Senior kitty struggles at the litter box

Phantom is an 11-year-old cat. 9 years ago, he was struggling to urinate. After several episodes of urinary blockage, which prevented him from peeing, he had a perineal urethrostomy, or P/U, to widen the opening of his urethra.

Over time, he has a few more episodes of blockage. The previous P/U site had scarred down and was so tiny that he couldn’t urinate at all.

I was called to perform surgery to allow him to urinate again.

I recommended performing a prepubic urethrostomy at Animal Clinic of Morris Plains. This is a procedure done inside the belly. The urethra is cut off and rerouted to the skin of the belly. A new opening is created, which means that Phantom will pee like a male dog.

Phantom urinated nicely overnight and went home the next day.

In the right hands, a perineal urethrostomy is a life-saving and reliable surgery. Even if it fails, which should be very rare, there is hope. Please don’t euthanize your cat if you end up in this situation. Sometimes the initial surgery may be repairable. If not, a prepubic urethrostomy is a great option to help your cat!

Bulldog loses a toe

rocky-faceRocky, a nine-year-old Bulldog, developed a large mass on one of his toes.

It grew to a point that it was difficult to remove and close the skin without sacrificing a toe. In addition, we needed to remove enough tissue around the tumor to “get it all.” I amputated the mass along with the toe at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital.

About a week later, the biopsy came back… benign! The mass was a nevus – a rather unusual diagnosis in a pet. Rocky recovered very well and was soon walking normally.

Losing a toe may sound terrible, but dogs adjust very nicely!

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Happy Halloween!

I hope all my clients, patients, and all you animal lovers have a safe and happy Halloween!

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Long-suffering Cocker Spaniel gets surgical relief

pepperPepper had a long history of ongoing and recurring ear infections. By the time I met Pepper, a nine-year-old Cocker, he had “end stage otitis.”

This means the ear canal was a stinky, painful, rock-hard mess.

Be glad I can’t share the smell with you!

Every conceivable treatment was tried, and in the end conservative options failed. The only good solution to help Pepper was a procedure called TECA, or Total Ear Canal Ablation.

Pepper’s owners felt that his left ear was worse, so I performed a left ear TECA at Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center.

I removed the the entire diseased and infected ear canal. The ear flap stays of course!

After 3 weeks, the surgery site healed very nicely and Pepper was doing great. Now he is ready for a TECA on the right side!

Surgery is a great option for dogs with repeated ear infections. Cocker Spaniels in particular have trouble with infections and can be helped by surgery.

 

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End stage otitis.

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The ear canal after removal.

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The left ear incision healed, and Pepper was ready for surgery on this right ear.

Jack Russell’s surgery is just a symptom of a larger problem

MaxA 10 year-old Jack Russell, Max, wasn’t feeling well.

He’d eaten a red rubber toy, and while he vomited a small piece of it up, X-rays and continued vomiting suggested there was more foreign material in the stomach and the small intestine.

Sure enough, we found 2 more foreign bodies in the belly. One piece was in the stomach, which we opened up. The other one was literally stuck at the end of small intestine, right before the appendix.

But that wasn’t it. Because of his age, I suspected that Max had an underlying condition that compelled him to eat things he shouldn’t. We expect puppies to get into things they shouldn’t, which is why puppy-proofing a house is so important! On the other hand, seniors like Max and dogs who are past puppy-hood should know better.

We took biopsies of the stomach and the intestine at Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center. Sure enough, a week later the biopsies revealed Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a condition similar to IBS in people.

Toys are not always as safe as manufacturers claim! Young dogs eat stuff because they are young and… not always so smart (good thing they’re cute).

However, older pets should know better. They often eat foreign bodies because of IBD, which should be treated.

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The foreign bodies we removed from Max.