Educational Articles

Surgical Conditions

  • The traditional ECLS technique is the oldest surgical correction for cruciate ligament injury in dogs. The name of the procedure originates from the fact that the joint is stabilized outside the joint capsule (externally). CCL repair surgery typically consists of an initial examination of the inside of the knee. This examination may either be done by opening the joint capsule and looking inside or by using an arthroscope. Both the traditional ECLS and Tight Rope® procedures are considered extracapsular or external repairs of CCL injury. Both yield similar results with similarly low risks.

  • One of the most common injuries to the knee of dogs is tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). When the cranial cruciate ligament is torn, surgical stabilization of the knee joint is often required. A major advancement in the treatment of CCL rupture has been the development of tibial plateau leveling osteotomy or TPLO. Healing from TPLO surgery is generally rapid with the dog resuming normal activities quickly.

  • One of the most common injuries to the knee of dogs is tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL). Several surgical techniques are currently used to correct CCL rupture. The TTA procedure is more commonly performed in dogs with a steep tibial plateau, or angle of the top part of the tibia. Healing from TTA surgery is generally rapid and dogs resume normal activities quickly.

  • This handout outlines cruciate ligament rupture, an orthopedic condition, in cats. The common causes, clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatments are described.

  • The cruciate ligaments are two bands of fibrous tissue located within each stifle joint. They join the femur and tibia together so that the knee works as a stable, hinged joint. The two most common causes of cranial cruciate rupture are trauma and degeneration of the ligaments within the joint. During the lameness examination, your veterinarian will try to demonstrate a particular movement, called a cranial or anterior drawer sign. There are various surgical techniques performed to stabilize the knee joint following cruciate rupture. Regardless of the technique used to stabilize the joint, arthritis is likely to develop in the joint as your dog ages.

  • This handout discusses the use of cryosurgery in pets. This technique involves the use of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissues. A short discussion in included as to how the technique is used, and in what circumstances it may be appropriate to use.

  • A cutaneous histiocytoma is a common benign (harmless) tumor of the skin in dogs, typically younger ones. Their development, appearance, diagnosis, and treatment are explained in this handout.

  • Cuterebra is the scientific name for the North American rabbit or rodent botfly. Cats are accidental hosts of Cuterebra larvae, and they are rarely evident from external skin inspection. A hole enlarges when the warble has matured, often leading to an infected empty cyst. Treatment depends on when the condition is discovered, and in many cases, antibiotics are used to treat secondary infections.

  • Cystine bladder stones appear to be the result of a genetic abnormality that prevents a dog from reabsorbing cystine from the kidneys. While bladder stones in general are somewhat common in dogs, cystine bladder stones are rare. Your veterinarian may be able to palpate the stones or may need to perform imaging studies such as a bladder ultrasound or a contrast radiographic study. There are two primary treatment strategies for treating cystine bladder stones in dogs: urohydropropulsion or surgical removal. Dogs that have developed cystine bladder stones in the past will often be fed a therapeutic diet for life. Unfortunately, cystine stones have a high rate of recurrence, despite careful attention to diet and lifestyle.

  • This handout describes and illustrates this condition, and discusses the causes, clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment options for degenerative disc disease in dogs. Surgical intervention is specifically outlined and rule-outs for other conditions causing similar signs are also discussed.