Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
Rocky, 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!
They say that a journey begins with a single step, but sometimes that step is into your car so you can drive five hours for a scheduled surgery!
Hershey’s owner drove all the way from Jamestown, New York near Lake Erie so I could perform surgery at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital in Pennsylvania. It was quite the road trip.
Hershey is an eleven-year-old Lab whose laryngeal paralysis made it difficult for him to breathe. A complicating factor is that he’s diabetic. Hershey’s vet was not sure that surgery was the best bet, but his owner loves Hershey and wasn’t ready to give up on her best friend.
You can see a video of Hershey and his surgery below. He struggles to breathe before the surgery, but after we perform a “tie back” procedure there’s a nice, wide opening. This lets oxygen get in. A tie back surgery uses nylon sutures to keep one side of the larynx open. Two hours after surgery, you can hear the difference! There’s no more struggling and just nice quiet breathing.
You can also see that a small tumor on Hershey’s eyelid was removed. That is a benign tumor called a chalazion, or an adenoma of a Meibomian gland.
Hershey spent a restful night at Barton Heights, and left the hospital for a five hour drive home!
Yuengling, a 7-year-old German Shepherd, had swelling along the left side of his tongue. The mass was so large that Yuengling was having difficulty breathing.
This is called a ranula, or a mucocele. It’s a large pocket of saliva often formed after trauma to a salivary gland. I performed surgery at Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center and cut the pocket open and sutured the edges together.
But before I could close the incision, the thick, ropy saliva needed to be aspirated. You can see the mass and part of the surgery in the video below.
I hope all my clients, patients, and all you animal lovers have a safe and happy Halloween!
Dr. Laurie Hess knows that our exotic or unusual pets are just as important to us as our cats and dogs. She’s board-certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in avian medicine, past president of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, and a member of both the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians.
She’s written a book that will bring the reader into her world, sharing stories of her patients (and the clients who come with them!) and reminding us that, whether they have fur, feathers, or scales, our pets provide us with endless happiness.
Unlikely Companions will open a window into the practice of an exotic animal veterinarian, and would make a perfect gift for your animal-loving friends and family members.
Click here or on the image at the right to share the joy.