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Cat nip; Tiger taken to Tufts for procedure.

Byline: Linda Bock

GRAFTON - Kya, a 2-year-old Bengal tigress, is back home at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon after being one of the first patients at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University to undergo laparoscopic surgery. The 180-pound tigress was a patient last week in the school's Foster Hospital for Small Animals for a routine spaying procedure done laparoscopically. The procedure took about an hour and a half.

Kya is making a speedier recovery than she would have if she'd had conventional spaying surgery, because each of the three small incisions made for the procedure required only one suture - which eliminated the need to anesthetize the animal again to remove sutures once the wound heals, according to Tom Keppeler, spokesman for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Another tigress that lives at the zoo will have the same surgery in the next few weeks.

Mr. Keppeler said Cummings School recently began laparascopic spaying because the less-invasive procedure reduces postoperative pain, collateral tissue damage and complications.

Clinicians will soon perform the less-invasive procedure on dogs and cats at the Foster Hospital on the Cummings School campus.

More than 80 percent of the hospital's cases are dogs and cats, according to Mr. Keppeler, but Cummings School clinicians recently treated a goose with osteosarcoma, a mule with an irregular heartbeat and a baby giraffe deprived of her mother's milk.

ART: PHOTOS

CUTLINE: (1) Kya undergoes laparoscopic surgery at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton. (2) Laparoscopic surgery is performed on the 2-year-old Bengal tigress.

PHOTOG: ANDY CUNNINGHAM/Tufts University
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Nov 5, 2009
Words:263
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