Pet Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery is used to remove minor skin lesions, such as sebaceous cysts, skin tags, warts and more by freezing them with liquid nitrogen or other cryogens. Cryosurgery is used all the time by human dermatologists and other surgeons. We are now able to offer this service at Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Cryosurgery works by rapidly freezing cells, causing ice crystals to form within those cells. The ice crystals break down normal cellular structures and cause the death of the cell. We use a device called the Cryo-AC gun which delivers liquid nitrogen at -272 degrees Fahrenheit to the lesion. The lesion is frozen until an iceball forms on its surface. Then the lesion is allowed to thaw slowly and the process is repeated once or twice more.

Unlike routine surgery, the lesion is not removed at the time of surgery. It takes from 2-3 weeks after cryosurgery for the lesion to “fall off”.
Cryosurgery has some advantages over standard surgical techniques, which include:

  • No anesthesia is required (although we do sedate our patients for this procedure)
  • Safer than standard surgery as there is no anesthesia.
  • Less costly than standard anesthesia
  • Minimal chance of wound separation (dehiscence)

Cryosurgery does have its limitations as well. No Pathology report is obtained because we do not take a sample of the lesion. This leaves the procedure available only for lesions we are pretty certain are benign. There may be change in pigment at the site of the cryosurgery, meaning that pigmented skin may become unpigmented and unpigmented skin may become pigmented.

Whenever we find lumps and bumps on our pets, it is always best to send a sample in for biopsy. Biopsies allow us to see exactly what type of tumor we are dealing with, whether or not we got the entire tumor and what if anything needs to be done to prevent a recurrence. In some instances, we may be able to do without a biopsy and use cryosurgery instead of traditional surgery.

Types of lesions that are appropriate for Cryosurgery include:

Sebaceous Cysts

Skin Tag

Papillomas (warts)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cryosurgery:

Q. Is cryosurgery painful?

A. The cryo gun freezes the tissue very quickly which acts as it’s own anesthetic. However, when the lesion thaws, there can be some discomfort. We mitigate this discomfort by using a topical local anesthetic and by sending home anti inflammatory pain medication.

Q. Will my pet leave the wound alone after cryosurgery?

A. Lesions that have undergone cryosurgery will become red and inflamed for the first few days after surgery. During this time, your pet may try to lick or scratch the wound. To prevent this, we recommend placing an Elizabethan collar on your pet during the recovery time.

Q. What happens if the lesion doesn’t go away?

A. In some cases, we may get only partial success in eliminating the entire lesion in one freezing session. If after 3 weeks, the lesion is not fully gone, we will repeat the process at a reduced fee.

Brachycephalic Syndrome Treatment

Understanding the Complexity of Brachycephalic Syndrome and the Effects of Selective Breeding on Your Pets

Modern-day veterinarians that care for all types of pets in the areas of Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Ontario, Claremont, Fontana and the Inland Empire, CA, deeply understand the impact that selective breeding is having on our pets, and increasingly at a very young age.

The size of our pet’s noses, for example, play a vital role in effective thermo regulation, which is the process of cooling off the body when in a hot room or during summer heat. Natural selection in wildlife situations took care of this genetic problem for wild dogs and cats, but this is no longer true for domesticated animals.

Heat-related disorders from brachycephalic malformations in pedigree animals are restricting the ability of these pets to cool their body temperature through proper inhaling and exhaling. They also face other respiratory problems as a result of this reduced ventilation of the lungs and lack of oxygen transfer that is caused by disproportionately-sized airways. Both of these deformities are directly linked, genetically, to selective breeding to create exaggerated features, such as short-nosed, flat-faced animals. These features are popular in many dog breeds, Persian and Himalayan cats, as well as some birds and other animals and strongly inhibit the health, comfort, ability to exercise, and quality of life of your pets.

What is Brachycephalic Syndrome?

Physical problems involved in this set of genetic malformations of the head, muzzle and throat, are complex, congenital traits animals are born with, including secondary traits from brachycephalic breeding that produces four different anatomical abnormalities associated with this syndrome.

  1. Stenotic Nares – meaning pinched or narrowed nostrils, affect the short-nosed breeds. Our veterinary surgeons use a simple procedure to widen these abnormally narrow nares, usually at the same time a puppy or kitten is spayed or neutered. An alternative treatment for stenotic nares is laser ablation.
  2. Elongated Soft Palate – The roof of the mouth has two sections, the bony front hard palate, and the back of the roof-of-the-mouth is the soft palate. There are five sets of muscles in the soft palate for swallowing and breathing. The nasal passages are cut off by these muscles when an animal swallows. The deformities of the soft palate create problems in this function.
  3. Evertion of Laryngeal Saccules – This condition is an out-pouching of voice box tissue that can be sucked into the airways because of the elongated soft palate and narrowed stenotic nares, and the extra tissue significantly obstructs airflow.
  4. Narrowed Windpipe – The windpipe is genetically altered as too small to accommodate the dog’s size, which creates an inefficiency in providing enough air supply to the lungs and bloodstream.

These malformed structures create an extreme effort for pets to inhale and exhale correctly, resulting in the breeds’ common loud snorting, coughing, inflammation, infections, exercise intolerance, swelling and other complications like infections of the eyes, nose and throat. For more information about Brachycephalic Syndrome and the treatments we offer, call Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital at (909) 980-3575.

Spay & Neuter

At Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, we provide spay and neuter services for our clients in Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Ontario, Claremont, Fontana, and the Inland Empire. Here are some of the common questions that we receive regarding our spay/neuter services. If you are getting a new pet, or considering having an existing pet spayed or neutered, please review these questions.

Q. At what age should I spay or neuter my pet?

A. It is best to spay or neuter your pet at a young age. We recommend you have your dog or cat spayed or neutered at the age of 6 months. If your pet is older and has not been spayed or neutered, you can still get the surgery. Simply contact us at (909) 980-3575 for an appointment.

Q. What are the benefits of spay/neuter?

A. Spaying can reduce your female pet’s risk of mammary cancer, uterine infections, and pregnancy, and eliminates heat cycles. Neutering male pets reduces marking or spraying, aggressive personalities, and the risk of prostate cancer.

In addition to helping your pet, sterilizing your pet helps the community and saves pets’ lives by helping to reduce the unwanted pet population.

Q. Will my cat or dog be under anesthesia for the surgery?

A. Yes, your cat or dog will be fully anesthetized using isoflurane gas anesthesia for the operation so he or she will not be in pain during the surgery. During the surgery, our technicians will monitor your pet with high tech monitoring devices; including blood pressure, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, electrocardiogram and internal temperature.

Prior to surgery, we administer sedatives and pain reduction medication to minimize your pet’s discomfort. After the surgery, we will dispense pain medication to go home with your pet so that recovery goes as painlessly as possible.

Q. What is the recovery process for veterinary spay or neuter services?

A. Your pet will spend the night with us after surgery. While here we will administer pain medication to keep them comfortable. In the morning, we will ensure that the surgical site is normal and then discharge your pet to you.

Your pet will need to wear a special protective Elizabethan collar that prevents him or her from licking or biting the incision area for 10-14 days after surgery. We will ask you to limit your pet’s activity to short leash walks only during the recovery period, and will send home pain medication to minimize your pet’s discomfort during recovery.

We will ask you to return in 10-14 days to have the sutures or staples removed from the wound. There is no charge for this service. Once the sutures are removed, your pet can return to normal activity.

Q. Will my pet’s behavior change after the surgery?

A. In general, you should not expect any major changes in your pet’s behavior. A few months after surgery, you may find that aggressive pets become a bit less aggressive (it takes a few months for the effects of testosterone to dissipate).

Without the biological urge to mate, your pets may be calmer, mellower, and often happier. Some pets may tend to put on weight after being sterilized. This can be managed by using lower-calorie food. Our staff can help you select the appropriate diet if weight gain becomes an issue.

Q. What if I can’t afford to have my pet spayed or neutered?

A. If you cannot pay the fee to have your pet spayed or neutered, we may be able to help you obtain credit for the surgery through Care Credit. If you live in Rancho Cucamonga, you can obtain vouchers from the local animal shelter which help defray the costs of surgery.

We hope that these veterinarian answers have helped you. If you do not see the information that you are looking for here, or to make an appointment for spay/neuter services or for anything else, please contact us at (909) 980-3575.