S.H.U. Vétérinaires Ath

Soins intensifs



Intensive care

Tracheal stent


Orthopedic surgery

Internal medecine




Intensive care

The intensive care unit, not to confuse with that of the emergencies, deals mainly with the pets which are in a serious critical condition and for which a specific care of one to several days is necessary.This service intervenes as a follow-up of the emergency or surgery service or when the state of the patient requires it.It is the case with animals whose state is in phase of degradation or require permanent care.



   - The male cat which cannot urinate anymore because of vesical or urinary calculations,

   - The dog intoxicated with rat poison,

   - The dog in acute respiratory distress,

   - The cat injured by a car,

   - The female dog suffering from peritonitis after a metritis.


Advanced techniques are put in place with specialized material:

   - Blood bank for blood transfusion,

   - Vital functions' monitors,

   - Infusion pumps,

   - Oxygen therapy,

   - Laboratory (blood biochemistry, haematology, ions, blood gases, urine, bacteriology…),

   - Gas anaesthesia,

   - Nebulisation. 


The protocols, the equipment and the drugs that are used respect the last recommendations of the Intensive care specialists and are continuously updated.

The Intensive care unit is built to accommodate pets of all sizes.The admission of a patient is decided after a consultation or a surgery requiring specific monitoring.The follow-up of the patients is made by the hour or even every minute when necessary.The team (graduate veterinary surgeons in intensive care and graduate assistants) is specifically trained in this discipline.


Tracheal stent

By Vincent Louvrier, veterinary surgeon at SHU

The tracheal collapse is a frequent cause of cough with middle-aged dogs of small to very small sizes.The tracheal collapse is a degenerative disease of the cartilage rings in which a hypocellularity and a reduction in the content of glycosaminoglycans lead to the collapse of the trachea when breathing.It can affect the trachea at the level of the neck or the chest. Video of a tracheal collapse.

The treatment of the tracheal collapse is based on the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, of cough mixtures, bronchodilators and antibiotics.It is supplemented based on the control of secondary issues such as obesity, infection or chronic bronchitis.

When the medical treatment fails,a surgical operation can be recommended in order to stabilize the trachea in the area of the neck.The use of stents on dogs with a severe cough which cannot be treated can reduce the cough and the respiratory distress.Once set up the stent can rarely be withdrawn.It is essential that the stents are used only in suitable cases.

The evaluation of a dog for the placement of a tracheal stent starts with a complete assessment of the respiratory airways' diseases.We evaluate the general health condition, carry out blood testing, x-ray and proceed 

with the anaesthesia for the bronchoscopy in order to determine the degree and the site of collapse of the respiratory airways.Once there, we can take specialized measurements in order to determine the length and the suitable diameter for the stent.

As we possess all sizes of stents, we can place the prosthesis over the same anaesthesia.


Performed at S.H.U.Par Vincent Louvrier, vétérinaire au SHU


The stents can successfully control the debilitating signs of the tracheal collapse but are not without risk.A meticulous selection of the cases is essential to success.

The clinical improvement is immediate and spectacular.Our stents' brand is Infiniti.Their use allows a reduction of the time of anaesthesia, the access to the entire cervical and intrathoracic trachea and the absence of surgery.

Two studies demonstrate clinical improvement rates in 75% to 90% of the animals treated with stents..(1)

(1) Norris JL, Boulay JP, Beck KA, et al. Intraluminal self-expanding stent placement for the treatment of tracheal collapse in dogs (abstr), in Proceedings, 10th Annual Meeting of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons 2000.



The herniated disc

By Vincent Louvrier, veterinary surgeon at SHU

What is a herniated disc?

The vertebrae which surround the spinal-cord (where the impulse and information circulate) are separated by a flexible intervertebral disc. This disc is made up of a fibrous and hard external ring, and of a gelatinous and soft core. When the disc ages, it distorts and hardens. It can thus compress and injure the spinal-cord.Nervous information has then difficulties to circulate.Following that a partial or total paralysis subsequent to the lesion can occur.


If your dog presents difficulties of going up or down the armchair or the staircases, he can be affected by a herniated disc.

When in your arms or at the time of fast movements your dog starts to moan, to complain, or to express pain, it is possible that he is affected by a herniated disc.


The only means of confirming the suspicion of a herniated disc is the myelography.This examination, carried out under general anaesthesia, makes it possible to visualize by radiography the flow of a coloured contrast product injected around the spinal-cord. 

The scanner and the MRI are less invasive.

Treatment and prognosis:

Early medical attention for better results.

The surgical option is the only possibility to solve the problem at its origin, to remove the pain in a final way. Word of caution, other vertebrae can be affected! If the marrow is injured or cut the information cannot pass and the animal will remain totally disabled.

70% of the paraplegic dogs having a major sensitivity walk again after a hemilamectomy.

With or without surgery, rest and a treatment against the pain and the inflammation will be prescribed for several weeks.


Orthopedic surgery


Medial luxation of the patella in the dog

By Vincent Louvrier, veterinary surgeon with the SHU

Medial Luxation of the patella is a frequent orthopaedic affection in dogs of the following types: Yorkshire, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Cocker, Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Bichon, Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Labrador, Pug, Chow Chow,...          

Internal medicine

By Marie-Aurélie Maton, veterinary surgeon at SHU

What is internal medicine?

This medical speciality focuses on prevention, diagnosis and the treatments of the nonsurgical diseases, related to the dysfunction of one or several organs.

In veterinary medicine, this speciality presents multiple facets including more specifically the following sub-specialties:

  • Gastro-enterology and hepatology (digestive and hepatic diseases)

  • ORL and pulmonology (respiratory diseases)

  • Cardiology (cardiac and vascular diseases)

  • Urology and nephrology (urinary and renal diseases)

  • Endocrinology (hormonal diseases)

  • Haematology and immunology (blood and auto immune diseases)

  • Infectiology (infectious illness and parasitic)

  • Cancerology (cancer and chemotherapy)

Which complementary examinations are carried out to establish a diagnosis?

The veterinary internist surgeon will proceed to various complementary examinations such as:

  • blood tests

  • echography

  • endoscopy

  • electrocardiogram

  • radiography

  • laparoscopy

When to consult a veterinary internist?

When your dog or your cat presents one or more following symptoms:

  • Reduction in the appetite.

  • Cough.

  • Increase in drinking.

  • Vomiting.

  • Diarrhoea.

  • Emaciation.

  • Appearance of masses or swellings.


By Vincent Louvrier, veterinary surgeon at SHU

What is a laparoscopy?

The laparoscopy, or endosurgery, is a process of abdominal surgery by the insertion of a small camera through tiny incisions.


performed at S.H.U.

What are the benefits of the laparoscopy or coelioscopy compared to the standard surgical techniques?

The benefits of the laparoscopy are multiple:

  • reduction in the post-operative pain

  • reduction in the infectious risk 

  • Reduction in the risk of complications (hernia, abscess of wall, evisceration,…)

  • reduction in the duration of hospitalization 

  • Reduction in the size of the scars.

List of the techniques that can be performed through laparoscopy:


Liver, Pancreas, intestine, kidney, ovaries, prostate, ganglia, adrenal glands…  


Biopsy performed at S.H.U.


Gall bladder…


- Sterilization of the males and females (hysterectomy, ovariectomy)

- Cryptorchidism (intra-abdominal testicle; testicle not descended)

- Gastropexy (fixing of the stomach) to avoid the syndrome - twisting of the stomach

- Colopexy (fixing of the colon) in case of perineal hernia or rectal prolapse.


068 / 28 70 61
Chaussée de Mons 282/A
7800 Ath
068 / 28 70 61
Nous suivre sur Facebook Visite du centre vétérinaire