Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dog versus Horse

This week, I had a dog come in on emergency. It had darted in with the horses and had accidently been kicked. She was a little trooper during the exam; however, watching her walk was not pretty. It actually caused me to pick her up after three steps and get some strong pain medication for her.

Once it had kicked in, we did some radiographs. As you can see from the arrows, there are two fractures causing significant instability of the pelvis. I emailed the radiographs to a board certified surgeon in Calgary for their opinion. I was thrilled when I was told that surgery would not be required.

Given she is a very small dog and can easily be kept confined, her prognosis for recovery is good. She will be on pain medication for as long as she needs and will have to have restricted exercise for 8 weeks.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I had a patient brought in for a debulking surgery. This geriatric dog had a mass growing on its elbow and it started to stretch the skin. This led to skin ulcers and discomfort. We would not be able to remove all the abnormal tissue but by decreasing the size, she would be much more comfortable. Due to her age, we had decided not to go forward with more aggressive treatment than the debulking.

Not going to lie, this was a pretty cool mass! I asked (yelled in excitement) for the camera. Rather than one solid mass, it kind of unfolded like a book. You can see in the picture that there are a lot of vessels bringing nourishment to the mass. That is why it started to grow so fast.

Withing a couple of hours, she was ready to go for a walk. She really didn't seem to care that she'd had major surgery.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Reminder of the season

We had our first tick infested dog in this past week. The poor thing had them on her neck, face and ears. As you can see from the picture, some of them were pretty engorged. I was happy to have my “de-ticker” so I didn’t have to touch the gross little bugs (that some of my kindergarden students identify as raisins).

All were sent away to the government lab and when I stopped in to feed the cats today, the report was waiting in my fax machine. All the ticks were adults, the majority were female and all but one was engorged. Most importantly the species for all the ticks was Dermacentor variabilis.

It is also known as the American Dog tick or Wood tick. It is important to remove the ticks as soon as possible since Canine tick paralysis can potentially occur. When a tick has been attached for five to six days, the animal can become paralyzed. Luckily, most patients respond to supportive treatment after removal of the tick. These ticks can also carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Tularemia. Another neat fact is this tick can lay 4,000 to 6,500 eggs!