Month: November 2015

Neuter- Feline

Share This!

One of the most common surgical procedures we perform is a cat neuter, know medically as an orchectomy. It is performed for several reasons:

  • It minimizes roaming
  • It minimizes aggressive behavior
  • It prevents male cats from impregnating females.
  • It minimized urinating in the home (urine spraying).

Male cats are territorial and prone to fighting, which leads to serious diseases, especially viral diseases like FeLVFIP, and FIV. Neutering minimizes this fighting, helping also to cut down on these serious contagious diseases.

At the Long Beach Animal Hospital we use the carbon dioxide laser for all of our cat neuters. There is almost no bleeding during the surgery, but most importantly, there is negligible swelling and pain post operatively. Your cat will appreciate this.

Sometimes people get a jaded mindset when it comes to routine surgeries like neuters, that are performed by the thousands, especially at low cost spay and neuter clinics. It is a major surgery, and we treat it as such at the Long Beach Animal Hospital, which you will learn about in this page.

Several days prior to any surgery please bring in your pet for a preanesthetic exam and blood panel to confirm your pet is ready for anesthesia. At that time one of our doctors will go over any questions you have.

On the day of surgery we need your cat in the hospital between 7:30 AM and 8 AM. Please take away all food when you go to bed the evening before surgery. Let your pet have water during the night. Do not give your cat anything to eat or drink the morning of surgery.

Our surgeon will call you after the surgery is complete and your cat is awake. It can go home in the late afternoon the day of surgery unless instructed otherwise. Please call our office at 4 PM for pickup time, you will be given written post operative instructions then. We are open until midnight if you need to pick up later.

Graphic surgical photos later in this page


Anesthesia

Pre-anesthetic preparation is important in every surgery we perform, no matter how routine. all of our neuters receive a physical exam prior to surgery. After this exam will we draw a small amount of blood for an in-hospital pre-anesthetic test. When everything is in order we will give a sedative. This will calm the pet down and make the administration of the actual anesthetic, along with post operative recovery, much smoother. Once a pet is anesthetized, prepared for surgery, and had its monitoring equipment hooked up and reading accurately, the surgery can begin. Cat neuter surgery is a short procedure, and only a small amount of anesthetic is needed.

This is a sterile surgery, and our surgeon starts the pre-surgical process by using special soap to clean his hands

_D2A8630

While our patient is being anesthetized our surgeon is already in our surgical suite setting up instruments. Our surgeon is ready to start before our patient is at a proper plane of anesthesia. Once the anesthetist gives the green light the surgery starts immediately. We want our surgeon waiting for his patient, not the other way around.  All of this is to minimize anesthetic time.

OVH-rabbit-2

OVH-rabbit-3

We keep a close tab on important physiologic parameters for all of our surgeries. Monitors like this give us an early warning of an impending problem.

This machine monitors:

Temperature

Heart Rate

Heart rhythm

Oxygen saturation

Carbon dioxide level

Respiratory rate

Surgery-Monitor

In addition to our monitoring equipment our anesthetist stays “hands on” in monitoring important physiologic parameters

Rabbit-femurfx-9

Surgery

Graphic surgical photos coming up

In general, neutering males cats is a straightforward procedure. Most cats have both testes in the scrotum, making them readily accessible by a scrotal incision. We do not suture the scrotum after the procedure since it heals very rapidly by itself.

In this picture a small incision has already been made in the scrotum with the laser, and the testicle is visible.

Our surgeon has the testicle in his hand which allows visualization of all the internal structures. You can visualize the white and glistening vas deferens at the top of the picture going from the body on the right to the testicle on the left. The vas deferens will be used to tie off the blood supply to the testicle.

Due to the small size of the blood vessels we can use the natural anatomy of the testicle to prevent bleeding when we remove the testicle. The black arrow points to the knot in the vas deferens made by the surgeon. After several more of these knots are applied the testicle at the far left will be cut off.

Another technique to tie this knot involves the use of a hemostat. This picture shows the beginning of the knot.

After the vas deferens and blood supply are wrapped around the hemostat they are then passed through the center.

Here is the final appearance after the knot has been completed.

At this point anesthesia is stopped and it is moved to recovery to be monitored by our technicians.

Cat-PostOpTowel

When fully awake we will call and let you know.

Staff-ShannonPostOpCall

On occasion both testicles are not in the scrotum. This means that one of them is in the abdomen or in the inguinal canal, which is the passageway through the body wall into the scrotum. Either way, we have to find this testicle and remove it because it will continue to secrete hormones and can potentially become cancerous.

The skin has already been incised and our surgeon is preparing to enter the body cavity. The white glistening structure visible is the section in the center of the abdomen where the abdominal muscles and their tendons meet. It is called the linea alba. We make the incision here due to minimal blood supply and good holding power for sutures

The testicle is not the only thing that resides in the abdomen. This is a picture of the urinary bladder (we hope you didn’t think it was the testicle!) that bulged out of the incision in the abdomen. Obviously, it can interfere with the surgery when it is this full with urine, so we remove the urine before proceeding further.

Testicles that reside in the abdomen are very small because they have atrophied (shrunken in size) due to lack of use. They can be quite difficult to find, and necessitate careful exploration of the abdomen. The black arrow points to the atrophied testicle.

In this case we use suture material to prevent bleeding. The black arrow is still pointing to the testicle to help keep you oriented.

This picture is from another surgery. We have already removed a normal testicle from the scrotum and an abnormal testicle from the abdomen. You can see the difference in size and shape

When the surgery is complete we sew up the incision in the muscles and skin, and give a medication for pain. Once the hair grows back it is impossible to tell if surgery was performed.

Laser Surgery

Using the laser has many advantages over using a scalpel blade. These include negligible bleeding during the procedure and post operative pain. We can use the laser to make an incision in the scrotum, which makes the healing process much more comfortable. Our Laser Page has detailed information on the use of the laser for various surgeries.

Continue Reading

Feline Spay Long Beach Ca

Share This!

Long Beach Animal Hospital offers feline spay services for cat owners in Southern Ca

One of the most common surgical procedures we perform is a cat spay, known medically as an ovariohysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and uterus). It is performed for several medical reasons:

  • It prevents cats from going into heat.
  • It prevents cats from getting pregnant.
  • It significantly helps prevent cats from getting breast cancer later in life.
  • It prevents cats from getting uterine infections later in life.

We have pictures at the end of this page of complications like cystic ovaries and an infected uterus that can occur in unspayed female cats.

In addition to these medical reasons spaying prevents unwanted pregnancies, a significant problem in our society. Millions of cats are euthanized every year because they are strays.

We usually spay a cat when it is around 6 months of age. This timetable is variable, the important point is to perform the surgery before it goes into heat. Increasing daylight encountered in late winter and early spring stimulate female cats to go into heat.

On the day of surgery we need your cat in the hospital between 7:30 AM and 8 AM. Please take away all food when you go to bed the evening before surgery. Let your pet have water during the night. Do not give your cat anything to eat or drink the morning of surgery.

Our surgeon will call you after the surgery is complete and your cat is awake. It can go home in the late afternoon the day of surgery. Please call our office at 4 PM for pickup time, you will be given written post operative instructions then. We are open in the evening if you need to pick up later.

This area contains graphic pictures of an actual surgical procedure performed at the hospital. 


Anesthesia

Pre-anesthetic preparation is important in every surgery we perform, no matter how routine. All of our spays receive a physical exam prior to surgery. After this exam will we draw a small amount of blood for an in-hospital pre-anesthetic test. When everything is to our satisfaction we will administer a sedative. This will calm the pet down and make the administration of the actual anesthetic, along with post operative recovery, much smoother. Once a pet is anesthetized, prepared for surgery, and had its monitoring equipment hooked up and reading accurately, the surgery can begin.

This is a sterile abdominal surgery, and our surgeon starts the pre-surgical process by using special soap to clean his hands

_D2A8630

While our patient is being anesthetized our surgeon is already in our surgical suite setting up instruments. Our surgeon is ready to start before our patient is at a proper plane of anesthesia. Once the anesthetist gives the green light the surgery starts immediately. We want our surgeon waiting for his patient, not the other way around.  All of this is to minimize anesthetic time.

OVH-rabbit-2

OVH-rabbit-3

We keep a close tab on important physiologic parameters for all of our surgeries. Monitors like this give us an early warning of an impending problem.

This machine monitors:

Temperature

Heart Rate

Heart rhythm

Oxygen saturation

Carbon dioxide level

Respiratory rate

Surgery-Monitor

In addition to our monitoring equipment our anesthetist stays “hands on” in monitoring important physiologic parameters

Rabbit-femurfx-9

Surgery

All our spays are performed under sterile conditions. Once our patient is draped and in the proper level of anesthesia the surgery begins

Feline-OVH-5

The spay procedure begins with an incision in the skin. We make a small one (we call it a bikini scar when it heals) because it minimizes anesthetic time when we have to suture the skin and muscles back together, and to minimize post operative discomfort. Smaller incisions also heal faster and minimize the chance of complications. We pick a specific location on the abdomen to make our incision. This location minimizes skin bleeding, gives us direct access to the muscles we need to go through to get into the abdomen, and puts us directly over the ovaries and uterus.

 Our surgeon is making this incision near the umbilicus (belly button) on this cat.

Feline-OVH-6

Cats have a layer of fat under the skin called the subcutaneous tissue. Once we cut through this fat we expose the abdominal muscles.

Feline-OVH-7

It is important to go through the abdominal muscle in the proper location. This location is called the linea alba, and is the area where the abdominal muscles meet. Making the incision here will yield almost no bleeding, and gives the surgeon a strong anchor to sew the muscles back together.

We start the muscle incision with a scalpel, then complete it with the scalpel or a scissors, taking special care not to cut any internal organs.

Feline-OVH-8

An instrument called a spay hook is commonly used to bring the uterus out of the incision through the small opening in the muscle. We gently pull up the uterus until we have the ovary exposed.  The black arrow points to the ovary.The surgery is performed outside of the abdomen.

Feline-OVH-9

The ligament that attaches the ovary to the bottom of the kidney is gently stretched to allow complete visualization of the ovary and its blood supply.

Feline-OVH

Our surgeon then clamps the blood supply to the ovary using hemostats

Feline-OVH-10

This is a picture of an ovary cyst from a different cat. This is one of the problems that can occur when a female cat is not spayed.

Using special suture material the blood supply to the ovary is cut off. This is repeated for both ovaries

Feline-OVH-11

When both ovaries have been cut off from their blood supply the whole uterus with ovaries is brought through the incision site

Feline-OVH-12

The uterine horns are now ligated with special suture material

Feline-OVH-13

The muscle layers are sutured at a special section called the linea alba. Our initial incision was made here to facilitate suturing at the end of the procedure. The linea alba is a tendinous attachment between the muscles that holds the suture much better than the muscle itself. This prevents a hernia.

Feline-OVH-2

The skin is sutured, usually with a suture material that dissolves on its own, so there is usually no need to return for suture removal. We will let you know in your post operative handout.

Feline-OVH-3

After the skin is sutured we use our companion laser. This aids the healing process and decreases post operative swelling so your pet is more comfortable.

Feline-OVH-4

Click on the video to see it in action

 

At this point anesthesia is stopped and it is moved to recovery to be monitored by our technicians.

Cat-PostOpTowel

When fully awake we will call and let you know.

Staff-ShannonPostOpCall

Unspayed cats are at risk for a disease called pyometra. This is an actual infection of the uterus, and can be very serious. It is diagnosed in several ways, one of them being a radiograph. The black arrow points to a tubular structure in the abdomen of this cat this is a pus filled uterus.

This is what a pyometra uterus looks like. It includes the ovaries (arrows) at the left along with the cervix at the far right. If you look closely you will notice the swollen appearance to this uterus. This is an infected uterus that was removed from an older cat. If this cat had been spayed before its first heat, there is minimal chance it would have had to suffer this infection.

Before it wakes up from anesthesia we will give a pain injection.

Postoperative Care

 

Most cats go home late in the afternoon on the day we perform the surgery. They might be groggy from the pain injection which is advantageous because they will remain calm and allow the healing process to start immediately. By the following morning the grogginess will have worn off.

When you first get home do not be in a big rush to feed. after 1 hour at home offer a small amount of food and water. If the appetite is good, offer more several hours later. Do not over do the feeding the first night because anesthesia can make them nauseous.

Use the pain medication we prescribe to make your cat feel comfortable for the next few days.

Keep contact with children and other pets to a minimum the first night, and restrict activity for several days to allow the incision to heal. Do not let your cat go outside until healing is complete.

 

Continue Reading

Restraint Technique

Share This!

Introduction

Brushing your pets teeth is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially if your pet is not used to you handling it near its mouth. By getting your pet used to you working around and in its mouth at a young age, you will make the process of tooth brushing go smoother when your pet is older and needs brushing. Proper restraint is the key to getting your pet to cooperate. We will show you some techniques that can be used by one person or two people in cooperation.

A good time to start is when you are watching TV at night and your pet is in your lap. Get your pet used to your hands around its face, and eventually insert your finger in its mouth. Dipping your finger in food that tastes good to your pet is helpful. Eventually you will be able to use the finger brush to gently brush the teeth. If you are patient, take your time, and make it fun, you stand a good chance of being successful.

Restraining Small Pets

The key to restraining a small pet for tooth brushing is to use as little force as possible. One person can restrain while the other brushes the teeth, although one person can usually brush a small pets teeth alone.

Start by putting your friend on a table while talking in a soothing voice and petting it. Have your tooth brush or finger brush already on the table. Hug your pet to you with one hand while simultaneously holding its head and neck gently with your other hand. This method works well with many cats.

If your pet uses its front legs to push your hands out of its mouth you can solve this problem by holding the front legs, always with one of your fingers between the legs.

A towel can be used for some additional restraint. Wrap it loosely around the body and hug your pet to you. If necessary, the front legs can be held also.

It is sometimes advantageous to include the front legs in the wrap. This towel will need to be wrapped tighter if you want the legs to stay in.

Once restrained you can introduce your finger, a piece of gauze, a finger brush, or a tooth brush into the mouth. Rub in a gentle motion while talking in soothing tones to your pet.

You can turn the head gently or completely reposition yourself to do the other side.

Continue Reading

Masai Mara 2007 Birds

Share This!

Kenya has well over a thousand species of birds. We would awaken in the morning to their calls, and see them all day long in the air and on the ground.

This page has a few of the more interesting ones. At the end of the page we have a sequence of a martial eagle, the biggest in Africa, flying off its nest. This page also has a phenomonal set of photos where an eagle attacked a vulture in mid-air.

One of our goals is to teach photographers how to capture the colors some of these birds exhibit. Another goal is to practice shooting birds in flight (BIF), which is quite a challengedue to their speed and erratic movements. In addition to lots of practice, our equipment made a big difference here.


This is a yellow billed stork taken at Rokero camp just after lunch. He is looking for his lunch, and today’s menu happens to have a special on frogs.

A stork fishing for frogs in Kenya

A Secretary bird. It eats snakes and eats small mammals, large insects, lizards, and snakes. You oftentimes find them on the ground, although occasionally you will see them in a tree.

Lappet faced vulture. It is the largest vulture in Africa, and is the first one to arrive at the kill and open the carrion for other vultures.

A beautiful bird called a striped kingfisher

A colorful bird found throughout the Mara is this lilac-breasted roller

Its lots of fun trying to capture them in mid-flight when they dart all around

Male ostrich on the lookout for a mate

A female ostrich on the lookout for a free ride to visit a friend in Nairobi

A martial eagle, the largest in Africa, putting on a show for us. This is where the Canon 1D Mark III camera came in handy.

Vultures are good to practice your shooting technique on flying birds. They glide in slowly and do not have many erratic movements. This paid off big time for Peter when you see the next sequence of photos.

No biggie here, just a few photos of vultures gliding through the air so people can get a feel of shooting them in flight

Lots of practice, and being in the right place at the right time sometimes yields phenomenal results. Notice the bird in the background at the right of this lapet-faced vulture?
Can you guess what it is? At first glance we assumed it was a vulture also.

Its an tawny eagle

And it is literally attacking the vulture because the vulture got too close to its nest

Different day, different tawny, eating a breakfast of rabbit in the tree right above us

Continue Reading

Predators

Share This!

As you can imagine there are many predators in the Mara. We saw and have photos of hyena, mongoose, bat-eared fox, jackals, serval, and the rare caracal. I even had a mongoose visit my tent one night as he pitter-pattered around the sides. I did not know what it was at first, and when I looked out the screen he was looking right at me. After 3 seconds he took off, and I never heard back from him again.

This page will link to the 3 primary predators we encountered. Within each section I have picked out the photos that show some of their more active behavior. I want to depict them as we saw them in their natural environment, and something more than you will see in a zoo.

Cheetah

Their eyes are magic in the morning sun as they look for breakfast

Lion

This is the same lion in the Disney movie African Cats. They call him Fang in the movie, we called him Snaggletooth.

Leopard

You can see the reflection from my flash in this leopard’s eyes. They have a structure at the retina, called the tapetum lucidum, that causes this reflection.

Continue Reading