News & Events


News and Events

Bilateral Vocal Fold Excision (Mucosoplasty) & Bilateral Arytenoidpexy (BVEAP) Approach to Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs

Learn how your patient can benefit from the BVEAP technique over the “tie back”.

 

Ken Sadanaga, VMD, DACVS

 

Dr. Ken Sadanaga is recognized for pioneering a new surgical technique to treat laryngeal paralysis in dogs that addresses both the intraluminal and extraluminal contribution of laryngeal paralysis, which the traditional “tie back” method does not.

With the tie back method, one side of the lumen is opened permanently to allow for increased airflow. This technique works well to open the airway and improve breathing but increases the risk of aspiration pneumonia for the remainder of the dog’s life.

With the BVEAP technique, the compromised vocal cords are removed to open the lower intraluminal area of the larynx and the arytenoid cartilages are pexied to thyroid cartilage—thus, addressing the extraluminal contribution to laryngeal paralysis. This artytenoidpexy opens the larynx in a more conservative and symmetrical manner, maintaining a better interface between the glottis and epiglottis during the act of swallowing and therefore significantly reducing the potential for aspiration pneumonia.

Advantages of BVEAP Over “Tie Back”

  • Dogs can swim post-op, which is not recommended after tie back
  • Creates a more functional airway
  • Significantly less prone to aspiration pneumonia

 

To consult with Dr. Sadanaga regarding this innovative technique, contact him at 610-647-2950.

Are Vegetarian and Vegan Diets Safe for Pets?

There is a lot of talk about what our pets should and shouldn’t eat—especially online. For pet owners, this can be quite frustrating. The newest talk in the Internet-world is vegetarian and vegan diets for dogs and cats. Like many pet owners, you may be wondering if these types of diets are suitable for pets. We want to give you the accurate information you need to make an informed decision.

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets for Dogs

Many people are switching over to vegetarian diets. As they transition, they often consider a vegetarian diet for their pets. For dogs, vegetarian diets can work, but pet owners should consult with a veterinarian and their advice strictly throughout the process.

There are many nutrients that our pets (and humans) get from animal sources that are hard, if not impossible, to get from other sources without supplements. When determining whether or not dogs can eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, the main factor is whether or not pet owners are going to be able to come up with meals that include the right amount of protein and other important nutrients they need.

Vegetarian diets are fairly feasible for dogs, because they are natural omnivores (contrary to popular belief that dogs are carnivores) and need less protein in their diets than some other companion animals, such as cats. Most vegetarian diets include eggs, which are a great source of protein and contain a lot of amino acids that dogs need to stay healthy.

Vegan diets are a little trickier. Protein is vital for dogs and it is essential that dogs receive protein in some form. With the right balance of plant-based proteins, your dog can get everything that it needs, but this type of diet is best determined with the help of a professional. To supplement the lack of meat, the right balance of beans, corn, soy, and/or whole grains will be necessary. Many dogs, however, will miss having meat in their diet and may refuse food that doesn’t contain the tasty meat that they are used to eating. If your dog is refusing to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, you may need to revert back to a traditional diet. A dog that refuses food for too long can experience resulting health issues.

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets for Cats

For cats, vegetarian and vegan diets are inappropriate and unfeasible for a variety of reasons. First, cats need vitamin D3, and they can’t produce it in their skin like people can. Unlike vitamin D2, vitamin D3 can only be found in animal-based sources. While dogs and people can use vitamin D2, cats really rely on D3.

Taurine is another nutrient that cats can’t make on their own. Taurine is an essential amino acid that is mostly found in muscle meat and organs, such as hearts, livers, kidneys, and seafood. Without meat in their diet, cats could develop an imbalance of taurine and other amino acids and essential fatty acids like L-carnitine and arachidonic acids. Over time, this imbalance could lead to a severe deficiency.

Vegetarian and vegan diets are also unlikely to get cats the recommended amount of protein that they need per day. It is recommended that cats get at least 25 grams of protein per 1,000 calories consumed.

Over time, without meat in their diets, cats can develop serious medical conditions, some of which can’t be reversed. The most common of these conditions is taurine-related dilated cardiomyopathy, which is an enlarged heart with weak contractions and poor pumping ability. Taurine deficiency can also cause eye problems, growth problems, and reproductive failures. In some cases, the condition can be life-threatening.

Changing Your Pet’s Diet

Before you ever change your pet’s diet, you should always consult with a veterinarian. While there are instances where a veterinarian will recommend removing meat from your pet’s diet, it is important that it is done in a safe, healthy manner. Often meat-less diets are recommended only for pets that have food allergies, liver disease, or frequent bladder stones.

It is important to also remember that all pets may have unique dietary needs. For this reason, not all pets can be placed on certain diets, and some pets will do well on diets that might be very harmful to other pets.

To convert your pet to a diet with little or no animal products, you will need to work closely with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist. A professional will be able to craft a diet that is appropriate for your pet. If you have any more questions about vegetarian and vegan diets for dogs and cats, give VRC a call today at 610-647-2950. We would be happy to get you in contact with a veterinary nutritionist that can help you come up with an appropriate diet for your pet’s unique needs.

Avoid Pet Surgery This Winter

The holidays are a joyous and warm time, that is until your pet gets into something he or she shouldn’t and needs to see a veterinarian. Some injuries and accidental ingestions may be a minor issue that a little bandaging or fluids can remedy, but some can be more severe and require emergency surgery. One of our surgeons, Dr. Dietrich Franczuszki has some tips on avoiding pet surgery this winter.

Winter Wonderland Mishaps

Many pets get very excited by the snow, especially if they rarely see or have never seen it. The squishy, white fluff coating the world can be incredibly enticing until dogs lose their balance on ice or overexert themselves with rough play. This can lead to injuries like torn cruciate ligaments or dislocated kneecaps, all of which might require surgery. Consider getting special snow booties for your pet that help them maintain their balance and if your pet gets excitable in the snow, try to keep him or her in a smaller enclosed area or on a leash when outside to avoid too much running and jumping.

Osteoarthritis can also flare up more in cold weather, resulting in joint swelling and pain for your pet. If your pet has a history of osteoarthritis, do what you can to keep him or her warm inside as much as possible and consider buying doggie outerwear for short trips outside. Warm compresses to the affected joints may also ease the pain.

Biting Off More Than They Can Chew

Certain holiday and winter-related objects can cause internal obstruction or even toxicity if ingested. Antifreeze is extremely toxic for pets, so much so that for cats, even just a lick at the bottom of someone’s shoe after stepping in antifreeze can be fatal.  Keep this product far away from pets and wash hands well after use.

Holiday decorations like balloons, tinsel, and ornaments, as well as small toys, wrapping paper, and batteries, can be an issue if ingested. Even less considered holiday items like kebab skewers, toothpicks, sewing and knitting needles (anyone embroidering a stocking?), etc. can cause piercing or blockage of essential organs.

Many of these items require minimally invasive or invasive surgical removal as they can cause an obstruction that may not resolve on its own, and in some cases, like batteries, toxic leakage. It’s also very important to remember that if you see something hanging out of your pet’s mouth or behind (such as tinsel or string), DO NOT attempt to pull it out. This string might be wrapped around something internally that could cause extreme damage if pulled. If you see this, bring your pet to a veterinarian right away for professional removal.

At VRC, we offer both minimally invasive and traditional surgical solutions for your pet, as well as a variety of on-site diagnostic capabilities like X-ray, ultrasound, and CT should your pet ingest something they shouldn’t. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency care and also offer 24/7 emergency surgery if needed.

New Referral Relationship Manager, Joe Simpson

Meet Joe

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Joe earned a B.S. in biology from Southampton College in 2003 and has worked in the veterinary field since 2005.  During that time, he has worked in a variety of roles including as a veterinary technician, in vaccine production for Merck Animal Health, and a human resource/practice manager for a local AAHA accredited veterinary hospital.  Prior to joining VRC, he spent the last 3 years as a veterinary services representative for Petplan Pet Insurance.

During his freetime, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife Brittany and their two amazing daughters.  He also enjoys hiking with his two crazy dogs Harley and Oswald, running, and spending time at the beach.

What is a Referral Relationship Manager (RRM)? 

VRC has a Referral Relationship Manager to ensure that the needs of local general practice veterinarians are being met, to distribute up-to-date materials about new specialties and services, and to introduce our specialists to the referring community. Joe works with referring partners to schedule Lunch & Learn events and VRC doctor Meet & Greets that enable us to nurture relationships with one another. He also coordinates Continuing Education courses at VRC for rDVMs and technicians.

When you schedule a Lunch & Learn or Meet & Greet with doctors at VRC, we travel to your location (with complimentary breakfast or lunch) and provide education, training, and relationship building opportunities

Do you have a request for Joe?

Interested in inquiring further about the opportunities that we offer?

  • Schedule a visit from Joe
  • ​Request more materials (brochures, magnets, doctor directory, business cards, etc)
  • Schedule a Lunch & Learn at your facility (food provided)
  • Schedule a VRC doctor Meet & Greet at your facility (food provided)
  • Request Upcoming CE Information
  • Schedule a tour of VRC