Pets, People & Practice
Reported December 2011
LOS ANGELES (Ivanhoe Newswire) --Diabetes, cancer, leukemia--all very real diseases that not only kill people, but our pets as well. Now, veterinarians are trying out two new techniques to help save pooches that could very well end up saving people too.
Maggie is an important part of the Rainker family. So when she started acting strange, her mom knew something must be wrong.
“She had the most amazing uncontrolled thirst,” Lynn Rainker, Maggie’s mom, told Ivanhoe.
Rainker’s dog, Maggie, was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease. Both pets and people with the disease develop tumors, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, and weakened bones, but surgery to remove the pituitary tumor in animals is almost impossible.
“The reason the procedure was so difficult, was because you couldn’t see the area to be operated on,” Adam Mamelak, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles told Ivanhoe.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Adam Mamelak is part of a team at Cedars-Sinai that modified an HD surgical imaging device they created for their patients to help veterinary surgeons see the tumor in animals. Now, veterinary surgeons can remove the tumor --saving the animals, and use it to create a model that can be used to test therapies for both dogs and humans. Meanwhile, new artificial tissue being developed at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital could change the way doctors in training perform surgeries at vet schools and at medical schools.
“When they see blood, they will know how to deal with it, they are not going to panic,” Fausto Bellezzo, a veterinarian at CSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital told Ivanhoe.
Before, vet students practiced surgeries and suturing on fabric—or even banana’s. Now, a new artificial tissue is made out of silicone. It mimics real skin, fat, muscle, veins, and blood flow.
“The first thing they do is get a little bit of a start when it starts to bleed, then they realize it’s ok, it’s simulation, then they dig in,” Dean Hendrickson, an equine surgeon at CSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital told Ivanhoe.
And each tissue can be changed to test different procedures.
“If you want to train a student how to help an obese dog, we can increase the fat layer,” Bellezzo said.
Two new breakthroughs —that could end up saving pets and people.
The Cedars surgeons are training veterinarians in Los Angeles to perform the surgery, then the veterinarians can train other vets across the country. CSU has already had several requests for the new artificial tissue from other veterinarian schools as well as medical schools and nursing schools.
Click here to Go Inside This Science and View Video or contact:
Jenna Burton, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Colorado State University
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