Bone scan (nuclear scintigraphy)


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The diagnostic bone scan, or nuclear scintigraphy, is available for our animals to help diagnose a wide range of problems.

Injuries causing lameness in our pets can be difficult to diagnose when there is not an obvious fracture. Nuclear scintigraphy can be very helpful in these cases, seeing injuries an x-ray would miss.

When bones, ligaments, and tendons are injured they become very active metabolically, as they try to heal. With nuclear scintigraphy, radio-pharmaceuticals are given that selectively attach to the area of injury.

These chemicals emit radiation that is then detected to create a two-dimensional image, clearly showing injuries that would be invisible with a standard x-ray study.

This imaging technique allows the veterinarian to pinpoint the area of concern, and then develop a diagnostic and treatment plan accordingly. The diagnostic bone scan, or nuclear scintigraphy, is a beneficial tool to help guide the diagnosis and treatment of lameness in our pets.

Talk with your veterinarian to see if this wonderful diagnostic aid could be helpful to your pet.


Percutaneous Laser disk ablation


Interview with Dr. Danielle Dugat

Dr. Danielle Dugat
Back pain from intervertebral disk disease in dogs is agonizing, and can be associated with sudden paralysis of all four, or just the hind limbs.

This condition is more common in dog breeds that have short legs and long backs, such as Dachshunds and Basset hounds, particularly if they are overweight.

Just like in people, we have a variety of medical treatments aimed at reducing the swelling and nerve impairment when a disk has “slipped,” meaning herniated or ruptured. Surgery may be the only option to resolve the problem and recovery can be very difficult.

A technique to prevent the recurrence of disk problems has been developed at OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. Percutaneous Laser Disk Ablation utilizes a laser to transmit energy along an optic fiber, through thin needles that are passed from the surface of the skin of the back into the center of the disk, guided by a fluoroscope or video x-ray. This destroys the disk material and helps to prevent future problems.

If your pet is predisposed to suffering from back disease, consult your veterinarian to determine if percutaneous laser disk ablation might help prevent a reoccurrence.

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Total joint replacement


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Total joint replacement, or arthroplasty, is common for us these days, but is becoming common even for our pets.

Just like in people, joints are replaced as a last resort, when the pain and loss of function of the damaged joint can no longer be managed by other medical therapies. Total hip replacement has been available for dogs, and even cats, for many years now at the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Veterinary Medical Hospital.

Implant hardware comes in a variety of sizes to fit Great Danes to Chihuahuas. Conditions such as severe osteoarthritis and certain hip fractures can benefit greatly by total hip replacement. Total knee replacement for dogs is available as well, treating the same conditions that cause us to have our knees replaced. Soon, elbow replacement will be available.

The goal of total joint replacement is to provide a pain free joint, improving the quality of life. Your veterinarian can guide you, and if necessary, refer your pet to OSU for a total joint replacement assessment.

Cranial cruciate ligament rupture


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The most common cause of sudden hind limb lameness in dogs is due to tearing of the cranial cruciate ligament in the knee.

In people, the similar anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, usually tears during hyperextension, like during sports, but with dogs it is more of a degenerative process where eventually the ligament breaks down.

With a torn ligament, the knee becomes painful and unstable. The instability leads to further damage to the joint, and painful arthritis develops. Your veterinarian can diagnose a torn cranial cruciate ligament by examination of the knee.

There are two surgical repairs that are offered at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences to stabilize the knee joint – a lateral suture stabilization of the joint capsule and a Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. These procedures are not aimed at reconstructing the ligament itself, but stabilizing the excessive movement that occurs in the knee as a result of the tear.

Early stabilization will help reduce the amount of arthritis that develops secondarily in the knee joint. Talk with your veterinarian to determine the best plan for your pet.

Intra operative fluroscopy


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Many surgical procedures often need immediate aid of x-ray and video imaging while surgery is being performed. OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences has a unique tool called a fluoroscopic unit that allows for moving x-ray images to be obtained during a surgical procedure. Visualizing the structures during surgery is a fantastic aid in positioning during orthopedic fracture repair, as well as locating soft tissue structures such as a congenital portosystemic shunt associated with the liver. Fluoroscopy is also used to perform procedures using very small incisions that heal much quicker and decrease the risk of infection after surgery. This tool is invaluable and allows accurate and precise operative techniques to maximize the surgical outcome for your pet.