Veterinary Surgery of Birmingham


Photos and Radiographs

Myelogram, Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

A myelogram is a radiographic contrast study performed to localize a spinal cord problem. It is commonly utilized to locate an intervertebral disc hernation/rupture and guide surgical approach. This myelogram shows compression of the spinal cord (outlined by two parallel bright white lines) by herniation of the thoracic 12/13 disc. Here, the white lines fade/disappear where spinal cord is compressed. Intervertebral disc disease is a very common problem typically seen in middle-aged chondrodystrophic (Dwarfism) breeds such as Miniature Dachshunds, Shi-Tzus, Beagles, Basset Hounds, etc. However, IVDD can occur in any breed of any age. IVDD often results in compression of the spinal cord, pain, and weakness/paralysis. In most cases, surgery results in a good outcome.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

Canine cranial cruicate ligament (ACL in humans) rupture is a very common problem in all sizes of dogs. Large and/or active dogs are commonly treated with a TPLO, which makes the CrCL unnecessary for joint stabilization. The bone is osteotomized (cut) and rotated to 'level' the joint surface. A permanent surgical-grade stainless steel specialized bone plate and screws are placed to hold the position while the bone heals. The joint becomes stable and results in long term return to function and decreased arthritis.

Thoracic tumor

This canine patient had a tumor growing in the space between the left and right lung (mediastinum), in front of its heart. The patient's head is to the left and it is lying on its side. The dark grey/black tube in the center is the trachea (wind pipe) and has been pushed upward by the large mass. Cancer surgery is commonly performed and can play a pivotal role in management of many cancers in animals. Some cancers are cured with surgery while some are operated as only one part of a treatment plan.

Bladder Stones

The large light grey/white objects in this radiograph of a dog's abdomen are large bladder stones. This is a severe case which resulted in the entire bladder becoming impacted with stones. Bladder stones can be caused by infection, diet, genetics/metabolism, or endocrine disorders. Often a stone will cause obstruction of the urinary tract and lead to life-threatening complications. Most, if not all, bladder stones are treated with surgery and can usually be prevented in the future by treating the underlying cause along with medications and diets.

Hip Dysplasia

This patient has Canine Hip Dysplasia and secondary severe degenerative joint disease (arthritis). Most patients with this disease are successfully treated with weight loss, joint supplements, non-concussive activity and NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs) as needed. Once non-surgical management has been exhausted and the patient has 'end-stage' arthritis, salvage surgery may be considered. Two surgical options exist: Total Hip Replacement or Femoral Head and Neck Excision. Femoral Head and Neck Excision (FHNE) or Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) was performed on the right hip (left side of image). Once healed, a 'false joint' is formed that has no bone-on-bone contact and is comfortable/functional for the patient. Note the unoperated left hip (right side of the image) has severe arthritis and a large bone spur (osteophyte) that has fractured off.

If hip dysplasia is caught early enough, generally at less than one year of age, a preventative surgery may be performed. Triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) changes the conformation of the hip joint to prevent this severe arthritis from forming in the future.

Fracture Repair

This patient had a femur (thigh bone) fracture caused by a high-powered rifle bullet. The fracture was repaired with orthopedic wires, bone screws and a bone plate. Fractures typically take 6-8 weeks to heal, longer if severe trauma such as gunshot wounds or if they are infected. Typically implants do not require removal and most patients regain comfortable function of the limb.