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!
Ghost came in to us on emergency as his owners were very concerned that he had been vomiting and retching for close to 24 hours. Because there are small children in Ghost’s home, we immediately thought that he could have eaten some sort of small toy. We took x-rays and it was quite obvious that Ghost had eaten not a toy but had instead swallowed what appeared to be some sort of string or cord. The surgery to remove the string went very well and Ghost was back to his normal playful self the next day.
Because our furry friends can’t talk, sometimes we just don’t know what has happened when they get hurt. This was the case when Stryder came in to our hospital. A couple of days before, Stryder had been left outside on the deck for a couple of hours and when her owners got home they noticed that she didn’t seem like herself. They soon discovered that a heavy kiln lid had been knocked off its shelf and that there were a few tufts of Stryder’s hair laying about on the deck.
When the doctor examined Stryder her back was very tender and there was a bad odour. We had to anesthetize Stryder in order to clean up the wounds that we could see. Once we had her shaved and cleaned up it was evident that the wounds were a lot more extensive than we had originally thought. It looked like there were bite wounds as well as a large laceration on her back. It was assumed that she had been chased and attacked by a dog and when that was happening the lid from the kiln had been knocked down.
A drain was placed and her owners were warned that there may be some areas of dead tissue that were not evident and that would have to be dealt with as they arose. Well, it ended up being a lot worse then we could have anticipated. Over the course of the next few weeks a very large area of skin died. Stryder was on various antibiotics and had to undergo a couple more surgeries to remove some of the dead skin and necrotic fat underneath. At one point she was hospitalized for a few days so that we could give her hydrotherapy a couple of times a day. We will never know for sure but it was assumed that the heavy kiln lid probably fell on Stryder and made the bite wounds even worse.
It took quite a while but Stryder eventually made a full recovery with hardly any visible evidence of what she went through. She is lucky to have such great owners who went to great lengths to help Stryder through the whole ordeal.
Mosey started having accidents at home and before long her owner noticed that sometimes the urine was bloody. We did a urinalysis that indicated Mosey had a bladder infection. When 2 courses of antibiotics didn’t clear the infection up we decided an ultrasound of her bladder was needed. It became very obvious that it was more than an infection causing all the problems when 2 bladder stones were easily seen. Mosey underwent a successful surgery called a cystotomy in which the stones were removed. She recovered nicely after the surgery and went home the next day. She is a friendly easy going cat and we are happy that she will be feeling much better now. No more accidents in the house!
When Monty came into the clinic one day a few years ago we had a hard time believing what we were seeing. Monty lives out in the country on 20 acres where she is able to run around and enjoy being a dog. One day she was out doing just that with the other family dog when their owners heard a loud yelp. Very soon after that Rider came back but Monty didn’t. Their owners followed Rider back out and found Monty slowly walking back towards them. They were shocked to see a large stick protruding from Monty, one end from her side above her flank and the other down between her hind legs.
What was especially surprising to us was how calm and alert Monty was through the entire admitting process and subsequent exam. We took Monty directly into surgery where the doctor made a large incision and removed the stick in one piece. Needless to say there were a lot of splinters and debris left behind but luckily the stick didn’t penetrate her body wall, just going through her skin and a layer of muscle. It took quite some time to clean the wound properly but once that was done a drain was placed and Monty was able to go home the next day. We were all very pleased with how well Monty healed over the next few weeks . Today Monty is a happy healthy pet with a surprisingly small scar as evidence of her misadventure. If only she could talk and tell us how the heck that happened!
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 because 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 including 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 inflammed 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.