Meet Roz Kirk. Roz had been attacked by two dogs in September. He suffered severe injuries to on the abdominal inguinal skin and muscle. When Roz came to us in October, he was dehydrated, not eating and had developed pressure sores from the bandaging. Along with the massive wounds, Roz had contracted a Pseudomonas infection, a bacterium that is often resistant to many antibiotics. He was hospitalized to monitor hydration, eating and licking of the wounds before performing surgery later on in the week.
During the surgery, the dead and damaged skin was removed and the wounds were closed. He was hospitalized for a few more days to monitor licking and get the infection under control. For the next couple of weeks, Roz visited us twice a week to ensure proper healing, repair and appetite increase. Roz;s family was very creative in fitting him with various shirts to cover the healing wounds. With his family’s dedication, by December Roz had healed and kicked the infection. Amazingly, Roz was always a cooperative patient and we all fell in love with him.
Acupuncture is the process of placing needles below the skin to help stimulate muscles and nerve fibers to promote healing. Acupuncture points are located where nerves enter or pass between muscles and fascia. Stimulation of these points helps to relax tissues and release mediators that reduce pain and inflammation. The needles used in acupuncture can influence nerve conduction and help to dilate vessels, improve blood flow and oxygenate surrounding tissues.
Dr. Jeneé Daws is trained in veterinary acupuncture. She has completed over 160 hours of continuing education and is certified to perform acupuncture and electroacupuncture on horses, dogs, cats or any veterinary species.
Every patient reacts to acupuncture differently, so Dr. Daws conducts a myofascial exam at the initial acupuncture appointment. This allows her to fully understand the patient’s problems and further identify target areas for therapy. 75% of patients receiving acupuncture see favorable outcomes from therapy.
Acupuncture therapy does not inflict serious pain. The small acupuncture needles are tapered to slide in smoothly without being noticed, especially when the patient is distracted with petting or treats. Sometimes patients will even fall asleep during treatment.
Rarely, a patient will be slightly sore or lethargic within the first 48 hours after treatment. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, because it indicates that the acupuncture therapy influenced a physiological change in the patient. The soreness you may see is usually followed by a considerable improvement in the condition being treated.
Below are some of the conditions that acupuncture can be used for:
Musculoskeletal conditions (arthritis, disc disease, hip dysplasia)
Skin conditions (allergies and wounds)
Gastrointestinal disorders (constipation and diarrhea)
Neurologic problems (nerve injuries, paralysis and seizures)
Age-related conditions (weakness and muscle atrophy)
Urinary disorders (incontinence and renal failure)
Peri-surgical anxiety (amount of anesthetic needed for surgery)
Acupuncture is one of the many ways you can contribute to your pet’s overall wellness and health. Feel free to ask us for more information on ways acupuncture therapy could benefit your pet!
Waylon is our June patient of the month. She was riding in the back of a pick up truck when she fell/jumped out and shattered her femur. Although the vehicle was not traveling very fast, it was enough to cause some serious damage. Broken bones such as the femur or the humerus can actually be life threatening in some cases. Blood loss from lacerated blood vessels and bleeding from the medullary canal (the blood-rich bone marrow) can cause enough bleeding that an animal may die from that.
Luckily Waylon’s Mom is a former veterinary technician, so she recognized the signs of blood loss – altered mental state, pale gums, rapid breathing and heart rate – and got her into help right away. Waylon’s PCV or packed cell volume – a number that represents how many red blood cells are in the blood – dropped down to 26%. A normal PCV for a dog her breed and size would be about 50%. Waylon required a blood transfusion.
Once she was stable, the attention turned to her broken bone. The break was so severe that the leg needed to be amputated. Waylon had surgery to remove the injured limb. Following surgery she was able to walk great on three legs and continues to do very well. She is a hunting dog and will still be able to enjoy that job on three limbs.
Waylon’s story is an important reminder that any dog – no matter how many times they have ridden in the truck bed before – can fall or jump out of the back of a truck. We have even seen broken bones from vehicles traveling <10 mph. If at all possible, keep your dog in the cab. If that isn’t an option, keep your dog in a kennel that is strapped into the bed of the truck. Avoid having your dog loose in the back of the cab and attached by a leash – that could cause some very serious and obvious injuries as well. Each year we see several cases – some of them fatal- that involve accidents like this. We love that Bozeman is a town in which dogs are part of the family and go everywhere with the family – but it is so important to make sure they are safely secured while traveling!
Spur is our April Patient of the Month. While he was playing at the dog park one night, he was rolled by a larger dog. He came up with a limp and was taken to PETS, the small animal emergency hospital and then brought to All West Veterinary Hospital the next day for a cast and radiographs.
Spur fractured his radius and ulna, two bones in the front limb. The fracture was a complete transverse fracture of the distal third of both bones. There are several ways to fix this, including a bone plate, an external fixator or a cast. Spur’s owner opted for a cast and so it was placed and radiographs were taken to check alignment. The x-rays showed that there was a small step, but over half of the fracture ends touched each other. Since Spur is a young dog and there is that much bone contact, the fracture should heal well.
Spur has been coming in weekly for cast checks to make sure that it is wearing well and there are no spots rubbing. He will have to stay on a leash until the cast comes off, and although he is not happy about that, he is doing well and should be back in action soon!
Our March Patient of the Month is Mango, the Sun Conure. Mango came to All West Veterinary Hospital with a broken leg. The broken bone was Mango’s right tibiotarsal bone. He was taken to surgery and the fracture was repaired by ESF, which is external skeletal fixation. This technique allows the fracture site to be stabilized and form a callous while being held in place from distant points. It is a great way to repair fractures in birds. Mango’s surgery was performed in January and the fixator was removed in March and we are pleased to report that Mango is doing great!
Meet our February Patient of the Month – Blue the Cat
Unlike our previous patients of the month, Blue has had no illnesses. He is a completely healthy 1 year old indoor cat. So you may wonder why we are featuring him this month!
He has a super power – he is a blood donor!
Cats may require a blood transfusion due to several diseases like D-con rat poison ingestion, blood loss from trauma, immune system destruction of red blood cells or blood parasites.
There are a few blood banks that offer feline blood to the US. Unfortunately, feline blood can only be stored for 1 month and feline blood transfusions are fairly uncommon. This makes local blood donors ideal because the blood can be obtained as needed. The ideal donor cat is strictly indoors, is 1-8 years old and good tempered. Blue is a whopping 17# (although his mom admits he is 1-2# overweight), strictly indoors & quite mellow. He must stay current on his vaccines, have bi-annual healthy physical exams along with routine annual blood tests. Blue has been screened and has tested negative for viruses like leukemia and FIV and also infectious diseases like Anaplasma, Mycoplasma and Bartonella, just to name a few. His blood type was also tested – he is type A.
Cats have 3 blood types – A, B and AB. 99% of domestic cats in the US are blood type A. Pure bred cats have a 10-50% chance of having blood type B. These breeds include Persian, Himalayan, Birman, Devon Rex and British Shorthairs to name a few. Blood type AB is extremely rare. Type B cats that receive type A blood will show rapid and often fatal reactions. Any cat that receives Blue’s blood must also be blood type A. Blood type is determined with blood typing “cards” we have in-clinic. The picture below shows a blood typing card.
Another test that is performed before the blood transfusion occurs is a cross-match. A cross-match test uses blood from the donor and recipient. It makes sure that the recipient does not have antibodies that would destroy the donor’s red blood cells, which could cause a reaction for the recipient. This test is also performed in-clinic.
Once these tests are performed and Blue is deemed a compatible blood donor for a recipient cat, Blue is sedated to allow easy, stress-free collection of his blood. Fur over his neck is clipped and an antiseptic solution cleans his skin. Cats can donate 10-20% of their blood volume safely, which is based on their ideal body weight. At his weight, Blue can donate about 85 mL of blood. The blood collection takes about 10-15 minutes. He receives oxygen and his heart rate and oxygen levels in his blood are monitored while he is sedated. Once his sedative is reversed, he wakes up and goes home. Then he dines on a meal of canned food.
An anti-coagulant is placed in the syringes prior to collection of the blood. This prevents blood from clotting. Since the blood is going to be used immediately, the blood from the syringes is injected into a sterile empty bag. A special IV line and filter is attached to administer the blood to the recipient. This filter collects any microscopic clots that could harm the recipient.
The new red blood cells should live 1-2 months in the blood stream of the recipient cat, which usually allows time for treatment of their underlying condition. Blue receives a small monetary stipend for his donation, which he uses to buy his food and an occasional bag of cat-nip and Greenies.
Baby is a 3 year old female Neopoliton Mastiff who presented to the pet emergency clinic (PETS) when her mom came home to find her lethargic and gagging. Baby was able to walk into PETS, but collapsed shortly after arrival. Her oxygen levels (sPO2) were dangerously low, so the doctor decided to sedate Baby and intubate her (place a breathing tube into her trachea). Upon intubation he found a large swelling in the back of her mouth covering her airway. Oxygen was delivered through her breathing tube and she was given intravenous antibiotics and sedation so she would tolerate the breathing tube.
Baby was transferred to All West in the morning with her IV sedation running and breathing tube in place. Further testing revealed severe pneumonia. The All West doctors suspected that the swelling in the back of her mouth was a large infection that may have been caused by a bone or stick puncturing her mouth tissue. The pneumonia could have been caused by infection draining from the swelling or if bacterial from the swelling got into her bloodstream, then into her lungs.
Baby remained at All West during the day receiving oxygen, IV fluids, antibiotics, sedation and lots of intensive nursing care. It took a team of technicians to care for her round the clock given she weighed 150#! At night she was transferred back to PETS by our technicians using portable oxygen. This continued for 2 days & 3 nights total. On the 3rd night at PETS she maintained healthy oxygen levels without additional oxygen, so her breathing tube was removed and she was woken up from her sedation. The doctor placed a nasal cannula to deliver a little extra oxygen.
When Baby went home her mom had to give her multiple antibiotics and use a nebulizer to deliver moistened air and antibiotics directly to her lungs. Follow-up visits show she has made a full recovery! Baby’s recovery was the results of her being a young, strong dog prior to her illness and the teamwork between All West and PETS to provide round-the-clock critical care for a super-sized dog. We are happy that Baby is back to her spunky self!
Meet Rudy, our December patient of the month! Rudy is sweet little Pomeranian mix puppy. At just 16 weeks old Rudy was doing what any puppy loves to do, playing with his bigger dog friends! During all the playtime fun Rudy sadly got stepped on by the bigger dogs. Shortly after the incident Rudy’s parents noticed he was not using his right hind leg and was just holding it up. He showed no pain when his leg was touched but his parent’s knew something wasn’t right so they brought him in to All West to be looked at.
After examining Rudy we proceeded to take radiographs of his hind leg to see what was going on. When the radiograph showed up on the screen it confirmed the doctor’s suspicion, a broken distal femur. The femur is the bone above the knee and Rudy had fractured off the end closest to his knee and incorporated his growth plate. It was clear at this point surgery was needed to repair the bone, however, there was only an 80% chance that he would return to full function after surgery due to the complicated location of the break. In the future, he will also be at risk for arthritis and decreased range of motion. Rudy was taken to surgery the next day and Dr. Jacy Cook placed two wires to stabilize the fracture. Rudy was a champ and pulled through surgery with flying colors. The next day you would have thought he was a normal puppy and that nothing had happened, he was ready to go!! Unfortunately the next 6 weeks wasn’t going be as fun as Rudy would like, he needed strict rest with only leash walks while his fracture healed itself.
It is now 4 weeks after Rudy’s surgery and he is doing great! He still has two weeks left before his 6 week recheck where we will take another radiograph to assess the healing of his fracture but he is putting up very well with his leash walks and extra attention. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more pictures and radiographs and for updates on Rudy’s recovery!