Learn and Travel- New Story

20181207_125741Dr Cristian Badineci from Bucharest Romania, with the kindly support of Pamas Trading has done his internship in Central Vet Clinic in Sofia, Bulgaria. Let him tell us more about it:

 

I had the chance to attend a one-week internship in December 2018 at the Central Vet Clinic in Sofia. I recently heard of the Vets on The Balkans project from colleagues sharing the same passion: Cardiology. Thus, with the help of organizers Luba Gancheva and Pamas Trading 12814393_1673705086236432_1339900710371625092_nI managed to come to Bulgaria to meet wonderful people.

The clinic is located in an area with green spaces, next to a zoo. I had a warm welcome and attention from Dr. Ranko Georgiev, who presented his colleagues and the tour of the clinic. It has a reception hall, a corridor to the large workroom. On the right corridor there are 3 consulting rooms, and on the left 3 imaging rooms. One for radiology and two for ultrasound. Also on the ground floor there are 2 surgical halls. In the basement there are the admissions stations, the meeting room.During my time here, I attended various cases of general medicine, emergency and surgery, but most of the time I spent in the cardiology department with Dr Marin Buckov, Dr Hristina Shukerova and Dr Ranko Georgiev. I have remarked their dedication to this discipline as well as vast experience in cardiology. They participated in numerous workshops and international congresses. I have witnessed many cases, both common like PS and AS, DCM, MVD, HCM, and distinguished, such as a Labrador with Cor Triatriatum Dextrum, a Jack Russell with Revers PDA. cor triatriatum dextrum24246_103549239687374_288378_nAs far as cardiology is concerned, in the clinic can be made specialized consultations and any kind of interventions for solving cardiac diseases in dog, cat and exotic animals. Performing the necessary investigations in a timely manner, Those in critical situation are interned, stabilized and monitored. There are always staff checking out the clinical signs and administering the medication.During my time at the clinic I was impressed by the qualities of this team. I have met respect and common sense both towards people, animals and love for medicine. I witnessed an emergency in which a small dog was sprouted by a wild boar and had an open chest wound and internal haemorrhage. He arrived in hypovolemic shock. They quickly organized a mini intervention team and stabilized the puppy in 30 minutes. 5 people quickly took clinical signs, performed intubation, artificial respiration, 2-member venous approach, restored volley, stopped bleeding. In 15 minutes the surgery room was ready, and the surgery team performed the closing of torax. The next morning, this dog was barking and eating like nothing happened.I was impressed by a doctor who received a chinchilla with kidney failure. The animal was in critical condition since receiving had serious prognosis and died, but this doctor did not stop for 2 hours trying to save it.After this experience I can hardly wait to get back in our practice and apply the new working methods learned here. I attach some pictures of Dr. Ranko‘s interesting cardiology cases to which I have attended. I am very greatfull for this experience.

 

Vets on The Balkans express their gratitude to Centra Vet Clinic and Dr Ranko Georgiev for being part of Learn and Travel and as well to Pamas Trading for the strongly support as always!

LEARN AND TRAVEL….. NEW STORY! Dr Matei Alexandru at Central Vet clinic in Bulgaria

46520505_355142141909610_6510054373484134400_nDr Matei Alexandru from 3vet Original Project Clinic in Bucharest, Romania has done his externship at Central Vet Clinic in Sofia, Bulgaria. What he said about it:

 

Central  Veterinary  Clinc – Sofia – October /November 2018

To go to certain places you need friends, and sometimes you will find friends simply by hitting them in while you’re going through life. A rumor, a link and a helping hand at the right time if you know how to accept them will open your world. Luba, I met her through a rumor, my colleague Stefan made my connection and my helping hand came from Pamas Trading .12814393_1673705086236432_1339900710371625092_n And I accepted the challenge but a bit different from what was initially planned.

At first I was asked what I liked and I answered –  Soft tissues surgery… when I got there I was asked again – What do you like? And I answered – ALL and I had the opportunity to see ALL at the clinic in Sofia .

I saw a waiting room full of people that was held by three receptionists. I went to three meeting rooms on a long hallway leading to the triage / urgent reception area, and in one corner a lab with all of a dedicated man surrounded by books. I went back through two ultrasound halls and stopped in a radilogy room used to its maximum value.46504093_1954656381506155_1879230126814658560_n 46506316_504219466756165_6529017598988779520_n 46507462_343922266187577_8073384407227957248_n 46507771_738542649840914_4496201851145814016_n 46508584_2175589452709070_1243322865311285248_n 46513483_369877663752364_467199421403103232_n 46514154_1186951701472334_2597444006979829760_n 46514502_259039121427825_8745223588467965952_n

Many surgeons can be operated at once and I have enjoyed the idea and the fact that each surgeon has an anesthesiologist who will do his job very well, the surgeon being strictly focused on the surgical side. I have attended and participated in routine and to more complicated operations (new or older fractures remedies, chronic cases without hope of resolution). Through the hard work of dedicated people ,animals with no hope of healing, resumed their lives, and I have learned new things.

In the clinic everywhere is always a line. A line on which doctors walks and split  the chaos of order. I tested my own skin because I tended to go into the surgery  without a mask … it was a good lesson.

I saw smile, confidence and knowledge and felt the strength of a team. I have received the required information without retention, I have debated cases and I was involved in a differential diagnosis … I have seen desperately recovered cases but also the last breaths of patients for whom nothing could be done.46518652_2331664727053218_7447802504802205696_n 46519168_502253150292970_4750675781510758400_n

I have known dedicated doctors only for overnight patients focused on continuous monitoring, I have communicated with specilalists on exotic animal ,cardiology, ophthalmology, internal medicine, reproduction, neurochirurgia, orthopedics, dermatology, endoscopy, oncology … and I was pleasantly impressed of their level of knowledge and the fact that they want to share whit their colleagues the informations without asking for anything in return.I have been invited into their world for a short time to be witness at high-quality veterinary business build on trust and respect. Thank you Ranko Georgiev for accepting me in your house.46485905_349823095794080_9038427446554132480_n

Open heart surgery for a left atrial mass extraction during cardio-pulmonary bypass (CPB) in a 9 yoa Labrador dog

ranko

Dr Ranko Georgiev

Ranko Georgiev1, Stoyan Nikolov2, Nadezhda Petrova3

Georgi Ignatov4, MD Thoracic Surgery

1,2,3 DVM, Central Veterinary Clinic, Sofia, Bulgaria

4 MD, City Clinic Cardiovascular Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

1rankoge@gmail.com

 

Introduction:

 

Open heart surgery during a cardiopulmonary bypass is the only effective approach for some diseases that require an access to the heart chambers or the great vessels; even when a temporary inflow occlusion is chosen as an alternative, only a very few “time restricted” procedures could be done on a beating heart. However, when considering an open heart surgery, the high risk of intra- and post- procedure complications often outweighs the benefits. In veterinary medicine the financial weight of such a procedure is also a limiting factor.

We would like to share a case where a temporary sinus arrest was induced during a cardiopulmonary bypass and a huge mass was successfully extracted from the left atrium of a dog with an open heart approach.

 

Case presentation:

 

Artur 1

This is the patient just before the surgery

Arthur is a 9 year old MC Labrador, trained like a guide dog for a blind person, admitted because of increasingly frequent exercise intolerance episodes during the past few months. Furthermore, the last week the patient was very weak and experienced several syncopal episodes. On a clinical presentation with the referring vet а tachycardia and dyspnea were noted and the patient was referred to us for a Cardiology consult.

On physical examination, the dog weighted 25 kg, with a history of a rapid body mass loss for the last couple of months. His “normal” weight has always been around 32 kg according to the owners. The body condition was poor (score 2/5) and the dog had a grade II/VI left sided apical soft diastolic heart murmur. Lung auscultation was unremarkable, but the respiratory rate (RR) was more than 50 breaths per minute.Artur VD

Artur LLR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The X-rays of the chest were highly suggestive for e left sided congestive heart failure and showed mild generalized cardiomegaly with a VHS of 11.5 with enlarged left atrium and left ventricle. The pulmonary veins were slightly larger than the pulmonary arteries; the lung parenchyma with diffuse interstitial pattern in the area of the hilus. The patient was already on Furosemide in a low dose – 2mg/kg twice a day for the last two weeks with no improvement of the clinical signs.

 

 

A transthoracic echocardiography was done with the patient in lateral recumbence through the right and left parasternal windows. A huge echogenic mass with irregular shape was observed in the area of the left atrium – attached to the intra atrial septum and prolapsing through the mitral valve during diastole towards the left ventricle. The mass was creating almost full diastolic obstruction of the valve, allowing only a tiny fraction of the blood in.Artur_Ochi_na_4_lapi_20161116113435_1139400 Artur_Ochi_na_4_lapi_20161116113435_1140250 Artur_Ochi_na_4_lapi_20161116113435_1147090 Artur_Ochi_na_4_lapi_20161116113435_1837270 Artur_Ochi_na_4_lapi_20161116113435_1837510

Complete blood count, electrolytes and biochemical profile were normal. During the abdominal US study no further abnormalities were noted and no more masses found. On the ambulatory ECG a normal sinus rhythm was recorded with multiple atrial premature complexes. The blood pressure was normal. A hemo-culture and a urine culture were obtained and came back negative for a bacterial growth. The bleeding time and the Pt/APtT were normal.

A diagnosis of an intra atrial mass with clinical signs of a progressing left sided congestive heart failure was made and a surgery was discussed. Because of the location of the mass no surgical or interventional approach was possible without the aid of a cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and cardioplegia. All the risks and possible complications were discussed with the owner and a decision for such a surgery was made. The team for the surgery was from a veterinary surgeon, human cardiovascular surgeon, cardiovascular perfusionist, veterinary and human anesthetists, and nurses. The procedure was done in Central Vet Clinic, Sofia on 3rd of December 2016.

 

 

 

Artur 3

The heart-lung machine with 4 pumps – one main pump for the oxygenator and the blood, two for collecting the surgical field blood and one for the cardioplegique solution; the model is Sorin 5 with a pediatric small volume oxygenator

Our anesthesia protocol with this patient started routinely for the procedure of a thoracic surgery – premedication with Midazolam and Buprenorphine, induction with Etomidate, intubation and maintenance with Isoflurane. Additionally we put a bladder catheter for urine production measurement, central venous catheter, an intra-arterial catheter for a direct blood pressure measurement and tree peripheral intra-venous catheters. Many more drugs were used during the anesthesia and the long post-operative recovery period like Nitroglycerin, Atracurium, Protamine, Amantadine, Pyracetam, Efedrin, Dopamine, Methylprednisolone, Fraxiparin, Clopidogrel, antibiotics, etc.)

Artur 2

The busy surgical field – left lateral thoracotomy through the 5th intercostal space; visible are the venous, the arterial and the cardioplegique cannulae

Artur 7

the surgical ward during the procedure – a total of 10 people were simultaneously engaged in the procedure

Artur 5

the surgical ward during the procedure – a total of 10 people were simultaneously engaged in the procedure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artur 6

he extracted mass from the left atrium – Neurofibrosarcoma with size 8/6/4 cm

The surgical approach was through the left fifth intercostal space with a standard lateral thoracotomy. Additionally the left carotid artery was approached and prepared in case it is needed for the CPB blood return. The pericardium was excised and the left atrium, the big vessels and the left ventricle visualized. Then three cannulas were put – the one collecting the venous blood inside the right atrium (through the right atrium auricle), the one returning the oxygenated blood from the CPB machine into the ascending aorta and one small cardioplegique cannula into the aortic root over the coronary arteries. Then a bolus of Heparin was injected iv in a dose of 800UI/kg and 5 minutes later the patient was switched to the heart-lung machine (Sorin 5 and a pediatric oxygenator with 360 ml prime). Then we started a controlled cooling of the patient using a chiller, connected to the CPB machine. When the target body temperature of 28o C was reached the ascending aorta was cross clamped and a 600 ml of cooled to 4o C crystalloid cardioplegique infusion rich in potassium was infused through the coronary cannula producing complete heart arrest. We stopped the active ventilation of the lungs and the patient became fully dependent of the heart-lung machine. The heart was open through a 5 cm cut into the left atrial wall starting from the auricle tip. The mass was directly visualized and excised. It was connected to the intra atrial septum with a relatively small neck. We removed it without creating an ASD. The air from the heart was evacuated and the surgical cut closed with a 5-0 Polypropylene suture in a continuous way. The mass was a solid and well defined structure with irregular shape and was admitted for histology. The size was 8/6/4 cm.

We started a slow rewarming of the patient with a target body temperature of 38o C. Two epicardial electrodes were embedded and connected with an external pacemaker. Once closed and warmed, the heart was gently massaged manually for a couple of minutes and then hit with a direct pediatric defibrillator. We used 5 to 20J of energy shocks and got a slow and then faster rhythm after the 9th try. The external pacemaker was switched on and put on a 100 bpm rate for the next 12 hours. The surgical closure was uncomplicated and no significant bleeding was noted. The patient received slowly iv Protamin (1mg/100IU Heparin) as a Heparin antidote and the heart-lung machine was gradually restricted and then switched off. Two chest drains were put and connected to a sterile active suction. The total machine time was 130 min, the sinus arrest time – 22 min, total surgery time – close to 5 hours. Immediately after the CPB machine was stopped a hemotransfusion with two units of fresh blood was done.

Artur 10

the first 12 hours post the procedure Artur was kept on a Propofol CRI and with an external pacemaker set at a minimum of 100 bpm rate

Artur 9

the first 12 hours post the procedure Artur was kept on a Propofol CRI and with an external pacemaker set at a minimum of 100 bpm rate

Comments:

 

Arthur recovered from the general anesthesia slowly over the next 12 hours, but he was unable to stand on his feet for additional 5 days. The electrolyte levels, liver and kidney values were monitored almost every hour for the first 2 days and then three to five times a day; our main concern was the potassium blood level and we tried to maintain it stable at all times. The urine production was also constantly monitored and tailored to be in the normal range – with diuretics and blood pressure control drugs. From all the possible complications after a CPB we saw only a transient neurological signs attributed to some degree of brain injury – interpreted after the neurological exam as left sided forebrain lesion – ischemic or hemorrhagic. Arthur recovered completely both physically and mentally for the next two weeks with a lot of supportive care and physiotherapy. On discharge from the clinic he was able again to do all the things a blind person guide dog is trained to do. The histology report was made in a referral laboratory in Germany – Laboklin, and after the immunohistochemistry stain came back as a Neurofibrosarcoma.ran 2 ran 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artur 11

Artur reacted very well when in children company and we use this to stimulate his mental state (the authors’ youngest daughter)

Conclusions:

 

Artur 12

two weeks after the surgery with the owner

CPB is a routine everyday procedure in the human hospitals, usually carrying a good to excellent prognosis and very low mortality rate. On the other hand in the veterinary medicine field is still an exotic and very risky one. Although very demanding both for the clinical team and the patient himself, the cardiopulmonary bypass is the only option for cardiac diseases requiring an open heart surgery. We believe that a close relationship between a human medicine cardio surgical team and a small animal hospital team could make this type of procedures safer and better recognized.

We have done regular monthly rechecks on the patient with echocardiography and X-rays since then and now six months later Arthur is doing great, no drugs or any supportive therapy needed. He gained back his usual weight and is working like a guide dog every day.

 

Surgical extraction of adult D. immitis filariae from the pulmonary arteries of a patient with stage III heartworm disease

ranko

Dr Ranko Georgiev

Ranko Georgiev1, Hristina Shukerova2, Nadezhda Petrova3(anesthetist)

1,2,3 DVM, Central Veterinary Clinic, Sofia, Bulgaria; 2016

 

Introduction:

 

An “exotic” diagnosis for Bulgaria just 5 years ago, Heartworm Disease (HWD) is a parasitic infestation that we nowadays see regularly in our small animal practice. Due to climate change and spreading of intermediate vectors, ever more dogs are getting affected. Other major contributing factors are the infrequency of preventive measures in the country and the high number of undiagnosed and subclinical patients, leading to a reservoir of hosts in the general canine population.

The aim of this article is to report a case where the heavy worm burden of the patient warranted surgical extraction prior to adulticide therapy.carcar3

 

Case presentation:

 

Rem is a 25kg, 10 years old MC mix breed dog admitted because of ascites and exercise intolerance during the past few weeks. Most prominent of the clinical signs was the severely distended, fluid-filled abdomen – assessed as modified transudate on abdominocenthesis (more than 4 liters were drained because of the labored breathing).

Thoracic X-rays revealed right-sided cardiomegaly and severely distended tortuous and blunt-ended pulmonary arteries. On echocardiography, right heart pathology was mainly observed – including a distended right atrium and ventricle, dilated pulmonary artery and evidence of pulmonary hypertension, as well as many tubular echoic structures in the lumen of the main pulmonary artery, typically identified as adult parasites.car1

Serology was positive for D. immitis (IDEXX 4D snap test) and the dog was classified as stage III HWD.

Because of the high worm burden and ascites, the possibility of interventional removal of the worms, before the adulticide treatment, was suggested to the owner, who gave his informed consent.

The patient was scheduled for surgery several days after hospitalization and treatment of right congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension using the following therapeutic protocol:

Torasemide: 0.2mg/kg/12h, IV and PO

Sildenafil: 2mg/kg/12h, PO

Ivermectin: 6ug/kg monthly, subcutaneously

Surgical extraction of worms was routinely performed using the right jugular vein approach. The area was scrubbed aseptically and a small skin incision was made over it. The vein was dissected free from the surrounding tissue and ligated proximally. A small transverse cut in its wall was made, through which a forceps was advanced into the heart under fluoroscopic control.

Video:   http://dox.bg/files/dw?a=f058367161

 

An Ishihara Flexible Alligator Forceps (Fujinon TypeL FK-480L) was used, which is a vet instrument designed in Japan, especially for Dirofilaria extraction.car2

The anesthetic protocol we used was typical for this procedure; in particular premedication with Atropine, Butorphanol and Midazolam; induction with Etomidate; and finally Isoflurane maintenance.

After nearly 20 attempts, we extracted 25 adult worms. The overall fluoroscopic time of the procedure was less than 5 minutes. The recovery of the patient was uneventful and a day later we started the adulticide protocol for HWD treatment, as recommended by the American Heart Worm Association.car4car5

 

Comments:

 

In all cases with stage III or IV HWD it is advisable to discuss the possibility of surgical extraction of some of the worms as a pre-adulticide step. This will lower the risk of fatal pulmonary thromboembolism after the injection of Immiticide and will likely improve the symptoms of existing pulmonary hypertension.

It should be noted that if a different extraction device is used (endoscopic loops and baskets, rigid or semi-rigid alligator forceps, different types of graspers, etc.), the success rate of the procedure is much lower, at least in our experience. The Ishihara forceps could be actively maneuvered into the RVOT, hence providing faster and easier access to the PA.car6

 

Conclusions:

 

Surgical extraction of a heavy worm burden is possible and clinically important before adulticide treatment, in patients with end-stage HWD.

Rem, the dog of our study, successfully completed the treatment protocol for HWD without any evidence of pulmonary thromboembolism; meanwhile the symptoms of RCHF have slowly abated.

Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD) in a dog; X-ray follow-ups

1011455_555100874532206_1020389694_n

Dr Ranko Georgiev

Ranko Georgiev1, DVM, Central Veterinary Clinic, Sofia, Bulgaria

1

fig 1

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fig 2

3

fig 3

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fig 4

5

fig 5

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fig 6

Akira is a German shepherd dog, first presented with an ascites and exercise intolerance 4 years ago. A diagnosis of a tricuspid valve dysplasia (TVD) was made after X-rays and echocardiography. Standard therapy for a patient with a TVD and CHF was initiated and kept since. The prognosis given in 2012 was ‘guarded to poor’ concerning the severe generalized cardiomegaly, but four years later the patient is still alive and doing great with a full therapy (attached). The size of the heart is bigger at any of the control X-rays done annually; the size of the right atrium contributing with 75% to the whole heart volume!

 

Akira, FI GSD, 5yoa, 30kg, TVD – therapy (the patient is with an atrial fibrillation as well)

Furosemide                 60mg BID

Spironolacton              25mg SID

Hydrochlorthiazide     25mg SID

Enalapril                      10mg BID

Pimobendan                10mg BID

Digoxin                        0.2mg BID

Cardiovet                    1tabl BID (Taurin, L-Carnitin, Vit. E, Coenzim Q)

 

Fig.1 to 6

Pacemaker implantation (PMI) as treatment for AVB III and very slow ventricular escape rhythm in a geriatric canine patient

2 д-р Ранко Георгиев

Dr Ranko Georgiev

Ranko Georgiev1, Hristina Shukerova2, Nadezhda Petrova3

1,2,3 DVM, Central Veterinary Clinic, Sofia, Bulgaria

Introduction:

Pacemaker implantation is the most effective treatment for ‘syncope and severe exercise intolerance’ – related arrhythmias; however when searching for the best clinical decision for some older dogs, the risk of anesthesia often outweighs the benefits. We would like to share a case where the old age was not a problem.

Case presentation:

Larry was a 17-year old MI mix breed dog admitted because of increasingly frequent exercise intolerance episodes during the past few months. Furthermore, the last week the patient was very week, unable to stand on his feet and with a depressed overall clinical status. On a clinical presentation with the referring vet а bradycardia was noted and the patient referred to us for a Cardiology consult.fig 1 Lari-Ro-LLR

During auscultation, a slow regular rhythm was detected with heart rate of 20 bpm classified as ventricular escape rhythm during the normal ECG. A 24hour Holter monitor revealed complete AV block (AVB III) throughout the study with an average rate of 31 bpm, occasional VE beats with some pairs, triplets and short runs; no pauses greater than 5 sec were noted. The slowest heart rate detected was 20 bpm.fig 3 echocardio

Complete blood count and biochemical profile were normal. Radiography and echocardiography revealed generalized cardiomegaly, with mild-to-moderate mitral and tricuspid regurgitation and decreased contractility. During the abdominal FAST study a small amount of free fluid was noted – defined as a transudate on diagnostic abdominocenthesis. Lari_20150811163929_1640560

A diagnosis of complete AV block with clinical signs of right sided congestive heart failure was made and pacemaker implantation was decided. A VVI, bipolar, passive lead was fluoroscopically placed, under anesthesia, through the right jugular vein into the right ventricle, where it was successfully lodged.Lari_20150814181226_1819550 The lead was connected to a generator, which was later fixed in the subcutaneous tissue dorsally to the cervical vertebrae. A temporary pacemaker was used when the dog developed asystole during the procedure. Recovery from the surgery was uneventful, with the pacemaker capturing normally. The pacing rate was set to 100 bpm. The system used was a ‘St Jude’ one.r1

Our anesthesia protocol with this patient was routine for the procedure of a PMI – premedication with Midazolam and Buprenorphine, induction with Etomidate, intubation and maintenance with Isoflurane. The post procedure treatment was only with Cefazolin iv for the next few days.fig 4 PMI-procedure-1fig 5 PMI-procedure-2

The use of a temporary lead and/or an external pacemaker is highly advisable in patients who are depended on their escape rhythm.

Comments:

Even though Larry recovered from the general anesthesia normally he was unable to stand on his feet for additional 5 days. He was bright, alert and responsive, with good appetite and normal consciousness, but with an impaired proprioception. We attributed this to the long period with severe bradycardia (HR of 20 bpm) and potential vasoconstriction/reperfusion complications. There is some data in the human medicine literature concerning PMI in old people with preexisting severe bradycardia, who reported pain in the extremities post the procedure.

Other factors such as chronic joint and spinal diseases could have been the cause of the slow recovery as well. The myoglobin levels were not checked prior to the PMI unfortunately.fig 6 flororfig 8 Lari-Ro-LLR-post-PMI

Conclusions:

Pacemaker implantation may be warranted even in older dogs with ‘syncope and severe exercise intolerance’ – related arrhythmias.r2

7 months post the procedure Larry is still doing great; in this period he underwent two additional major surgeries for a prostate abscess – with no anesthesia complications.581708_10201218994737586_1026692492_n