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital.
A week later, the mass was revealed to be a trichoblastoma. Previously called basal cell tumor, a trichoblastoma is a common benign tumor derived from a hair follicle. They are often found in Poodles and Cockers who are six to nine years of age. They’ll normally develop on the face, head, and back area.