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Surgical Conditions

  • An FHO, or femoral head ostectomy, is a surgical procedure that aims to restore pain-free mobility to a diseased or damaged hip by removing the head and neck of the femur (the long leg bone or thighbone). This procedure is commonly recommended for smaller dogs, especially those who are at a healthy weight. Active dogs often experience better results with FHO than less-active dogs. It is important to follow your veterinarian's post-operative instructions. Most dogs will show signs of complete recovery approximately six weeks post-operatively.

  • Usually caused by a bite from another cat, fight wound infections can lead to the development of an abscess (a pocket of pus) or cellulitis (pain and swelling in the area of the bite). A cat’s sharp canine teeth can easily puncture the skin of another cat, leaving small, deep, wounds that seal over quickly, so it is important that your cat is seen by a veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible after being bitten.

  • FCP is a developmental defect of one of the coronoid processes. A genetic component is thought to be involved and males appear to be more commonly affected. It is usually seen in large breed dogs such as Bernese Mountain Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. Lameness usually develops in the foreleg of young dogs. Several radiographs of each affected leg, with the leg in different positions, are necessary in order to get an accurate assessment of various bones and joints. Surgery is the treatment of choice for this condition, and its aim is to remove any abnormal cartilage or bone in an attempt to return the joint to a more normal anatomy and function.

  • A gastropexy is a surgical procedure that is sometimes performed in large breed dogs to prevent the life-threatening condition, gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat. This handout explains how the procedure works, how it is used as a preventative and in emergency situations, risk factors, and post-operative care.

  • Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which the pressure within the eye, called the intraocular pressure (IOP), is increased. Glaucoma is caused by inadequate drainage of aqueous fluid. Glaucoma is classified as primary or secondary. High intraocular pressure causes damage to occur in the retina and the optic nerve. Blindness can occur very quickly unless the increased IOP is reduced. Analgesics to control the pain and medications that decrease fluid production and promote drainage are often prescribed to treat glaucoma. The prognosis depends to a degree upon the underlying cause of the glaucoma.

  • An aural hematoma is a collection of blood between the cartilage and skin of the ear flap. It is most likely caused by trauma but can also be due to a bleeding disorder. If an underlying cause is determined such as infection, this needs to be treated as well. Hematomas may eventually resolve on their own, but there is a risk of permanent damage and they are painful, so prompt treatment is recommended.

  • An aural hematoma is a collection of blood between the cartilage and skin of the ear flap. It is most usually caused by trauma but can also be due to a bleeding disorder. Hematomas in dogs can be treated in different ways but should be treated early to minimize pain and disfigurement. If an underlying cause is determined such as otitis externa, this needs to be treated as well. Hematomas may eventually resolve on their own, but there is a risk of cauliflower ear and they are painful, so prompt treatment is recommended.

  • The most common cause of hip dislocation is blunt force trauma such as a fall or an automobile injury. Most dogs with a hip dislocation will have severe hind limb lameness and pain and may not be able to put any weight on the affected limb. A diagnostic radiograph will show the direction of dislocation and whether a fracture of any part of the hip joint has occurred. In many cases, it is possible to replace the femoral head in the acetabulum by manipulation under general anesthesia. If the femoral head has been successfully replaced and the correct post-operative treatment has been adhered to, it is unlikely that the hip will dislocate again.

  • Hyperthyroidism is a common condition in older cats caused by excess thyroid hormone release resulting in an increased metabolic state. Hyperthyroidism can cause weight loss despite a good appetite, increased water consumption and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiomyopathy, and hypertension. Diagnosis is made by testing blood thyroid hormone levels. Several successful treatment options exist, including medication, thyroidectomy, radioactive iodine, and a prescription diet. The prognosis with treatment is generally good.

  • Cats are curious by nature, which can lead them into trouble, especially when they ingest items not meant to be eaten, such as thread, wool, paper, rubber bands, plant materials, and small toys. While some will pass through the digestive tract, some foreign bodies can cause serious problems. This handout explains foreign bodies in the intestinal tracts of cats and reviews clinical signs, diagnostic tests, treatment, and the prognosis of these situations.