Educational Articles

Dogs + Surgical Conditions

  • 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. Most commonly, dogs having a total hip replacement will have a thorough examination and a blood screening profile to prepare for general anesthesia. Post-surgery, the dog will spend 3 to 5 days in the hospital to get the healing off to a good start. Approximately 90 - 95% of dogs who have a total hip replacement do very well and have excellent post-surgical function.

  • An umbilical hernia is a protrusion of the abdominal lining, abdominal fat, or a portion of abdominal organ(s) through the area around the umbilicus. An umbilical hernia can vary in size from less than a ¼” (1cm) to more than 1” (2.5cm) in diameter. Small (less than ¼” or 1cm) hernias may close spontaneously (without treatment) by age 3 to 4 months. If the hernia has not closed by the time of spaying or neutering, surgical repair of the hernia is recommended and prognosis is excellent.

  • The anconeal process is a small projection of bone on the ulna, the longer of the two bones of the forearm. If the anconeal process does not fuse to the rest of the ulna correctly during growth, it causes a condition called ununited anconeal process (UAP). This problem appears to be hereditary mostly in large breeds. When this part of the ulna does not fuse, the elbow joint becomes unstable, causing lameness and pain. Treatment requires surgery. Some form of rehabilitation will improve your dog's chances of making a full recovery from surgery and minimize lameness problems.

  • Vulvoplasty, also known as episioplasty, is a surgical procedure that your veterinarian may recommend to correct a conformational issue known as a recessed vulva. Your veterinarian will remove a crescent-shaped piece of tissue from above the vulva, allowing the skin to be pulled upwards into a more normal conformation. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Your pet will be intubated with an endotracheal tube. After surgery, you will need to give pain medications and antibiotics as directed and keep your dog confined/restricted for approximately two weeks. Skin sutures, if used, can typically be removed 10-14 days after surgery.

  • Xanthine bladder stones are an uncommon type of urinary stone that can occur in both dogs and cats. Xanthine is produced when certain types of proteins are broken down within the body; while most dogs further breakdown xanthine to other substances that are more easily excreted, some pets are deficient in an enzyme that is required for this breakdown to occur. These pets develop elevated levels of xanthine in the urine, resulting in xanthine stones forming within the urinary tract. Xanthine urinary tract stones are typically removed surgically. Affected dogs require long-term care to prevent recurrence of xanthine urinary tract stones.