Soft Tissue Surgery

Brachycephalic Syndrome otherwise known as “brachycephalic respiratory syndrome” or “congenital obstructive upper-airway disease”

  • – Dogs with a “shortened head”, such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs and Shih Tzus, can have abnormalities that make them prone to brachycephalic syndrome. – These abnormalities include:
    • – Stenotic nares (severe narrowing of the nasal openings)
    • – Elongated soft palate which may block airway
  • – Symptoms include:
    • Labored or noisy breathing
    • Exercise induced breathing problems – becoming out of breath
    • Retching, coughing, snorting
    • Turning blue (lack of oxygen)
    • Restlessness
  • With breathing problems may come other symptoms which include:
    • Increased susceptibility of heat stroke
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Abnormal body posture, in order to inhale
    • Increased incidence of dental/periodontal disease
    • Increased eye problems
    • Infections in the folds of the face

Laryngeal Paralysis

  • Occurs most often in large breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards, and Siberian Huskies
  • Symptoms may include
    • Voice change, may sound hoarse
    • Noise while inhaling and exhaling
    • Symptoms worsen in hot, humid weather or after exercise

Otitis Externa and Otitis Media

  • Symptoms of outer ear disease:
    • Odor and/or discharge
    • Scratching or rubbing of ears, shaking/tilting of the head
    • Redness or swelling
    • Pain
    • Changes in behavior, irritability
  • Symptoms of inner ear disease include the symptoms for outer ear disease as well as:
    • Possible facial paralysis on the infected side which may include difficulty swallowing, droopy eyelids and muscles
    • Loss of balance
    • Downward head tilt
    • Possible circling

Perineal Hernia

  • Breeds more prone to perineal hernia: Boston terrier, Corgi, Boxer, Collie, Kelpie, Old English Sheepdogs, Dachshund and Collie
  • Symptoms include:
    • Unilateral or bilateral swelling near the anus
    • Constipation or straining to defecate
    • Inability/straining to urinate
    • Abdominal pain
    • Lethargy
    • Altered tail carriage
    • Anorexia

Urethreal Obstruction

  • Mostly found in male cats
  • Symptoms include:
    • Inability to urinate
    • Constant licking of gentalia
    • Weakness
    • Vomiting or lack of appetite
    • Dehydration


Orthopedic Surgery

Hip Dysplasia

  • Larger breeds are most likely to experience hip dysplasia
  • Loose and unstable hip joints with the following symptoms:
    • Rear limb lameness
    • Difficulty or stiffness upon rising
    • Moving both rear legs together as if to hop
    • Waddling
    • Painful reaction to rear extension
    • Tendency to tilt hips when hind end is touched
    • Reluctance to jump, climb stairs or exercise

Knees/Stifle Disease

  • Cruciate Rupture
    • Symptoms include:
      • Lameness upon injury
      • Crepitus
      • Decreased ROM
      • Hind leg outstretched while sitting
      • Weight shift while standing
  • Patellar Luxation
    • Most likely to occur in small or miniature breeds for dogs and some larger breeds, i.e. Labrador Retrievers; occasionally Domestic shorthair cats
    • Symptoms are slight but include dislocation of the patella (kneecap) in varying degrees:
      • Grade I: carrying of the leg occasionally, skipping or hopping
      • Grade II: joint becomes dislocated more often, Crepitus (crackling) can be heard in joint, DJD can set in
      • Grade III: permanent dislocation, still may be weight bearing however may appear to be bowlegged
      • Grade IV: permanent luxation, carrying the leg all the time

Growth Disturbance

  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
    • Primarily affects large or giant breeds, males more often than females and occasionally small breed dogs and cats, or young and fast growing animals
    • Bone growth abnormality resulting in pieces of the cartilage becoming loose around the joints
    • Symptoms include:
      • Lameness in the affected limb
      • Shortened forelimb stride
      • Reluctance to flex or extend the joint
  • Fragmented Medial Coronoid Process (FCP)
    • Most likely to occur in young large or giant dogs, such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers and Dobermans
    • Bone growth abnormality that causes the bone to break up exposing the tissue
    • Symptoms are similar to OCD
      • Lameness in the affected limb
      • Shortened forelimb stride
      • Reluctance to flex or extend the joint
  • Ununited Anconeal Process (UAP)
    • Most often occurring in young German Shepherds, Basset Hounds and Saint Bernards
    • Symptoms include:
      • Lameness in involved limb
      • Possible swelling and tenderness around the elbow joint

Neurologic Surgery

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
    • Breeds most commonly affected are long-backed dogs, such as Dachshunds
    • Symptoms in the thoracolumbar region include:
      • Refusal to walk or jump as had previously
      • Wobbly hind legs or hind legs cross while walking
      • As condition worsens:
        • the animal may refuse to walk or stand at all
        • inability to completely express the bladder
        • pain perception is lost
    • Symptoms in the neck region include:
      • Neck pain and will protect neck from movement
      • Stiff gait or unwilling to flex neck
      • Sudden movements may produce a yelp
  • Vertebral Instability
    • Breeds most commonly affected are Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers
    • Symptoms progress from:
      • Unwillingness to bend the neck
      • Weakness or uncoordinated in hind limbs
      • Weakness in the front limbs as well
  • Spinal Tumors
    • Symptoms include:
      • Neck or back pain
      • Limping
      • Wobbly gait
  • Brain Tumors
    • Symptoms include:
      • Changes in behavior, intelligence or blindness