Skip to content

Educational Articles

Dogs + Surgical Conditions

  • The portal vein is a large vein that collects blood from the systemic circulation and carries it into the liver, where toxins and other byproducts are removed. A liver shunt occurs when an abnormal connection persists or forms between the portal vein or one of its branches, and another vein, allowing blood to bypass or shunt around the liver.

  • 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.

  • Like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. There are 28 deciduous teeth, also known as their primary, baby, milk, or puppy teeth, and 42 permanent teeth, also known as their adult teeth.

  • Cryptorchidism is the medical term that refers to the failure of one or both testicles (testes) to descend into the scrotum.

  • 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 dog from licking the incision site. Should you have any concerns, contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • Tail docking may be defined as the removal of whole or part of a dog's tail for functional purposes. There are approximately fifty dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club that routinely have their tails docked.

  • The term TECA-BO is an abbreviation for Total Ear Canal Ablation and Bulla Osteotomy. This surgery involves the complete removal of the ear canal and tympanic bulla (middle ear), leaving only the ear flap (pinna) remaining. It is recommended in cases of chronic, end-stage otitis (ear infections), in which medical treatment is no longer helping the patient.

  • The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball is at the top of the thigh bone (femur), and the socket (acetabulum) is in the pelvis. Total hip replacement surgery removes and replaces both the ball and socket with prostheses.

  • The elbow joint is made up of 3 separate bones, the radius, the ulna, and the humerus. A problem called elbow dysplasia is a developmental abnormality that occurs in the elbow joint of dogs, mostly of the medium to large breeds.

  • Wobbler syndrome is a disease of the neck (the cervical spine) that is seen in large and giant breeds of dog. These dogs experience compression of the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots, resulting in nervous system deficits and/or neck pain,