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Pets of the Month


Canine Pet of the Month - September 2023

Charlie had a common eye problem that often develops in puppies. Many times it is called "Cherry Eye" and is a prolapse of the tear duct in the third eyelid of dogs or cats. Typically the puppy looks normal when young, but as it gets older, this can suddenly appear as it did for Charlie at about 5 months old. It was not painful or bothersome to Charlie, but some owners can become very panicked to see the red bulge from the edge of the eye.

A cherry eye can happen in one or both eyes. Untreated, some puppies may get inflammation and eye discharge. In chronic cases, it can dry out more, have continued inflammation, and may be related to development of dry eye. Many dogs can have a cherry eye without incident for years, but surgery may not always be a viable option if it is allowed to stay for years. Surgical correction is the preferred method of treatment where you open up a "pocket", replace the gland inside and suture it closed. For many young puppies with smaller/typical cherry eyes, this is a successful procedure. However, there is always the chance of failure or a pup can have other issues that can complicate the repair. When a dog is an adult and certainly when they are a mature or older adult, the surgery becomes less and less successful with the typical repair. If repair is unsuccessful or has some complicating factors, it is not uncommon to seek the treatment and surgery from a specialist Ophthalmologist.

In the past, the common method of treatment was to just cut the gland out. When doing this procedure, it was not initially known how detrimental this can be and is now not the recommended method of treatment. That gland is responsible for over 30 percent of the tear production to the eye, so cutting it out often left those dogs with a bad case of dry eye not responsive to regular medications for dry eye.

Charlie had a successful surgical repair of his cherry eye and his recheck looked great the following month. So far he has had no recurrence or an issue with the opposite eye. He is still a happy and comfortable boy!! For this reason and his common puppy malady, he has won the spotlight for AHS's Canine Pet of the Month!


Feline Pet of the Month - September 2023

Rusty is a two-year old cat we saw for his annual exam this summer. Rusty was new to the area but appeared very healthy overall until we checked his teeth. He had significant inflammation of the gums around several of his teeth. This is unusual in a cat this age and was definitely of concern. We spoke about dental disease in cats and acknowledged that to determine what was causing the issue, we needed dental x-rays of the mouth. Unfortunately, cats don't say "Ahh" and therefore, require sedation for the procedure. The owner agreed, and a dental exam with x-rays was scheduled for Rusty.

Rusty presented early in the morning, and we were able to get the procedure underway quickly. Once he had his IV catheter and fluids started, he was anesthetized, and dental X-rays were performed. Unfortunately, we identified several teeth with cervical (neck) lesions which are cavities in the sides of the teeth below the gumline. We know that these teeth are beyond repair, are painful and must be extracted. Surgical extraction went well, and the gingiva closed nicely with the sutures. Rusty was placed on pain management and soft food while his mouth healed.

We saw Rusty for his two week recheck and he was doing great. His mouth had healed beautifully. He was eating hard food and the owner noted that he was more playful and energetic. We often see this after extractions and it is very gratifying, but it is also a good example of how pets hide their pain. Once the cause is eliminated, we can see their true personality shining through. Because Rusty did so well with his procedure he is AHS's feline Pet of the Month.

View "retired" Pets of the Month here!

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