A late emergency call saw Dr. Broschak and RVT Tara, in at the clinic to help Kali. After her owner arrived home late one evening, the call was made to meet for an emergency visit when the owner found her older dog, Kali, with blood and a ‘bulge’ discovered on her left side. With out hesitation, Kali and her owner were met at Central Animal Hospital where it was quickly suspected that the ‘bulge’ was a hernia (tear in the abdominal wall). The area was shaved and an ultrasound was used to aid in confirming this suspicion. The video , though not graphic, does show where intestinal peristalsis (movement) can be seen just below the skin layer.
As you can imagine, this is not a good scenario. At any time the intestines can be pinched off or twisted inside this hole in the abdominal wall and potentially loose blood supply. It was time for surgery. Kali, whom had already been given some pain control and placed on IV fluids, was fully anesthetized and prepared for surgery. While she was anesthetized, it allowed Dr. Broschak to fully explore her skin, finding numerous puncture wounds and bruising of the skin. Concerning areas were shaved and wounds washed with an antibacterial solution. She was then prepped and moved into surgery. She was found to have a tare in her body wall on her left side approximately 8 cm by 8 cm. It took almost 3 hours to repair the defect.
Injuries of this nature are always a concern when it comes to recovery. Anytime there is trauma to cause defects the abdominal wall muscle or even the skin allows the potential for damaged vessels. The vessels we worry about in cases like this is the small ‘nourishing’ vessels that supply the blood to the affected area (skin or muscle). If these tiny vessels get damaged at all, there is the potential for the affected area to experience necroses, or die off, due to lack of blood nourishment. Though Kali did great with her anesthetic and pulled through her surgery with flying colors, she was far from safe. Because of the quick acting of her owner, Kali hernia repair was suspected to heal well, but her skin that suffered trauma wounds was the next big concern. Her owner was given a very specific cleaning regime of her wounds in order to help save her damaged skin. This meant hydrotherapy to her skin, numerous times a day, to help encourage blood flow and washing of the affected areas. Luckily for Kali, her mom was determined to help see her through her wounds and ensure she had the best chance possible to heal fully. With in just a couple days there was good signs of healing, and by the 2 week check up she was well on her way to a full recovery!
And a full recovery Kali made! It is still unknown as to what caused her injuries in the first place, but given the type of wounds, it is suspected that it was some kind of large animal, likely another large dog, cougar or coyote. She sure was one luck pup to have the internal will to heal and owners who never hesitated to ensure she received the medical attention she so desperately needed and the home care that ensured her best chance of a full recovery!
Over lunch hour at the hospital, a client brought in a white cat he had found on the side of the road. It looked like he had been hit by a car. He had cuts all over his face, a cut through his tongue, broken teeth, and a broken back leg. He was dragging his back leg but was so happy to be around people. We splinted his leg and medicated him to keep him comfortable while we searched for his owner. After five days, no one had come forward and given his injuries, the chances of adoption was slim. The doctors at Central Animal Hospital agreed to use him as a teaching case and one of our receptionists, Sabrina, agreed to give him a good home. His fracture was repaired, he was neutered and his other injuries were addressed. He spent two months recovering in hospital. Sabrina took him home and introduced him to her other cat. They were best buddies in no time. It has been four years now and her cats wouldn’t know what to do without each other. Rufus healed very well and you can’t even tell he had a broken leg.
Meet Samson, the “Ugly Duckling”
Samson was seized by the SPCA. He was a neglect case and was in rough shape. The SPCA called our hospital to see if we could do anything for Samson and they said he couldn’t be adopted the way he was. They brought him over and I knew exactly what they were talking about. He had almost no hair on his body and his skin was gray, greasy and covered in scabs. The worst by far was the smell. His skin smelled rotten and that smell came off on whatever he touched (including you). But boy was that dog happy. People were understandably unwilling to touch him but his tail never stopped and if you gave him a pat he just about went out of his mind he was so happy. After looking him over and doing some diagnostics and a skin scrape and biopsy, it was discovered that Samson’s primary problem was an infestation of Demodex mites. It was so bad that his skin had become inflamed and swollen. His hair follicles were affected and his hair had fallen out. Medicated shampoos, antibiotics and mite medication were used and even with that it took 6 months before his hair started to grow back. His hair came in a rich full red and Samson turned out to be an exceptional looking dog. He now has a good home with a family that loves him.