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Pet of the Month 2016

JERRY - January 2016


Jerry is a very sweet Dutch rabbit who was an unusual case that we saw at the start of the year. He came into the practice after the owner noticed him moving awkwardly and noticed he was missing an arm! On examination, much to everyone's surprise, Jerry's front right arm was missing and externally all that was visible was a small piece of damaged muscle and not even any obvious blood. Jerry's scapula and part of his humerus could be felt under the skin but that was all that remained. It is thought that Jerry must have put his arm through his cage and a predator amputated it cleanly and swiftly, hence the lack of bleeding.


Jerry was immediately put onto antibiotics but unfortunately an abscess developed the following week. Abscesses in rabbits are very difficult to treat as they have a very thick capsule containing the pus. Because of this, the best way to treat them is to surgically remove the abscess and its capsule in its entirety. Jerry had surgery to remove the abscess and the top part of his arm bone which was affected by the abscess. Since then, Jerry has been doing very well. He is very happy and managing well on three legs!    

LOULA - February 2016


Loula was four months old when she first came to see us. She had vomited multiple times throughout the morning and was very quiet. In the consultation she was retching very heavily and it soon became apparent that Loula had eaten something she shouldn't have that had become stuck, as a long thin object could be felt on palpation of her abdomen. This was first thought to be a biro as Loula's owners had found a chewed up pen lid. Xrays were taken and the object could be seen on these.


Loula was admitted for immediate emergency surgery. Her abdomen was explored and the object was found to pass inside her oesphagus, stomach and into her intestines. Remarkably, the object hadn't perforated through the walls of her organs. The vets performing the surgery pulled out a long children's toy arrow from her intestines, which was nearly the length of Loula!


We are so pleased to say that Loula made a full recovery and is doing very well. She has also become a local celebrity and her story was reported in the local papers and on the local news!

MAISIE - March 2016


Maisie is a very friendly chocolate labrador that came to see us at the start of the year. She had been a little lethargic, panting, vomited and was off her food. On examination she was well other than a very high temperature (pyrexia) and dehydrated. Maisie was admitted for supportive care to help bring down her temperature and to stop her from feeling sick. A blood sample was also taken which did not show up any abnormalities. That day, Maisie picked up as her pyrexia and dehydration were corrected and was much brighter and very interested in food!


The next day, Maisie seemed well initially until she was about to be discharged from the practice where it quickly became apparent that she had a clotting problem (coagulopathy). Maisie had a swelling under her neck where her blood sample had been taken from the day before, and the site from where her catheter in her leg had been removed continued to bleed. Blood was taken from a smaller vein in her leg and sent off to be analysed to check her clotting times to try to give us an idea of what had caused Maisie's coagulopathy. At this point, we started treatment for a presumptive rat bait poisoning and checked her concentration of blood cells (PCV). Despite being normal the day before, her PCV was low and her gums became pale which showed that she was anaemic – showing how quickly she deteriorated. Maisie was referred to a local hospital for a blood transfusion and despite having a poor prognosis, responded very well! Maisie's results of her second blood test confirmed that she had ingested rat bait.


Maisie came back to see us for repeated blood tests to check her response to treatment and we are very pleased that in April was given the all clear and is back to being her normal bouncy happy self.

JASPER - April 2016


Jasper is a lovely labrador cross poodle who came to see us due to having a lump on his right front leg near his wrist. The mass had come up very quickly and was firm and large. Due to the size of the mass and it's location near to a joint, we knew it would not be able to remove the lump in it's entirety, so we needed to find out what the mass was to know how to proceed. Biopsies were taken of the mass under general anaesthetic and unfortunately revealed the mass was a high grade soft tissue spindle cell sarcoma which is an aggressive malignant tumour. As we could not leave the mass without Jasper's life being dramatically shortened, Jasper had his leg amputated to prevent further spread of his tumour.  Initially, Jasper was very lethargic after his major surgery but after going home and receiving a lot of TLC from his family he has done remarkably well! He has adapted well to life on three legs and we are so pleased that we could help him and his family.

JASPER maisie2 IMG_1756 JERRY

ALFIE - May 2016


Alfie is a 9 year old westie with a complicated history! He first came to see us due to problems with his eyes and ears. Over the last year, Alfie had become blind. Alfie was sent to see a specialist neurologist who after performing a MRI scan diagnosed Alfie with sudden acquired retinal degeneration (SARD) – this means that the rod and cone cells in Alfie's retina which normally respond to light had died off and resulted in Alfie becoming blind. Unfortunately this condition is irreversible and there is no treatment.


Alfie has also had recurrent ear infections which became a little worse after his MRI scan. He had also become very anxious due to seeming to be deaf as well as blind. Alfie's ear canals had become so severely narrowed after repeated severe infections so had previously had surgery earlier in the year at another practice to remove the outer part of his ear canal. The idea behind this was to improve ventilation and drainage of his ear to hopefully prevent further ear infections whilst preserving his hearing. Unfortunately, Alfie's ear problems were too severe that this operation had failed. The ear canals had become even more narrowed, so much so that you could hardly see down them. It was recommended that Alfie had two operations to perform a total ear canal ablation (TECA) with bulla osteotomy on each ear as due to the irreversible damage to both of his ear canals, his recurrent ear infections could not be medicated. This operation involved opening up the middle ear to remove infected material (bulla osteotomy) and removing the whole of the ear canal (TECA) so that Alfie could no longer develop ear infections. Alfie had surgery on each of his ears six weeks apart and is doing remarkably well! He has adapted well to life despite being deaf and blind but most importantly is comfortable and a much happier dog.


BUSTER - June 2016


Buster is a lovely Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Boxer who was involved in a road traffic collision. When he arrived, he was in shock so was put onto intravenous fluids and provided with pain relief. He was lame on his right hind leg, x-rays were taken which showed mild hip dysplasia (which meant his hip socket was too shallow) and that his right hip had popped out of the socket (luxated), this was put back in place the same day under general anaesthesia.

Unfortunately, a few days later Buster’s hip luxated again. His hip socket had filled with clots and inflammatory tissue due to the trauma. This meant that the socket could not hold the top of the femur and we decided to do femoral head and neck excision surgery, which involved removing the top of the femur bone. The muscles then build up and support the hip which is why physiotherapy and hydrotherapy were so important in this case to strengthen the muscles around his hip.


Buster has been having regular hydrotherapy and physiotherapy, and we are so pleased that he is recovering well.


Each month our staff team nominate a patient whose case has been unusual, complicated or just close to our hearts. At the end of the year we open up the voting to our clients, asking you to choose your favourite to be crowned

Pet of The Year 2016.

AOIFE - July 2016


Aoife is a very sweet greyhound that came to see us after falling down the stairs at home. On examination, her left front carpus (wrist) was very swollen, she was limping and in a lot of pain. X-rays were taken that morning which confirmed a fractured carpus. As Aoife’s home was being renovated, she was hospitalised with us for a week on kennel rest and received lots of TLC until the specialist orthopaedic surgeon Christoph Stork could come and perform the surgery.  Christoph performed an arthrodesis, this meant that the joint was stabilised and fused together with a bone plate, so she would be able to walk comfortably.


Aoife continued to come in to us every week for 3 weeks to have her Robert Jones bandage (a multi-layered, thick support bandage which immobilizes the limb) changed and reapplied, and she was restricted to room rest for 6 weeks after the surgery. X-rays were taken again 6 weeks after and Aoife was re-examined, and we are pleased to report she is doing very well.


aoife stanley allen jessiem

STANLEY - August 2016


Stanley is a lovable British Bulldog. He was castrated in August 2016; however, his castration was not a normal straight forward procedure. Both of his testicles had been retained and had not descended into the scrotum, meaning he was bilaterally cryptorchid. Retained testicles can either be in the groin or abdomen, and we can perform an ultrasound examination before surgery to see where they are. Cryptorchid dogs must be castrated as there is a chance that the retained testicle(s) could develop into a tumour in later life and cause more problems.

Stanley was put under a general anaesthetic and the vet could feel the testicles in the inguinal canal (groin) so we did not need to perform an ultrasound. His cryptorchid castration went well with no complications and he recovered quickly. After a few weeks of recovery and rest, Stanley was back to his normal happy self!

- September 2016


Jessie is a happy 2-year-old German Shepherd cross Husky. Her owners brought her in after she had been picky with food, lethargic, weak and was generally not herself. An in-house blood test was performed to try to find out why she was unwell. Our vets were suspicious of Addison’s disease and Jessie was referred to another practice who confirmed the diagnosis.


Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) happens when the adrenal glands no longer work as well as they should. The production of natural steroid hormones within the body is then reduced or stopped. These hormones are very important in regulating normal bodily functions such as metabolism, hydration, blood pressure and stress response. The treatment involves replacing the natural steroid hormones with regular injections. There is no cure for Addison’s disease, and left untreated it is potentially life threatening.


We have had some complications in getting the dose rate right for Jessie. Her owners have said she is back to being bright and bouncy like when she was younger, she has put weight on and built up muscle, has a great appetite and is generally back to herself.  She has been such an excellent patient and we hope we are now on the right track to having her condition under control.


PICKLES - October 2016


Pickles is a very sweet 4-year-old Domestic Shorthair cat. His owners called us reporting he was straining to urinate, and we advised them to come down straight away. When examining Pickles, the vet could feel a very full bladder that could not be expressed, and Pickles was in a lot of pain. We admitted Pickles straight away to unblock his bladder.


Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a broad term covering a number of conditions that can cause cats pain when trying to pass urine. These can include cystitis, bladder stones and muscular spasm. The exact cause of why cats get blockages in the urethra (not relating to stones) is unknown, but some factors increasing the risk are: obesity, stress and anxiety. Neutered male cats are the most likely to have blockages due to a narrower and longer urethra.


We put Pickles under a general anaesthetic. A urinary catheter was placed up his urethra and into is bladder to relieve the obstruction, allowing the bladder to drain out the urine. The urinary catheter opens up the constricted muscles, preventing further blocking, and is then sutured in place. Pickles was put onto medication to relax the urethra muscles and given pain relief. After two days’ hospitalisation, here, the urinary catheter was removed and Pickles went home. We are very pleased to report that Pickles has now made a full recovery.

KENNY - November 2016


Kenny was a loving, affectionate 8-year-old Springer Spaniel. At the beginning of the year Kenny had a follow up blood test from a previous condition which revealed he had a very low platelet count. Platelets are needed in the bloodstream to clot the blood if an animal cuts itself. Kenny had a condition called Immune Mediated Thrombocytopaenia (IMTP), which is where his immune system attacked his platelets, reducing them in number. The danger of this is if Kenny knocked himself, he might not be able to clot his blood or he could have a spontaneous life threatening bleed in a major organ. He had to have regular blood tests.

Kenny also developed a second condition, anal furunculosis. This is a condition causing a deep infection, inflammation and ulceration around the anus and base of the tail. The cause of this condition is linked with having a broad tail base, causing poor ventilation. Underlying problems of the immune system may be a risk factor, so the IMTP could have exacerbated this problem.

Both the anal furunculosis and immune mediated thrombocytopaenia were managed with immunosuppressant drugs. It took time but we managed to control his conditions. Unfortunately, in November, Kenny’s quality of life decreased so his family made the difficult decision to put him to sleep as this was the kindest thing for him. Kenny was such a big personality and we will miss him very much and feel so lucky to have cared for him.

kenny pepper

PEPPER - December 2016 


Pepper is an adorable black Labrador. She came to us in December after her owner realised she had eaten an entire box of Celebrations chocolates (750g!) including wrappers.


Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which are both toxic to dogs and cats. The more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is (dark chocolate is worse than white chocolate). Chocolate can also sometimes contain raisins which are also toxic to dogs. The effects of chocolate toxicity can vary depending on the amount and type eaten, so it is very important if any is ingested to call a vet straight away. Common signs after chocolate ingestion include: vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, and seizures.


We gave Pepper an injection of apomorphine to induce vomiting. She quickly vomited up a lot of chocolate and wrappers. She was sent home with a special form of charcoal to put with her food to limit absorption of any chocolate that could have left her stomach and entered her intestines. Pepper has now made a full recovery and hopefully won’t be eating any more chocolate in the future!


POTM 2015