We promise to never spam you, and just use your email address to identify you as a valid customer. Click the button below to add the Hills Prescription Diet Metabolic 12Pack Dog Food - 370g to your wish list. It is very rare that we need to remove tonsils as most cases respond to antibiotics and rest.
One of our clients was driving by, and picked her up and brought her straight to the surgery.
We packed the wound with a special cream for burn victims (Flamazine) and bandaged it for 3 days.
We placed Bully on an IV drip and anesthetised him with IV Alfaxan, and then placed him on Isoflurane gas. The bandage was changed every 4-5 days, and it did not take long for some nice healthy granulation tissue to fill in the gaps to give us a smooth surface for the surrounding skin to run along and close the gap. Granulation tissue is the cherry ripe looking tissue in the middle of the wound that you can see in the post op photos. Once it is laid down, the skin edges naturally creep along the top of it and new skin is formed. By 30 days, the wound had completely closed over with fresh skin and Bully was a much happier dog. On examination, her vitals were all normal- good gum colour, heart and lungs ok, temperature normal and she was reasonably bright and alert.
We suspected a nasty tumour in the abdomen and offered exploratory surgery just in case it was benign.
Some cephalexin antibiotic powder was placed in the abdomen and we closed the wound using normal sutures.
On cutting the mass in half, we found large chunks of food in the middle mixed with lots of inflammatory scar tissue. Over the weekend, she had to be force fed and given anti vomiting injections (Cerenia) and continued pain relief and antibiotic cover.
We thought she may have developed fatty liver necrosis (damage to the liver) as a result of the major surgery.
On Sunday morning, she looked a bit stronger and she even ate a tiny amount of cooked chicken brought in by her Mum.
She was given a nice low voltage heat mat to sleep on and her Mum kept up the nutrition, antibiotics and pain relief. This was one of our trickiest cases and just goes to show that even though I have been in practice since 1981, I still have not seen all the different possible medical and surgical cases that present themselves to vets.
In early December, late in the afternoon, we were presented with a 6 year old female kelpie, Molly who was slightly off colour and had a mild left head tilt and a throaty gag.
All the symptoms suggest an issue with the nerves that supplied the left head and neck area. Well, after several extensive tick searches and an after hours clip, we had not found a tick or crater. We immediately setup two IV drips with a bottle of snake anti-venom in one and fluids in the other.
While the fluids and anti venom were running in, we drew up some bloods and ran them on our in-house laboratory. At 11.00pm, I came in to check on Molly, and lo and behold, she was sitting up and wagging her tail. On examination, his gums were nice and pink and filled up with blood quickly when pressed by a finger (capillary refill time). Mac was very uncomfortable when palpating his abdomen, even with a heavy pain killer sedation. X-rays showed a lot of gas building up in his intestines but no real evidence of a solid foreign body.
The fact that he had severe vomiting and marked pain in his abdomen and gas building up in his intestines was enough to warrant us having a look inside straight away.
Mac was placed on an IV drip and anaesthetised with IV Alfaxan before being placed on Isoflurane gas. We removed the dead piece of small intestine and then joined (anastomosed) the 2 fresh edges together.
The whole area was flushed several tines with saline and then Cephalexin antibiotic was sprayed over the operating site. Chloe was placed on an IV fluid drip and anaesthetised with IV Alfaxan followed by Isoflurane gas. The tumour was sent for pathology testing and came back as a soft tissue sarcoma which was more likely to regrow in the same area rather than spread to other parts of the body.
The plan is to monitor the area regularly and give Chloe regular health checks to pick up any signs of regrowth or spread of the tumour. Victor, a 14 year old cat, was having a nice sleep on the front verandah when 2 stray dogs came along and tried to kill him.


After 72 hours, we were not getting much fluid or air from the chest drain so it was removed. On palpating his middle abdomen, a thick firm irreglaur shaped swelling approx the size of a plum, could be felt. Xrays showed a lot of gas building up in his small intestines and some faeces in his colon and an indistinct swelling in the mid-abdomen. The fact he was in sudden discomfort from being a healthy happy cat, it was suspected he may have an acute intestinal blockage, intestinal thrombus or a tumour causing an acute abdomen. Chester was placed on a IV drip and anaesthetised with IV Alfaxan followed by Isoflurane gas.
Surgery was scheduled using a new technique to deepen the groove in which the patella slides up and down. The patella is attached to the big group of muscles at the top front of the leg- the quadriceps. In Hazmat's case, he had been born with a tibial crest that was off centre and was positioned too far medial (inside) which gave an unnatural "pull" on the patella tendon attached to it above. Using a small bone saw, 2 parallel cuts were made in this groove running form top to bottom. The next part of the operation was to move the tibial crest to a more outward (lateral) position in order to straighten up the pull of the quadriceps muscles on the patella. The final part of the operation was to overlap the tissues (lateral fascia lata) on the outside of the stifle thereby pulling the patella laterally and away from its tendency to want to dislocate medially. The stifle was irrigated with sterile saline and a soluble antibiotic was placed in the joint. It contains a tetracycline which is renowned for its effectiveness in respiratory tract infections. X-rays showed she had fractured 5 ribs on the right side, and her right lungs had filled up with blood (pulmonary contusion).
A needle biopsy of the lump failed to show any malignant cells so we decided to have a go at removing the tumour from the toes.
At the first bandage change, the wound was a bit messy so we cleaned it up with sterile saline and repacked it with Flamazine. It been slowly growing for 2-3 years, but had reached the point where it was uncomfortable.
We made a 1cm margin cut around the base of the tumour and, using blunt dissection, slowly peeled it away from the underlying tendons and bones. The wound was packed with Flamazine ointment (used for treating burn victims), covered with sterile gauze then bandaged. It is unusual to need skin grafts in dogs and cats as they are pretty good at this type of healing. Priscilla had some bloods taken and all the biochemistry and haematology results came back normal. She is eating 7-8 times a day, running around following her Mum everywhere she goes and demanding to be allowed on her lap at every opportunity.
It was a great result and one where we just had to go with the flow and get on with the surgery and intensive care. On my final tick search, I was running my fingers very tightly down the edges of Molly’s left ear flap and felt a tiny area of swelling and heat approx. We ran the anti-venom in over 60 minutes and had adrenaline drawn up and ready to inject IV in case of an anaphylactic allergic reaction to it.
The owners mentioned they had found some piles of vomit in the yard which I suspect was the dog’s initial response to the snake bite. We were concerned he may have a foreign body in his stomach or intestines or had some kind of blockage in his intestines. Upon opening the abdomen, there was fresh blood lying around and a very nasty looking section of bleeding and dying small intestine. 50cm of his small intestine had slipped through a naturally occurring small hole in some tissue called the mesentery, and then twisted around and cut its own blood supply off. Luckily, there was 1.5cm of normal small intestine to work with before the junction of small and large intestines was involved (where the appendix is). We then wrapped the anastomosis in some tissue called omentum which has great at healing powers and is good at sealing any small leaks. Each breath he took would result in air from outside his chest being sucked in then pushed out as the lungs inside his chest collapsed and expanded.
Other drains that had been placed under the skin where the torn muscles were were removed on day 4. On examining his intestines,  we found a 10cm section of small intestine which was very inflamed, thickened and swollen.
On examination, he had a dislocating kneecap (patella) which continually locked itself in an abnormal position on the inside (medial aspect) of his knee (stifle). In Hazmat's case, the inside (medial) ridge of this groove had flattened out due to the patella continually dislocating medially and wearing the ridge out.


The patella is attached by a tendon on its lower edge to the tibial crest ( a ridge of bone on the top front of the tibia).This is the same tendon the doctors tap on to test your reflexes. The rectangular block was then replaced into the deepened groove giving a nice ridge to stop the patella from slipping out of the groove.
This had happened due to the whiplash effect of internal organs from direct blunt trauma to the body. The oxygen was continued, but the rate of IV fluids was lowered in case it had started to leak out of the damaged lungs. It looked pretty nasty and we were worried it was malignant and may have spread to other parts of her body. At the second bandage change, it looked a lot healthier and the skin defect had filled in with granulation tissue.
There were several tough adhesions that had to be cut, and numerous blood vessels had to be clamped and tied off to prevent bleeding.
Being a Friday evening, we decided to open her up just to check there were no adhesions or leaking for the stomach wall surgery site.
However, when we spun the blood down in our centrifuge, the serum (the watery part of the blood) was tinged red rather than being clear. It looks like she got just a small amount of venom when bitten and it only affected the local nerves near the bite wound, but the discoloured serum was a warning to more serious things on the way. Using blunt dissection and tying off blood vessels attached to the tumour, it was eventually removed after approx. We placed some sterile saline over the closure to check for leaks which would show up as bubbles.
There was a lot of free clear watery fluid in the abdomen, possibly leaking from the swollen intestinal surface. If you feel that tendon, you can see how it is attached to the ridge of bone below your knee- the tibial crest. The constant "pulling" made the patella slide out of its groove and flatten the inside ridge.
The chisel was then placed at the top and bottom of the block and the whole section was gently lifted ff the bone.
It was moved approx 3-4mm laterally before it was pinned in its new position using 2 thin orthopaedic pins (K wires). As a precaution, we gave an IV injection of a diuretic to try and shift some of the bloody fluids inside her lungs.
We flushed the abdomen with sterile saline several ties, and placed more antibiotics inside. On shaving the area very closely, we found 2 tiny snake bite marks surrounded by some bruising.
This was due to the snake toxin damaging red blood cells and causing them to leak their contents into the blood stream. Once it slips through, the intestine twists around on itself and cuts its own blood supply off.
At stitches out 10 days post-op, he was bouncing up our stairs eager to get his special treat before having his stitches removed. There was also a smaller soft mobile lump just in front of the bigger one, which on examination of a needle biopsy turned out to be fatty in content (lipoma). We opened up the skin wound on his chest to find a large hole looking straight in at his lungs and beating heart. The incision was closed using a soluble suture in an inverting continuos pattern (Connell Cushing). In other words, the whole patella apparatus was out of alignment with a natural tendency to pull the patella out of its groove in a medial direction. An incision was made in the stomach wall around the attachment’s base and the hole that was left was closed using a double layer of inverting dissolving Monosyn 3-0 sutures. This is very painful, and it is not long before the intestine dies and leaks all the food and bacteria it contains into the abdomen causing sudden death.
One of the nurses did his breathing for him by filling and gently squeezing his breathing bag on the anesthetic machine in time with his own breathing.
The area was washed in sterile saline several times then a soluble antibiotic (Cephalexin) was applied to the area. The incision was covered by omentum (fatty tissue in the abdomen), which provided an extra seal to the wound. High levels of soluble and insoluble fibre to trigger satiety, control appetite and maintain gastrointestinal health.
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