Local News

Pup's Surgical Success Owed to Solution Devised by NCSU

Posted January 31, 2008
Updated February 1, 2008

— North Carolina State University veterinarians hope that a high-tech surgery on a little dog could revolutionize treatment for other pets and humans.

Pez, a beagle with a big, toothy grin and plenty of energy, arrived at N.C. State's School of Veterinary Medicine in September with a big problem: a large hole in the roof of his mouth that made it hard to eat or and drink.

N.C. State's School of Engineering teamed up with the veterinarians to create a titanium plate to cover Pez's hole.

"This was a new case for us," Dr. Ola Harrysson, with N.C. State's School of Engineering, said. "This was something that we hadn't done before."

Engineering students used computed tomography (CT) scans to create three-dimensional computer images, and then physical models, of Pez's head.

Veterinarians used the models to practice the surgery, tweaking the methods to ensure a perfect fit before Pez reached the operating table.

"When you can rehearse a surgery, then you have less complication," Dr. Guillaume Chanoit, with N.C. State's School of Veterinary Medicine, said.

Pez rebounded well from the surgery, becoming playful, happy and healthy again, Chanoit said. Pez, whom Sound Pet Animal Rescue found, was living with a foster family while he recovered.

"We are very, very surprised by how fast the healing in the mouth is going on," Chanoit said.

Doctors believe that the pint-sized pup's successful recovery from the cutting-edge surgery could have a big impact on the treatment of animals. N.C. State's School of Veterinary Medicine has already lined up new patients for similar operations, veterinarians said.

"We think there is a tremendous amount of dogs that can benefit from that type of surgery," Chanoit said.

Professors with N.C. State's School of Engineering believe the impact of the surgery might also be felt by humans, such as troops wounded in Iraq.

"This gives us confidence to move on and offer this to humans as well," Harrysson said.

The engineering and veterinary schools at N.C. State have teamed up on other projects, including creating prosthetic limbs.


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  • Tater Salad Feb 1, 2008

    so in 4 months, from the starting point of the problem to the finished solution, with no previous research or development, the engineers at NCSU and Vets at the CVM fixed a hole in this puppy's head.

    meanwhile engineers at the DOT, despite numerous amounts of training, experience, and cutting edge technology still take years to widen a 1/2 mile strech along Tryon road near Kildaire Farm Road....

  • Adelinthe Feb 1, 2008


    Hope they fix his teeth at the same time, can't be pleasant for the pup.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Feb 1, 2008

    After seeing that dog's teeth, I think I know why he had a hole in the roof of his mouth. LOL

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Feb 1, 2008

    Steve, I love your posts about the "ugly dog". Man, that rules! ROFLMBO!

  • rlewis Feb 1, 2008

    I had Dr. Harrysson as a professor a couple of years ago!! He's a *very* cool guy and a great professor.

    Great story, WRAL.

  • Bartmansan Feb 1, 2008

    Glad I am... Ugly, Pez not..... (Yoda)

  • computer trainer Feb 1, 2008

    What a wonderful thing! Our furbabies are so precious!

  • San49 Feb 1, 2008

    Pez is adorable. I'm so glad that his surgery went well.

  • Living and Loving in NC Feb 1, 2008

    That is a heartwarming story. It is nice to see a "good news" story for a change. I hope WRAL will try to bring more positive news online. It makes for a more enjoyable reading experience.

  • mebell31 Feb 1, 2008

    This is a great story and he is so ugly that he is cute!