EDMONTON - An Edmonton plastic surgeon who has performed hundreds of surgeries to repair cleft palates in babies and children will assist veterinarian Dr. Amy Miller when she operates on the four-week-old Bernese mountain dog, known as Keepsake.
Dr. Gordon Wilkes is one of only two surgeons in the area who repair clefts. He's also an internationally recognized plastic surgeon, having served as the president of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, and is the co-founder the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine at Edmonton's Misericordia Hospital.
Wilkes, who owns a whoodle — a cross between a wheaten terrier and poodle — said first read about Keepsake in the local newspaper while he was on vacation. “When I got back to Edmonton, I called Dr. Miller to see if there was anything I could to help.”
She was “thrilled” by the offer. “This is a wonderful learning opportunity.”
Keepsake was born via caesarean section. When she was two days old, owners Lynne and Paul Bagnall noticed she was having trouble nursing and took her to their vet, and the cleft palate was discovered. The pup has been tube-fed ever since.
“I’m quite optimistic it will go fine. I think it looks to me like there’s a good chance of fixing it. Surgery’s not magic and there are risks no matter who you’re operating on. You can only plan it as well as you can, and try to plan for as many eventualities as possible, and do your best”, says Dr. Wilkes.
All the best, Dr. Wilkes!