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ITBP vets’ new ‘hop-on-hop-off’ surgery protocol for dogs reduces sedation time, stress


Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 23

Veterinary surgeons of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have conducted a life-saving geriatric ‘hop-on-hop-off’ surgery (HOHO-GS) on a service dog for the first time in the country. The surgical technique entails a special anaesthetic protocol with a minimal time of deep surgical anaesthesia so that old dogs can have minimal stress on their liver, kidneys, lungs and cardiovascular system.

The female dog, Machali, was leading a retired life at the K9 Veteran’s Home at ITBP’s National Training Centre for Dogs in Bhanu near Chandigarh, when she started showing life threatening symptoms of ‘closed pyometra’ in which geriatric dogs die within 24-72 hours due to systemic septicemia.

“This unique surgery conducted by our surgeons has given a new path breaking HOHO-GS technique that reduces the surgical anaesthesia time by 80 per cent, with a shorter incision. A smaller incision and minimal handling of soft tissues resulted in blood-less surgery,” Deputy Inspector General Sudhakar Natarajan, ITBP’s senior-most veterinary officer, said.

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“The deliberate incision of the suspensory ligament instead of digitally strumming it, as is usually taught in medical colleges, was another new way to reduce surgery time and causing less post operative complications,” he added.

DIG Natarajan said that the ITBP has devised the unique calibrated anaesthetic protocol is short and it is further shortened by reversal agents that nullify the deep sedation within few minutes after the last suture is completed. The dog wakes up within minutes and hops off the operation table after surgery as if nothing had happened, thereby terming the procedure as HOHO.

The 11-year old Machali, who retired last year after a decade of performing security duties, was back to her normal routine almost immediately after the surgery that had been performed by Dr Hitesh Shandilaya , Deputy Commandant (Vet) and the chief surgeon at the center, along with Dr Rajender Joshi, Deputy Commandant (Vet).

“ITBP is ready to impart this new anaesthetic and surgical technique to other Central Armed Police Forces and state police forces as well as civilian veterinarians for the welfare of all dogs as the procedure involves minimal anaesthesia, minimal surgical time, minimal incision, minimal blood loss, minimal pain and minimal surgical stress including minimal healing time,” DIG Natrajan said.

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