The Parkway Vet Blog

Laparoscopic Ovariectomy, aka Lap Spay:

 

 
In 2009 The Parkway Veterinary Hospital embarked on a journey to improve upon one of the most common surgeries veterinarians perform in nearly all female canine patients, the spay or ovariohysterectomy (OVH for short). A spay is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus to prevent heat cycles and pregnancy (aka traditional spay). Since the early days of spay/neuter programs, few advancements has have been made to this surgical procedure, but gratefully, leaps and bounds have been made with regards to perioperative and postoperative pain management.

In making every effort to carefully plan and control pain resulting during this necessary procedure, the veterinary staff at Parkway not only wanted to control pain but also to minimize the pain and tissue trauma caused by the surgery itself. It was with that goal in mind that we teamed up with Dr. Tim McCarthy, a local veterinary surgery expert, and Karl Storz veterinary endoscopy to train and offer laparoscopic spay surgery, a minimally invasive approach to spay your pet.

The primary aim of spaying is to render your pet unable to conceive. Secondary objectives are to eliminate the mess and inconvenience of heat cycles and to minimize future risk of diseases of the reproductive organs. Removal of the ovaries accomplishes all these goals, while at the same time being less invasive, much less painful procedure with fewer complications than a traditional spay. Removal of the ovaries brings an immediate halt to the reproductive cycle. Your pet will no longer go into heat nor will she attract male dogs. Likewise, she cannot conceive and the risk of ovarian disease is eliminated.

In a laparoscopic ovariectomy, two small 5 mm to 10 mm incisions are made. Sterile carbon dioxide is used to ‘inflate’ the abdomen which allows incredible visualization of all structures. A slender video scope is inserted into the abdomen through one of the incisions. The other incision is for the surgical instruments that will be used to seal the tissues and blood vessels in the area of the ovary and to remove the tissue from the abdomen. Given the small incision size and since the ovaries are able to reside in their normal anatomic location until their removal, there is far less tissue trauma and thus, less pain during and after the procedure.

By contrast, during a traditional spay, a 4-7 cm incision is made into the abdomen to expose the reproductive organs. The ligaments holding the ovaries and uterus in place are blindly torn (a significant source of abdominal pain), the ovaries are mobilized to the skin incision and tied with sutures, then cut and removed. Likewise, the uterine horns and body are removed at the level of the cervix.

The benefit for veterinarians who perform laparoscopic spays – and therefore their patients — is enhanced visualization of the abdominal cavity thanks to the magnification properties of the scope. Enhanced visualization during surgery leads to safer procedures, less inadvertent ligation of other structures (ie ureters) and better outcomes. Some of the many advantages of the procedure as compared to a traditional spay include less stress and tissue trauma, dramatic reduction in pain (up to 65 percent less, JAVMA 2005), smaller incision size which results in less bruising, less incisional complications, and faster return to normal function. Most importantly, laparoscopy and cautery ligation of the ovarian and other vessels lowers the risk of intraoperative or postoperative bleeding which can be fatal or minimally require a second surgery to repair loose sutures placed during traditional spay.

The biggest technical difference of a traditional ovariohysterectomy (OVH) and a laparoscopic ovariectomy is that in the latter only the ovaries are removed and the uterus is left in place. Many question whether this is safe to do and we can assure you that yes it is.

Uterine disease in dogs whose ovaries have been removed is almost nonexistent. The disease called pyometra, which is infection in the uterus, is the most common uterine problem in intact dogs. It is the result of the influence of the hormone progesterone, produced by the ovaries. When the ovaries are removed, hormone production stops and it becomes impossible for pyometra to occur naturally. Malignant uterine tumors in dogs with or without ovaries are an extremely rare occurrence at 0.003 percent of all canine tumors. Additionally, thanks to our veterinary counterpart in Europe where ovariectomy surgery (ovary removal only) has been performed since the early 1980’s, we know that there is virtually no increase risk of the uterine disease if the ovaries are removed properly.

At Parkway Veterinary Hospital, we offer other laparoscopic services that may benefit your pet. In male dogs, it is not uncommon to find an undescended testicle that remains within the abdomen. The laparoscopic procedure to remove this abdominal testicle is the same as for a laparoscopic spay, with all the benefits of a small incision and avoiding a large abdominal incision necessary to find the testicle during a traditional surgery. Additionally, for breeds at risk for gastric dilatation and volvulus, or GDV, we offer laparoscopic assisted gastropexy for both male and female dogs. A gastropexy is the surgery where the stomach is ‘tacked’ to the abdominal wall using minimally invasive surgery as opposed to a large ‘open’ incision. By tacking the stomach, we prevent the stomach from twisting in the event of gas dilation. Breeds considered at risk are all giant breeds, poodles and labrador retrievers.

One of the only disadvantages of laparoscopic ovariectomy is the increased cost. We have to account for the additional and ongoing training of our doctors and staff to perform the procedure safely and correctly, and the equipment purchase and maintenance cost is much greater than traditional surgical instruments. That said, our laparoscopic ovariectomy is typically $300 additional to the cost of a traditional spay. In summary, there are many advantages, and no medical disadvantages save the training and specialized instrumentation and technology needed to accomplish this form of minimally invasive surgery. The Parkway Veterinary Hospital is proud to be a leader in this advanced and more pain-free surgical technique.

If you are considering a laparoscopic procedure for your pet or want more information, please contact us at The Parkway Veterinary Hospital.

Camping and Hiking

 

 
Hiking or camping with your dog is a great treat for you and your pooch, as you both get to bask in nature’s majesty while enjoying fresh air and exercise. However, there are things pet owners need to be aware of to keep their best friend happy and healthy, specifically toxic plants and animals that your dog may find appealing. Below are just a few of the more common ones you may encounter.


Death Camas

This plant’s flowers grow in clusters that look like onion bulbs, and they bloom between April and July in hillsides, dry meadows, forests and sagebrush slopes. Easily confused with wild onion or the common camas, this entire plant is poisonous to both you and your dog if consumed.

 

Effects: Weakness, salivation, paralysis, respiratory difficulties, nausea, convulsions, coma and even death.

 


Death Cap Mushroom

This is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the northern hemisphere, causing the majority of human poisonings in North America.   Usually appears in summer and autumn by areas with oak, spruce and chestnut trees.

 

Effects: Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, coma, and death.

 


Fish (Salmon) Poisoning

Salmon poisoning disease (fish disease) is a potentially fatal condition seen in dogs who have ingested certain types of raw fish found in the Pacific Northwest from San Francisco to the coast of Alaska. It is most prevalent from northern California to the Puget Sound. It is also seen inland along the rivers of fish migration.

 

Effects: Most commonly will see mild fevers, vomiting and/or diarrhea but not always, lethargy, inappetence, mild lymph node enlargements. Can be life-threatening if dehydration proceeds to shock.

 


Rough-Skinned Newt

Widely distributed throughout the Pacific NW, the  Rough-skinned newts have a powerful neurological poison in their skin and eggs to protect them from predators. It is distinctive with rough skin and a bright orange to yellow belly

 

Effects: Numbness, vomiting, death if eaten. Irritation to skin or eyes if handled.


Water Hemlock

This wetland plant can be commonly found growing in pastures or near the edge of the water and is common along the Deschutes River and other Oregon streams. Often confused with wild celery or fennel, It is similar in appearance to the Poison Hemlock and is highly toxic and should be avoided.

Effects: Teeth grinding, muscle spasms, respiratory failure, delirium, and death.

For any questions on toxic plants and how to keep your pet safe while camping or hiking, contact us at (503) 636-2102.

The Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet

 

One of the worst feelings to experience as a pet owner is realizing a pet has gone missing. And considering only 17% of lost dogs and 2% of lost cats make it back to their owners, it can often feel impossible to get a pet back. This is why microchipping a pet is so important. Microchipping is an affordable process that helps ensure that pets make it home safe and happy.

Unlike collars and tags, microchips cannot fall off and get lost. They serve as permanent identification for a pet’s entire life. Plus, microchipping a pet is very simple. A veterinary technician injects the tiny chip between your pet’s shoulder blades. Because the chip is encased in hypoallergenic, bio-friendly glass, allergic reactions to chips are incredibly rare.

Then, if your pet ever becomes lost, authorities only need to scan the chip to locate your information. Most animal shelters and veterinary hospitals have chip scanners now, so microchips make it incredibly easy to get lost pets the help they need.

But remember: a microchip is only useful if your contact information is updated. Make sure anytime you move, you update your information with the microchip registry. There may be a fee associated with re-registering a chip, but it’s usually small and varies depending on the registration company.

If you’d like more information on microchipping or would like to make an appointment, call us at Parkway Veterinary Hospital at (503) 636-2102.

FDA Alerts – Milo’s Kitchen Pet Treats

FDA Alerts Pet Owners about the Presence of Thyroid Hormones in Certain Milo’s Kitchen Pet Treats

The J.M. Smucker Company has initiated a recall of certain Milo’s Kitchen dog treats due to the presence of thyroid hormones. The FDA is issuing this notice in order to make pet owners aware of the firm’s action.

The FDA has received reports of four dogs experiencing symptoms, including excessive thirst, excessive urination, increased appetite, and restlessness. Three of the dogs were tested and had increased concentrations of thyroid hormone in their blood, also known as hyperthyroidism. The fourth dog was not tested but was suspected to also be suffering from hyperthyroidism. After the pets’ veterinarians ruled out thyroid cancer as the cause, the FDA determined the hyperthyroidism was connected to an external source, such as a food. The FDA’s Vet-LIRN interviewed the dogs’ owners and confirmed that all of the dogs ate at least one of the recalled pet treat products from Milo’s Kitchen. Once the Milo’s Kitchen treats were removed from the dogs’ diets, the hyperthyroidism symptoms resolved.

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FDA Warning – Darwin’s Raw Pet Food

FDA issues another warning about Tukwila-based Darwin’s raw pet food

The agency says there have been five recalls of and multiple complaints about Darwin’s, manufactured from Oct. 17, 2016, to March 26, concerning issues about shiga toxin-producing E. coli O128, salmonella and/or listeria monocytogenes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued another public-health warning about potential contamination found in Tukwila-based Darwin’s Natural Selections and Darwin’s ZooLogics pet foods.

On Monday, the agency said there have been five recalls of and multiple complaints about Darwin’s, manufactured by Arrow Reliance from Oct. 17, 2016, to March 26. In each case, the FDA said the company recalled the products after being alerted that shiga toxin-producing E. coli O128, salmonella and/or listeria monocytogenes were found in samples of the raw pet food.

Darwin’s has notified its customers directly of the recalls, the FDA said, but it has not issued any public notification announcing this or any of the previous recalls. The agency warned that it has a zero-tolerance policy for harmful bacteria in pet food, “meaning the agency will take action, as appropriate.”

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Two Types of Rad Cat Raw Pet Food Recalled for Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination

Radagast Pet Food of Portland, Oregon is recalling one lot of their Free-Range Chicken and one lot of Free-Range Turkey raw pet food because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. No pet or human illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. The FDA and the Ohio Department of Agriculture found two samples that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. bacteria.

The lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken has lot number 62762, a best by date of 10/19/18, and was shipped to distributors in May 2017 in California, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. The product has UPC codes depending on the package size.

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Three more dog foods, treats recalled over possible contamination

 

Three dog food and treat products were recalled over the weekend by manufacturers because of possible listeria or salmonella contamination. This comes on the heels of a series of massive pet-food recalls this month over possible salmonella, listeria and pentobarbital contamination.

Northwest Naturals, of Portland, is recalling its 5-pound frozen Chicken and Salmon pet food chubs because it may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. Product is packaged in 5-pound frozen chubs labeled Chicken and Salmon Dog Food with a UPC code of 0 87316 38440 6 and a product best buy date code of 15 082218. The company says the product was one isolated batch of 94 cases distributed in California, Washington, Texas, Michigan, Georgia, and Rhode Island and sold thru specialty pet-retail stores.

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4 pet food companies recall products over salmonella concerns

(CBS) – Four companies are recalling pet food possibly contaminated with salmonella after six animals died or were sickened, and two children became ill, according to federal food safety officials.

The cases involving half a dozen pets, including a kitten, are tied to Darwin’s Natural and ZooLogics pet foods, made by Arrow Reliance of Tukwila, Wash., according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“The FDA has investigated six complaints of illness and death in animals that have eaten the recalled products,” the agency said Wednesday.

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Dog food brands recalled over possible euthanasia drug

(CNN)A drug used to euthanize animals has been found in canned dog food, prompting a recall. Low levels of the drug pentobarbital were detected in cans of Gravy Train dog food produced by the J.M. Smucker Company, the FDA said in a statement Friday.

Pentobarbital is most commonly used as a sedative, anesthetic or to euthanize animals, it said.

“Pets that eat pet food containing pentobarbital can experience drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner) and inability to stand. Consuming high levels of pentobarbital can cause coma and death,” it said.

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Two Pet Food Products Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination

 

Two pet food products have been recalled for possible Salmonella contamination. One of the recalled products has no illnesses linked to it; the other has had two reported illnesses.

The first recall is for Smokehouse Pet Products, recalling limited lots of “Beefy Munchies.” The product is sold in 4 ounce bags with UPC number 78565857957 and lot number 449294 and with a best used by date of 10/25/19 stamped on the back. They were sold in Washington, Michigan, North Carolina and Colorado through distributors selling to various retailers. Routine sampling by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of the pathogenic bacteria in two packages of the product. No illnesses have been reported to date with this recall.

The second recall is for Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Pet Food. The Minnesota company is recalling about 4,00o pounds of 1 pound and 5 pound chubs. The product was distributed through Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa directly to consumers and through online mail order.

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