Senior cat’s mystery weight loss solved – and fixed!

Baxter is a handsome, 15 year old cat who was losing weight even though he had a Baxter Kline 15yM DSH - Preop thyroid glandular hyperplasia & adenoma - PZ 2015healthy appetite.

He was diagnosed with or hyperactive thyroid glands, also called hyperthyroidism. I removed both thyroid glands during surgery.

The biopsy revealed that the glands contained cysts and an adenoma, or benign tumor.

Despite being 15 years old, Baxter recovered very well. Surgery on senior pets should be considered very carefully, but it can definitely be worthwhile!

You can see the bulge in Baxter’s throat in the pre-op photo, and below you can see the glands we removed.

Baxter Kline 15yM DSH - Postop thyroid glandular hyperplasia - PZ 2015 B

Inside-out intestine sends Shar Pei into emergency surgery

Link faceLink is an eight year old male Shar Pei who had an emergency surgery because of intussusception of the small intestine.

Intussusception is a weird disease of the intestine where one bowel loop squeezes inside another, like a sock or a telescope. The inner portion then slowly “dies.”

Younger dogs tend to have an intussusception because of parasites, parvovirus, or foreign bodies. Older dogs usually develop intussusception if they have intestinal cancer. Sure enough, Link’s ultrasound was suggested the worst. In spite of the odds, Link’s owners elected surgery.

One week later, the biopsy revealed that Link did have a tumor in the intussusception, but it was benign leiomyoma! Below, you can see the part of the intestine that was removed.

Three weeks after surgery, Link’s guardians say he is “Doing fabulous. Mom can’t keep him from jumping. He is eating well, has no more vomiting and his skin incision healing well.”Intussusception_

Veterinary nurses save animals’ lives (and this surgeon’s, too!)

Veterinary Assistants And DogI can’t even imagine what veterinary practice would be like without our veterinary nurses. Actually, I can: Pure chaos.

I’ve long referred to them as veterinary nurses because I think it’s a better description of the role they play in animal health practice than the current official “veterinary technician.” It turns out I was just ahead of the curve, because the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has officially come out in favor of a national program for registered veterinary nurses, RVNs, to replace “technician.”

Whatever you call them, without a shadow of a doubt they are the main reason I am able to do what I do. They are lifesavers — and not just pets’ lives, but vets’ lives, too!

If your pet is one of my surgical patients, or if you’ve been to any vet recently, I want you to consider this:

  • A nurse started the consultation
  • A nurse admitted your pet for tests or surgery
  • A nurse drew and analyzed blood work
  • A nurse took x-rays
  • A nurse provided sedation, anesthesia, and pain relief
  • A nurse monitored anesthesia
  • A nurse assisted in surgery
  • A nurse cleaned surgical instruments
  • A nurse fed your pet
  • A nurse changed your pet’s bedding
  • A nurse applied a bandage and managed wound care
  • A nurse discharged your pet after surgery

In fact, a veterinary nurse did so many things it would take two pages to list them all. I routinely see nurses hand-feed finicky patients, carry them around (granted, more often with cute fur balls than 80 pound Labs), pet and spoil the patients, give them kisses, talk to them in a funny voice, and more.

Did you know all that was happening behind the scenes? How about these real-life examples from the work of the best tech I work with?

  • She buys a fast food meal with her own money and feeds it to dogs who are going to be euthanized (with the owner’s permission), saying, “They might as well go over the rainbow bridge with a stomach full of junk food!”
  • She runs has her own mini-rescue organization
  • She’s been known to pay for veterinary care a pet’s owners can’t afford

It’s National Veterinary Technician Week, so if you happen to be at a vet clinic, or if you are particularly grateful to a nurse or a group of nurses, this week would be a great time to express your gratitude!



Fatty spleen removed from blue-eyed beauty

Storm Karkanica 11yF Husky - Spleen myelolipoma - Face - PZ 2015

Can you believe these beautiful eyes?

Storm is an 11 year old female Husky who went to her veterinarian because she wasn’t acting like herself. The referring veterinarian felt a mass in her belly during her physical exam.

We performed a spleen removal at Brunswick Veterinary Hospital.

Fortunately, the mass was benign (spleen myelolipoma). It was just a fatty tumor in the spleen! For comparison, the coin at the top of the picture is a quarter.Storm Karkanica 11yF Husky - Spleen myelolipoma - PZ 2015

Surgery helps rescue dog’s bladder stop leaking

Rosie Rosie, a very cute 7-month-old American Bulldog, was probably abandoned because she couldn’t stop her bladder from overflowing. After she was rescued, her new family knew what she needed was veterinary care, so they brought her to North Penn Animal Hospital.

Not all urinary incontinence requires surgery to control, but Rosie’s definitely did. She had a condition known as ectopic ureters, where the tubes that carry urine from the bladder are mis-routed, causing urinary leaking and other symptoms.

Fortunately, we were able to reconstruct her ureters, and now, instead of leaking constantly, she’s dry and healthy and looking at a happy new life!

Rosie Bladder

Also of interest:

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