All of our surgeries are performed by Dr. Berka herself. Every patient is sedated with the safest protocols, intubated, and placed on gas anesthetic. The patients are monitored during their procedures by a Veterinary Technician using an EKG and Pulse Oximeter. All surgeries are performed in a sterile surgical suite. As you can see, we use very similar protocols as they would in a human hospital. Most people would think this is routine - unfortunately, it is not in veterinary medicine. But, Dr. Berka strives to go above and beyond for your family member's safety, just like she would for her own animals.
Spays (ovariohysterectomies) - a spay is a surgery in which the uterus and ovaries are removed from the patient. It is a routine surgery in veterinary medicine that has many benefits, among them are:
- Preventing pregnancy
- Almost completely (99.9% effective) eliminates your pet's risk of breast cancer if performed before their first heat cycle (NOTE: the benefit decrease with every heat cycle, but it still helps eliminating this risk)
- Completely eliminates her risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
- Eliminates her risk of a pyometra - an infected uterus, which can be life threatening
It is truly amazing how one routine surgery can benefit a patient so much!!!
Neuters- A neuter is another routine surgery in which we removed the testicles of male patient. Again, this surgery is recommended to be done between 4 and 6 months of age, before a male pet can develop bad habits, such as marking. There are also many benefits to this surgery, including:
- 1) increasing the patient's lifespan as he is less likely to roam
- 2) preventing testicular cancer
- 3) greatly decreasing the chances of prostatomegaly (an enlarged prostate) and prostate cancer
- 4) preventing the likelihood of perianal hernias and fistulas, making it difficult for a geriatric dog to poop
- 5) prevents unwanted pregnancies
Gastropexies- this is a preventative surgery in which the stomach of the patient is "tacked" (sewn) to the side of the body wall. This is performed in large breed and Giant Breed dogs (such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers) to prevent a "flipping bloat" that can be deadly. This is recommended to be done when the patient is spayed or neutered to prevent bloat. This one simple procedure can save your patient's life.
Exploratories- Unfortunately, our little friends don't so as they are told. For instance, they may think it is a fabulous idea to swallow a rock, sock, or tennis ball. But don't fear - Dr. Berka can gladly take it out! - but, she wouldn't recommend wearing that sock again!! We also sometimes do exploratories to remove masses or organs with masses on them (such as spleens).
Cystotomies- Our furry friends can develop stones in their bladder sometimes, just like humans develop kidney stones. There is an easy way to solve this problem by going in and removing them from the bladder, making it much easier for your friend to go to the bathroom.
Mass Removals - We remove masses not only externally but also internally!
Declaws (Onchyectomies)- this is a procedure in which the last bone in each front toe is removed in a cat. If ever done, it should be done when the patient is a kitten, at the time of spay or neuter. Dr. Berka performs the technique by carefully dissecting each bone out individually, causing much less trauma and pain than other techniques. The patients are also sent home with pain medication to try and make them more comfortable. Again, please note this is an ELECTIVE procedure. Side effects that can occur are:
- Biting more frequently (as that is now their only defense)
- "Phantom pains" (like humans have when they have a limb amputation) as nerves are cut
- Not using the litter box because it hurts to scratch.
People often think this surgery is unethical. However, sometimes it is necessary to perform, especially in households where people cannot risk getting scratched for medical reasons (ie: owner is immunocompromised or on blood thinners). Owners also have to be aware that these cats can NEVER go outside as they have no defenses and it would be very cruel. Dr. Berka feels it is better to perform this surgery in a sterile environment with the least painful technique and with lots of pain medication on board. In her opinion, it is more ethical to offer the surgery in this manner than not offer it at all - for, someone else may do it in a way that is more painful to the patient and puts them at risk to more side effects, such as scarred pads, more pain, infections, and re-growth of nails.
These are just some of the many surgical techniques that Dr. Berka performs. Always feel free to call and see the many other procedures we do!!