9575 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422

"A Full Service Veterinary Hospital Serving the Pets, People,
and Veterinarians of the Central Coast."


Lily Anne
Lily Anne is a happy, healthy 9 year old yellow Labrador Retriever with loving people she adores. Her family marvels at how active she is, hunting for lizards, gophers and squirrels in the family olive grove, “guarding” her family and greeting visitors. It’s easy to forget how many issues Lily and her family had to overcome to be where she is today.

It all started in January, 2006 when Lily was brought to our hospital limping on her back legs. Dr Aaron Schechter examined her and found that she had ruptured cranial cruciate ligaments in both knees. These ligaments are very strong bands which cross under the kneecap and keep the tibia and femur from sliding forward and backward on each other. Tearing one of these major ligaments leads to joint instability with pain and arthritis.

Dr Schechter explained that there were 2 commonly used techniques to correct ruptured cruciate ligaments. The first method involved replacing the ruptured ligament with a synthetic material which is threaded through holes strategically drilled into surrounding bone and the second technique called the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) which was devised by Dr B. Slocum. (For more information, click here to view our handout on TPLO surgery and recovery.)

TPLO requires specialized training and advanced radiographic measuring techniques. Fortunately, Dr Aaron Schechter was a graduate of the Slocum TPLO Program and was routinely using this surgical technique for ruptured cruciate ligament repair on larger dogs.

Click on images for larger view.

A plan was made to repair her left leg in January and operate on the right leg in February after the first one healed enough to provide adequate support. The first surgery went well and Lily was rehabilitating at home when her family noticed an odd growth on her lower gum. Dr. Schechter performed a quick biopsy which the pathologist determined was an acanthomatous amaloblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer which can invade the underlying bone.

Dr. Schechter operated on her jaw, resecting a large area around the tumor including several front teeth and part of her jawbone. This radical approach was successful in removing all of the cancerous tissue and Lily recuperated quickly. The second TPLO was performed a month later as well.

She was back to her normal activities in a few months, running around the property, keeping track of her family and performing her other dog duties until May, 2009 when she was brought to our emergency hospital after being hit by a truck. Lily was hospitalized in Critical Condition for possible internal injuries and for a severely fractured left hind leg which left exposed bone.

After she was stabilized and it was determined that her internal injuries were healing, Dr. Schechter operated on her fractured leg. The injuries were so severe that he had to use an external fixation device to lock the pieces in place while they healed and the open wounds had to be carefully cleaned and treated several times a day to prevent infection.

Lily’s spirit and the dedication of the doctors and staff and her family enabled her to heal from this devastating injury and she is once again patrolling her property, wagging her tail and loving her human family.


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805-466-3880 :: 9575 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422

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