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Liposuction for animals? Procedure becoming popular for pets

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio — A cutting edge new veterinary procedure called “Pet Liposuction” has humans tilting their heads and wagging their tongues.

“A dog receiving liposuction sounds crazy,” said Mike Stubbs.

Courtney Sibiga asked simply, “Why?!”

The surgery sounds like a cosmetic procedure, but is used for very different reasons in animals.

Veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Pentecost says liposuction is a new way to treat “benign fatty masses” called lipomas, that grow on older and overweight animals, especially dogs.

“They can be really big,” said Pentecost. “I had one that we took almost three and a half liters of fat out of it.“

The non-invasive operation is now being performed by Pentecost at Animal Clinic Northview in North Ridgeville.

In the past, geriatric dogs had to undergo a major surgery requiring up to 30 stitches and a lengthy recovery, but the liposuction is done through a small incision, and the pet is usually back to normal in 48 hours or less.

“You don’t have the discomfort you’re going to have with a major surgery,” said Pentecost.

Less anesthesia is also used, which is better for older animals, but there is a 23 percent chance the fat may return because the entire fat capsule isn’t removed; just the fat.

Pet liposuction is one of several new and advanced non-invasive procedures now being performed at Animal Clinic Northview, drawing patients to Northeast Ohio from multiple states and countries.

Dr. Randy Hutchison says they are able to do sonograms and underwater rehab and have a world class fertility and reproductive center as well as scopes and tools used for things like colonoscopies and and laparoscopic surgeries.

“A lot of dogs that would’ve gone right to surgery because they swallowed something…we can go down the mouth with the scope and pull it back up through the mouth,” said Hutchison.

Hutchison says the scopes take the guess work out of diagnosing and make common surgeries like spays easier and better for the animals.

He says the cost is slightly higher, but the results include smaller incisions, fewer stitches, less pain and faster healing for the pet.

The scopes can also be used to diagnose and treat tumors that were previously nearly impossible to reach.

A French bulldog named Babette had a tumor detected and treated in her nasal passage recently.

Owner Margo Coleman says within days Babette was better.

“She’s great! Perfect,” said Coleman.

And another of Coleman’s dogs was able to have two surgeries at the same time because of the non-invasive laparoscopic tools.

“She hasn’t had any swelling or complications,” said Coleman.

For more information on other advanced procedures, click here.