Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two New CHS Kittens

These guys were adopted from th Ct Humane Society. They are 4 and 5 months old and full of energy. CHS is a great place to adopt a pet from. There are SO many in need of homes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Microchip ID For Pets

Joan loves her 6.5 year old Schnoodle Nellie. This little Schnauzer/Poodle cross is very devoted to her Mom. Nellie was here today to have a microchip implanted under the skin to permanently identify her. Below is the scanner itself that identifies the chip, the syringe pack with chip included, and a sample chip in the small rectangular container. The chip is rice grain sized. This info will be registered for lifetime in a national data base.

A Sleepy Greyhound

Pearl is an 8 year old spayed female adopted through a greyhound rescue group. Her teeth were not in the best shape due to the diet fed at the race track. She has a super home now, in fact her mom is a PA that watches her closely. Here she is being monitored by Dr Rodriguez as she is beginning her recovery. Greyhounds and other "sight hound" breeds require special anaesthesia protocols.

Riker From Bella Blaze Kennels

He's a very large German bred German Shepard. He and his folks were checking out the Dog Cabin for a doggy day care visit. He's even better looking in person.

A Slightly Groggy Kitty

Roxy, a 6 month old female tiger cat was spayed earlier today. She's recovering from anaesthesia and will go home later today. Right now she is still seeing double, but in several hours she will be much more alert.

Not a Red Pom...

Here's Charcoal, a black Pomeranian. Charcoal is recovering from a mild case of pancreatitis.

What Can Brown Do For You???

Zoey will tell you, quite a lot. Our UPS guy knows all 6 "staff" dogs by name. He hands out milk bones every time he comes in. He's definitely a preferred visitor in their book.

Two Very Neat New Puppies This AM!

Our first new addition is Tanner. He's a very handsome Australian Cattle Dog just 7 weeks old. Tanner is the newest addition to several prior Aussies with this family. For info about Cattle dogs click HERE

The second baby is Bailey. He's a 4.5 month old Cocker spaniel puppy with a great personality. He's also smart as a whip, He's already doing puppy agility classes!

Both of these families have been personal friends of mine for years.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Lumpy Dog

Another Labradoodle, this one had a firm swelling on its lower back. The swelling was diminishing and coincidentally was at the site of a prior injected area. These occur infrequently after certain meds are injected. Bella will be just fine!

Mr Pomeranian Goes To A Loving Family!

Talk about word of mouth...a friend of a friend's hairdresser put these nice folks in touch with us. They drove 45 minutes to visit and took him home this pm. He will have a new brother as well named Ior who is also a Pom. Hopefully we'll have Ior's picture soon.

Here's the newly named Pooh Bear with sisters Colleen and Melanie.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another Rescue Dog

He's an energetic fun loving Pomeranian.

Dixie Is Recovered After 4 Days!!!!

Dixie is home again with her new owners. Many thanks to all who helped get the word out. Details are sketchy at this point. We do know she was found in Berlin and returned via the Berlin animal control officer.
We spoke with her Mom this AM. Since she is such a jewel, from here forth she will be again called Diamond.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Please help. Dixie ran off after her new owner slipped on ice. She was last seen in the Westfield section of Middletown. She's 35 pounds and has a shaved abdomen after recent surgery. She may be wearing a pink collar.
NOTE: Her original name was DIAMOND. (She may respond better to that) If you have any information please call us 346-2256 or 704-8080
Her new owners are devastated. There is of course a substantial reward.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dixie Is Still Looking For Her New Owner...

She's so sweet. A trial adoption is feasible as well. Feel free to call the hospital or the Dog Cabin.

My Current Desk Top

A bridge in the Twin Cities

The prior desk top was also taken in Minneapolis.


Dixie is a 3 year old sweetly natured Labradoodle that needs a new home.
She was saved by Nellie Reed at the Dog Cabin. Nellie, an RN that makes home visits; discovered Dixie living in a less than perfect environment.

Dixie is adorable and very loving. We have updated her vaccines and spayed her. Blood profiles and other lab work are all perfectly normal. She is house trained.

All she needs is a good family to care for her and enjoy her!

Jack Has It Made, After A Horrific Start In Life

Jack is shown here with Dr Vilma after being examined at the hospital. He's a great guy that has no idea yet how lucky he is. His new parents are dyed in the wool pet lovers.

PLAINVILLE, Conn. -- A 4-month-old puppy who authorities said was malnourished and neglected is getting a second chance at life.Plainville Animal Control officials told Eyewitness News on Wednesday that a woman from Portland who has many pets of her own -- including a pit bull and four cats -- adopted the puppy.
Video: Abused Pup Greets Portland Woman With Kisses
On Friday, the pup met his new owner, Debbie Sheehan."Kiss, kiss, kiss; lick, lick, lick -- no aggression, just little puppy love," Sheehan said while the pup licked her face. "We do have a pit bull, Lucy, I have a cocker spaniel, Nicky, and four cats."The pound in Plainville was flooded with requests to adopt the dog. After very careful consideration, a thorough interview and background checks, officials chose Sheehan.The pup spent the past week in the pound after Plainville Animal Control Officer Ann Aliano discovered him with another pit bull who had been drilled in the head with a power drill."When I first brought him in on Sunday night, he was terrified," Aliano said.The puppy was found in the home of Saverino Cruz, 32, on Monday. Police arrested Cruz on accusations that he drilled holes in the pit bull's head after it bit his 8-year-old son in the arm."This was inhumane. It was an attack on an animal," Sheehan said. Man Accused Of Drilling Dog's Head (WARNING: Explicit Pictures)The injured dog had to be put down, and authorities put the puppy up for adoption."I called immediately to adopt it. Definitely have a good home, he really will," Sheehan said.The pup headed home in style: A local pet salon pampered him while he was in the pound.The Sheehans plan to stay home all weekend to help acclimate their new dog to his new home. Animal officials said the pup was getting more social at the pound as the week progressed.
Previous Stories:

* January 16, 2008: Pup Found With Abused Dog Adopted
* January 14, 2008: Police: Man Drills Into Dog's Head

Channel 3 Eyewitness news
For more info click HERE

Sarah Had A Belly Ache

Sarah is a very pretty Cocker Spaniel. She recently spent several days at the hospital with some nasty GI problems. This picture was taken after her bath as she was ready to be discharged. Her coat is accented with striking black high lights.

We spoke with her folks this morning, she's back to her old self.

Ragdolls Anyone????

Here's Chloe and Cora with their Mom. They are adorable litter mates that are just 6 months old. Each has her own distinct personality!

Lola Needed A Dentist!

Lola presented at our hospital for a different minor problem. Her bad breath prompted a quick oral exam. She had 2 bad teeth that required extractions, while under anesthesia the rest of her teeth were cleaned, polished, and buffed with fluoride. She was discharged with an rx for antibiotics for a week.

These are the 2 teeth that went AWOL.

The roots were actually disintegrating in the gum tissue.
We recommend routine home dental care.

Her gum tissue will heal rapidly.

Sadie...a very lucky dog

Sadie is a very sweet 18 month old Labradoodle. Her family adores her and considers her to be their best dog ever.

Sadie was diagnosed with an unusual adrenal gland problem. She truly was near death. Her family rallied to care for her and today she lives a perfectly normal life. Sadie visits us once a month for a quick injection that keeps her healthy.

Sadie suffers from Addison's disease. For more about that condition, click HERE.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Paddy...A True Gentleman

He's a 5 year old black retriever dog with a very noble expression and wonderful personality. Paddy will be 5 on March 17th. He was easy to name!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Good Hips & Bad Hips

This image was produced on our digital imaging system to evaluate a potential breeding mom's conformation.
These are good quality hips.

This poor pup has hip dysplasia.

Airborne Aussies!!!

These girls fly!

Gum Disease

This large German Shepard had abnormal gum tissue growing over his right canine tooth or fang. It was removed and biopsied. This is a benign condition called an epilus.

Harry The Hospital Cat

Harry is a 12 year old Maine Coon cat that lives at the hospital. He may look serious but in fact he's very playful.
Nothing intimidates Harry!

Another ACL Case

Shilo is a 4 year old beagle dog that is the 4th child in his human family. He injured himself while out running. Now 1 month post op he's doing extremely well. He's beginning to confidently bear weight at times. His family's toughest job now is continuing to restrict his exercise.
Note how rapidly his coat is regrowing.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A New Puppy, A Happy Owner

Kevin is enjoying his new pup Sparky. Sparky is an 11 week old labradoodle with a great personality!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Some Info On Feline Nutrition

Our wonderful life-supporting planet is home to a remarkably diverse and complex spectrum of living organisms. And although all living things do share some common traits and similar biochemical pathways and cellular functions, there are many notable differences that make each creature stand out from the crowd. So even with the thread of sameness joining all the planets’ life forms, diversity and difference makes us take Dedicated veterinary assistants make feline health care a priority.note of each creature’s uniqueness. Maybe that’s why the cat is America’s favorite housepet . . .cats are different!

This extraordinary four-legged feline has, for all of recorded time, evoked wonder and surprise, superstition and affection, damnation and deification. From pharaohs to philosophers to paupers, the companionship of and affection for cats has been a result of the cat’s unique ability to make us humans gaze in awe and admiration.

Eons of special environmental circumstances have forced the cat to evolve some interesting and individualized biochemical activities. Let’s take a peek at how unique the cat is inside, in that mysterious universe of liver and kidneys and glands and fluids where a million chemical reactions are going about their biological business in silent obscurity. And to make our little peek at the inner workings of the cat more interesting, let’s contrast a few of the cat’s biological activities to those of our next most favorite companion the dog.

In so many obvious ways, cats look, act, react, and respond differently than dogs. You never see a cat happily wag its tail; a dog’s reflexes are quick, a cat’s reflexes are incredible; dogs are doers, cats are watchers. These differences are easily noted by simple observation. Now let’s explore some of the unseen microscopic world of the cat – the invisible world of metabolism and chemistry that is just as real as those traits we can see with our eyes.

To begin with we must get a good grip on two terms . . . carnivore and omnivore. The cat is considered by scientists to be a strict carnivore and the dog is considered to be an omnivore. Both species are in the Class Mammalia and the Order Carnivora, but here’s the difference: The cat cannot sustain its life unless it consumes meat in some form. Dogs, however, are able to survive on plant material alone; they do not have to consume meat. But always keep in mind that dogs do best and by nature are primarily meat-eaters. Just because by definition they are omnivores (can digest and utilize plant and animal food sources) does not mean that plant material alone makes a good source of nutrition for the dog. Far too many dogs have been undernourished by those cheap grain-based dog foods. And grain-based cat foods are even worse!

So a good way to think of it is that cats are carnivores, dogs are omnivores, but they both have evolved as hunters of other animals in keeping with their nature as meat-eaters.

There are numerous chemical substances that are required for a cat to remain alive. These substances, some very complex chemical molecules and some very basic and simple, must be provided along the internal chemical reaction pathways at all times. Like other living plants and animals, the cat can manufacture most of its own required substances within its own body’s chemical factory. For example, Vitamin C is a requirement for life sustaining processes for us Mammalia, and dogs and cats make plenty of their own within their body’s chemical factory – the liver. We humans don’t make enough within our body chemical factory... so to keep ourselves alive we have to find some Vitamin C already made (preformed) somewhere in our environment, gather or capture it, then eat it. Without the Vitamin C, we’d die.

Dogs and cats don’t have to worry about gathering, capturing, and eating other preformed Vitamin C. They don’t care where their next grapefruit will come from because they make all the Vitamin C they need inside their own personal chemical factory.

On the other hand, there are numerous nutrients and chemicals that cats need that they can only acquire if they eat animal-derived tissues. That is, they need to prey on other living creatures that do make the essential chemicals that cats don’t! Out of necessity, the cat has evolved ways to hunt down, capture and eat this prey in order to "borrow" the prey's nutrients.

Outlined below are just a few of the unseen, but still very real biochemical differences between cats and dogs. Look these over and you will be even more convinced that cats are different!

Vitamin A... Also called retinol, is required at the cellular level by both cats and dogs.
Cats – Process little or no enzymes that will break down the plant-produced carotenoids. Must eat preformed active Vitamin A (that is, Vitamin A that already has been converted from carotenoids to its active form by some other creature such as a mouse or rabbit). Here’s a good example of why cats are called strict carnivores . . . they need to eat some other animal in order to "borrow" its active Vitamin A!
Dogs – Have enzymes in the lining of the intestine that can break down plant carotenoids and convert these into active Vitamin A.

Dinner!!!Niacin... An essential B vitamin (essential means must be eaten, can’t be made inside the body’s chemical factory.)
Cats – Can obtain Niacin only by eating the preformed vitamin. Cannot convert Tryptophan to niacin.
Dogs – Obtain Niacin in two ways. One is by converting a dietary amino acid call Tryptophan into Niacin and the other way is by eating preformed Niacin.

Arginine... Is a building block for proteins, called an amino acid. Arginine is vital to many of the animal’s internal chemical factory’s functions. No Arginine and the entireIsn't it time to eat yet? factory goes on strike!
Cats – Are extremely sensitive to even a single meal deficient in Arginine and are unable to make their own Arginine within their chemical factory. Cats need lots of protein, and Arginine is involved in aiding the elimination of the protein waste products so the wastes don’t pollute the whole factory!
Dogs - Are not very sensitive to low levels of Arginine in their diets and produce enzymes internally that can aid production of Arginine.

Taurine... An amino acid that is not built into proteins, but is distributed throughout most body tissues. Taurine is important for healthy functioning of the heart, retina, bile fluid and certain aspects of reproduction.
Cats – Must eat preformed Taurine and since Taurine is not found in plant tissues, cats must consume meat to obtain Taurine. Cats can’t make their own, therefore, Taurine is essential in the diets of cats. Here again, meat has to be supplied to the factory so the Taurine can be extracted for its many uses.
Dogs – Make their own in their internal chemical factory.

Felinine... Is a compound made from a sulfur amino acid (SAA) called Cysteine.
Cats – Have a much higher requirement for SAA than other Mammalia and are the only creatures to manufacture the Felinine chemical. Felinine’s role in the overall function of the chemical factory is unknown, but like most factories whose wastes generate offensive odors, any Felinine present in the male cat’s urine alerts the neighbors that the factory is up and runnin’!
Dogs – Don’t know and don’t care what this stuff is.

Dietary Protein...
Cats – If fed a perfectly balanced and 100% digestible protein in a diet, the cat will use 20% of that protein for growth metabolism and 12% for maintenance. Here’s any easy way to say it . . . cats need more protein in their diets than dogs do.
Dogs – If fed a perfectly balanced and 100% digestible protein in a diet, the dog will use 12% of that protein for growthLookin'  for mischief. metabolism and only 4% of that protein for maintenance. Here's an easy way to say this...dogs need less protein in their diets than cats.

Arachidonic Acid... An essential fatty acid that plays a vital role in fat utilization and energy production.
Cats – Cannot make their own Arachidonic Acid even in the presence of adequate linoleic acid. The reason cats can’t make Arachidonic Acid from linoleic acid is because the cat’s chemical factory (liver) contains no delta-6-desaturase enzyme to convert linoleic to Arachidonic. Tell your cat owning friends about this one. Tell ‘em about the cat’s lack of liver delta-6-desaturase enzyme and they’ll think you’ve got a Ph.D. in biochemistry!
Dogs – Can make their own Arachidonic Acid if they consume enough linoleic acid by eating proper fats. Therefore, we can say that Arachidonic Acid is not an essential fatty acid for dogs.

Fasting and Starvation...
Cats – Do not mobilize fat reserves for energy very efficiently and, in fact, break down non-fatty body tissues for energy. This upsets the internal chemical factory and can lead to a very dangerous feline disorder called hepatic lipidosis. Never put a fat cat on a starvation diet, it might just put the entire factory out of business. (I’ve had Top Dog... uh, I mean Cat! occasion to relate this personal fact to my wife!)
Dogs – Can tolerate prolonged fasts and utilize fat reserves for energy.

So, there you have an insight into some of the invisible goings-on in our friend the cat. It should be obvious that a high quality, meat-based diet is imperative to a cat's wellness. There are no vegetarian diets for cats! And feeding your cat a homemade concoction of meat may be a disaster. There are a few good quality meat-based diets available to cat owners. Commercial diets based on corn, wheat, rice and other grains are not a good choice for our meat-eating felines.

The next time you admire a cat's unique personality and behavior, and watch the way they egocentrically carry themselves for anyone to see, remember...hidden beneath that furry skin is another unique and vast universe. There is a veritable chemical cosmos inside your cat that's just as wondrous and magnificent as the cosmos above. You can't see it, but it's there, silently following the rules of nature to sustain our unique and valued feline friends. And it's that complex chemical cosmos, working it's fantastic magic, that prompts us cat lovers to say, truly...cats are different!

Courtesy of TJ Dunn,Jr,DVM


House Training Your New Pup

Housetraining 101! The following information relates to housetraining a puppy but the same information applies to housetraining an adult dog. The best strategy is to teach her that she should only eliminate outside and not in the house. With this in mind, puppy pads and paper training probably should be avoided since this actually allows her to Not too young to start basic training! eliminate in the house. Instead, opt for a combination of close supervision, encouragement and some type of confinement such as crate training.

The size of the crate is very important. It should be big enough for her to stand up and turn around in, even as an adult. Portable dog kennels work great for crate training and they come in a variety of sizes. They can also be used for travel (i.e. on an airplane, etc). Other dogs prefer a larger area such as an exercise pen or small room. A crate can become a positive place to be if the pup is conditioned to the crate with such things as treats and toys. It is also a positive place to be if it is not placed in an isolated area such as a laundry room or garage. Instead place it in a frequented area of the house such as the kitchen or den since dogs are social animals. She should be in her crate whenever you are not able to watch her such as when you are sleeping, at work, or even when you are too busy around the house to watch her closely. A puppy should not be expected to spend more than about four hours in the crate, however. If you are unable to let her out of the crate after about four hours to eliminate outside and get some exercise, then a larger confinement area is necessary. This way she can eliminate if necessary and be allowed to rest away from any soiled area.

When she is let out of her crate, she should be taken directly outside to eliminate if needed. Make it fun to be outside, not a punishment. A puppy should also be allowed to eliminate just prior to being placed in her crate. When she is out of the crate, you will need to watch her VERY closely so that you can take her outside every hour or two or if you notice any body language which might indicate that she is about to eliminate in the house. Such body language includes sniffing the ground, turning in a circle, starting to squat, sniffing at the outside door, looking at the outside door, etc. All dogs are different so you will have to learn what her cues are. There are critical times when a dog should be taken outside and these include immediately after waking (even if just from a nap), after playing, and within 15-30 minutes of eating.

She can be taught “where” to eliminate outside by taking the pup to the desired location and staying with the pup, verbally encouraging it to eliminate with a code word such as “hurry up” or “go potty”, etc. Don't Crate?  Heck, this is my HOUSE!actually play with her outside until after she eliminates. Business first and then pleasure! A cheerful praise session is in order after the pup eliminates outside as well as during playtime. If you catch her starting to eliminate in the house, it is best not to scold but, instead, to startle her with a clap of the hands, or shaking a soda can filled with coins or small rocks, or a stomp of your foot in order to stop her from eliminating and then quickly place your hand under her belly and scoot her to the same door used every time she exits from your house. Now she'll learn that she is supposed to go to that door whenever she needs to eliminate and you can respond by letting her out. It is OK to say "no" with a stern voice but try not to frighten her. We don't want the pup to fear you. Then praise her when she finishes the job outside. If you find a mistake on the floor but didn't catch her "in the act", just clean it up. Don't scold the dog or push her nose into it because it is too late for her to understand the association between the mistake and the punishment. Scolding would have needed to be done within 2 seconds for a pup or dog to understand the association. Any mistakes in the house should be cleaned up thoroughly and the area treated with an odor-neutralizing product so that the pup is not drawn back to the location by smell.

It is also handy to have a set feeding schedule for a puppy such as two or three times per day since this helps to regulate the bowels and makes it easier for you to predict when the puppy will have to eliminate. Leave enough time for the puppy to eliminate before being placed back in to a crate or confinement area and be sure to feed the last meal three to five hours before bedtime. Being consistent, rewarding appropriate behavior, and close observation will help ensure timely housetraining.

Courtesy of Dr Barbara Brack

Addie's Litter Mates

We visited Zoey's siblings hoping to bring home a new pup...somehow we came home with three pups.
Here's Nellie, Addie,Lucy.
We had planned on the possibility of 2 pups from the out start. Lucie, aka Loveable Lucy; is a special needs kind of girl. She is hearing impaired and visual in just one eye. No one has told her she has infirmities. She's as sweet as the day is long! Her sister Nellie has a special bond with her and keeps her out of any trouble she might not be aware of.
Nelly and Lucy are Jane's kids.

Does Your Dog Have Different Hobbies?

Buddy borrows a Harley from time to time.

Tysons Siblings

Ozzie, Tyson, Callie

Tyson's Recovery

Tyson, a staff member of our affiliate the Dog Cabin is recovering from a recent ACL surgery. This painful injury was recently diagnosed and repaired at this hospital by our consulting board certified surgical specialist last week.
Tyson is a 3 year old playful large boxer. Kevin and Nelly Reed, Tyson's parents are nursing him back to health. He's a real trooper and is convalescing well. Feel free to pay him a visit at the Dog Cabin. Flowers are not necessary, but a milk bone might be well received. Here is some info about canine ACL injuries.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Repair In The Dog

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) surgery in dogs is a commonly done surgical procedure in veterinary practice. When the anterior cruciate ligament is torn or stretched, instead of moving like a hinge, the knee joint will actually make a sliding motion. This Healthy, strong dogs can tear an ACL...abnormal motion and instability creates trauma within the joint that leads to wearing of cartilage, increased synovial fluid production and inflammation. Eventually, DJD... degenerative joint disease... results.

A torn cruciate ligament can occur in any dog if just the right (or wrong!) forces impact the knee joint. Most commonly seen in larger breeds of dogs and in dogs that are overweight, the ACL surgical procedure does not actually repair the torn ligament but rather replaces the ligament with artificial material that takes over the function of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. In the case presented below, nylon strands of 80 pound tensile strength are utilized to restabilize the kneeA radiograph of a normal knee... (stifle) joint.

The veterinarian may tell the dog's owners that the dog has a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament and one of the best ways to get him back to full function would be to do a surgical procedure where an artificial ligament is placed along the side of the knee joint; we don't try to fix the torn ligament because that particular one just won't heal properly. So we fool the knee into thinking that there is a ligament. After a few weeks of confinement, and then controlled activity, the fibrous connective tissue buildup along the artificial strands implanted along the knee joint stabilize the joint during activity. Then your dog can begin using the leg properly.

Another procedure is called the TIBEAL PLATEAU LEVELING OSTEOTOMY or TPLO surgery. This requires specialized instruction, special bone saws and metal implants. This procedure can be particularly useful when working with large breeds of dogs where forces on the knee and surgical sutures are high. There will be more about the TPLO procedure presented here soon.

In the case presented here the patient had a stretched cruciate ligament for a number of weeks before the ligament finally tore. Even though originally the limping was not severe, degenerative changes were going on in the knee joint. Even a slight stretching of the ACL can lead to joint instability... which then promotes arthritic changes. The photos below reveal the substantial degeneration in the patellar groove under the knee cap and cartilage buildup along the condyles. Once the intra-articular (inside the joint space) surgery is completed, where the ligament remnants are removed, loose meniscus is excised, and cartilaginous overgrowth is shaved away, the joint is then closed. Next the surgeon places the nylon sutures that will stabilize the joint just as if the anterior cruciate ligament was still present.

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Surgery To Repair a Torn
Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Click on (Zoom view) to

ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in
An incision is made in the lateral side of the right knee extending from above the Fabella down to just below the tibial tuberosity. (Zoom view) The tibial tuberosity is located below the patellar tendon (just under the surgeon's thumb) so that a hole can be drilled through the tuberosity. Below the knee joint at the top of the tibia where the patellar tendon inserts on the tibia, a hole is drilled through the bone. This hole is used as an anchor point where heavy nylon strands are passed through the hole so that tension can be applied to keep the upper part of the knee joint (the Femur) from sliding backward.
ACL Surgery ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in

(Zoom view) An incision is made into the joint capsule slightly rearward of the patella. The incision is long enough to allow the kneecap to be moved aside for close inspection of the stifle joint.

(Zoom view) The Trochlea, also called the Patellar Groove, is rough, pitted and has cartilage deposits. The Trochlear ridges on either side of the groove have extensive arthritic buildup. (Zoom view) The surgeon is looking for any other damage such as a torn meniscus which can create further arthritis. Pain and reduced motion result from these arthritic deposits. In this view of the opened knee joint the arrow points to the remnant of the torn anterior cruciate ligament. Degenerative joint disease has affected all surfaces of the joint tissues.
Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in
(Zoom view) The surgeon uses a scalpel to slice away any exuberant cartilaginous buildups and to smooth the Trochlear groove so that the Patella can slide freely over the groove. New cartilage will regrow and assist in a smoother action under the knee cap. (Zoom view) A bone chisel is used to remove the bony and cartilaginous buildups along the Trochlear ridges. This will allow smoother movement of the Patella and greatly reduce the dog's discomfort and increase mobility. The joint capsule is closed and the deeper tissues are sutured together. Now, on the outside of the joint, a large needle is passed behind a small bone (called a Fabella) above and behind the knee. The fabella is one anchor point for the nylon suture material that takes the place of the original cruciate ligament.

(Zoom view) Here the needle and nylon suture material has just been passed through the hole in the front of the tibia bone. The heavy suture material will serve as a new ligament and stabilize the knee.
ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in ACL Repair Surgery in
(Zoom view) In this view we see the heavy suture material being drawn tight and a tool is used to crimp the nylon suture. This suture will act as a new ligament, essentially fooling the knee into thinking there is still an original ligament present. (Zoom view) Two strands of 80# test nylon are used on this large dog. Now the knee is stable again and there is much less risk of additional arthritis. Then the skin is closed and the incision area is cleaned up. This image shows the basic crimping materials and the nylon strands that are used an "artificial" ligament. There is surprisingly little bleeding in this procedure. Skin sutures are removed in 8 to 10 days. (Zoom view) These images show some of the exuberant cartilaginous and calcified material that builds up along joint surfaces whenever arthritis is present. Remodeling the joint to approach more normal anatomy will benefit the patient and promote normal joint use.
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