What's even better than a really cool lifesaving surgery?
A really cool lifesaving surgery on a really nice pet owned and loved by a veteran.
This is Hercules.
He was rescued by a veteran who was in a dark place several years ago until rescuing and bonding with Hercules, whom he credits with turning his life around.
A few weeks back, Hercules became distressed. Dr. Teri Schroeck, Hercules' regular vet at Cocoa Veterinary Hospital and one of my best referring vets, diagnosed him with a pneumothorax (free air in the chest, surrounding and compressing his lungs) and sent him to me at Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital.
After confirming he didn't have cancer or bad disease via CT (Computed Tomography/CATscan), we felt a ruptured pulmonary bulla or bleb (a large, accumulated "air bubble") was most likely and recommended a thoracotomy.
Surgery confirmed the diagnosis, and the affected lung lobe was removed. The picture's a little blurry (those lungs keep moving!), but you can see the bubble on the affected lobe). Despite having his sternum split for the surgery, Hercules was trotting and trying to chase lizards on his walk the next morning. Tough guy!
All the techs were giving Hercules extra love, and Cocoa was kind enough to board Hercules for the week while his owners enjoyed some long-planned vacation time.
Our Patient Spotlight goes on Baby Doll, a nine year old Yorkie with Collapsing Trachea. She only weighs about 4 pounds but is in good body condition at that weight!
With age, Baby Doll's trachea (her windpipe) collapsed so that she was having a harder and harder time breathing due to her narrowed airway. Excitement and exercise led to coughing and potentially life-threatening distress.
On the image, you can see how the airway (the dark tunnel running down the neck collapses down to almost nothing as it passed behind the shoulders.
Last week we measured Baby Doll for and ordered a tracheal stent.
This week we placed the stent during a 15 minute, non-surgical procedure. Via x-ray guidance, we placed the stent into her trachea, made sure it was right where we wanted it, and fully deployed it.
On the image, you can see how her airway is now held wide open by the stent.
She recovered minutes later and has been a happy camper ever since.
It's nice to be able to move air again!
For more information on tracheal stents, check here