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Questions about Canine Surgery for Bladder Stones
03-12-2014, 10:40 AM,
Questions about Canine Surgery for Bladder Stones
Subject: 10 year old male Tibetian Spaniel (rescue dog)
Situation: Seemed normal until afternoon of 3/8 when he started pacing in the yard when I took him out to go potty. It continued for quite awhile, finally he had a BM and so I thought he might be a bit constipated. A couple of hours later he was really anxious and pacing and kept getting in the "praying" position. It was after hours for my vet so I drove an hour + to an E R Animal Clinic. Arrived at 6:40 PM

After HOURS (7) of confusion, my dog was xrayed and diagnosed with bladder stones. I opted for surgery, which was suppose to be done within an hour or so. It was not done for another 6 hours or more. Everytime I called to check they told me he was prepped and ready to go in. At 9 a m on 3/9 they told me he'd been in surgery since 6 and that there were complications. The vet finally called me after 11 a.m to say he was done.

This little guy barely made it. He was clinging to life and the moment my vet opened on Monday I transferred him. At that point they seemed shocked to read the report that the emergency clinic had made an incision from below his penis almost all the way to his sternum. It's HUGE. All sorts of other problems as well.

[undefined=undefined]My Question:[/undefined] HOW common is it for a dog to undergo surgery, be sutured up, x rayed and then taken back to surgery, re-anethetized and re-opened to remove more stones. Is this the result of improper prepping and insufficient urethra flush? If they were honest, he was in surgery 4 hours. [undefined=undefined][undefined=undefined]Second question:[/undefined][/undefined] How large should an incision be? What's normal?

My vet urged me to file a complaint at the Emergency Clinic. Things were so mishandled so many ways (like giving fluids to a dog that had a very distended and painful abdomen without checking to see what the problem was) that I really feel I need to bring that particular Veterinarian to the attention of the management but before I do that I would like to be fully prepared with my other concerns as well. The size of that incision just seems so wrong. My dog was hospitalized through last night. Instead of the $1800 they quoted for surgery, my bill was over $4000. It would have been far more if he'd had to stay at the Emergency Clinic. My Vet was half the price for after care.

Thanks for any input.
03-13-2014, 12:14 AM,
RE: Questions about Canine Surgery for Bladder Stones
My dalmatian (breed prone to stones) had a very small incision, but we did a laparoscopic cystotomy. I have heard that traditional incisions can be much bigger. How big though, I don't know. This is the surgery done on my dog, he went only once and had all the stones removed at once..

Note how the article claims "greatly reduced risk that stones will be left in the bladder after surgery" I guess this means that with traditional surgery there chances for this, and that's why your dog went in surgery again? perhaps there were complications and they had to stop? I think they owe so more explanations, something doesn't sound right. What complications happened? why did they fail to remove them all?
03-13-2014, 03:08 AM,
That's exactly what happened Daisy. They didn't completely flush his urethra and then had to put him under again and reopen. I was thinking that was the result of improper prepping. He deteriorated today and ended up having a lot of difficulty breathing, so I took him to a different E R all night clinic. I no sooner got there than he started having seizures. I had to leave him, and they are running new x rays, blood tests, checking his glucose levels, etc. I am praying that the problem was the result of not having eaten since noon on Sat., and therefore hypoglycemic. I'm just so exhausted from all of the stress and I just don't know how he has managed to hang in there. He's such a passive little guy, not really a fighter, but he's still with me as of an hour ago, anyway.

I will say this new clinic is night and day difference from the one I went to on Saturday and ended up dealing with. I just wish I'd known about this clinic. They are amazing. When he started the seizure the receptionist had a vet there in seconds. Literally, seconds.
03-13-2014, 02:16 PM,
RE: Questions about Canine Surgery for Bladder Stones
Wow, I am sorry he deteriorated again. My dog's recovery was very easy and went smoothly. Sounds like that vet place messed up big time and you dog is still paying the consequences of the mess up. Here is a link depicting how a normal surgery to remove stones would go:
Here's is a more technical explanation of the surgery explaining the flushing process and emphasis on not leaving anything behind:
I hope your dog gets better. So unfortunate to go through all of this with a surgery for stones that shouldn't be that complicated.
03-13-2014, 02:29 PM,
RE: Questions about Canine Surgery for Bladder Stones
About the incision, this website says " The abdomen is incised along the ventral midline from the umbilicus to the pubis. For male dogs, the incision extends caudally, just adjacent to the prepuce. "
I think if you aren't squeamish there are many videos of stones being removed on dogs and you can get an idea of the incision, the whole procedure. This story is of a dog that had to be operated again to get some more stones that were missed as well.
03-17-2014, 12:06 PM,
RE: Questions about Canine Surgery for Bladder Stones
Thank you, Daisy and Madmax. Your posts were supportive and informative. My little guy finally turned the corner yesterday morning, 7 days after surgery. I have had a conversation with the manager of the first emergency clinic where he had surgery. They sent me an email with an evaluation request and the note said it would automatically be published online as a review. I replied that I would like to speak to someone rather than publish a very negative review. My feeling was (and is) that people have to have somewhere to go in an emergency and I'd rather see them fix issues rather than have people avoid them. The vet that did his surgery should never hold another scalpel. She cut him like she was doing an autopsy rather than surgery on a living animal, and instead of an incision from the belly button to the penis, his goes from just below his sternum to below his penis. There are stitches ON his penis. Per the information you posted, it's apparent that she did not properly prep him and make sure she had the stones all flushed out of the urethra. Secondly, this business of taking an animal from the owner the minute it arrives and examining it without the owner present or any input from the owner and allowing over 4 hours to pass when in fact, it was an EMERGENCY is just unforgivable for an emergency clinic.
Zeke spent the entire week (with the exception of a few hours on Wed. when he was home) hospitalized at another emergency clinic. I credit them with saving his life. He had a mild seizure and difficulty breathing on Wed. PM so I took him in to another emergency center that I had located. He was leaking bodily fluids into his lungs and body cavity and his blood pressure had dropped so low they had a great deal of trouble getting an I V started. They administered hepastarch and when they finally did get a blood sample it showed that his albumin was dangerously low and so was his (1.3) his potassium level. On top of that he had aspiration pneumonia from the surgery and he is still very weak and shaky, but barring any unexpected issues I am hoping his improvement will continue.
03-20-2014, 01:32 AM,
RE: Questions about Canine Surgery for Bladder Stones
Wow, what an ordeal, I hope he continues to recover, keep us posted.

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