Pet owners have many more options than they used to when it comes to saving their pets’ lives and greatly improving the quality of their lives through surgery. Breakthroughs in human surgical techniques often make their way into veterinary medicine as well. Here are some of the latest heartwarming veterinary surgical success stories making headlines.
Veterinary neurologists can perform some amazing brain surgeries on pets. They are able to remove benign and cancerous tumors of the brain and spine. One lucky Australian goldfish named George recently made the news when a cancerous growth was removed from his head. Brain surgery can be done on pets for other conditions as well, such as correcting malformations and removing fluid from the brain.
Plastic surgery isn’t just for people. Many injured pets or those born with deformities have benefited from the plastic surgery skills of talented veterinarians. Kabang, a dog in the Philippines who lost her nose and much of the central part of her face in an accident, received skin grafts to repair the open wound, and can now eat and even smell normally. Vets have used tissue from the cheek and mouth to make eyelids for cats born without them. 3D printers are being used more and more to craft prosthetic limbs for dogs and cats, and even beaks for birds and shells for turtles.
Open Heart Surgery
Although not common, veterinary open heart surgery has helped save the lives of dogs and cats. Vets at the University of California Davis corrected a heart defect in a Burmese cat named Vanilla Bean. Without the surgery, she would have died of congestive heart failure. A team of Japanese veterinary surgeons brought to Cornell University operated on the defective heart valve of a dog named Esme. They even used a bypass machine which took over the heart’s functions while the doctors were working.