Trusting a hunch saves Corgi from unnecessary surgery

Jules faceJules is a cute and incredibly sweet Corgi mix, who is understandably totally spoiled rotten by her owner (it just means Jules is much-loved)!

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!

Jules Dec 7-2015

The December 7 x-ray shows the broken shin bone.

Jules Dec 24-2015

An x-ray on Christmas eve shows the fracture has gotten worse.

Jules Jan 5-2016

A late Christmas gift! By 1/5/16, the fracture improved so much, Jules didn’t need surgery.

What simple surgery can prevent heartache for you and your pet?

Babette faceBeautiful Babette came into the veterinarian when her owner noticed mass under the skin of the belly.

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!

Babette abdomen

The masses are visible on Babette’s belly.

Babette Masses

The adenoma removed from the spleen.

Surgery turns out to be music to senior Shih Tzu’s ears

Fred Krause preopFred is a fourteen year old Shih Tzu who is all ears. In fact, his a left ear was a little too big as a firm mass at the base continued to grow.

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.

Fred recovered within minutes after surgery and is back to his old self!Fred postop

Emergency x-ray reveals corn cob caught in Lab’s intestine

Riley 4Riley wasn’t feeling well. A five year old Lab, he wasn’t acting like himself and had been vomiting. He went to Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center and had an X-ray taken.

The arrow is pointing at a very subtle abnormal area. If you look closely, you can see the “grainy” structure that is classic for a corn cob. Corn cobs are notoriously difficult to see on X-rays. Riley is very lucky that a doctor at the emergency hospital noticed the anomaly!

Riley 1

Abdominal surgery revealed the corn cob stuck was stuck the small intestine. The strange thing is that the only known cob he chewed on was possibly swallowed on Memorial Day, five months prior.

Riley will make a full recovery. His owner says,”Riley thanks you so much for taking such good care of him. He is healing up nicely and can’t wait to have the cone come off!”

Riley 2 Riley 3

Terrier’s terrible gallbladder has got to go

Tadhg 1This 13 year old Norwich Terrier, Tadhg, was not feeling well.

He wasn’t acting like himself, and he had a poor appetite. After undergoing an ultrasound, it was discovered that he had an enlarged gallbladder.

The gallbladder needed to come out. It was full of “sand” and gallstones.

After surgery, Tadhg felt better and started eating. A week later, biopsies confirmed inflammation of the gallbladder called cholecystitis.

The arrow on the X-ray is pointing at the gallbladder. Because it was full of minerals, the gallbladder was visible on X-rays.Tadhg 4


The first picture below is the gallbladder. The second is after the gallbladder was cut open.

Tadhg 3 Tadhg 2