Dr. Phil Zeltzman’s Blog
Leia is a 4 year-old female Havanese who just so happens to be cuter than a button.
She was experiencing back pain and right hind leg weakness, in spite of pain medication and cortisone. An MRI showed a slipped disc in the middle of her back, between T13 and L1.
Leia did great! Just a few hours after surgery, she went outside for a little walk. Nothing is going to stop Leia!
Back pain can be treated with pain medications and a slipped disc can be treated with cortisone, but studies show that in 80% of cases, these dogs actually need spinal surgery.
Matches is a 13 year old female Cocker Spaniel who, as you can see, rules the home from her royal couch.
She previously had to have her left eye removed because of glaucoma, but she was referred to me because she had difficulty breathing. Her family vet diagnosed her with an unusual condition in a Cocker: laryngeal paralysis, or lar par.
This was very surprising. It’s a common condition in Labradors, but rare in other breeds such as Cockers.
Lar par is a stressful ailment where the two folds of the larynx (or voice box) do not open and close as the patient breathes in and out. The folds remain closed – paralyzed – and the patient literally suffocates. This can be fixed with “tie back” surgery, which involves placing 2 strands of heavy nylon to open the left side of the larynx.
It’s a delicate surgery, but typically successful as it opens the airway so that the patient can breathe. Matches recovered very nicely and quickly from surgery at Blairstown Animal Hospital in New Jersey. So far, she is doing great.
Below, you can see a preop and postop video of the larynx.
In the “before” section, don’t be fooled by the movement at the bottom of the folds! These are the vocal cords, which do nothing for breathing. Look at the top of the folds, and you will see that they do not move, even when she tries to breathe in.
In the “after” portion, the left side of the throat (which appears on the right side of the screen!) is open to allow air from going in.
It’s very important for veterinary professionals to never assume! I was surprised to hear from my colleague that he had a Cocker with laryngeal paralysis, but sure enough, that’s what she had.
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.
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!
Also of interest:
- Could surgery help your dog’s chronic bladder infections?
- What you need to know about bladder surgery in dogs and cats
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