Intervertebral disc disease is a problem associated with the spine and is the most common neurologic problem in dogs. Dogs generally present to the veterinarian because of difficulty walking. Herniation of an intervertebral disc is a very serious problem with potential permanent consequences. It is therefore important to follow the advice provided by your veterinarian after a definitive or suspected diagnosis of intervertebral disc disease has been made.
Strokes are reported infrequently in dogs, but with advances in technology, they are being identified more often. There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.
Tumors of the oral cavity account for 6% of all canine tumors. Affected animals will typically present with a history of dysphagia, halitosis, ptyalism or bleeding from the oral cavity. An owner may describe facial asymmetry or observe “something” in the dog’s mouth. Surgery is the preferred treatment for the following canine oral masses.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which examination, and often treatment, of an interior of a joint is performed using an arthroscope. A very small incision can be made in the patient’s skin allowing introduction of a small lens and lighting system to magnify and illuminate the structures inside the joint. The image is magnified up to 20x.
Appropriate treatment of surgical oncology patients is complicated by the broad variety of cancer presentations, the multitude of organ systems involved, the potential for concurrent medical conditions, the state of current advanced diagnostics, the potential for multimodality therapy, the overwhelming information available about animal cancer and the variability in owners’ desires and abilities to treat various cancer conditions. Now more than ever, veterinarians have to stay abreast of the current state of veterinary oncology.
Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease is the most common reason dogs present to our surgery department. Surgery (TPLO, TTA, Lateral Suture) is typically recommended to stabilize the stifle, and the prognosis is generally good.
The answer to that question is still controversial and more work needs to be done to determine the true benefit of fenestration in association with decompressive surgery for disc extrusions.
Medial patella luxations (MPL) in large breed dogs can be frustrating to correct surgically due to angular limb deformities of the femur. Distal femoral varus has been shown to play a significant role in medial patellar luxation in breeds such as the Labrador retriever.
Affected dogs typically have a bow-legged stance, and can have reluxation of the patella after standard surgical techniques (trochleoplasty, tibial tuberosity transposition, lateral imbrication, medial release) are performed – which can be a source of frustration for the owner, surgeon, and patient. Therefore determining the presence and severity of femoral varus pre-operatively is important.
The cranial cruciate ligament is the primary restraint against cranial drawer and hyperextension. Rupture is typically a manifestation of a degenerative condition in the dog (very rarely traumatic). Almost 100% of partial tears progress to a complete tear within 1 year and up to 60% will occur bilaterally.
Laryngeal paralysis is a common cause for upper airway obstruction in geriatric, large breed dogs. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and laryngeal exam, and unilateral arytenoid lateralization (“tie-back”) is the treatment of choice. While “idiopathic” is the most common cause of laryngeal paralysis, there is mounting evidence that geriatric, large breed dogs with laryngeal paralysis have a progressive generalized polyneuropathy (Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis Polyneuropathy or G.O.L.P.P.).
The use of axillary and inguinal skin fold flaps to close large tissue defects was initially described in 1995. Skin folds are present in the axilla caudal to the forelimbs and in the inguinal regions cranial to the pelvic limbs. The skin folds have four attachments to the body: medial and lateral attachments to the limbs and dorsal and ventral attachments to the abdomen or thorax. These flaps can be rotated away from the point of origination by transecting any three of the four attachment points.
Wet-to-dry bandages have been the traditional choice for wounds that need to granulate to allow secondary closure or second intention healing. Healthy tissue can be removed when they are changed, though, and because they are permeable, bacteria can penetrate more easily. Changes tend to be painful and the bandages have to be changed frequently, even twice daily to be effective.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a common occurrence in large and giant-breed dogs and is a fatal process unless recognized and treated quickly with surgery. Proposed causes include breed, conformation, temperament, diet, exercise associated with eating, and underlying stomach disorders. Great Danes have the highest occurrence rate at 45%.
Coxofemoral luxation represents 90% of all luxations in dogs – with most being the result of significant trauma. Craniodorsal is the most common direction (80%) for coxofemoral luxations, followed by ventral, then caudodorsal. Treatment options include closed reduction, open reduction with Toggle Pin Repair, femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO), and total hip replacement (THR).
Hypoadrenocorticism, a.k.a. “Addison’s Disease” is the failure of the adrenal cortices to produce adequate hormone levels. The classic version of Addison’s refers to loss of production of both glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. This is usually due to immune mediated destruction of the adrenal cortical tissue. These patients are also referred to as “Primary” Addison’s cases, as the adrenal gland itself is the source of the problem.
IBD is the result of loss of immunological tolerance to normal luminal antigens, which include dietary and bacterial antigens.
A mucocele is simply the distension of a cavity due to accumulation of mucus. A gall bladder mucocele is a gall bladder that is filled with and distended by thick mucinous material that is typically dark green and rubbery in texture, composed of many layers of inspissated mucus. The accumulation of this material over time puts pressure on the gall bladder wall, and can cause pressure necrosis, which can lead to rupture, and bile peritonitis. A gall bladder mucocele may be sterile or infected. The mucus accumulation can also extend into the cystic duct, common bile duct, and hepatic ducts. The end result is extrahepatic biliary obstruction, and ultimately is usually a surgically treated disease. This article will review diagnosis and medical management on the condition.
In small animal practice, we treat patients with chronic airway disease on a daily basis. In the dog, this includes chronic bronchitis, chronic rhinitis, pulmonary infiltrates with eosinophils, collapsing trachea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (often the end- stage of chronic bronchitis). In the cat, we most commonly treat asthma, bronchitis, and chronic rhinitis. Common features of all of these conditions are inflammatory cell infiltrates and increased airway secretions, with varying degrees of eosinophilia, bronchial constriction, structural alterations and secondary bacterial infections. These diseases require life-long management with the goal of controlling clinical signs and slowing disease progression.