Resection of the Nasal Planum in Dogs

Resection of the Nasal Planum in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention

What is Resection of the Nasal Planum?

The nasal planum is the upper part of the structures that form the very tip of a dog's nose. The planum is comprised of tissues such as cartilage and muscle used for articulating the nose, as well as a number of the glands responsible for the production of mucus. Sometimes, a dog may contract a disease that specifically affects the tissues of the nasal planum. Whilst there are many non-invasive and relatively simple methods for treating such conditions, the illness may progress to a point that the only option remaining is for the vet to excise the diseased tissue. This procedure is known as a 'resection' and involves cutting away the body of the nasal planum and sealing up the wound.

Resection of the Nasal Planum Procedure in Dogs

Prior to starting the operation, the vet will sedate the dog with a general anesthetic. This will prevent the dog from moving during the operation and will also nullify the pain caused by the procedure. The surgeon will then make an incision along the midline of the front of the dog's nose and running as far back down the nose as is necessary. Next, they will cut through the tissue so that the incisions meet, but taking care to leave behind as much of the supporting structures of the nose as the underlying condition allows. In some cases, the tissue may be removed in smaller parts, depending on the nature of the disease and the preference of the surgeon. Once the diseased nasal tissue has been removed, the vet will finish the procedure by suturing shut the wound. This will be done in such a way as to leave as much of the original nostril structure of the nose intact as is possible.

Efficacy of Resection of the Nasal Planum in Dogs

In the majority of cases, a nasal planum resection will immediately resolve the issue that the dog has been suffering from. However, the effects of the removal of such a large amount of tissue are permanent, and the dog can be expected to lose some acuity in its sense of smell, which may cut short the careers of working dogs that are required to perform scent-oriented tasks on a daily basis. Less drastic alternatives are available to treat the conditions that will often lead to a resection, such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and antibiotics, but these methods will usually have already failed by the time a vet recommends a surgical solution. 

Resection of the Nasal Planum Recovery in Dogs

Following the operation, the dog will often be kept in the clinic for observation for a short while before being allowed to return home. This is because of the large number of blood vessels in the nose that can cause a large amount of bleeding if the stitches do not work properly. After being returned to the owner, the dog will need regular doses of painkillers and antibiotics in order to prevent further problems with the wound being either damaged by the dog or picking up another infection. The vet will most likely recommend restricting the dog's levels of exercise for a couple of weeks so that they do not inadvertently dislodge their stitches when playing. Follow-up appointments will also be needed, in order for the vet to check on the dog's healing progress and to deliver any further treatment that may be necessary (such as a remedial course of chemotherapy).

Cost of Resection of the Nasal Planum in Dogs

A resection of the nasal planum is a fairly complex procedure, requiring both surgical skill and knowledge of the important tissues present in the nose. For this reason, the price can be quite demanding - typically hovering around $800. The alternative treatments available for both cancer and infections can be roughly comparable, with chemotherapy and radiotherapy costing over $1,000 for multiple courses. Antibiotics can be much less expensive, but are far less effective at stopping an advanced infection than the resection.

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Dog Resection of the Nasal Planum Considerations

Despite the extremely effective nature of the nasal planum resection when it comes to resolving developed types of tumors and infections, some owners may have concerns about some aspects of the procedure. The most commonly voiced worry is regarding the possibility that the new structure of the nose (with previously internal parts now exposed) will result in pain or discomfort for the dog. Whilst at first, the animal may exhibit some signs of sensitivity, this will decrease markedly after the first couple of weeks. It will, however, be worth owners taking the time to regularly inspect the dog's nose (as they would with the paws and mouth) to make sure the organ is in good working order.

Resection of the Nasal Planum Prevention in Dogs

For the majority of dogs, cancers are almost impossible to predict due to the fact that they are often hereditary conditions passed down through generations. Without prior knowledge of the medical records of a dog's parents, there is no way to know if the condition will appear or not. Infections of the nose and snout meanwhile, tend to occur as a result of violence, with dog bites and deep scratches from cats being the most common causes. To avoid having their dog suffer such injuries, it is best for owners to prevent them from roaming too far and keep them separated from other household pets who may be hostile. Furthermore, behavioral training can help a dog avoid threats more easily and thereby reduce 

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