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Dental Prophylaxis

 

Overview

A dental, also sometimes called a "prophy" or prophylaxis, is a cleaning and polishing of a dog's teeth. It is important to realize that dental disease does not reach a particular level and remain there. Dental disease continuously progresses. As dental disease progresses, the treatment becomes more involved, meaning longer and more elaborate (and more costly) dental procedures. This means that sooner is better than later when it comes to addressing your pet's dental disease with an appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Dental prophylaxis is generally suggested following a thorough history, oral examination. Prior to sedation, bloodwork may be recommended.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Pets undergoing dental prophylaxis may be treated with antibiotics prior to teeth cleaning. Sometimes, diseased teeth may need to be extracted during the procedure. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.

What to Watch for*:

  • Bad breath
  • Difficultly chewing food
  • Painful when chewing food or mouth is handled
  • Excessive drooling

* Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

WHAT IS AN OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY) IN DOGS?

 

Surgery (General & Soft Tissue) - Theriogenology

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

An ovariohysterectomy (spay) is the surgical removal of the female reproductive organs. The operation removes the two ovaries, the uterine horns and the body of the uterus.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING AN OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY)?

This operation is indicated to avoid heat (estrus) cycles, prevent pregnancy, remove diseased or cancerous female reproductive organs and markedly decrease the risk of acquired diseases of the female reproductive system. The spay operation essentially removes the possibility of a severe infection of the uterus (pyometra). There is also evidence that spaying a dog at an early age markedly reduces the future risk of developing mammary (breast) cancer.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED BEFORE AN OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY)?

Preoperative tests depend in part on the age and general health of the dog. In young dogs, minimal tests are needed provided the pet has been vaccinated, dewormed and proven healthy based on physical examination. Often simple blood tests, such as a packed cell volume or blood count, will be done prior to anesthesia. In older dogs, it would be common to perform a routine blood count, serum biochemical tests, urinalysis and possibly a chest X-ray or EKG prior to anesthesia. These recommendations vary on a case-by-case basis and depend on the overall health of the dog.

WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS NEEDED FOR AN OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY)?

As in a human patient, the procedure in dogs requires general anesthesia to induce complete unconsciousness and relaxation. In the usual case, the dog will receive a pre-anesthetic sedative-analgesic drug to help her relax, a brief intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe, and subsequently inhalation (gas) anesthesia in oxygen during the actual surgery.

How Is the Ovariohysterectomy (Spay) Operation Done?

Following anesthesia, the dog is placed on a surgical table, lying on her back. The hair is clipped over the middle of the abdomen and the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. A sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. A scalpel is used to incise the skin at the middle of the abdomen, and then the abdominal cavity is opened. The organs of the female reproductive tract are identified and the major blood vessels supplying the ovaries and the uterus are ligated (tied off). This must be done before these organs can be removed. Sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are used to tie off the blood vessels and also to close the uterus above the cervix. Sometime, surgical staples are used in place of sutures. The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

HOW LONG DOES THE OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY) TAKE TO PERFORM?

The procedure takes about 45 minutes to an hour to perform in most cases, including the needed time for preparation and anesthesia. In older or large-breed dogs the procedure can take longer and may require two surgeons.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF AN OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY) OPERATION?

The overall risk of this surgery in a healthy young dog is very low. While there are no published statistics, the risk of death is probably less than 1 in 500. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), postoperative infection and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the incision. Overall complication rate is low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POSTOPERATIVE AFTERCARE FOR AN OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY)?

Postoperative medication should be given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be mild to moderate and can be effectively eliminated with safe and effective pain medicines. Generally young dogs are acting normally within 24 to 48 hours and are released one or two days after surgery. It is difficult to determine that they just completed surgery. The home care requires reduced activity until the stitches are removed in 10 to 14 days. The incision line should be inspected daily for signs of redness, discharge, swelling or pain.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY FOLLOWING AN OVARIOHYSTERECTOMY (SPAY)?

The typical stay is one to two days.

WHAT IS A CASTRATION (NEUTER) IN DOGS?

 

Surgery (General & Soft Tissue) - Theriogenology

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A castration (neuter) is the surgical removal of the male reproductive organs. The operation removes the two testicles.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING A CASTRATION?

This operation is indicated to prevent pregnancy, remove diseased or cancerous testicles, reduce male behavior such as urine marking, territorial aggression and roaming, and markedly decrease the risk of acquired diseases of the male reproductive system. The neuter operation essentially removes the possibility of testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostatic enlargement.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED?

Preoperative tests depend in part on the age and general health of the pet. In young dogs, minimal tests are needed provided the pet has been vaccinated, dewormed, and proven healthy based on clinical examination. Often simple blood tests, such as a packed cell volume or blood count, are done prior to anesthesia. In older animals, it is common to perform a routine blood count, serum biochemical tests, urinalysis, and possibly a chest X-ray or EKG prior to anesthesia. These recommendations vary on a case-by-case basis and depend on the overall health of the pet.

WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS NEEDED?

The procedure requires general anesthesia to induce complete unconsciousness and relaxation. In the usual case, the pet receives a pre-anesthetic sedative-analgesic drug to help him relax, a brief intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe, and subsequently inhalation (gas) anesthesia in oxygen during the actual surgery.

How Is the Operation Done?

Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on his back. The hair just in front of the scrotum (the skin pouch containing the testicles) is clipped and the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. A sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. Your veterinarian uses a scalpel to incise the skin just in front of the testicles. The testicles are identified and the major blood vessels and vas deferens are ligated (tied off). This must be done before these organs can be removed. Sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are used to tie off the blood vessels. The incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

HOW LONG DOES THE OPERATION TAKE TO PERFORM?

The procedure takes about 20 minutes to 45 minutes to perform in most cases, including the needed time for preparation and anesthesia. In older or large-breed dogs the procedure can take longer.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF A CASTRATION (NEUTER) OPERATION?

The overall risk of this surgery in a healthy young pet is very low. While there are no published statistics, the risk of death is probably less than 1 in 500. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), post-operative infection, and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the incision. Overall complication rate is low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POST-OPERATIVE CARE?

Post-operative medication should be given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be mild to moderate and can be effectively eliminated with safe and effective pain medicines. Generally young dogs begin to act normal within 24 to 48 hours and are released the same day or the day following surgery, and it is difficult to determine that they just completed surgery. The home care requires reduced activity until the stitches are removed in 10 to 14 days. You should inspect the incision line daily for signs of redness, discharge, swelling, or pain, and prevent your pet from licking the incision.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY?

The typical stay is one day.

WHAT IS AN ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY IN DOGS?

 

Surgery (General & Soft Tissue)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

An abdominal exploratory is a surgical procedure involving the opening of the abdominal cavity and examination of the abdominal organs. WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING AN ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY?

An abdominal exploratory is indicated whenever there is significant abdominal disease that eludes diagnosis. Chronic vomiting, penetrating abdominal wounds, abdominal pain, abdominal fluid accumulation, urinary bladder disease, masses and intestinal disease are some of the more common indications for an abdominal exploratory.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED BEFORE AN ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY?

Preoperative tests depend in part on the age and general health of the animal as well as the reason for the abdominal exploratory. Typically, radiographs, blood count, serum biochemical tests, a urinalysis, and possibly an EKG are performed.

WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS NEEDED FOR AN ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY?

As in human patients, the procedure in dogs and cats requires general anesthesia to induce complete unconsciousness and relaxation. In the usual case, the pet will receive a pre-anesthetic sedative-analgesic drug to help him relax, a brief intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe, and subsequently inhalation (gas) anesthesia in oxygen during the actual surgery.

How Is the Abdominal Exploratory Operation Done?

Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on his back. The hair is clipped over the middle of the abdomen, the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area, and a sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. Your veterinarian uses a scalpel to incise the skin at the middle of the abdomen to open the abdominal cavity. The abdominal organs are examined and evaluated. If deemed necessary, other surgical procedures such as splenectomy, biopsy, cystotomy, ovariohysterectomy or enterotomy may be performed. These procedures are explained elsewhere on this site. The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

HOW LONG DOES THE ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY TAKE TO PERFORM?

The procedure takes about 45 minutes to two hours to perform in most cases, including the needed time for preparation and anesthesia. The time will vary depending on any other surgical procedures that are performed.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF AN ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY OPERATION?

The overall risk of this surgery is moderate to low, depending on the reason for the procedure. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), postoperative infection, intestinal or urinary bladder leakage and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the incision. Overall complication rate is low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POSTOPERATIVE AFTERCARE FOR AN ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY?

Postoperative medication is given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be moderate and can be effectively eliminated with safe and effective pain medicines. The home care requires reduced activity until the stitches are removed in 10 to 14 days. You should inspect the suture line daily for signs of redness, discharge, swelling, or pain.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY FOLLOWING AN ABDOMINAL EXPLORATORY?

The hospital stay will vary depending on the reason for the exploratory and any additional surgeries that were performed. Hospital stays may vary from 2 to 5 days and release from the hospital will depend on the overall health of the pet.

WHAT IS ANESTHESIA IN DOGS?

 

Dr. Emily S. Southward
Anesthesia & Analgesia

WHAT IS ANESTHESIA?

Anesthesia is the total loss of feeling or sensation. It is primarily associated with the loss of painful sensations, which allows surgery or procedures to be performed without causing pain. There are different types of anesthesia. Local anesthesia is rendering a local area of tissue or a part of the body insensitive to pain or sensation. General anesthesia is causing complete unconsciousness and relaxation of the entire body, as well as a loss of painful sensation.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING ANESTHESIA?

Many situations in veterinary medicine require anesthesia. Any type of invasive surgery or procedure is performed under general anesthesia. These include abdominal surgery, orthopedic surgery and neuters. Dental prophylaxis requires complete relaxation, so general anesthesia is indicated. Local anesthesia is most often used when treating small skin lacerations. The tissue surrounding the laceration is anesthetized so sutures can be placed without causing pain. Local anesthetic can also be used to remove small skin masses or lesions.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED BEFORE ANESTHESIA?

Before general anesthesia is performed on any patient, a complete physical examination is needed. The veterinarian listens to the heart and lungs to detect any murmurs, abnormal heart sounds or abnormal lung sounds. If any abnormal sounds are heard, chest x-rays are taken. This helps determine if there are any changes in heart size or in the lung tissue. The abdomen is palpated to detect any abnormalities or pain. Abdominal radiographs or ultrasound help diagnose any abnormalities detected during palpation.

In addition to a physical examination blood work is often performed. A complete blood cell count examines the red blood cells and white blood cells for abnormalities. A biochemical analysis examines the liver enzymes, kidney values and electrolytes.

If the patient has any abnormalities noted on these diagnostic tests, measures are taken to make the patient as stable as possible prior to being anesthetized. The drugs chosen to produce anesthesia will be those best suited to the patient and his illness or problem.

Prior to local anesthesia, a physical examination should be performed. Blood work is not usually required prior to local anesthesia unless significant abnormalities have been detected during the physical examination.

WHAT TYPE OF DRUGS ARE NEEDED FOR ANESTHESIA?

Drugs are given to produce both general and local anesthesia. As in human medicine, dogs and cats undergoing general anesthesia are given a preanesthetic medication to reduce anxiety and relax the animal. An analgesic (pain medication) is usually part of the preanesthetic protocol. The preanesthetic also allows for easier intravenous catheter placement for the induction of anesthesia. A short acting intravenous anesthetic (induction agent) produces unconsciousness to allow for placement of an endotracheal tube (breathing tube) into the trachea (windpipe). This tube allows for the use of inhalation (gas) anesthetic for the duration of the procedure.

For local anesthesia, drugs are injected into the immediate area in which suturing or surgery will be performed.

HOW LONG DOES ANESTHESIA TAKE TO PERFORM?

For general anesthesia, preanesthetic agents are administered 45 minutes to one hour before induction of anesthesia. Induction of anesthesia is usually quite rapid, often less than one minute. The duration of general anesthesia depends on the procedure and the type of anesthetic used. If gas anesthetic is used, the duration of anesthesia can be controlled by varying the concentration of the anesthetic administered to the patient. For example, spay surgery usually take less than one hour. More complicated procedures take more time. Fracture repairs and total hip replacements can take several hours. After the procedure is finished, the gas anesthesia is discontinued and the patient begins breathing oxygen. Pets typically begin to regain consciousness within 10 to 30 minutes. The patient usually remains groggy for several hours.

Local anesthetic takes effect within seconds after administration and generally lasts 15 to 30 minutes.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OR ANESTHESIA?

Anesthesia is never without risk. The preanesthetic examination and diagnostics help to reduce the risk of anesthesia by uncovering potential problems. Any patient can have an adverse (allergic reaction) reaction to medications, including anesthetics.

Complications that occur under general anesthesia are apnea (not breathing), bradycardia (slow heart rate), hypotension (low blood pressure), blood loss and sometimes cardiac arrest. To prevent these complications from occurring, the patient is monitored continuously.

There are few complications associated with local anesthetic. The most common complication is allergic reaction.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POSTOPERATIVE AFTERCARE FOR ANESTHESIA?

Postoperative care following general anesthesia is aimed at returning the patient to normal function. Most patients are hypothermic (cold) and heat support is provided until the patient can maintain his own body temperature. Pain control is also standard care. Some procedures will produce postoperative pain so medication is used to keep the patient comfortable. General nursing care is also provided to keep the patient clean and comfortable.

Postoperative care following a local anesthetic is minimal. If a significant amount has been administered in one leg, the animal may be lame for a short period of time. Most animals return to normal within 30 minutes after administration of the local anesthetic.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY FOLLOWING ANESTHESIA?

The length of stay in the hospital following general anesthesia depends on the type of procedure performed. Dental procedures usually do not require an overnight stay. More invasive procedures such as intestinal foreign body removal or fracture repair usually require a stay of one to several days.

Animals receiving local anesthetic rarely stay in the hospital for any length of time.

WHAT IS A BIOPSY IN DOGS?

 

Surgery (General & Soft Tissue)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A biopsy is the surgical removal of a portion of tissue.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING A BIOPSY?

Biopsies are taken of suspicious masses, tumors or abnormal organs. The biopsy is typically submitted to a veterinary pathologist for evaluation and a diagnosis.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED BEFORE A BIOPSY?

Preoperative tests depend in part on the age and general health of the animal as well as the reason for the biopsy. For small superficial skin biopsies, simple blood tests, such as a packed cell volume or blood count, may be done prior to anesthesia. If the biopsy is associated with major organs, extensive tests such as radiographs, blood count, serum biochemical tests, a urinalysis, and possibly an EKG may be necessary.

WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS NEEDED FOR A BIOPSY?

A local anesthetic is usually sufficient for small, superficial skin biopsies; general anesthesia is necessary for large biopsies or biopsies of organs to induce complete unconsciousness and relaxation. In this case, the pet will receive a pre-anesthetic sedative-analgesic drug to help him relax, a brief intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe, and subsequently inhalation (gas) anesthesia in oxygen during the actual surgery.

How Is the Biopsy Done?

For skin biopsies, the hair surrounding the biopsy site is clipped. The area is scrubbed with surgical soap and disinfectants. Using a scalpel blade, special biopsy punch or biopsy needle, a section of the suspicious tissue is removed. The skin is then closed with sutures (stitches) or surgical glue. For biopsies of internal organs, following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on his back. The hair is clipped over the middle of the abdomen and the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. A sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. A scalpel is used to incise the skin at the middle of the abdomen, and then the abdominal cavity is opened. The organ to be biopsied is identified and the biopsy taken. If necessary, the biopsy site is closed with sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time. The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

HOW LONG DOES THE BIOPSY TAKE TO PERFORM?

The procedure takes about 15 minutes to an hour to perform in most cases, including the needed time for preparation and anesthesia. In small skin biopsies, the procedure is relatively quick; in large biopsies or biopsies of abdominal organs, the procedure can take longer.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF A BIOPSY?

The overall risk of this surgery is low, especially in those situations where local anesthesia is used. The major risks accompany large biopsies and biopsies of organs and are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), postoperative infection and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the biopsy site. Overall complication rate is low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POSTOPERATIVE AFTERCARE FOR A BIOPSY?

Post-operative medication should be given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be mild to moderate and can be adequately controlled with safe and effective pain medicines. The home care requires reduced activity until the stitches are removed in 10 to 14 days. The biopsy site or abdominal suture line should be inspected daily by the pet owner for signs of redness, discharge, swelling, or pain.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY FOLLOWING A BIOPSY?

The typical stay for small and minor biopsies is brief. The pet is usually sent home as soon as the biopsy is taken. For extensive biopsies and those associated with internal organs, hospital stays vary depending on overall health of the pet.

WHAT IS A CYSTOTOMY IN DOGS?

 

Nephrology & Urology - Surgery (General & Soft Tissue)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A cystotomy is a surgical opening created in the wall of the urinary bladder. This procedure allows the surgeon to look inside the bladder. While abdominal x-rays, ultrasound examination, and cystoscopy (scooping the bladder) are less invasive methods of looking into the bladder, cystoscopy has an important role in treatment of urinary bladder problems.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING A CYSTOTOMY?

Cystotomy is most indicated for treatment of bladder problems including removal of bladder stones, bladder tumors, and blood clots. This procedure also can be done to obtain a biopsy sample of the urinary bladder. Cystotomy is done to repair a rupture or severe trauma to the urinary bladder. In cases of abnormal insertion of the ureters into the bladder (these are the thin long tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), a cystotomy incision will be needed to correct the problem.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED BEFORE A CYSTOTOMY?

Preoperative tests depend in part on the age and general health of the animal as well as the cause for the cystotomy. Radiographs (x-rays) or abdominal ultrasound typically is done to diagnose the underlying illness prior to surgery. Often a complete blood count, serum biochemical test, a urinalysis, and possibly an EKG will be performed prior to surgery.

WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS NEEDED FOR A CYSTOTOMY?

This is a surgical procedure that involves opening the abdominal cavity. General anesthesia is needed to induce unconsciousness, complete control of pain, and muscle relaxation. In the usual case, the pet will receive a pre-anesthetic sedative-analgesic drug to help him relax, a brief intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe, and subsequently inhalation (gas) anesthesia in oxygen during the actual surgery.

How Is the Cystotomy Operation Done?

Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on its back lying on the surgical table. The hair is clipped over the lower abdomen, the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area and a sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. The incision is similar to a spay incision (midline). Your veterinarian uses a scalpel to incise the skin of the lower abdomen and to open the abdominal cavity. The urinary bladder is isolated with sterile sponges and an incision is made. Any urine is removed from the bladder to prevent abdominal contamination. The operation then continues; for example, the surgeon may remove bladder stones, a tumor, or extensive blood clots. Often a urinary catheter is placed at the conclusion of surgery, to allow urine to drain easily from the bladder. At the conclusion of the procedure, sutures (stitches) that dissolve over time are placed to close the incision in the urinary bladder. The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

HOW LONG DOES THE CYSTOTOMY TAKE TO PERFORM?

The procedure takes about 45 minutes to 1-1/4 hours to perform in most cases, including the needed time for preparation and anesthesia.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF A CYSTOTOMY OPERATION?

The overall risk of this surgery is low. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), postoperative infection, urine leakage, and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the incision. Overall complication rate is low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POSTOPERATIVE AFTERCARE FOR A CYSTOTOMY?

Post-operative medication should be given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be mild to moderate and can be effectively eliminated with safe and effective pain medicines. Often a urinary catheter will have been placed at surgery. This is typically removed in 24 to 72 hours. The home care requires reduced activity until the stitches are removed in 10 to 14 days. You should inspect the suture line daily for signs of redness, discharge, swelling, or pain and monitor your pet’s urinary habits. Some blood-tinged urine is expected for the first few days, but obvious pain, straining or a lack of urination is not normal and should prompt a call to your veterinarian.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY FOLLOWING A CYSTOTOMY?

The typical stay following a cystotomy is 2-3 days but will vary depending on the overall health of the pet and the underlying reason for the surgery.

DECLAWING

 

Dr. David Diamond
General Practice & Preventative Medicine - Surgery (General & Soft Tissue)

OVERVIEW

Declawing (onychectomy) is an elective surgical procedure in which the nail and last bone are removed from all of the toes of a cat’s front feet, and occasionally the rear feet as well. It is performed to make your cat unable to scratch furniture, people or other animals. Because cats seldom use their rear claws to scratch furniture it is generally recommended that only the front claws be removed. Additionally, cats that have only their front claws removed can still climb trees and claw with their rear limbs to protect themselves.

Alternatives to declawing include:

  • Behavior modification
  • Regular nail clipping to keep the nails blunt
  • Glued-on vinyl nail caps replaced every 6 to 8 weeks
  • Cutting of the flexor tendon in each toe to prevent extension of the nails into a scratching position

VETERINARY CARE

Most declawing procedures are performed on young healthy cats and extensive pre-operative work-up is not usually necessary. General anesthesia is typically required for this surgery.

SURGERY AND POSTOPERATIVE CARE

There are several methods for performing the procedure, but the goal is the same: complete removal of the third phalanx (last bone in the toe) and the nail that grows from it. Using a laser to perform the declaw is becoming more popular. This may be a less painful option and your cat's toes may have less bleeding afterwards.

Bleeding may occur from the incision after surgery, thus the feet are often bandaged for one to two days following the procedure. Postoperative pain is anticipated and patient is treated with pain killers (analgesics) and/or local anesthetics.

HOME CARE

Lameness or limping may persist for several weeks after surgery.

Regrowth of the nail indicates the nail bed was incompletely removed during surgery and your cat will need to have a repeat surgery performed to remove the residual nail bed and claw.

It is recommended that your cat not be allowed outside after this procedure because he will be less able to defend himself from other animals.

Shredded paper is usually used in the litter box for two weeks after surgery to prevent litter from getting into the incisions. Yesterdays News® is a brand of cat litter that can also be used. It is made from recycled newspapers.

Your cat should be monitored for persistence or recurrence of lameness.

Your veterinarian should be notified if any discharge or bleeding begins once your cat returns home.

WHAT IS A GASTROINTESTINAL RESECTION AND ANASTOMOSIS?

 

Critical Care & Emergency Medicine - Gastroenterology & Digestive Diseases - Surgery (General & Soft Tissue)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A gastrointestinal (GI) resection and anastomosis is a surgical procedure involving the removal of a diseased or damaged section of the intestine and connection of the remaining sections with sutures.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING A GI RESECTION AND ANASTOMOSIS?

Gastrointestinal resection and anastomosis is indicated whenever there is a significant problem with a portion of the intestine. Foreign object obstruction, gunshot wounds, intestinal tumors, intussusception and animal attack injuries are some common reasons to perform a gastrointestinal resection and anastomosis.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED?

Preoperative tests depend in part on the age and general health of the animal as well as the cause for the gastrointestinal resection and anastomosis. Most often, the pet is relatively ill before the surgery is performed. Extensive tests such as radiographs, blood count, serum biochemical tests, a urinalysis, and possibly an EKG may be necessary prior to surgery.

WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS NEEDED?

As in humans, the procedure requires general anesthesia to induce complete unconsciousness and relaxation. In the usual case, the pet will receive a pre-anesthetic sedative-analgesic drug to help him relax, a brief intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe, and subsequently inhalation (gas) anesthesia and oxygen during the actual surgery.

How Is the Gastrointestinal Resection and Anastomosis Done?

Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on his back. The hair is clipped over the middle of the abdomen and the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. A sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. A scalpel is used to incise the skin at the middle of the abdomen, and then the abdominal cavity is opened. The intestines are isolated and evaluated. The section of diseased or damaged intestine is detected. On either side of the damaged intestine, large clamps are used to close off the healthy parts of the intestine to prevent leakage of intestinal contents into the abdomen. The damaged section of intestine is then removed with a scalpel or surgical scissors.

At this point, there is a section of intestine missing and the healthy edges need to be sutured together. Using absorbable suture, the healthy sections of intestines are sutured together and the area is tested to make sure there are no leaks. A section of omentum (the lacy membrane that cover the intestines) is wrapped around the incision site to help protect against leaks. The abdominal incision is then closed with one or two layers of self-dissolving sutures (stitches). The outer layer of skin is closed with sutures or surgical staples; these need to be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

HOW LONG DOES THE GI RESECTION AND ANASTOMOSIS TAKE?

In most cases, the procedure takes about one to two hours to perform, including the needed time for preparation and anesthesia. The time will vary depending on the severity of the intestinal damage.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?

The overall risk of this surgery is moderate, depending on the reason for the procedure. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), postoperative infection, intestinal leakage and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the incision. Overall complication rate is moderate, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery. Typically, major complications develop within the first three days following surgery.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POSTOPERATIVE CARE?

Postoperative medication should be given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be moderate and can be effectively eliminated with safe and effective pain medicines. The home care requires reduced activity until the stitches are removed in 10 to 14 days. The suture line should be inspected daily by the pet owner for signs of redness, discharge, swelling, or pain. The pet should be monitored for changes in appetite, vomiting or diarrhea.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY FOLLOWING A GI RESECTION AND ANASTOMOSIS?

Hospital stays may vary from 2 to 5 days and release from the hospital will depend on the overall health of the pet.

WHAT IS A CASTRATION (NEUTER) IN CATS?

 

Surgery (General & Soft Tissue) - Theriogenology

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

A castration (neuter) is the surgical removal of the male reproductive organs. The operation removes the two testicles.

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PERFORMING A CASTRATION?

This operation is indicated to prevent pregnancy, remove diseased or cancerous testicles, reduce male behavior such as urine marking, territorial aggression and roaming, and markedly decrease the risk of acquired diseases of the male reproductive system. The neuter operation essentially removes the possibility of testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostatic enlargement.

WHAT PREOPERATIVE EXAMINATIONS OR TESTS ARE NEEDED?

Preoperative tests depend in part on the age and general health of the pet. In young cats, minimal tests are needed provided the pet has been vaccinated, dewormed, and proven healthy based on clinical examination. Often simple blood tests, such as a packed cell volume or blood count, are done prior to anesthesia. In older animals, it is common to perform a routine blood count, serum biochemical tests, urinalysis and possibly a chest X-ray or EKG prior to anesthesia. These recommendations vary on a case-by-case basis and depend on the overall health of the pet.

WHAT TYPE OF ANESTHESIA IS NEEDED?

The procedure requires general anesthesia to induce complete unconsciousness and relaxation. In the usual case, the pet receives a pre-anesthetic sedative-analgesic drug to help him relax, a brief intravenous anesthetic to allow placement of a breathing tube in the windpipe, and subsequently inhalation (gas) anesthesia in oxygen during the actual surgery.

How Is the Operation Done?

Following anesthesia, the pet is placed on a surgical table, lying on his back. The hair on the scrotum is plucked and the skin is scrubbed with surgical soap to disinfect the area. A sterile drape is placed over the surgical site. Your veterinarian uses a scalpel to incise the skin over one testicle. The testicle is then removed from the scrotum and the major blood vessels and vas deferens are ligated (tied off). This may be done using suture material or the vessels and vas deferens are tied in a knot. This procedure is then repeated on the second testicle. The incisions in the scrotal sac are left open to drain and heal without sutures.

HOW LONG DOES THE OPERATION TAKE TO PERFORM?

The procedure takes about 20 minutes to 45 minutes to perform in most cases, including the needed time for preparation and anesthesia. In older cats the procedure can take longer.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS OF A CASTRATION (NEUTER) OPERATION?

The overall risk of this surgery in a healthy young pet is very low. While there are no published statistics, the risk of death is probably less than 1 in 500. The major risks are those of general anesthesia, bleeding (hemorrhage), postoperative infection, and wound breakdown (dehiscence) over the incision. Overall complication rate is low, but serious complications can result in death or the need for additional surgery.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL POSTOPERATIVE CARE?

Postoperative medication should be given to relieve pain, which is judged in most cases to be mild to moderate and can be effectively eliminated with safe and effective pain medicines. Generally young cats begin to act normal within 24 to 48 hours and are released the same day or the day following surgery, and it is difficult to determine that they just completed surgery. The home care requires reduced activity until the stitches are removed in 10 to 14 days. You should inspect the incision line daily for signs of redness, discharge, swelling, or pain, and prevent your pet from licking the incision.

HOW LONG IS THE HOSPITAL STAY?

The typical stay is one day.

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