Educational Articles

Dogs + Surgical Conditions

  • Ear hematomas are a collection of blood, either fresh or clotted, within the pinna. Excessive or violent shaking causes one or more blood vessels to break, resulting in bleeding into the space between the ear cartilage and skin on the inner surface of the ear. There is often an underlying cause which must be treated but additionally, surgery or drainage should be done to help relieve discomfort. Failure to treat will lead to a misshapen ear.

  • The diaphragm is the muscular partition that separates the abdomen and the chest. Tearing or disruption of this thin muscle is called a diaphragmatic hernia or diaphragmatic rupture. The terms can be used synonymously.

  • An umbilical hernia is a protrusion (outward bulging) of the abdominal lining, abdominal fat or a portion of abdominal organ(s) through the area around the umbilicus (navel or belly button).

  • Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip that occurs during growth. The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint. During growth both the "ball" (the head of the femur or thighbone) and the "socket" in the pelvis (acetabulum) must grow at equal rates.

  • Dogs are curious by nature. They love to investigate new sights, smells and tastes. Unfortunately, this curiosity can lead them into trouble. Dogs are notorious for swallowing paper, tissues, articles of clothing, sticks, wicker, bones, food wrappers, rocks, and other foreign objects. Many of these objects will pass through the intestinal tract without problem.

  • Otitis interna can cause some significant signs in your dog, including reluctance to eat, head tilt, alteration in balance, and reduced hearing on the affected side. If the specific cause can be identified, such as bacterial or fungal infection, treatment could involve long-term medications. Less commonly, surgery may be needed. Many dogs will respond to treatment and recover well.

  • A joint luxation is a dislocation or complete separation between the bone ends that normally articulate to form a joint. Subluxation is the term referring to a partial separation of the joint. The most commonly subluxated joints in dogs include the hip and elbow, although any joint can be affected.

  • Juvenile hyperparathyroidism is a rare, inherited condition of German Shepherds. This condition causes the parathyroid glands, four small glands that are located in the neck near the thyroid gland, to produce abnormally large amounts of parathyroid hormone.

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a condition that is also commonly referred to as dry eye. The medical term means inflammation of the cornea and surrounding tissues from drying. It is a common eye condition resulting from inadequate production of the aqueous portion of the tear film by the lacrimal gland and/or gland of the third eyelid gland. Any condition that impairs the ability to produce adequate amounts of tear film can result in dry eye.

  • Lameness refers to an inability to properly use one or more limbs. It is most often associated with pain or injury. The most common causes of acute or sudden lameness in dogs are injury to a joint, bone fracture or dislocation. Osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia may also cause lameness in dogs.