Jeffrey Christiansen, DVM, DACVS (Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons)
Dr. Christiansen is experienced in all manners of soft tissue surgery (stomach, intestine, liver, lung, bladder, tumor removal, reconstructive, etc.), orthopedic (fracture repair, joint surgeries, congenital deformities, etc.), and spinal surgery (especially disc disease in the back or neck).
When not doing surgery, Dr. Christiansen enjoys spending time with his family and friends, as well as lifting weights, jogging, and writing.
My wife, Wendy Christiansen, is also a veterinarian. She does relief work at general practices throughout Brevard County, including Malabar Country Vet in Palm Bay, Maybeck Animal Hospital and Wickham Road Animal Hospital (both in Melbourne), and others as needed.
We met in Vet School at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and got engaged in Manhattan, New York: Dinner at Windows on the World (on the top of the former World Trade Center), orchestra seats to Phantom of the Opera, stretch limo to Central Park, and the proposal on a handsome cab (horse and carriage)...she said yes.
We were married in her native Alabama August, 1997. She remains the love of my life and takes great care of myself and our two beloved children, Henry and Kate...of whom we could not be more proud!
daughter, Kate Veronica Christiansen, was born October, 2010. She is smart, funny, and feisty. What some people call bossy, we like to call "leadership skills." Also taking Tae Kwan Do as well as dance classes, at three years old, Kate was the youngest female finisher in 2014's Turtle Krawl 5K!
Consuela, was born around September, 2005. She was hit by a car, and her left femur was in six pieces. I put her back together and adopted her. She may not be the brightest, but she is gentle and patient with the kids, and she is very loving. What breed is she? I'd say Heinz '57, aka mutt.
We got Charlie as a rescue around February 2015. He is a Rat Terrier, and we adopted him as a middle age dog. He is smart and a lot of fun, and very tolerant of Kate trying to carry him around by his armpits all day. He likes to cover himself up with blankets when he sleeps...which is a lot!
Lamont (left) and Shaniqua (right) are litter mates, Hurricane Frances rescues from 2004, part of our time in South Florida. Lamont is a bit of a scaredy-cat, but he's the biggest and toughest of the bunch when he wants to be.
Shaniqua is our most social and friendly cat. She developed intestinal lymphoma last year, but she is doing pretty well on a steroid and twice a week oral chemo. Her appetite is a little less than before, but she never misses a chance to come down and have bacon with brunch.
Yolanda is another South Florida hurricane rescue...
...but from Katrina, in 2005. She was a tiny kitten, loaded with pretty much every parasite you could think of. Wendy saved her, but Yolanda took a shine to me...though she can be a bit feisty/hot-tempered at time.
Elvis was born around May 1999 (we got him when he was abandoned around 2 years of age). His mother had the Panleukopenia virus when she was pregnant, and so he was born with cerebellar hypoplasia (the portion of his brain controlling coordination is underdeveloped). He walked like he was really, really drunk (we called him Elvis because his hips wiggle back and forth as much as Elvis Presley's). But he didn't know anything was wrong, and so he was very happy. Elvis made it to the ripe old age of 17!
We gotour veiled chameleon, Francesco, from our friends Drs. Matt and Erin Coris of the Merritt Island and Viera branches of Island Animal Hospital, respectively. He was a gift for our son, Henry, who named him after the rival Italian car from the movie Cars II. He was pretty cool with his color-changing, cricket-eating, and independently-moving eyes. We had him for close to 5 years.
Rainman was found in 1998 by a family in Houston on a rainy day, so they named him Rainy. He was happily running alongside a school playground, despite having a broken front leg with bone sticking through the skin. They brought him to Gulf Coast Veterinary Surgery, where I was doing my internship. There was a lot of dead bone, so we had to cut the bone back to healthy tissue, stabilize things in a ring fixator, and then distract the fracture slowly over several weeks to build new bone and get his limb length back.
I then adopted him and changed his name to Rainman. To me, he looked like some sort of hound/Pit Bull mix (I called him a Pit Beagle). He accompanied Willow and us on or journeys before settling in Melbourne. He was a tough and happy dog. He developed thyroid cancer in 2008 and did well with surgery and chemotherapy (which had absolutely zero visible effect on his comfort/quality of life) for about a year and a half...but the cancer eventually metastasized (recurred and spread), and he died in 2009.
I got Willow as a junior in veterinary school (summer 1994). As a puppy of only a couple months, she'd been kicked by a horse while her owners were away. A neighbor brought her to the vet school, where she was splinted and cared for for a couple weeks. Upon the owners' return, they came to get her, but when they received a nominal bill for care, they decided she wasn't their dog after all. Anyway, due to her age and the fracture location, she healed fine. She was then gifted to me; I named her Willow after a comic book character from the Dreadstar saga. Anyway, Willow traveled with me from Knoxville, Tennessee to Manhattan, New York to Houston, Texas to Wilmington, Delaware (where we lived during my residency at Penn) to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Miramar, Florida to Melbourne, Florida. She was some sort of Golden Retriever mix (though lots of people asked me if she was a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever). She died at age 15.
Artificial urethral sphincter – treatment for urinary incontinence associated with urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence. Placement of a cuff around the urethral that can be inflated or deflated via a subcutaneous (under the skin) inguinal (groin) port. Every patient studied showed significant improvement, and 70% regained full continence.
Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) – preventing/minimizing osteoarthritis secondary to canine hip dysplasia; accomplishes the benefits of bilateral/staged Triple Pelvic Osteotomies but without the major risks of sciatic injury, lameness/instability/extensive exercise restrictions, and extensive costs. Recommended for any dog with positive Ortilani sign – passive laxity of hips demonstrable on physical exam – much more sensitive (and at an earlier age than OFA films) – examine any breed at risk for CHD
Limitation – maximum benefit at 4 months of age. No benefit after 6 months of age.
Prophylactic gastropexy (surgical or endoscope assisted) – prevention of the rapidly fatal gastric dilatation-volvulus syndrome (commonly referred to as “bloat”), most common in giant and large breeds of dogs.
Stem Cell banking/therapy – osteoarthritis, bone/tendon/ligament healing, kidney failure, immune-mediated diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, peripheral nerve injuries, thrombosis/infarction (peripheral, cerebral, etc.). Can be harvested for future banking during any other surgical procedure.
Limitation – not currently recommended/approved for use in patients with known cancer.
Subcutaneous ureteral bypass (primarily in cats) – surgical placement of a bypass for ureteral (between the kidney and bladder) obstruction (tumor, calculi (stones), stricture/scar tissue); essentially creates another ureter. Able to be flushed, cultured, and examined via a subcutaneous (under the skin) port.
Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) Rapid – cutting edge surgical treatment for cranial cruciate ligament (equivalent to the human ACL/anterior cruciate ligament) tear/rupture; an incomplete cut through the bone and improved quality of the cage results in less invasive, more stable, more rapid healing, shorter surgical time
Tracheal stenting – non-surgical placement of an intraluminal stent to treat tracheal collapse (both cervical/neck and intrathoracic), most common in toy breeds of dogs; markedly improves quality of life in severely affected patients
Ureteral stenting (dogs) – endoscope-assisted or surgical treatment of obstruction between the kidney and bladder (tumor, calculi (stones), stricture/scar tissue). Excellent alternate to surgery, which has high risk of leakage, stricture (obstruction via scar tissue).
Urethral stenting – non-surgical placement of an intraluminal stent to treat urethral obstruction, usually via tumor or stricture (scar tissue). Well-tolerated and restores quality of life to patients that would otherwise be euthanized due to inability to urinate.