Pets of the Month


Canine Pet of the Month - May 2024

This month’s canine Pet of the Month is Heidi. We are excited to announce that she was the first laparoscopic spay and laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy performed here at the Animal Hospital of Statesville! Over the past few months, we have begun to roll out laparoscopic surgery here at the Animal Hospital of Statesville. This is an exciting addition to our state-of-the-art surgical offerings. Laparoscopic surgery is the standard in human medicine and surgery, and we are proud to begin offering it for our patients.

The main surgeries we will focus on are laparoscopic spay and gastropexy but, there are other advanced options for which laparoscopy is well suited. Laparoscopic surgeries are performed using cannulas or ports for a camera and instruments instead of a large incision in typical open surgeries. Laparoscopy is also well suited for large breed dogs. Using laparoscopic techniques allows for much smaller incisions, less pain and quicker healing times.

The laparoscopic spay is similar to an open spay but in a laparoscopic spay only an ovariectomy is performed versus an ovariohysterectomy. This affords much less trauma and pain from surgery and a quicker healing time. Many studies have shown an ovariectomy to be a safe alternative to typical ovariohysterectomy.

A gastropexy is a surgery performed to pexy, or attach, a portion of the stomach to the right body wall to prevent gastric dilatation volvulus or GDV. GDV is a risk in deep chested dogs and a gastropexy is commonly performed preemptively to prevent a severe and possibly deadly medical condition. The laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy achieves the same results as an open gastropexy but with a much smaller incision, less trauma and pain and a much faster healing time.

In Heidi’s case, she is a Greater Swiss Mountain dog that weighs almost 150 pounds. Heidi’s spay and gastropexy were performed through two small incisions instead of the typical large open laparotomy incision, which allows for much less pain and faster healing time. Typically, the healing time for laparoscopic procedures is around half that of typical open surgical procedures.

Heidi came in for her two-week follow-up exam and was doing great. Her owner reported she was doing well after only a few days and was back to playing and being a happy girl. Her pioneering spirit and great recovery made her a “shoe-in” for our canine Pet of the Month honor.

If you have and questions or are interested in laparoscopic surgery at the Animal Hospital of Statesville please contact us or bring your pet in for a consultation.

Miss Kitty

Feline Pet of the Month - May 2024

Miss Kitty is an amazing 19-year-old cat! She is a sweet girl that always looks so much younger than her actual years! She was initially diagnosed with signs of deteriorating kidney function several years ago and has handled that pretty well with mild progression over time, but never really “sick” from the kidneys.


Over the course of a weekend, she started to act abnormally. She seemed “off” in general and weaker than usual. She wasn’t eating well, not moving around as well, and seemed unable to lift her head upwards like normal.


Miss Kitty came in for an exam and was determined to have neck ventroflexion (where her head and neck drop towards the ground) which can be a common problem in some cats. The most common cause in an older kitty is actually related to the kidney disease and bloodwork confirmed the suspicion. She had a low potassium level.


Low potassium can cause multiple problems, but one visible issue is the inability to lift their head up. Since she wasn’t too sick to need hospitalization, she was started on an oral potassium supplement. Until it was no longer necessary, her owner also made sure she got plenty of food/water via syringe feeding until she seemed stronger and more comfortable, and back to normal.


Thankfully , Miss Kitty responded pretty quickly within the first few days and was back at her normal antics in no time! She now stays on the potassium supplement for long term health, but appears to be tolerating things well and doing wonderfully! For this reason and for her continued graceful aging, Miss Kitty has landed her spot as Animal Hospital of Statesville’s Feline Pet of the Month!


View "retired" Pets of the Month here!