Taylor - Canine Pet of the Month, July 2020
Taylor is a four-year-old male Pitbull Terrier who has been a patient here his whole life. Taylor has always been a very healthy patient but as he matured through puppyhood, he started developing breathing problems-especially when he exercised or when it was hot. His problems became progressively worse until he was always noisy when he breathed, snored excessively and, when he was excited, made very loud noises. Taylor was tentatively diagnosed with elongate soft palate as his primary problem. Unfortunately, diagnosis requires sedation to examine the back of the throat. The soft palate is the very back of the roof of your mouth. If you run your tongue backward from just behind your upper front teeth, you will feel the palate go from hard to soft. If this tissue is too long it extends into the larynx and interferes with breathing. The only correction of this malady is surgical, though one must be careful not to remove too much tissue which can lead to aspiration problems long term. Taylor’s mom decided that she would have him neutered recently which was the ideal time to examine the back of the throat. Once we confirmed the diagnosis, we were able to remove the excess tissue with our surgical laser. It is the ideal instrument for this as it cauterizes blood vessels to limit bleeding, seals nerve endings to decrease pain and decreases swelling of the tissues. It also does not require sutures to be placed in this difficult to access region. The surgical procedures went well, and Taylor went home that afternoon with improved breathing. After 2 weeks of healing time Taylor was more active and able to breathe much better. His snoring had improved dramatically, and he felt better overall. Because of his amazing improvement, Taylor is AHS’s canine Pet of the Month.
Kirby - Feline Pet of the Month, July 2020
Kirby is a young, neutered male cat. Kirby was boarding while his owner was away, and the kennel staff noticed Kirby urinating outside the litter pan. Kirby very quickly became painful. Kirby was examined and an analysis of his urine was performed, Cystitis and struvite crystals were diagnosed. Kirby was started on pain medication and antibiotics and his diet switched immediately. Male cats are prone to having urinary obstruction and not being able to urinate. This is because they have a very tiny narrow urethra and mucous/crystal plugs can be passed during cystitis. Kirby improved very quickly before this could happen. Often cystitis in cats is related to stress(being away from the home environment), litter box aversion(Kirby’s owner noted he is picky about the litter he uses), and sometimes crystals(excess mineral in the food for some individual cats that come out of solution with very concentrated urine). Kirby went home doing well. He is still on prescription diet to dilute his urine which is very concentrated in most cats. This also keeps struvite crystals dissolved in the urine so that they can be passed and not cause bladder/urethral irritation. Special thanks to the observant kennel staff that prevented Kirby from possibly having a urinary obstruction. Kirby is a sweet kitty and an interesting pet feline Pet of the Month.