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Surgical Specialties

Pre-scrotal urethrostomy for urinary obstruction in male dogs: If the obstruction is caused by urinary tract calculi, your veterinarian will try to flush the stones back into the bladder, where they can either be removed surgically or dissolved with medical management (depending on the type). If your dog is very sick, surgery may be delayed, and a urinary catheter left in the urinary tract to drain urine from the bladder for a day or two, until medical conditions have improved and your pet is stable for general anesthesia and surgery. To remove stones from the bladder surgically, a cystotomy procedure is performed. In this procedure, the dog is under general anesthesia. The bladder is accessed through a small abdominal incision. Then the bladder is opened, stones are removed, and the urinary tract is flushed thoroughly to make sure no stones are left behind. If stones in the urethra cannot be flushed into the bladder for removal, a separate incision into the urethra may be necessary. Stones removed at surgery are submitted for chemical analysis and in some cases, for bacterial culture as well. Biopsy of any abnormal bladder tissue may also be collected if necessary. Male dogs which have a urethral obstruction that cannot be unblocked, have a tumor of the penis, or are recurrent stone formers may require surgery to form a new permanent opening to the urethra, called a scrotal urethrostomy. Scrotal urethrostomies may be required because calculi in the urethra may become trapped in scar tissue and therefore cannot be removed. A scrotal urethrostomy allows urine to exit behind the os penis where the urethra is wider. An opening is created that small stones may pass through. Patients with a scrotal urethrostomy may still get urinary obstruction by very large stones in the bladder or upper urethra. For most dogs having a scrotal urethrostomy, the penis is left in place, so your male dog will look the same when he is walking down the street. However, he will urinate from the new opening in the location where his scrotum used to be. In dogs with penile tumors, a scrotal urethrostomy is performed and the penis is removed. Because the surgery site is in the area of the scrotum, dogs are neutered during the procedure.

Perineal Urethrostomy Surgery in Cats: Male cats develop urinary obstructions much more readily than female cats due to differences in urinary tract anatomy between the two sexes. While the female urethra is relatively short and maintains a consistent diameter as it travels from the bladder to its external opening, the male urethra is slightly longer and, more importantly, it narrows as it enters the penis. This narrowing of the urethra predisposes males to urinary obstructions in which the urethra becomes blocked by stones, blood clots, mucus, or tumors. The first time a male cat has a urinary obstruction we will recommend to unblock as soon as possible and will place a urinary catheter to flush the urethra and bladder during hospitalization while monitoring kidney values. Kidney values elevate in obstructed cats. In repeat cases of blocked male cats is when a perineal urethrostomy can be recommended as it creates a new urinary opening that decreases the length of the urethra and allows urine to bypass this narrowed region. This surgery can decrease the likelihood of recurring obstruction.

Perineal Hernia in male dogs: A perineal hernia occurs when there is a weakening or traumatic tear in the muscles of the perineum which is the area between the anus and the scrotum, resulting in the bladder, intestines, or fat pushing through the muscle to an abnormal position just under the skin. Perineal hernias are most common in middle-aged or older unneutered male dogs. The most successful treatment of a perineal hernia is the surgical correction. These hernias may require abdominal surgery to reposition the herniated organs and suture them back in place to prevent those organs from herniating again.

Inguinal hernia: Inguinal hernias can occur in both dogs and cats. An inguinal hernia is a condition in which the abdominal contents protrude through the inguinal canal or inguinal ring, an opening which occurs in the muscle wall in the groin area. Treatment is surgical correction of the opening and replacement of abdominal contents back into the abdomen if necessary.

Umbilical hernias: An umbilical hernia is a condition in which abdominal contents (fat, intestines, etc.) protrude past the abdominal wall at the location where the umbilical cord was attached to the fetus. Congenital umbilical hernias are more common in puppies than in kittens. Umbilical hernias are diagnosed on physical examination. Hernias should be repaired surgically, because there is a risk that the abdominal contents inside the hernia sac could become damaged or strangulated. As long as the hernia is not causing problems for the puppy/kitten, the herniorrhaphy (hernioplasty, hernia repair surgery) can be delayed until the scheduled ovariohysterectomy or neuter. However, if strangulation occurs, the surgery becomes an emergency procedure.

Splenectomy: A splenectomy in dogs and cats is the surgical removal of the spleen. This procedure is common and is typically necessary after a dog is diagnosed with a splenic tumor. A splenectomy may also be needed if a dog is experiencing another condition, and the spleen has been damaged as a result. Other causes might include Immune-mediated diseases, Splenic torsion, where the spleen twists on itself, mostly seen with GDV, a traumatic event such as being hit by a car, Splenomegaly, often caused by bacterial, viral, or tick-borne diseases, or due to clots to the spleen usually seen in dogs with Cushing’s disease or cardiovascular disease.

Gallbladder removal(cholecystectomy): A cholecystectomy is the surgical procedure used to remove the gallbladder as a result of gallbladder disease or conditions such as Cholecystitis or gallbladder mucoceles. The gallbladder stores bile created by your dog or cat’s liver, which is used to break down fats in your pets’ digestive systems. Dogs and cats can function without this organ if removal becomes necessary due to disease or chronic obstruction.

Liver lobectomy: Liver lobectomy refers to the surgical removal of part of a liver lobe in dogs and cats. Their liver is made up of six separate lobes. This is most commonly performed to remove a large, solitary tumor located in the liver or to obtain a sample of liver for analysis. The healthy liver tissue has a strong regenerative capacity. Liver regeneration begins within hours after liver lobectomy.

GDV, bloat, flipping of stomach or twisting of the stomach and gastropexy: Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, is a medical and surgical emergency. As the stomach fills with air, pressure builds, stopping blood from the hind legs and abdomen from returning to the heart. Blood pools at the back end of the body, interfering with the working blood volume and sends the dog into shock. With this condition first we start by treating the shock. Once the dog is stable, they are taken into emergency surgery. Then two procedures are performed. First the doctor will decompress or deflate the stomach and turn it back to its correct position. The second part of the procedure is a procedure called a Gastropexy which is when we tack the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent it from being able to twist in the future.

Kidney removal: Nephrectomy is the surgical removal of the kidney. This surgical procedure can be used to treat irreversible conditions of the kidney and ureter and is also the best treatment for a kidney tumor, if the patient is not in kidney failure or in cases where cancer of the kidney has not metastasized. An incision is made along the abdomen to expose the internal organs. The blood vessels and ureters of the affected kidney are tied off and the kidney is then removed.

Foreign body surgery: Foreign bodies in dogs and cats are usually objects that cannot be digested like plastic, metal, rocks, or things such as bones that are slowly digested or are too large to pass through the GI tract. We also see linear foreign bodies when dogs or cats like to play with floss, yarn, or string like materials. To determine the urgency of needing surgical intervention, there are multiple steps needed to diagnose a foreign body. These steps can include things such as a physical exam, abdominal radiographs, lab work, abdominal ultrasound, etc. Symptoms typically include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, etc.

Mass removal, Lump removal, Punch Biopsy, Excisional biopsy: There are several types of biopsies that are performed on dogs and cats. One is a small punch biopsy of tissue from your pet’s skin to be examined by a pathologist. Another is an excisional biopsy in which the full mass is removed and submitted to be examined by a pathologist. Biopsies sent out to a pathologist will allow your veterinarian to determine the diagnosis and prognosis for the condition of the area biopsied. The pathologist will also determine if the tumor has been completely removed with clean margins (in excisional biopsies). If the biopsy is cancerous, it provides your veterinarian with the ability to consult with an oncologist. This information helps your veterinarian decide the best course of treatment for your pet.