Monday, March 31, 2008

Old Dog With A New Trick

Routine senior exams are one of the most important things we do. So much can happen in six months, after all, it is like having a physical exam between your 72nd and 80th birthday!

We find so many little things that greatly benefit our senior patients; no segment of our animal population benefits more from routine visits. But every so often, even we are surprised by our findings.

Take this handsome senior. On routine evaluation of his cardiac system we saw something quite suspicious - but not in his heart - in his stomach. It seems this good looking fellow was hiding a new trick; eating huge rocks! And this sweet dog never complained about a tummy ache, but there is no way this rock was not making him uncomfortable

This was one of the largest rocks we have ever seen a dog swallow. Fortunately we removed the rock with one of our advanced endoscopes. That means we negotiated this rock out without a single incision, making his recovery much more comfortable, safer, and pain free.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Looking And Knows It…

Theodore Roosevelt, a great animal observer, once said that “dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, and pigs treat us as equals”. Working with all three species, his observations still hold true.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big head band, little wolf…

Even little canines like to show their wolf side. After all, all dogs (even toy breeds) are 99.9% wolf DNA. And there is nothing more wolfy than taking down big game.

We prefer, however, that big game not include common household items. But rest assure, we are here for our canine friends, endoscope in hand. We removed this head band without an incision, so our little canine friend is back on the hunt.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Minimally Invasive Means Maximum Pain Relief!

Minimally invasive surgery has so many great benefits. But because of the technical training and equipment cost, it is still rare in veterinary medicine. To my knowledge, we are the only facility performing minimally invasive veterinary surgical procedures in the entire region of Southeastern Massachusetts.

And the benefits are huge. Traditional surgery often results in big incisions, marked pain, and a prolonged recovery. For example, we performed the liver biopsy pictured above on a little Boston Terrier this week. This patient had two incisions smaller than a dime, was standing 20 minutes after the procedure, and went home four hours later. And with the magnification with the camera, we actually visualized the liver better with the laparoscope than if we looked at with our own bare eyes.

And because open surgery was not involved, the patient recovered so much quicker, with much less pain. And the quicker recovery makes the cost even less than for standard surgery. It is really a win-win!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Feeling Great After A Spay!

Just ask any women who has had a hysterectomy; it is a big deal! Twenty years ago, your cat was anesthetized for the spay, but she received little if any pain medication. It is important to know that even today veterinary hospitals approach anesthesia and surgery differently.

You can be assured that your pet’s pain is our top priority at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod. We give powerful pain medications before an incision is even made. We “cocktail” several kinds of pain management, and use constant rate infusions (CRIs) to deliver top notch pain control.

And the result is much more comfortable patients! Owners are often amazed how great their pet looks when they walk out to greet them, often with little or no indication that they have been under general anesthesia or had surgery. And that is our style of care – the highest quality care - with the most compassionate approach.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Another week, another sponge...

What is it about dogs and sponges? We removed another sponge this week from a dog’s stomach, and this one was whole!
This sponge was stuck in the pylorus, a region of the stomach that narrows into the intestine. This dog was fully obstructed, and within just a few hours he might have been in big trouble.
Fortunately, using a high tech video endoscope, I was able to remove this without any surgery. He recovered from anesthesia with no idea that we had removed it. And his owner is done with sponges in his house, and now it is paper towels only!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Neuter Done Right

Nothing is routine at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod. Not even a dog neuter. After all, what if you were being neutered?
From intravenous catheters, thermal warming blankets, to pain management well before an incision is made, we never cut corners with anesthesia. We have the latest monitoring, well trained technical staff, and best pain management protocols.
All of this results in an anesthetic complication rate that is well below most human hospitals. We could cut corners and reduce the price a little. But we would lose patients, and that is trade we will never make at VACC.