Azzore 2015 Mini-Wall Calendar

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review,News & Events | Wednesday 17 September 2014 9:15 am

Calling all Azzore clients!!


We want YOU to send us your best photo of your family pet for possible inclusion in our exclusive 2015 Mini-Wall Calendar.  There will be space for 12 photos only.  The pictures can be general, or if you have holiday specific pictures (New Year, Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, etc.), you can submit them for a particular month of the year.

All submissions must be made no later than October 1st, 2014 to be considered. This will allow us time to design the calendar, get it printed, and have it returned to us by in time for Christmas giving. Please include your name, your pet’s name, and your veterinarian’s name and hospital. All entries should be emailed to azzorevet at

Calendars will be available for purchase ($7.99 each) and all proceeds will go to Azzore’s Angels to help defray medical costs of animals in need.  These are  January – December (12 month) calendars, coil bound with silver wire, with a hole at top for hanging. The last page features 2 years at a glance. Paper Stock is 80lb. gloss text, with photographs printed in full color.  Size: 5 5/8″ x 9 7/8″

The finished product should look something like this:

2015 Calendar Sample

It’s All About You – Part Two

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review,News & Events | Wednesday 20 November 2013 3:13 pm


We would like to thank Justin Lewis and the KATV Channel 7 News Team for the story they ran Monday night on Azzore. We believe they captured the spirit of community that has developed with our clients. If you missed the news cast, click on the picture below to watch the video on their website.

Many thanks, too, to Sweet Sweet Stella and to her parents, Melba and Gordon, for speaking to the news crew, and also to Beulah and her Mom, Manney and his Dad, and Weston and his Dad. Everyone was very accommodating and happy to work with the news crew.

 Azzore on KATV Channel 7 News

It’s All About You!

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review,News & Events | Monday 18 November 2013 11:18 am

KATV Interview with Sweet Sweet Stella's Family

If you are in Arkansas, be sure to tune in to KATV Channel 7 at 10:00 tonight, November 18, 2013, for the evening news. If you are not local, you should be able to view the news over the KATV Livestream.

We received a phone call from reporter Justin Lewis in October. He wanted to come to Azzore and spend some time talking to clients, seeing what we do, and talk to us about our social media efforts.

They arrived on site Thursday, October 17th shortly after 8:00 in the morning and spent half of the day with us.

Tonight, the segment will run on the 10:00 news. We haven’t even seen it yet ourselves, so we will watch it for the first time with you!

While initially, this story was supposed to be about Azzore’s social media presence, we hope that what comes across is that the story is really about each and every one of you.

I won’t lie… I like marketing. I’ve even gone back to college to get a degree in PR/Marketing. I especially enjoy the social media aspect of marketing.

That’s how all of this started out for me, and for Azzore. But, it has turned into so much more.

What I hope the viewers see in this story tonight, is the incredible community that has developed among Azzore clients. Many of you have become Facebook friends after interacting in our lobby, or on our Facebook page.

We have seen you encourage each other, give each other hope, and calm the fears of other worried “parents” whose “children” have come to Dr. Dew for surgery.

We have seen you band together and raise funds for patients in need of treatment, most of them rescues or strays without a home to call their own.

And, we have seen you weep with those who have lost their loved ones, throwing virtual arms of comfort around them, and sharing stories of your own loss.

This is community. In the end, it isn’t about social media marketing, it’s about creating a place where people come together to share, to comfort, to laugh, to be an extended family held together by our love for our animal companions.

Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

along with Dr. Dew and the Dew Crew

Bon Voyage Dr. Hodgson!

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review,News & Events | Monday 12 August 2013 4:25 pm

All of us here at Azzore would like to wish Dr. Hodgson Bon Voyage! Dr. Hodgson moved here to work with Azzore Veterinary Specialists in 2010. Alas, Arkansas couldn’t hold him and he has left us to return to the warm, sandy beaches of Florida. We wish him and his family all the best.

Total Elbow Replacement

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review | Monday 11 February 2013 10:31 am


Total Elbow Replacement

using the TATE elbow system by BioMedtrix


Dr. Randy Acker came in to assist Dr. Dew with two total elbow replacement surgeries on February 2, 2013. Total Elbow Replacements are relatively new to veterinary orthopedics, being developed little over 10 years ago. Read more about the TATE Elbow system here.

It was Dr. Acker who developed the TATE total elbow system, named after his personal pet Tate, a yellow lab suffering from severe elbow dysplasia. Dr. Acker sought many forms of treatment for Tate, none of which proved to be very helpful. You can read more about his development here.

There are only 3 veterinary surgeons in the United States who perform the total elbow replacement surgery using the TATE system. One of them being Dr. Acker the developer, our very own Dr. Dew and another board certified surgeon and academician Dr. Dejardin at the vet school in Michigan.


Our first case study  “Dixon”, a 5 year old female spayed mix breed weighing 69 pounds, first came to see Dr. Dew in November 2012 to discuss total elbow replacement. “Dixon” suffered from bilateral forelimb lameness, severe osteoarthritis in both elbows, restricted range of motion, and muscle atrophy. Her owner believed the right forelimb to be more problematic than the left. Dixon then came back in December to be  sized for her implant. (For pictures, xrays and surgery reports for Dixon go here)

Having suffered from severe osteoarthritis the surgery took much longer than originally anticipated and as you will see was not as clean of a surgery as was York’s. From prep to recovery total time was 5 hours.


“York” our second case study, initially came in April 2012 for a consult with Dr. Dew to discuss what the options were for elbow dysplasia. “York” had demonstrated a right fore lameness for months. Radiographs demonstrated significant osteoarthritis in the right elbow, a neurologic exam and orthopedic exams did not demonstrate any other problems in the right fore. The options discussed with York’s owners  included regenerative medicine, total elbow replacement and medial compartment resurfacing.  (For pictures, xrays and surgery reports for York go here)


“York’s” surgery was much cleaner and only took 3.5 hours from prep to recovery.


Both Dixon and York were seen 3 days post surgery. The incisions were healing as expected. “Dixon” was placing as much if not more weight on the right fore than prior to surgery. “York” was willing to place the limb. Both owners were reminded about the need for exercise restriction and a slow incremental increase in on-leash activity.



Joint Replacement

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review | Wednesday 23 January 2013 9:18 am



Interesting article in the NY Times about Joint Replacement in dogs.


Joint Replacements Keep Dogs in the Running

Suzy Allman for The New York Times

Kathleen Dooley’s pug, Lily, ran an obstacle course at the Port Chester Obedience Training Club in White Plains


In November 2006, Dr. Melvyn Pond performed total hip-replacement surgery on a patient who had been hobbled from years of exercise and competition.

Kathleen Dooley’s pug, Lily, underwent hip replacement surgery shortly after beginning her agility-course training.

Now the patient is competing again — on all fours.

“She’s doing very well,” Pond said of Lily, a 9-year-old pug who participates in agility contests. “For her to be able to run, jump and climb again is pretty exciting news.”

Pond, who is based in New Haven, is among a handful of veterinarians who have been replacing hips, elbows and knees in dogs like Lily, allowing them to prolong their competitive careers.

Joint replacement has helped larger working dogs return to hunting, aiding the blind and assisting in search-and-rescue missions and other police activities, not to mention relieving the pain of beloved pets. Although hip-replacement surgery for bigger dogs has been performed since the mid-1970s, micro-hip replacement for cats and dogs weighing 6 to 30 pounds began in the last five years.

“I was totally shocked to see that Lily was walking so well almost immediately after the surgery,” said her owner, Kathleen Dooley of Washington Heights. “She is happiest when she is training and competing. It keeps her mentally and physically fit.”

That sentiment is familiar to Dr. Pamela Schwartz, who specializes in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan.

“Many people treat their dogs as if they were their own children,” she said. “So when it comes to the health of their dogs, owners are more inclined than ever before to seek out specialized care.”

According to the American Pet Products Association, based in Greenwich, Conn., spending in the industry — including food, supplies, veterinary care, live animal purchases and services like grooming and boarding — grew by 5.4 percent to more than $45.5 billion in 2009 from $43.2 billion the year before, with no declines in any category from 2007.

The average cost of replacement surgery is about $5,000, not including any physical therapy that may follow.

Lily, who weighs 18 pounds, is one of about 200 dogs around the world who have had a micro-hip replacement since the product was licensed in 2005, by BioMedtrix, a company in Boonton, N.J., that designs, develops and manufactures veterinary orthopedic implants and the surgical tools used in such procedures. The primary materials used in the prosthetics — titanium and cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys — are the same as those for humans.

“While the short-term results have been very good,” Pond said, “I think there aren’t many other veterinarians doing these types of surgeries because they seem to be hanging back, waiting on the long-term results.”

Indeed, six months after Lily’s replacement surgery, she still limped occasionally. Pond found a gap between the artificial socket and the bone, so he recemented the socket into place in May 2007. Lily has had no problems since.

“This is a relatively new science,” said Dr. William D. Liska, a veterinary orthopedic surgeon based in Houston who performed the first micro-hip replacement there in April 2005 on a Shetland sheepdog named Champ.

Two months later, Liska made an international house call in Helsinki, Finland, to perform the first knee replacement on a Karelian bear dog named Jere, a national moose hunting champion, as part of clinical trials for the prosthetics. Total knee replacements became available for all dogs in 2007.

Since then, about 120 dogs have had the operation. Among Liska’s 1,500 surgical patients over the years are a black Labrador retriever from Rome, a yellow Labrador from Mexico and a Lhasa apso from Japan.

“I don’t think the general public is very aware of these surgical procedures,” he said. “When they find out, they are wowed by it and pleasantly surprised.”

Three years ago, Liska replaced a hip on a 7-year-old Australian shepherd named Zydeco, whose career as a champion Frisbee dog was in jeopardy.

“She did this particular trick during competitions where she caught a Frisbee and rolled over on her back,” said Mark McNitt of Houston, who owns Zydeco. “Suddenly, she wasn’t able to do that anymore, and over time, I noticed she started limping and I realized she was in pain.”

Six months after the operation, Zydeco was working out again in her backyard. Shortly thereafter, she was back on the Frisbee circuit. In August, Zydeco and McNitt finished 12th among 69 teams at the Colorado Canine Challenge in Denver.

“I don’t know what we would have done if this surgery wasn’t available,” McNitt said. “She’s just tearing it up now, no more pain, and she will probably be competing for another three or four years.”

Pond said that, unlike humans, most athletic dogs who had joint-replacement surgery could return to top-level competition.

“As long as these dogs are not involved in a contact sport, they should be fine,” he said. “Bo Jackson had hip-replacement surgery and could not return to football, but Tom Watson was able to return because golf does not have the same physical demands.”

Total elbow replacements for dogs weighing 50 to 80 pounds began in the late 1980s, but only since a minimally invasive procedure was developed in 2008 has it become a generally accepted method of treating severe disease in the joint. Since then, 90 dogs worldwide have had total elbow replacements, the first performed by Dr. Randall L. Acker in 2007 on a black Labrador from Boise, Idaho, named Otis.

Acker, who is based in Sun Valley, Idaho, was inspired by his yellow Labrador, Tate, who suffered greatly from elbow tendinitis before dying of cancer in 2003. He worked with Greg Van Der Meulen, a biomedical engineer, to create a cementless total elbow prosthesis. Now known as the Tate Elbow, it was eventually licensed by BioMedtrix.

“I didn’t want to see any more dogs going through what Tate went through,” Acker said. “More and more people who consider their dogs to be a part of their families are now opting for this surgery, and they are willing to pay for it.”

“It’s well worth it,” said Dr. Jim Sabshin, a neurosurgeon from New Haven. Five years ago, Liska performed a double hip replacement on his 7-year-old Labrador retriever, Leia.

“She was having trouble hunting, swimming and walking up stairs, just sort of bunny-hopping around, which is a sign of hip dysplasia,” Sabshin said. “I thought I had two really bad options: letting her live with the pain or having to put her down. She’s now running around like a normal dog. You could never tell she has artificial hips.”

The same could be said for Lily, who was gnawing on a bone at home a few hours before a recent training session at the Port Chester Obedience Training Club in White Plains. An inch-long scar on her left hip was the only sign of her operation.

“My local veterinarian said Lily would never again be able to do agility exercises,” Dooley said, watching Lily scoot around her apartment. “But my husband and I kept searching for help. We never gave up.

“Just look at her now.”


For more information on Total Hip replacement click here. or for Total Elbow Replacement here.

Spinal Regeneration Study

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review | Friday 30 November 2012 12:49 pm

Interesting report by Fergus Walsh, the medical correspondent for BBC News, on spinal regeneration helping paralyzed dogs walk again.



Nose cell transplant enables paralyzed dogs to walk

Jasper the dachshund walking again.


Scientists have reversed paralysis in dogs after injecting them with cells grown from the lining of their nose.

The pets had all suffered spinal injuries which prevented them from using their back legs. The Cambridge University team is cautiously optimistic the technique could eventually have a role in the treatment of human patients. The study is the first to test the transplant in “real-life” injuries rather than laboratory animals.

Olfactory ensheathing cells

The only part of the body where nerve fibres continue to grow in adults is the olfactory system.

Found at the back of the nasal cavity, olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) surround the receptor neurons that both enable us to smell and convey these signals to the brain.

The nerve cells need constant replacement which is promoted by the OECs.

For decades scientists have thought OECs might be useful in spinal cord repair. Initial trials using OECs in humans have suggested the procedure is safe.

In the study, funded by the Medical Research Council and published in the neurology journal Brain, the dogs had olfactory ensheathing cells from the lining of their nose removed.

These were grown and expanded for several weeks in the laboratory.



Of 34 pet dogs on the proof of concept trial, 23 had the cells transplanted into the injury site – the rest were injected with a neutral fluid.

Many of the dogs that received the transplant showed considerable improvement and were able to walk on a treadmill with the support of a harness.

None of the control group regained use of its back legs.

The research was a collaboration between the MRC’s Regenerative Medicine Centre and Cambridge University’s Veterinary School.

Professor Robin Franklin, a regeneration biologist at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Stem Cell Institute and report co-author, said: “Our findings are extremely exciting because they show for the first time that transplanting these types of cells into a severely damaged spinal cord can bring about significant improvement.

“We’re confident that the technique might be able to restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries but that’s a long way from saying they might be able to regain all lost function.”

Prof Franklin said the procedure might be used alongside drug treatments to promote nerve fibre regeneration and bioengineering to substitute damaged neural networks.


Partial repair

The researchers say the transplanted cells regenerated nerve fibers across the damaged region of the spinal cord. This enabled the dogs to regain the use of their back legs and coordinate movement with their front limbs.

The new nerve connections did not occur over the long distances required to connect the brain to the spinal cord. The MRC scientists say in humans this would be vital for spinal injury patients who had lost sexual function and bowel and bladder control.

Prof Geoffrey Raisman, chair of Neural Regeneration at University College London, who discovered olfactory ensheathing cells in 1985 said: “This is not a cure for spinal cord injury in humans – that could still be a long way off. But this is the most encouraging advance for some years and is a significant step on the road towards it.”

He said the clinical benefits were still limited: “This procedure has enabled an injured dog to step with its hind legs, but the much harder range of higher functions lost in spinal cord injury – hand function, bladder function, temperature regulation, for example – are yet more complicated and still a long way away.”

Jasper, a 10-year-old dachshund, is one of the dogs which took part in the trial.

His owner May Hay told me: “Before the treatment we used to have to wheel Jasper round on a trolley because his back legs were useless. Now he whizzes around the house and garden and is able to keep up with the other dogs. It’s wonderful.”

Jasper can be seen in the video at the top of the page before and after his treatment.


from BBC News online

ID Chip

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review | Monday 1 October 2012 5:43 pm



ID Chip #1

is an 8 year old Labrador Retriever mix who came to us with rear limb lameness and a recurring infection after a previous surgery at another clinic. Dr. Ward at Ward Veterinary Clinic referred Chip and his family to Dr. Dew. Dr. Dew explored the draining tract, submitted tissue for histology and retrieved suture material for culture and sensitivity, The prognosis is good for resolution of infection. The stability of the stifle will determine if a TTA procedure will be beneficial in the future.

While Chip was here, his family asked if we could also do some DNA testing on Chip, since everyone always asks them what breed he is and they just don’t know. Knowing your dog’s breed can sometimes be beneficial when it comes to issues such as training and health problems.

DNA was collected and sent in for testing. We should have the results sometime between October 15th and 22nd. In the meantime, we thought it would be fun to see what our readers think. So, for a chance to win an Azzore Prize Pack, comment with your best guess and help us ID Chip.



Managing Corneal Ulcers

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review | Tuesday 12 June 2012 1:25 pm


Managing Corneal Ulcers

if an ulcer doesn’t heal in 5-7 days after routine therapy, refer to an animal eye specialist. Time is of the essence.


Routine therapy for corneal ulcers will normally consist of a broad spectrum antibiotic and atropine. If the ulcer is not beginning to heal within 5 to 7 days, it is time to refer to a specialist.

There are several complicating factors depending on the type or severity of the ulcer, and more aggressive medical therapy, even surgical therapy, may need to be pursued.


Types of Corneal Ulcers:

  1. Secondary, anatomic
  2. Traumatic
  3. Bacterial
  4. Fungal
  5. Herpetic

Ranges in Severity of Corneal Ulcers:

  1. Superficial
  2. Mid-Stromal
  3. Deep
  4. Full-Thickness

Complicating Factors:

Brachiocephalic Breeds
(smooshed faces – i.e., Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Pugs, etc.)
Eyelid Disease – Entropion, Distichia
Dry Eye (KCS)
Bacterial Infections
Viral (herpes) Infections
Eosinophilic Keratitis
Indolent Ulcer
Iris Prolapse
Endothelial Dystrophy
Endothelial Degeneration
Laceration/Foreign Body


Types of Therapy:

  1. Routine Medical Therapy – for superficial, non-complicated ulcers (either bacterial or traumatic)
  2. Aggressive Medical Therapy – for mid-stromal, deep, melting and/or bacterial ulcers
  3. Specific Medical Therapy – based on ulcer type
  4. Surgical Therapy – medically non-responsive, rapidly progressing ulcers; infected: deep, full thickness ulcers
  5. Specific Type Surgical Treatment – for indolent ulcers, sequestrum, corneal degeneration, and endothilial dystrophy


Cataracts – Before and After

Posted by azzore | Azzore Review | Tuesday 12 April 2011 10:28 am


before and after surgery


Wendy, an 11 year old shih tzu, before cataract surgery:


and now here she is after her cataract surgery:


- – - – - – - – - – - – - – -


 Buddy, an 11 year old toy fox terrier,
experienced bilateral cataracts:


and here he is after his cataract surgery:

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