At our hospital our veterinarians perform many different kinds of surgical procedures.
One kind of surgery that we do is the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats (See Spay/Neuter for more info). Some breeds of dogs have as the breed standard the removal of their dewclaws. This must be done when they are newborns. The best time to remove the dewclaws are when the puppies are 1 to 2 days old. Please call our office to schedule the removal of your puppies' dewclaws if the breed standard calls for this surgery to be done.
Another kind of surgery that we do is the removal of growths from various parts of your pets' body. It is impossible to know just from touching or looking at them whether or not such growths are benign (good) or malignant (bad) growths. Also, some benign growths are in a place on your pet's body that make him/her quite uncomfortable when your pet sits, lays down, tries to stand up, walk and so on.
If a growth is small enough and we know that it is benign (for example, benign "warts" on an older dog) we can use our Cryosurgery unit to freeze the wart. This is generally scheduled as an outpatient procedure. Your dog comes in for an appointment to have this done while you wait for him/her. We numb the area with a topical (skin) gel then freeze the small growth twice. It usually takes from 10 to 18 days for the growth to turn red then black then fall off. Sometimes a second freezing appointment is required if the freezing process did not get all the way to the root of the growth. This procedure allows us to avoid anesthesia in dogs that cannot tolerate the anesthetic medications. The procedure does not allow us to send the growth in to the laboratory for an analysis.
Some dogs and cats eat things they should not. They ingest toys, rubber bands, paper clips, parts of stuffed animals, balls, hair ties (cats favor these things like they are candy!), TINSEL, string, you name it, they eat it. A favorite of dogs are panty hose or stockings. Cats love hair ties, tinsel, string, human hair, things that are small in diameter or stringy or that they can pounce on then chew and swallow. Some cats even like plastic bags or chew up the toy rubber balls their owners buy for them. One dog even ingested a diamond ring! If your dog or cat is vomiting repeatedly (more than twice) and won't eat,is lethargic or is running a fever (ears, gums feel hot) call for an appointment immediately! The longer a foreign object is in your pet's intestinal tract the more chance the tissue has of getting a hole in it and intestinal content leaking out into the surrounding abdominal space or getting weak so that bacteria cross the intestinal wall, get into the blood stream and cause a body wide infection (sepsis). Both conditions are life threatening to your pet! If you think or even if you are not sure that your pet swallowed something he/she should not have to wait. Call us first thing, as soon as you suspect. The earlier in the day we can get the object out of your pet's intestines or stomach the better your pet's recovery and the less it will cost you to have the surgery done and your pet cared for after the surgery.
Sometimes, depending on the object swallowed, it can be removed with endoscopy (the diamond ring mentioned above). If our veterinarians think that this alternative, less invasive procedure can be done we will refer you to one of the many specialty clinics in San Diego whose veterinarians have the equipment and can perform the procedure. It does not cost less but it is less invasive. Your pet can go home when he/she wakes up from the anesthesia rather than spending the night at the emergency clinic unable to eat until the intestinal sutures heal.
Orthopedic surgery refers to more than just mending broken or cracked bones. Orthopedic surgery also includes surgeries that are needed to repair torn or ruptured ligaments, muscles or tendons that surround or are inside an animals joints. Our board certified surgeon, Dr. Dennis Aron, has more than thirty years of experience with soft tissue, bone repair and soft tissue orthopedic surgery. More info...
There are surgeries that are needed to remove growths from eyelids, repair corneal damage (the clear part of the eye) or take care of eyelid birth defects that affect the eyelids of dogs (rarely cats) such as entropion or third eyelid prolapse. Sometimes through disease or trauma an eye (the globe itself) is damaged beyond repair and must be removed to relieve the dog or cat of terrible pain. Dr. Sprouse welcomes the challenges that such eye problems present and can do many of the surgeries required by these eye issues. If upon examination of your pet she determines that he/she has a problem that needs the services of a board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist she will gladly refer you to one of the three eye specialty groups in our area.
Anesthesia is of course, a necessary part of surgical and dental procedures. We take a lot of precautions before administering anesthesia to any patient young or old. We also monitor every animal while they are on anesthesia to make sure that their blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, gum color (should always be pink) and their capillary refill time (press on the gums, color comes back in less than 2 seconds) is normal. One of our technicians monitors the patient at all times, checking the vitals every 5 minutes. We also have a blood pressure monitor, heart rate and respiratory monitor and we check the pet's temperature every 15 minutes. While an animal is on anesthesia they are kept warm with special warming pads that use circulating warm water, warm air or a special warming blanket that is safe to use for animals. As the animal is recovering our technicians monitor their recovery, keeping them warm with warmed blankets and a heat lamp. We do not release any pet until he/she has fully recovered from the anesthesia.