Bill and Lee Ann have been coming to Bay View Veterinary Clinic for several years. Their 13-year-old Border collie mix, Shania, was recently seen for a mass over her lower back leg. This particular mass was growing so fast, in fact, that the skin over the mass was becoming deeply infected. Without any other options for a cure, Bill and Lee Ann decided surgery was the right thing.
Dr. Bell performed an aggressive excision with wide skin margins to give the best chance of complete removal. With so much of the skin removed along with the tumor, it was impossible to completely close the remaining tissue. An antibacterial honey bandage (yes, we said honey!) was placed over the area and changed daily for a few weeks until suture removal. The biopsy report came back as a locally extensive tumor called a sarcoma. These tumors can microscopically go much farther into tissue than you can see or feel. Thankfully, the aggressive surgical removal paid off and the tumor was completely removed, at one margin by a slim two millimeters!
Now, no good story comes without a twist, and this story is no different. Shania just so happens to be a dog that tends to eat things she shouldn't. Wouldn't you know it, during her recovery at home she chose to eat her old bandaging material out of the garbage one day! Suddenly, the dog that was doing so fantastic after surgery was now vomiting and uncomfortable.
We took x-rays and saw a large amount of suspicious material in her stomach. Now, faced with an even tougher decision, Bill and Lee Ann elected to have a second surgery to remove the bandaging. Shania was taken back to surgery and a gastrostomy procedure was performed. Her stomach was opened and a large amount of bandaging material was pulled out. Her stomach was sutured closed and she recovered uneventfully. Within a few hours, Shania was back home and doing well.
Like the old saying goes: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. In Shania's case we'd have to say, "Shania, when life gives you bandaging material... please, don't eat it!"
Brooke’s owner John brought her to Bay View Veterinary Clinic in August 2016 because he noticed she was uncomfortable. She is an 11-year-old black female Labrador that is usually a friendly, spunky and vivacious girl. Brooke was panting all of the time, and keeping her owner awake at night. Brooke would still run and play, but was slower to get up and more cautious when lying down. She had trouble walking up and down stairs.
Brooke had pain and stiffness in her back and rear legs, and seemed a bit more anxious than normal. X-rays revealed normal heart and lungs, compression of the lumbar vertebrae in her back, and no arthritis in her hip joints. Brooke was started on pain reducing medications, joint supplements, and a fish oil fatty acid. She also started receiving chiropractic-like adjustments from Dr. Gamm to improve her mobility and comfort.
After starting these therapies, Brooke stopped panting during the day, but she was still panting at night and had trouble ascending and descending stairs. In September 2016, we implemented Adequan injections, a medication that will improve the health of all of her joints, and a muscle relaxer.
By October 2016, Brooke felt so much better! She started swimming once a week at Think Pawsitively to help rebuild muscle in her back and legs. Brooke is currently maintained on monthly Adequan injections, daily joint supplements and fish oil fatty acids, and swimming sessions to keep her strong through the winter. Brooke’s transformation took approximately three months. She is now a happy tail-wagging dog who can get up and down the steps on her own! Brooke and John both sleep all night!
Brooke is a prime example of how nutritional supplements, pain relieving medications, veterinary adjustment therapy, Adequan injections and physical therapy were needed to get her back to her normal self. If you think your dog or cat is having mobility challenges, give us a call at (262) 363-9993. We can examine your pet, and create a plan to improve their quality of life. We are here to help!