Educational Articles

Surgical Conditions

  • Pyometra is defined as an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is considered a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively. The preferred treatment is to surgically remove the infected uterus and ovaries. Another approach to treating pyometra is the administration of prostaglandins, although the success rate is highly variable.

  • During the summer months, pet rabbits allowed to run outdoors might be affected by a fly maggot infestation. Different terms are used for this but fly strike is a common one. Another is to say that the rabbit is fly blown.

  • Cryptorchidism (retained testicles) is a fairly uncommon disease that can be passed on to future litters. Clinical signs are uncommon unless complications develop. Spermatic cord torsion are two complications that can occur with cryptorchidism. Neutering easily corrects the problem.

  • Cryptorchidism (retained testicles) is a fairly uncommon disease that can be passed on to future litters. Clinical signs are uncommon unless complications develop. Testicular cancer and spermatic cord torsion are two complications that can occur with cryptorchidism. Neutering easily corrects the problem.

  • Cats scratch and claw for several reasons: scratching serves to shorten and condition the claws, scratching allows an effective, whole body stretch, and cats scratch to mark their territory. There is usually a non-surgical solution to scratching issues.

  • An ovariohysterectomy is often referred to as a 'spay' or 'spaying'. It is a surgical procedure in which the ovaries and uterus are removed completely in order to sterilize or render infertile, a female animal.

  • An ovariohysterectomy is often referred to as a spay or spaying. It is a surgical procedure in which the ovaries and uterus are removed completely to sterilize or render a female animal infertile. Some veterinarians will perform an ovariectomy on rats, in which just the ovaries are removed. Spaying significantly minimizes the risk of ovarian, uterine, breast, and pituitary gland cancers in rats. Ideally, most rats are spayed between four and six months of age. Your veterinarian may recommend pre-surgical blood tests before surgery. In general, complications are rare with this surgery. However, as with any anesthetic or surgical procedure, in any species, there is always a small risk associated with being anesthetized. Most rats will experience no adverse effects following spaying, and in general, spaying is recommended for all healthy, young rats to prevent future health problems.

  • Struvite bladder stones are one of the most common bladder stones in cats. In some cats, struvite bladder stones form as a result of a urinary tract infection. Signs of bladder stones typically include frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, and urinating outside of the litterbox. If your cat is having urinary issues, your veterinarian will first recommend a urinalysis. Blood tests, abdominal radiographs, and ultrasound may also be recommended. Medical dissolution and surgical removal are two categories of treatment. Cats who have developed struvite bladder stones are likely to experience a recurrence later in life, unless the conditions that led to the formation of stones can be corrected.

  • One of the more common bladder stones found in dogs is composed of magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate (also known as struvite stones). Struvite bladder stones usually form as a complication of a bladder infection caused by bacteria, and if the urine becomes exceptionally concentrated and acidic. The most common signs that a dog has bladder stones are hematuria and dysuria. There are three primary treatment strategies for struvite bladder stones: 1) feeding a special diet to dissolve the stone(s), 2) non-surgical removal by urohydropropulsion and 3) surgical removal. Dogs that have experienced struvite bladder stones will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life.

  • The post-operative period is just as important as the surgery itself. Following the set instructions will help avoid complications and lead to a smoother recovery. Monitor the incision daily for signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or excessive licking. Consider using an Elizabethan collar to keep your cat from licking the incision site. Should you have any concerns, contact your veterinarian immediately.