Taylor’s Story: Canada West Performs B.C.’s First Successful Canine Open-Heart Surgery

On November 3, 2015 Taylor, a 7-month old german shepherd/doberman cross, became the first dog in British Columbia to successfully undergo open-heart surgery.  The procedure was done here at Canada West Veterinary Specialists hospital, and involved a 12-person Canada West team led by surgeon Dr. Michael King and cardiologist Dr. Marco Margiocco.

About Taylor

Taylor is a rescue dog who was under the care of the non-profit Whistler Animals Galore Society (WAG). WAG referred Taylor to us when they noticed that he appeared to be in distress and had a very distended belly. Dr. Margiocco ultimately diagnosed Taylor with a rare heart defect that was causing blood to pool in his abdomen.  After less-invasive treatment options proved unsuccessful, it was determined that open-heart surgery was the only viable option to save Taylor’s life. However, Taylor had a good prognosis for a long full life without the need for ongoing … Continue reading

Are You “Hip” to Joint Replacement?

Total hip replacement has been available as a surgical treatment for canine hip dysplasia and degenerative osteoarthritis for 30+ years in veterinary medicine. There have been many improvements and modifications that have occurred during that time in implant design and surgical technique that have resulted in a 90% overall success rate in clinical cases performed by skilled joint replacement surgeons.

Dr. Terri Schiller, Dip ACVS, has 20 years of experience with total hip replacement. During her time at North Carolina State University she was involved in the development of a canine cementless total hip replacement system (Canine PCA) that was designed as a research model by a human orthopedic company. For the canine patient this system was highly successful and the company subsequently allowed its use for clinical canine patients. Unfortunately, this system was never commercially produced and once the initially made implants ran out the company initiated no further … Continue reading