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Dogs + Surgical Conditions

  • The cruciate ligaments are two bands of fibrous tissue located within each stifle joint. They join the femur and tibia together so that the knee works as a stable, hinged joint. The two most common causes of cranial cruciate rupture are trauma and degeneration of the ligaments within the joint. During the lameness examination, your veterinarian will try to demonstrate a particular movement, called a cranial or anterior drawer sign. There are various surgical techniques performed to stabilize the knee joint following cruciate rupture. Regardless of the technique used to stabilize the joint, arthritis is likely to develop in the joint as your dog ages.

  • Cryosurgery (cryotherapy) is the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. The term comes from the Greek "cryo" meaning icy cold and the word surgery meaning literally "hand work". Cryosurgery is used to treat a number of diseases and disorders, especially skin conditions.

  • Cystine bladder stones appear to be the result of a genetic abnormality that prevents a dog from reabsorbing cystine from the kidneys. While bladder stones in general are somewhat common in dogs, cystine bladder stones are rare. Your veterinarian may be able to palpate the stones or may need to perform imaging studies such as a bladder ultrasound or a contrast radiographic study. There are two primary treatment strategies for treating cystine bladder stones in dogs: urohydropropulsion or surgical removal. Dogs that have developed cystine bladder stones in the past will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life. Unfortunately, cystine stones have a high rate of recurrence, despite careful attention to diet and lifestyle.

  • The spinal cord is one of the most important and sensitive organ systems in the body. If it is damaged, the nerve cells do not regenerate but are replaced with fibrous or scar tissue. To protect it from damage, the spinal cord runs through a bony canal within the spine and is surrounded by protective bone everywhere except the junction of the vertebrae. These junctions are filled by rubber-like cushions called intervertebral discs. Degenerative disc disease causes spontaneous degeneration of the outer part of the disc, resulting in sudden disc rupture or herniation.

  • The diaphragm is the muscular partition that separates the abdomen and the chest. Tearing or disruption of this thin muscle is called a diaphragmatic hernia or diaphragmatic rupture. The most common cause of diaphragmatic hernia is blunt force trauma. Clinical signs depend on the severity of herniation. There is often respiratory distress, an abnormal heart rhythm, muffled heart and lung sounds, and other signs of systemic shock. The abdomen may feel empty when palpated. Once the patient is stable, the hernia must be corrected surgically.

  • Distichiae can be an irritating eye problem for many dogs. The abnormally growing extra eyelashes can cause chronic discomfort to the eye and potential vision problems. A thorough eye examination, including fluorescein staining of the cornea and an assessment of the degree of tear production in the eyes, is usually necessary to assess the extent of any accompanying corneal injury and to rule out other causes of the dog's clinical signs. Various treatment options are available in order to help dogs live a more comfortable life. The prognosis is excellent for those dogs that do not show any clinical signs associated with their distichiae. For dogs with mild clinical signs, the likelihood that the condition can be managed with conservative treatment is good.

  • Ectopic cilia can be an irritating eye problem for many dogs. Growing abnormally through the conjunctiva, they come into contact with the cornea and can cause chronic discomfort to the eye and corneal ulceration. Surgery is necessary to help to correct the problem in order to help dogs live a more comfortable life. The prognosis for surgical correction of this condition is generally good.

  • Your dog has been scheduled for an endoscopic examination. The purpose of this procedure is to help your veterinarian make a diagnosis of the disease that has been causing your pet's clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain or swelling or loss of appetite.

  • Ectropion, or outward rolling of the eyelid, can cause problems such as recurring conjunctivitis and drying out of the cornea. The clinical signs are a 'sagging' or 'rolling outward' lower eyelid. A thick mucoid discharge often accumulates along the eyelid margin. Diagnosis is usually made on physical examination. Acquired ectropion can occur in any dog at any age. Testing for hypothyroidism and for antibodies against certain muscle fibers may be done if looking for underlying causes. The treatment for mild ectropion generally consists of medical therapy; if the condition is severe, surgical correction can be performed to shorten the eyelids.

  • Entropion, or rolling in of the eyelids, is seen in many breeds and is considered a hereditary disorder. Most dogs will squint, hold the eye shut, and tear excessively (epiphora) though some patients will develop a mucoid discharge. Entropion can cause additional eye problems, such as corneal ulcers, perforations, or development of pigment on the cornea interfering with vision and can be chronically irritating to the dog. Entropion is corrected with surgery.


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