Great and important as have been the innovations and improvements in the course of the development of human surgery during the past fifty years, it must be admitted that operative measures of procedure in combating disease in the lower animals have not kept pace with the tide of progress everywhere revealed in the surgical treatment of man. Nor was it to be expected that animals, whose material services constitute their real worth, could for economic reasons be allowed those higher considerations in which everything is subordinated to the maintenance of life. Before deciding upon the operation of lithotomy a careful consideration should be given to every feature of the case, and the chances of success and failure well weighed in the balance.
In tutored hands the operation may be said to be a fairly safe and successful one under ordinary circumstances; but whoever undertakes it must be prepared to encounter deviations and difficulties, as in all operations, and should command the necessary information and experience by which they may be met and overcome.
The very brief and general terms in which this operation is described, and the summary manner in which it is dismissed by veterinary authors, are not such as to throw much light on the modus operandi, and no doubt it is for want of more precise and reliable information in this connection that lithotomy in the lower animals is so little understood and so seldom practised.