Pain Control

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One of the most important parts of the surgical experience is the control of pain. As recently as twenty years ago, pain medications were considered unnecessary in animals, because it was believed that their natural endorphins (opioid hormones released during stress) protected them from excessive pain. It was also believed that if you gave animals pain medicines, they would be too active post-surgery. However, we now know that animals do indeed feel pain as we do, and the science of pain control is one of the central parts of surgery. It makes a difference in speed of healing in all procedures, and even in survival rates when pets are badly injured or undergoing major surgery. And, of course, keeping them comfortable is simply the right thing to do! For simple procedures, often just a few days of anti-inflammatory tablets or liquid is required. For complex or multiple procedures, a combination of medications is used to maximize comfort. For dentistry, nerve blocks are used for major extractions so that the patient feels nothing during the procedure and wakes up in comfort. Your pet’s doctor will decide what approach to pain control is best. Your pet will be given medicine before and immediately after surgery by injection, and will be sent home with appropriate oral medications to be given for several days. Please let us know if you think medicating your pet at home may be challenging, and we will share ideas to make it as easy as possible.

Laser surgery

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Burke Animal Clinic is the only animal hospital in the region to offer the technology of laser surgery! Laser is a concentrated light beam that actually cuts tissue and stops bleeding at the same time. There is less pain, less bleeding, less swelling, and faster healing time than with traditional scalpel surgeries. All of our routine surgeries and most of our specialized soft tissue surgeries are “scalpel free”, meaning the laser is used instead of a blade to perform the surgery. We are able to do surgery with the laser in tight places, such as inside ear canals and in the back of the throat, because the lack of bleeding allows for better visibility in these areas. Small, benign lumps can be removed with a laser, often with a local anesthetic injection instead of general anesthesia. For dental applications, the laser is used to treat severely inflamed gums and remove oral masses, allowing the patient to heal quickly. We are happy to accept referrals from other animal hospitals who feel that laser surgery would be the best way to treat a patient’s specific condition. If you have any questions about specific procedures, please give us a call.

Spaying

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Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Spaying will not change your pet’s personality.

By spaying your female pet, you’re protecting her against potentially deadly diseases, including bacterial infections, reproductive tract diseases, and several types of cancer. You also won’t have to worry about her going into heat. This means avoiding the mess that often accompanies the heat cycle in female dogs and the pacing and crying that happens with female cats. In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.

Spaying, which involves removing the ovaries and uterus, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

To set up an appointment to have your pet spayed or to learn more about this procedure, call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to spay your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.

Neutering

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Neutering your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality.

By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for testicular cancer, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Neutering will also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behavior, including roaming, fighting, humping, and spraying. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.

Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us or stop by so we can discuss your concerns.

Soft Tissue Surgery

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We perform many types of soft tissue surgeries at our clinic. Soft tissue surgeries are those that are not associated with bone. These surgeries can provide many benefits to pets.

Probably the most common soft tissue surgery performed on pets is the removal of masses, or lumps. Most of these masses, once removed and tested, are found to be benign (nonharmful); however, occasionally they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a lump is necessary to improve the outcome in your pet if the mass is cancerous.

If your dog suffers from frequent ear infections, surgical intervention can reduce their occurrence by improving airflow into the ear canal.

Surgery can also help resolve several problems related to the eyes. Tearing in your pet’s eyes can mean an infection is present or may be a sign that the cornea (outer layer of the eye) has been damaged. Surgery may allow the cornea to heal faster with less scarring, improving your pet’s ability to see. In some pets, the eyelashes may actually damage the cornea. Surgical intervention improves comfort in these pets, reduces the chances of corneal scarring, and enhances the pet’s vision in the long term.

If your pet swallows a foreign object, has a mass in the abdomen, or has another serious internal problem that must be viewed directly and repaired surgically, a surgery called exploratory laparotomy is done to accurately diagnose and treat the problem. These are often emergency surgeries. In these situations, rest assured that our veterinarians are skilled surgeons with years of experience in both emergency and diagnostic abdominal surgery.

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss how soft tissue surgery might be able to help your pet.