Most of our surgeries are done with lasers. This can have many benefits for the patient. A laser cuts tissue with a very intense beam of invisible light. This instantly seals blood vessels and nerve endings as it cuts. This not only reduces blood loss but incisional pain.
Every dental and surgical patient is continuously monitored during anesthesia for all of the following.
- Pulse oximetry
- Blood pressure
- Oxygen levels
- Carbon dioxide levels
- Heart rate
- Respiration rate
Anesthetic protocols are individually tailored for every pet and every procedure. Isofluorane inhalant anesthesia greatly reduces risks compared to injectable anesthetics. All pets receive a pre-anesthetic physical exam . Blood screening tests are available in house for all pets and required for senior pets. The objective is to make the procedure as safe as possible.
Ovariohysterectomy (Spay) and Neuters
Spaying eliminates heat cycles, avoids accidental pregnancies and unwanted offspring. Spaying also significantly reduces the incidence of breast tumors and undesirable behavior as well as eliminates the chances of ovarian and uterine cancers, and uterine infections, which can be common in older animals.
Neutering reduces the incidence of prostate cancer and eliminates the incidence of testicular cancer. Undesirable behavior is significantly reduced and the objectional odor of male cat urine is eliminated.
Spaying and neutering should be normally done when your pet is 4-6 months of age. The first heat cycle can occur about six months of age. Females spayed BEFORE their first cycle have much lower incidence of breast cancer. Behavior patterns of non-spayed and neutered animals may include: roaming, aggression, urinating in inappropriate places and undesirable sexual behavior in males. These unacceptable behaviors are easier to prevent than to correct.
Contrary to public opinion a pet does not have to become “fat and lazy” after surgery. Diet, exercise and heredity have much more influence on the weight and attitude of your pet than does spaying/neutering.
As with any surgery, human or animal, there is some risk to the general anesthesia. Doing a pre-anesthetic blood screen will identify any underlying problems and minimize the risks. Veterinary procedures have become highly sophisticated and are very similar to human medical procedures. With proper precautions, the risk is minimal.
The Guilt Free Laser Declaw!
Concerned about declawing? We know how you feel. While that furry little friend can cause great damage to your furniture, draperies, your clothes, and even your skin, you feel guilty about having him declawed. We know this because we consistently hear comments from pet owners just like you.
Did you know…that declawing can now be performed with a laser? Yes! That same tool that removes facial wrinkles can varicose veins from people can be used to declaw a cat. Laser surgery makes declawing a better, safer, less painful procedure. Read on to see why.
Seals nerve endings! Lasers cut tissue with a beam of light which seals the nerve endings so there is very little pain upon recovery. Seals blood vessels! Lasers also seal blood vessels as they cut so there is usually no need for bandaging after surgery.
On the prowl the very next day! Since there are no bandages, your furry friend can be up to normal speed the next day and…without leaving his usual trade “marks” on the furniture and skin!
All cats, young or old, big or small can have a laser declaw. We think it is, without a doubt, the best technique developed for declawing.
The cost for declawing? Yes, it costs a little more, but we think the benefit for your pet is worth it. Properly done, a declaw will provide the cat a lifetime of comfort and allow him to be an inside pet without causing all the damage. Consider having your pet declawed at the time of spaying or neutering. It is not only more cost effective for you, but it is less stressful for the pet.
Cruciate Ligament Repair
Cruciate Ligament Injury and Repair in Dogs
The knee (stifle) joint of the dog is one of the weakest in the body. Just as athletes (football players, in particular) frequently suffer knee injuries, the dog also has knee injuries. The knee joint is relatively unstable because there is no interlocking of bones in the joint. Instead, the two main bones, the femur and tibia, are joined with several ligaments. When severe twisting or excessive extension of the joint occurs, the most common injury is a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). When it is torn, instability occurs that allows the bones to move in an abnormal fashion in relation to one another. When this happens, it is not possible to bear weight on the leg without it collapsing.
A special note is appropriate concerning the dog’s weight. Obesity or excessive weight can be a strong contributing factor in cruciate rupture. The ligament may become weakened due to carrying too much weight; this causes it to tear easily. Obesity will make the recovery time much longer, and it will make the other knee very susceptible to cruciate rupture. If your dog has a weight problem, there are prescription diets that can be used to assist weight reduction.
Rupture of the ACL is most common in middle aged and older dogs, particularly those that are overweight house pets.
In younger dogs, rupture of the ACL is usually the result of trauma to the stifle joint. In some cases, the ligament may only partially tear; however, this will eventually lead to complete tearing of the ligament. When ACL rupture occurs in older dogs, it is most frequently initiated by a progressive degenerative change in the ligament with eventual total rupture.
Dogs with a ruptured ACL are usually lame and may refuse to bear weight on the affected leg. Eventually, most dogs become more willing to bear weight but some degree of lameness remains.
The most reliable means of diagnosing this injury is to move the femur and tibia in a certain way to demonstrate the instability. This movement is called a “drawer sign.” It can usually be demonstrated with the dog awake. If the dog is very painful, has very strong leg muscles, or is uncooperative, it may be necessary to use sedation in order to examine the joint adequately.
Correction of ACL rupture requires surgery. A skilled surgeon can fashion a replacement ligament and stabilize the joint so it functions normally or near normally. If surgery is not performed within a few days to a week, arthritic changes will begin that cannot be reversed, even with surgery.
Occasionally, the injury that causes a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament will also result in tearing of one or both of the menisci or “cartilages.” At the time of surgery, these are examined and removed if necessary.
Following proper and prompt surgical correction, the joint is sound again. Most dogs walk and run without any lameness; however, some have either a mild limp or lameness associated with cold and damp weather.
Occasionally, a dog that has a ruptured cruciate ligament will become sound (will no longer limp), even if surgery is not performed. However, progressive, degenerative arthritis will develop and result in lameness a few months later. Once these degenerative changes are established, the lameness cannot be corrected, even with surgery.
Myth: Animals tolerate pain better than people do.
Animals have reason to hide pain and may communicate pain in ways that people fail to recognize. Animals instinctively hide pain because in their evolution from wild animals, it could be a sign of vulnerability to predators. Also, pack animals will kick out members of the group who are wounded. Your pet does not want that to happen to them (and they consider you a part of their pack) and thus do not show pain as we do.
When pain becomes so intense that it cannot be hidden, animals may not show it in ways that we can easily recognize. Guarding or protecting an area of the body, unusual vocalizations, a change in posture, self-mutilation, a change in personality, restlessness, decreased activity, withdrawal from the group, or even loss of appetite can all be interpreted as signs of pain. An animal’s inability to verbally communicate pain does not negate its existence. Since companion animals’ nervous systems evolved very much as ours did, with pain as a mechanism to protect us from further injury, we should assume that animals not only feel pain, but what would be painful to us, would be painful to them. Thus pain should be managed accordingly: with diet, with exercise therapy, and with medication when necessary.
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