Lend me your ear

Get it? Because we’re short one over here.

Warning: Blood ahead.

When it comes to my dog, I am just as nuts as any other client. I can’t think logically, I panic, I just gnaw on my fingernails and try to figure out what’s the best thing to do. For this reason, I had no interest in doing Brody’s surgery whatsoever and instead entailed the services of my friend, board certified veterinary surgeon Dr. Tracy Frey of Soft Surg and the lovely staff at Animal Urgent Care, who took amazing care of us both.

I would like to state for the record that even though Pet Doctor Barbie occasionally runs into situations similar to my own in my posts, I am not her, much as I wish I could be. I’m not that cool. Dr. Frey, though, may actually be the living embodiment of Pet Doctor Barbie in flesh and blood, just with more appropriate clothes.

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And when I say that, I mean it as the greatest of compliments: a beautiful and accomplished woman who kicks ass in a tough field while unapologetically maintaining her sense of self and style (it can be done!) Pouf, her amazing and adorable Pomeranian who needs to have her own Instagram account stat, also accompanied her to the surgery.

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Before: when he has no idea what he is in for.

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Right after induction, shaving up his ear and discovering just how pale he is under all that fur.

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Getting a 3-dimensional field sterile in multiple planes takes some derring-do.

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The surgery instrument wrap is, of course, also pink.

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And we’re off! First stop: hunting for lymph nodes. These will be removed and sent to pathology to check for evidence of metastasis. (say no! It has to be no!)

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Planning out the incision. We needed to get 3 cm past the edge of the prior biopsy in order to maximize chances of complete excision.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Eew! This was stuck in a bag and is currently being examined in a lab in Sorrento Valley. Kind of makes those pig’s ear treats a little less appealing, no?

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Blood and stuff. This is why I prefer internal medicine and dermatology.

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A hemostat works to clamp down on one of the major blood vessels of the ear while Dr. Frey plans a closure. One of the benefits of working with a board certified surgeon, in addition to their technical expertise in surgical technique itself, is the cosmetic outcome. Cartilage can do weird bendy things (have you ever seen a botched ear crop?) so we spent a little time discussing the possible looks for Brody’s ear nubbin:

-teeny tiny pittie point

-flat space

-rounded nubbin

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We went for the third option. Being a surgeon’s work the incision line is so precise you can barely tell it’s there.

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Then we spray painted him silver so he could look like a cyborg! Just kidding. That is collodial silver spray and it is actually medicinal in nature.

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He woke up super fast. Groggy, but good. I sat in the cage the whole time <3

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Post op warm compresses and lovin’ at home.

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Every time I look at him I think of this scene from Harry Potter:

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So I’ll be happy when his hair grows back. Until then he is simply “The Dog Who Lived.”

And guess what! Our neighbors brought toys and love and this is him yesterday.

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Dr. Frey was right! He did just fine.

So now, I wait for the various parts of Brody scattered around the country to be analyzed, and we’ll go from there. So far, so good.

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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