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Dogs + Surgical Conditions

  • Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum. Toy breeds may be more at risk, but it can affect any breed of dog and is believed to be an inherited trait. Diagnosis can usually be made by palpation but sometimes requires blood testing or an abdominal ultrasound if the dog’s history is unknown. Risks of retained testicles include testicular cancer, spermatic cord torsion, and the development of undesirable male characteristics, so neutering is strongly recommended. Surgery is generally routine, and recovery is similar to any abdominal surgery.

  • One of the more common bladder stones found in dogs is composed of magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate (also known as struvite stones). Struvite bladder stones usually form as a complication of a bladder infection caused by bacteria, and if the urine becomes exceptionally concentrated and acidic. The most common signs that a dog has bladder stones are hematuria and dysuria. There are three primary treatment strategies for struvite bladder stones: 1) feeding a special diet to dissolve the stone(s), 2) non-surgical removal by urohydropropulsion and 3) surgical removal. Dogs that have experienced struvite bladder stones will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life.

  • The post-operative period is just as important as the surgery itself. Following the set instructions will help avoid complications and lead to a smoother recovery. Monitor the incision daily for signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or excessive licking. Consider using an Elizabethan collar to keep your dog from licking the incision site. Should you have any concerns, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • The main objectives of fracture repair are to promote rapid healing of the fracture and to get the dog using its leg as quickly as possible. In most cases, this involves rebuilding the broken bone and fixing it in that position with metallic implants. Post-operative care includes pain medications, antibiotics, adequate nutrition, exercise restriction, and physiotherapy. Most fractures can be repaired very effectively and in many cases, your dog will resume normal activity.

  • Total ear canal ablation and bulla osteotomy (TECA-BO) is a surgery performed to remove the ear canal and a portion of the middle ear. This surgery is performed in cases where the pet is suffering from chronic and unresponsive ear infections. The surgical technique, reasons for performing the procedure, the diagnostic steps, and potential post-op complications are outlined in this handout.

  • The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball is at the top of the thigh bone (femur), and the socket (acetabulum) is in the pelvis. Total hip replacement surgery removes and replaces both the ball and socket with prostheses. Most commonly, dogs having a total hip replacement will have a thorough examination and a blood screening profile to prepare for general anesthesia. Post-surgery, the dog will spend 3 to 5 days in the hospital to get the healing off to a good start. Approximately 90 - 95% of dogs who have a total hip replacement do very well and have excellent post-surgical function.

  • Damage to the tympanic membrane and middle ear infections can be very painful for dogs and cause a variety of clinical signs affecting the skin and nervous system. Diagnosis often requires a thorough ear examination with testing while your dog is under sedation or anesthesia. The treatment methods and prognosis depend on the nature of your dog's condition.

  • An umbilical hernia is a protrusion of the abdominal lining, abdominal fat, or a portion of abdominal organ(s) through the area around the umbilicus. An umbilical hernia can vary in size from less than a ¼” (1cm) to more than 1” (2.5cm) in diameter. Small (less than ¼” or 1cm) hernias may close spontaneously (without treatment) by age 3 to 4 months. If the hernia has not closed by the time of spaying or neutering, surgical repair of the hernia is recommended and prognosis is excellent.

  • The anconeal process is a small projection of bone on the ulna, the longer of the two bones of the forearm. If the anconeal process does not fuse to the rest of the ulna correctly during growth, it causes a condition called ununited anconeal process (UAP). This problem appears to be hereditary mostly in large breeds. When this part of the ulna does not fuse, the elbow joint becomes unstable, causing lameness and pain. Treatment requires surgery. Some form of rehabilitation will improve your dog's chances of making a full recovery from surgery and minimize lameness problems.

  • Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina and can be a result of several possible underlying causes. Prognosis is generally good, especially if the underlying cause is identified and treated early. The most common clinical signs of vaginitis include increased frequency of urination, licking of the vaginal area, vaginal discharges, and scooting or rubbing of the vaginal area. Diagnostic testing to determine the cause of a dog's condition is helpful in identifying the appropriate antibiotic treatment.