Medical Cases

Case #1: Acupuncture Cases

Under construction - pictures and text coming soon.

Currently, we are treating a variety of patients with acupuncture. Both as an alternative form of therapy and as a preventative to maintain a good quality of life. Following will be just a few examples of some patients we are working on: Muscle Hypertonicity of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Osteoarthritis, Constipation/Obstipation in a cat, Infertility, Epilepsy...

Ben has a congenital neurological disorder which causes him to drag a rear leg and tire easily. Acupuncture has helped improve his quality of life by becoming more mobile and comfortable.

Hickory has a congenital disorder called, Episodic Falling of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She has episodes of hypertonicity in which her legs stiffen up and she falls over. This disorder can be fatal by 2 years of age. With the help of traditional medicine and acupuncture, she is going on two and doing great.

Case #2: A good reason to spay your dog - Pyometra

This is the case of a 6 year old Golden Retriever named "Sally". For one reason or another, Sallys owners never got her spayed (neutered) when she was a puppy. She was doing well for several years, and then, all of a sudden she became ill. Over a period of about 24-48 hours, Sally became very lethargic, wouldn eat anything, and was vomiting. Her owners brought her to our hospital and, after a physical exam and blood work, it was determined that Sally needed emergency surgery for a condition called "pyometra". This literally means "pus in the uterus" - a uterine infection. Pyometra is an emergency situation and requires that the uterus be removed in surgery. It is caused by the constant hormonal changes associated with going into heat several times a year. It can easily kill a dog and is one of the main reasons that we recommend spaying female dogs. The good news is that pyometra can be prevented entirely by spaying.

This is a picture of what her uterus looked like in surgery. Keep in mind that it is completely filled with foul-smelling pus!
To give you a reference point, to the left is what a normal spay surgery and uterus should look like.

Case #3: Corneal Ulcers

Corneal Ulcers can have many causes and not all respond to the same treatment. The following two cases have different causes and needed more than a simple antibiotic to resolve the problem:

The first case is a 5 year old boxer which presented with a "sore" eye. He was squinting and had a clear discharge from the eye. A fluorescein stain was applied to "highlight" the area on the cornea which has epithelial damage. The initial management of the corneal ulcer involved debriding the ulcer by taking a dry cotton-tipped applicator and removing the loose epithelial layer. The owner then applied a topical broad-spectrum antibiotic and ointment for ocular pain. Since there was no improvement of the ulcer after 2 treatments of epithelial debridement, we had to attempt a more aggressive form of treatment. In this case, we chose to do a grid keratotomy. This is a procedure in which we take a needle and make lines like a grid into the cornea to connect the loose layers at the edge of the ulcer to the healthy tissue, to promote healing.As seen in the second picture, he responsed wonderfully and the ulcer was resolved within a week.

A fluorescein stain was used to highlight the  damaged corneal epithelium.

After 7 days, the corneal ulcer was completely  resolved following a grid keratotomy.

Another chronic ulcer which is in the process of healing - scarring can be seen.  

Case #4: Masticatory Muscle Myositis

This is the case of an eight year old Golden Retriever. She presented for a rountine annual exam and vaccinations. Since the owners sees her every day, they had not realized that the muscles were wasting away on the top of her head. During her physical exam, it was difficult and painful to open her mouth. No other clinical signs or problems were present. We performed routine bloodwork, a muscle biopsy and a blood test to check for antibodies against the muscle to determine that she had Masticatory Muscle Myositis. Therapy was started which included the steroid, Prednisone, at a high dosage then tapered. Physical therapy included chewing on rawhides to work on the muscle tone. It is now 3 years following the diagnosis and she is doing great. The muscle tone will not return, but she has no pain or relapses and has happy comfortable life since the diagnosis was made. You can read about Masticatory Myositis under the client handouts.

The temporal muscles have wasted away as seen by the pronounce bones in the skull.

Case #5: Repair of a Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Violet is a 9 year old Australian Shepherd who likes to chase squirrels. She became acutely lame after jumping up and attempting to catch a squirrel. On presentation, she was putting very little weight on the left rear leg - in her case - something referred to as "toe-touching". The left stifle (knee) had some swelling and a positive drawer sign. This occurs when we manipulate the joint and get too much forward motion of the tibia in relationship to the femur. It is an indication that the cranial cruciate ligament is no longer intact. As with most torn cruciates - surgical repair is the best option to help stabilize the joint and decrease the development of arthritis. For the best surgical repair - a veterinary surgeon has the ability to do more advanced techniques which allow for a quicker return to normal function and less arthritis development over time. In this situation, the owners had limited finances, so they chose a simple repair to help make her more comfortable for her senior years. The method and supplies used are from the Securos Veterinary Orthopedics company. The surgical procedure involves exposing the joint and removing the torn portions of the ligament and any tear which may have occurred to the menisci. A thick nylon material is placed around the joint to stabilize it and held in place by metal crimps. This acts as a false ligament to give stability to the joint.

Following the surgery she was placed on anti-inflammatories and supplements to help with healing, pain management and preserving the cartilige in the joint.

Six months following surgery, Violet is up and around, chasing squirrels again.

You can read about Care for Osteoarthritis under client handouts to get ideas about current treatment options for Osteoarthritis.

A skin incision is made on the outside of the knee to expose the joint.

The joint is exposed to clean out the torn ligament and check for a torn menisci.

A thick nylon material is placed with a metal crimp to give the joint stability.

Case #6: Splenectomy

This is a 9 year old German Shepherd which presented for inappetance and lethargy of 3 days duration. During the exam, he would lie on the floor, not stand and lick at the floor. The owner had brought in a urine sample which was bright orange in color. In addition, his gum color was pale pink instead of a nice bright pink color. On palpation of his abdomen, a large mass could be palpated. An abdominal xray, showed a spleen which was very large. Since the dog was not bleeding internally, we could have performed an ultrasound with a biopsy or do an exploratory surgery. In this case, the owner chose to go right to surgery and do an exploratory before the spleen had a chance to possibly rupture. As seen during surgery, the spleen was enlarged with a discolored area. Its surface was lumpy instead of smooth and one particular area was enlarged and raised. The spleen was removed and submitted for histopathology to determine if there was a malignant or benign tumor causing the spleen to enlarged. The concern with this breed is a malignant cancer called hemangiosarcoma which can spread to the lungs and heart.

Luckily, this was not the case with this dog. The histopathology determined it to be a benign tumor which was completely curative with the splenectomy.

Enlarged spleen -  

Case #7: Urolithiasis (Bladder Stones)

This is the case of a 13 year old Cocker Spaniel which presented with blood in the urine. Radiographs revealed a bladder full of stones. As seen in the pictures, the bladder stones were surgically removed and submitted for urolith analysis. The type of stones are called struvite uroliths. Information about urolithiasis can be found in the client handout section under Struvite Bladder Stones.

A skin incision is made through the abdomen to expose the bladder.

An incision is made through the bladder wall.

This bladder was completely full of stones which had to be removed.