Specialty emergency veterinary clinic treats unique cases, animals

Amanda Jaeger shows us how some of the high-tech equipment at AVES works and how it has saved pets with some of the worst or strangest ailments here in central Arkansas

WARNING: Some of the images may be graphic for some. All the animals involved in the story made it out ok.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – This week on THV11 This Morning, we are talking about all about the high-tech equipment unique to the Arkansas Veterinary and Emergency Specialist Animal Hospital (AVES) in Little Rock.

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Now, we explain how that equipment, paired with the specialized knowledge of the doctoral staff, has helped the doctors care for animals with some of the most unique health conditions they have ever seen.

One of the patients who recently came to AVES was a puppy who got into something a little fishy. Dr. Richard Scroggin, doctor of internal medicine, said the puppy’s owner was taking him out for a walk and he noticed there was a string hanging from the puppy’s mouth. So, he pulled on it and it broke.

The owner went to visit AVES to make sure nothing was attached to the string and still inside the puppy. That's when Dr. Scroggin discovered something sharply concerning that needed advanced tools to fix. There was a large fish hook lodged in the puppy’s esophagus.

“We took our endoscope and went down into the esophagus and were able to remove it,” Dr. Scroggin said.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Bill Miller said he recently treated a dog who had something wiggling in his eye. Believe it or not, it was a rogue heartworm.

“Occasionally, one will lose its way and end up where it’s not supposed to be and when it gets into the eye it can be fairly dramatic,” Dr. Miller said.

Rogue heartworm in dog's eye

Luckily, Dr. Miller was able to use some of his advanced equipment to get it out and the only thing that was destroyed during the surgery was the worm.

Staff Surgeon Dr. Matthew Field recently treated a dog who could only open his jaw about a quarter of an inch. To figure out how to best treat the issue, Dr. Field got the dog a state of the art CT scan. He found that the dog’s jawbones were fusing together.

Jaw of dog fused together

He said it was an extremely rare case that some vets will go decades without ever seeing. He said the team was eventually able to remove an extra bone that was fusing the jawbones together.

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“He can open his jaw about three or four inches now which is a significant improvement,” Dr. Field said.

Emergency Veterinarian Matthew Charney brought his dog into AVES after he noticed she wasn't feeling well or acting like herself. He got her an ultrasound at the facility right away. They found a mass on her spleen that was full of blood and about to rupture. Because of the ultrasound and eventual surgery, she survived.

Mass on dog's spleeN

“Without that ultrasound there would have been no way to know what was going on there,” said Dr. Charney. “There would have been no marker if I couldn’t look in that belly.”

Lizard from the LR Zoo

While all of those cases were incredibly unique, the doctors at AVES don’t only see unique medical situations. They see unique patients. Some of the doctors have treated zoo animals, dwarf African crocodiles, iguanas, giraffes, tapers, monkeys and more.

“I see everything but people…you name it, we've probably looked at it,” Dr. Miller said.