Category Archives: Uncategorized

Interesting Cases – The Vomiting Dog Who Wouldn’t Eat (CAUTION – contains surgery photo’s)

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Suzie is an adorable 6 year old mixed breed dog.

Her concerned owner brought her to us for evaluation of non-specific signs of reduced appetite and vomiting. Her physical exam revealed a swelling in her left groin area, which was suspected to be an inguinal hernia. An inguinal hernia is an opening of the abdominal cavity where fat and/or other abdominal organs can push out of the abdomen to the area under the skin in the groin. An abdominal ultrasound was performed the same night and it ruled out other causes of her signs and confirmed that she did have a hernia.

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X-ray showing gas in her intestines prior to the trapped area of intestine.

The next morning Suzie was admitted for surgery. When the hernia was opened up, there were intestines trapped in the hernia causing an obstruction and the vomiting.  To make things worse, the piece of trapped intestine was not receiving blood supply, causing it to die. An abdominal incision was made and the trapped intestine was released and the dead segment of intestine was removed and the healthy intestine was sutured together.

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 Dying segment of intestine that was trapped in hernia

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Removal of the dying segment of the intestine.

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Re-attachment of the healthy pieces of intestine.

 

 

 

The opening of the abdomen in Suzie’s groin was also sutured closed to repair the hernia.  Thanks to the careful monitoring of our experienced veterinary technicians, Suzie did very well throughout the lengthy surgical procedure. Suzie remained hospitalized for a few days and was sent home with many medications to help her get better.

 

Due to the dedication of her loving owner, Suzie received the post surgical care and medications that she needed for a complete recovery.  Suzie started eating well, she stopped vomiting and her energy level was similar to that of a puppy again. Suzie quickly gained weight and her incisions healed well.  She is expected to have a normal life without any future complications from her repaired hernia.

 

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Bloat (GDV) & Preventative Surgery

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Bloat or Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is a horrible disease that affects primarily large breed dogs.  Larger breed dogs tend to have a deep chest which allows the stomach to become more mobile and potentially twist due to this increased mobility. The typical history involves a dog who has eaten a large meal or has drunken a lot of water and was too energetic prior or after this causing the stomach to twist.  However, most large breed owners are aware of this condition and are very careful in preventing their dogs from exercising immediately after eating.  Unfortunately, this condition also commonly occurs when all the precautions have been taken.

The incidence of GDV varies between breeds with the Great Dane having the highest risk with 37% of dogs affected.  When a GDV does occur, it is an emergency condition that usually requires emergency surgery and a great deal of expense.  Even when an emergency surgery is performed to correct the twisted stomach,  approximately 1/3 of dogs will die despite the veterinarians best efforts.

Bloat/GDV Summary

Normal Abdominal Radiograph

   Normal lateral abdomen X-ray showing the normal positioning of the organs.

 

GDV lateral abdomen radiograph

 X-ray showing a dog with Bloat (GDV) with the large distended stomach that has twisted and required emergency surgery

Prevention is key with this condition.  In the past, a preventative surgery was far more invasive and required a large 12-15 cm incision.  With the advent of Laparoscopy (or Key Hole Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery), the procedure is now far less invasive by using a small medical camera to find the stomach and surgically “tack” the stomach to the inside wall of the abdomen.  This procedure can be performed along with a laparoscopic spay in female dogs through the same incision.  It can also be performed the same time as a castration in male dogs, however separate incisions are needed.  The procedure is highly effective in preventing this life threatening condition and dogs are typically kept over for one night in hospital and sent home the following day.  The  first 10 days require minimal exercise while the area heals and then they are allowed to resume their normal activity.

Laparoscopic gastropexy - grasping stomach

  Appearance of the stomach being grasped by forceps to be sutured to the abdominal wall

 

Laparoscopic gastropexy site

  Final appearance of the stomach sutured to the body wall to prevent twisting just prior to the gas being removed from the abdomen (to remove the tension)

Laparoscopic Gastropexy Incisions

Appearance of incisions after surgery. The dog had a laparoscopic spay at the same time.

Do not hesitate to call our office for an estimate, if you have any questions, or if you are wondering if this procedure would be ideal for your large breed dog at 905-354-5645.

Dental Health

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Dental disease is very common in our pets and can cause a variety of problems beyond bad breath.  This video featuring Dr. Gagnon and Lacey highlights a dental procedure and how to give your pet a healthy mouth to improve their overall health.