Outdoor cat lands in surgery after injury

Frady faceFrady’s owners brought her to the veterinarian with a broken tibia after she suffered an unknown trauma outdoors.

A two-year-old female kitty, Frady needed surgical intervention to fix the broken bone. After we started operating at Orefield Veterinary Clinic, we realized that the bone wasn’t fractured into two pieces – it was shattered!

I repaired the bone with a stainless steel plate, thirteen screws, and two wires. Then I reinforced the repair with a splint.

Outdoor cats are at increased risk for injuries or worse. Sadly, we don’t live in a cat friendly world. Cats get attacked, shot at, or hit by cars all the time. Don’t let your cat be a victim! Keeping your kitty indoors may save her life.

Frady - preop VD

The shattered bone before being repaired.

Frady - postop VD

Here you can see the plate, screws, and wires used to repair the shattered bone.

Frady - preop lat

Another X-ray taken before the repair.

Frady - postop lat

To fix the shattered tibia, I used thirteen screws, a plate, and two wires.

Rescued fighting dog turns rescuer for half-dead bird

When Ed Gernon adopted a rescued fighting dog named Rex, the last thing he imagined was Rex would have a gift for rescue himself. But this former street dog surprised him by saving a tiny, almost-dead hummingbird, who so far has stuck around to be part of the family.

So if things are a little dark and chaotic right now, and you’re having trouble seeing the good sige of life, just watch this video and enjoy the salvation of man, dog, and bird!

Jack Russell saved after he snacks on carpet

Sam faceSam is a 12-year-old Jack Russell, who had been vomiting and was lethargic for a few days. X-rays and an ultrasound revealed that he had swallowed a foreign body. There was a suspicion that he chewed pieces of carpet.

Carpet is really made of a very long string, so the risk was that Sam had eaten what is called a “linear” foreign body. Linear foreign bodies can be deadly if they cut into the intestine.

Sam was taken to surgery at Berks Animal Emergency & Referral Center. Two foreign bodies could be felt: one in the stomach and one in the small intestine. You can watch the removal of the string from the stomach and the intestine below. The video does contain graphic footage of a surgical procedure, so you may want to skip it if you’re sensitive to that type of footage!

Although we expect puppies (and kittens) to eat things they shouldn’t, older pets should know better. Most of the time, when an adult swallows a foreign body I suspect there is an underlying medical condition. I always take biopsies of the stomach and the intestine during surgery to check. Sure enough, Sam’s biopsies revealed a common condition called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This disease can and should be treated to make him feel better and to hopefully prevent him from swallowing another foreign body.

Happily, Sam recovered nicely after surgery! Make sure to doggy proof your house to reduce the risk your pet will eat something dangerous. And if your dog or cat is vomiting, don’t wait! Take him to the vet to get it checked out.

Stomach removal picture

Removing the string from the stomach.

Intestine removal picture

Removing the string from the intestine.

Thick and thin intestine

The thin loop is normal, but the thick loop has IBD.

Postop strings

Here’s all the string Sam managed to eat.

Delicate Russian toy dog learns to look before she leaps

Nellie faceNellie is a two-year-old Russian toy dog. She jumped from her owner’s arms and broke both bones in her forearm, the radius and ulna.

Surgery was scheduled at Blairstown Animal Hospital. The main bone, the radius, was repaired with stainless steel and 6 screws. In addition, a bone graft was placed around the fracture site to speed up healing.

In my practice, this is a common fracture and a common surgery, but Nellie’s bone was about the size of a match! The repair was reinforced with a splint. Because there is no splint small enough for her size, we had to make one with a wooden tongue depressor.

Nellie recovered well. She was strictly confined for 8 weeks and needed weekly splint changes. Follow up X-rays were taken after 8 weeks to make sure the bone was healing.

Happily, the bone healed nicely. Her activity was slowly increased over 4 more weeks.

Small and toy breed dogs can break a bone after what seems to be minimal trauma, such as jumping or falling. It is important not to rely on a splint only, as this will often not allow the bone to heal. These dogs truly need surgery to ensure a happy ending.

And please be careful when holding these tiny dogs! Don’t give them a chance to jump from your arms or tall places.

E pre op 1

A preop X-ray, showing the broken bone.

E pre op 2

A preop X-ray, showing the broken bone.

E post op 2

A postop X-ray which shows the repair.

E post op 1

In this postop view, you can see the screws used to fix the fracture.

Emergency surgery averts crisis for unspayed cat

Skinny Minnie faceWhen veterinarians say it’s important to spay your pets, we really mean it! Skinny Minnie is a nine-year-old female cat. She was taken to the local emergency clinic because she wasn’t feeling well and had a bloody discharge from her vulva. An ultrasound showed a pyometra – a uterus full of pus.

She was started on IV fluids, pain medication and antibiotics. Emergency surgery was scheduled at South Mountain Veterinarian Hospital the next day.

Surgery for a pyometra is essentially a modified spay. It’s a bit riskier since there are much larger blood vessels than usual.

Thankfully, surgery went well and she made a full recovery.

Skinny Minnie’s owner is now aware that cats (and dogs) should be spayed before they are 6 months of age to avoid pyometra, as well as unplanned pregnancies and mammary tumors. Spaying a pet can save her life!

Skinny Minnie - Pyometra