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TRINITY TALES

Read some of the exceptional stories of miracles and medicine that have occurred at

Trinity Veterinary Hospital!

 

Hanz

Hanz's family never gave up on him, even when it looked like there was no hope!  Dachshunds are well known for having long backs which are prone to Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD).  IVDD occurs when the shock-absorbing discs between the vertebrae gradually begin to harden until they are unable to cushion the vertebrae properly. The hardened discs will typically go on to bulge and compress the spinal cord, often damaging the dog's nerve impulses such as those that control bladder and bowel control. In other cases, a simple jump or poor landing can lead one or more of the hardened discs to burst and press into the nerves of the dog's spinal cord causing pain, possible nerve damage or even paralysis.


On December 13th, Hanz was not walking as much and the family thought his back was hurting him.  At this point radiographs showed hardening/mineralization of 3 disk spaces and a presumptive diagnosis of IVDD was made.  An MRI or CT was indicated to see the full extent of the damage as the soft tissue disk can not be visualized on radiographs.

  Initially, an anti-inflammatory was prescribed which helped reduce pain but the neurologic problems advanced to full paralysis with some incontinence.  Stronger medications were prescribed with little to no benefit.  Hanz's family questioned if he was suffering and had a very difficult decision to make.    Even though the pain was reduced the neurologic deficits were extreme and worrisome for such an active dog!  Would Hanz have a good life if he could not run and play?  The family discussed many options and in the end decided to see a specialist for back surgery.   A MRI was performed which showed:

"Severe, mineralized extrusion of the T13-L1 intervertebral disc causes near complete effacement of the spinal cord and is slightly more severe right of midline."

This was a severe compression between the two vertebrae defined on the radiograph shown here.  The spinal cord was being pinched and stopping nerve signals to the back 1/2 of his body!  The give the spinal cord the space it needs the top part of the vertebrae has to be removed.  Hanz had a hemilaminectomy performed to ease the spinal cord constriction and by February 2024 was almost walking normally again!  He has continued to improve and is back to his old shenanigans!  We are all so thankful that he responded well to surgery and the family is so thankful they never gave up on his health and happiness!     

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Abigail

Sweet Abigail is such a perfect example of the importance of wellness care and follow thru on even mild abnormalities.  Abigail has had some chronic allergy issues but was otherwise clinically normal at home.  She felt good, ate good, drank well, and was her normally sassy self.  For her wellness care annual bloodwork was performed which in 2023 started to show some issues.  There are several enzymes utilized to evaluate liver and gall bladder, the two primary ones being ALT (alanine transaminase) and ALP (alkaline phosphatase).  ALT is associated with liver tissue and ALP with bile flow/gall bladder (can also elevate with steroid, certain medication, or bone disease).  It can be common for ALP to be mildly elevated for many reason including age, nutrition, or not being fasted prior to bloodwork.  As you can see Abigail started out with a mild elevation which rose the next year to a level that needed more than just monitoring.  We tried medication and rechecked 3 weeks later.  This time the ALP was even higher and now we had ALT elevation as well.  It was time for more diagnostics.  A radiograph was performed to obtain baseline liver information and obtain liver size (which can be hard to determine on ultrasound).  Liver size appeared mildly enlarged as the lobe at the bottom of the image extends past the last rib.  Ultrasound was recommended to look thru the liver tissue, gall bladder, bile duct and the rest of the abdomen to determine what may be affecting her body causing the enzymes to continue to worsen.  We found the answer!  Abigail had a liver mass that measured 1.83cm x 2.97cm.  An aspirate of the mass was obtained but not diagnostic (not enough cells were obtain to determine what the mass was).  She was referred a specialist for CT and surgical consultation.  Thank goodness the CT showed no obvious other tumors in chest or abdomen and that the are was removeable. Surgery was performed and everything went great!  Abigail is recovering and doing well.  We are still waiting for the pathology report so continue to pray it is benign.  Wellness care IS SO IMPORTANT for us to catch problems before it is too late.  Abigail, I am sure, would agree!

Mochi

MALT (Mucosa Associated Lymphoid Tissue) Lymphoma

Mochi has been seen at Trinity Veterinary Hospital since she was a puppy and was a regular in our daycare play.  She had been seen several times for diarrhea over the years but in March 2023, something was different.  This time she was whining and was now vomiting.  Because of her history of intermittent diarrhea and now painful abdomen an abdominal ultrasound was recommended.  What was found on the ultrasound was, to say the least, a surprise and probably not related to the current GI issue.  In the layering of her intestine was a small roundish area where the normal layering appearance was lost.  When there is a disruption of the normal layering there is a concern for tumor or localized infection.  Problems such as these in such a young pet would be very unusual.   These were considered an incidental finding and Mochi was treated for her GI issues.  She recovered quickly and a recheck ultrasound was performed 3 months later.  This area was still present with little to no change.  To diagnose what this are was, a surgical biopsy was necessary.  Biopsies were obtained and submitted for pathologist review.  The report showed that Mochi had MALT lymphoma.  This is a very rare form of cancer.  She was referred to an oncologist that is treating the lymphoma and with chemotherapy Mochi has a great prognosis! 

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Blue

ABDOMINAL FOREIGN BODY

Blue presented to Trinity Veterinary Hospital for ongoing vomiting despite receiving care at another
hospital over the weekend. Dr. Williams examined Blue and determined she was significantly
dehydrated and had mild abdominal pain on palpation. Radiographs were taken but nothing was
distinctly obvious at the time. Barium (a contrast agent that is easy to see on radiographs) was given to
help identify a potential foreign body within the GI tract. Most of the barium passed into the colon but
some was still caught up in the small intestines. This was suspicious but not definitive for a foreign body
or other surgical lesion. Dr. Bonds performed and abdominal ultrasound and found thickened intestines
and circling intestinal fluid. It was determined that Blue required surgery for a potential foreign body or
intussusception (where one loop of intestine inverts inside of another). Dr. Williams performed an
abdominal exploratory on Blue and found a piece of stick about 1.5 inches in diameter and a sock stuck
within the GI tract. The piece of stick was just about to perforate the intestinal wall which would have
most likely been deadly for Blue. Luckily the stick and sock were carefully removed. Blue recovered
very well and was already starting to eat the next day. Blue was very lucky to survive, without the
combined effort of Dr. Williams and Dr. Bonds the outcome might not have been good for Blue.
Typically, if the intestines perforate there is a less than 30% survival rate.

Jessie

ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUND & ABDOMINAL MASS

Jessie's is one LUCKY girl!  She was found on the streets and did not trust anyone that tried to touch her.  A loving family finally caught her and as you can see she has been spoiled ever since.  She was seen by Dr. Carey Bonds for a cough that the owner had been told was due to a heart condition.  On examination it was noted that her stomach was distended and palpation was inconclusive as she was tense on exam.  Dr. Bonds performed the ultrasound which revealed a large mass of undetermined origin (we couldn't tell where it attached).  The liver and spleen were the most likely areas of attachment but were both clear of any masses.  Our only options at this point were to keep Jessie as comfortable as possible or surgically explore the are to see if there was anything that could be removed.  The owners wanted to make sure we tried everything possible so Dr. Kent Williams explored the abdomen and found the mass originated from the Cecum (somewhat like the appendix in humans).  The mass was able to be resected and Jessie is doing great post-operatively!  Even though the ultrasound did not give us the ability to find the origin, it did allow us to look into organs and lymph nodes for possible metastasis and other disease processes.  With no obvious signs of metastasis and the mass being completely removed, Jessie's prognosis is excellent! 

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Brodie

FOXTAIL:  Brodie is a free spirit and absolutely LOVES being a country dog.  He helps his dad with chores, riding tractors, feeding horses and all things outdoors.  Within the past 6 months Brodie has been diagnosed with a tick infection, possible leptospirosis, and go tangled up under an ATV (keep reading - this part leads to the next problem).  Brodie would get better and then worse and it was a rollercoaster of problems.  He had developed a knot on his side which was not painful and was stable for several months.  One day this ruptured to the outside and was an obvious abscess.  He had multiple treatments at the vet clinic and eventually the infection had to be cut out by Dr. Williams.   At the heart of the abscess was a SINGLE FOXTAIL SEED!  This abscess has become life threatening to him as the bacteria present is very resistant to most antibiotics.  He is receiving daily injections of the only antibiotic that will treat it and so far is doing well!

Charlie

SPLEENIC RUPTURE: Charlie is a 9 and a half year old Golden Retriever who is the sweetest boy and has nothing to give but love! He lives a normal life and loves getting to be with his family and play with his doggie-friends. One random evening, he started vomiting and not acting himself. By the next morning, he had completely lost his interest in food and water and did not want to move from his favorite spot in the yard. He was rushed to Trinity Veterinary Hospital where he was immediately examined by Dr. Carey Bonds, who noticed that his gum color was abnormal, and she immediately knew something potentially life threatening was occurring. She ran bloodwork on him and noticed that almost every value was abnormal. She took some x-rays and found a large amount of fluid in the abdomen which strongly suggested, along with the bloodwork, bleeding internally. He was rushed to emergency exploritory surgery to verify in there was a splenic tumor rupture or another cause of the problem. After a 3-hour long surgery, they were able to remove the spleen and Charlie made it through! With a lot of love from his family, he was able to recover and is doing great!

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