VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists

Ventral slot surgery

The surgical approach for removal of a herniated disc depends upon the location of the disc material within the spinal canal. A ventral slot procedure is the most common surgical procedure for disc herniation in the cervical spine. The approach is from the underside (ventral) of the neck, where intervertebral discs are located. A small hole (slot) is drilled through the center of the disc and a small portion of the adjacent vertebrae. This allows access to the spinal canal at the location of the herniated disc. Small instruments are then used to remove any free fragments of disc material that have herniated or ruptured into the spinal canal.

When indicated surgical success with a ventral slot procedure is good, provided that the disc herniation is acute and that neurological function (pain sensation of the toes and normal ventilation) is adequate at the time of surgery. Potential complications include hemorrhage, post-operative infection, instability/subluxation and spinal cord trauma. Fusion is not typically done with routine disc herniations, as dogs do well without it and the disc space will partially fuse within a few months post operatively.

Recovery depends on the initial neurological status with return of ambulation within days to months. Strict rest/confinement is recommended for about 1 month post surgery with gradual increase in activity thereafter. During confinement a well-padded surface is recommended to prevent bed sores. Rehabilitation therapy can speed recovery.
 

Departments

Neurology
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General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Emergency Care

FOR PET MEDICAL EMERGENCIES, PLEASE CALL OUR HOSPITAL AT (503) 656-3999 OR TRANSPORT YOUR PET IMMEDIATELY TO OUR FACILITY (NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED)

VCA NORTHWEST VETERINARY SPECIALISTS IS LOCATED AT:

16756 S.E. 82nd DRIVE
CLACKAMAS, OR 97015
TEL: (503) 656-3999
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Pet Emergency Handbook for Download

VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists is ready to provide emergency and critical care for your beloved companion around the clock every day of the year. Our Emergency Service is staffed by 4 board certified emergency and critical care specialists -- more than any other specialty hospital in the Pacific NW! Our ER/CC team works collaboratively with all of our specialty departments as needed to provide the most diverse and comprehensive specialty care in Portland. If your pet is having an emergency, please come immediately to our hospital - we are ALWAYS available, any time, day or night! You may speak with an ER/CC team member if you have questions/concerns by calling (503) 656-3999.

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