Archive for the ‘Pet of the Month’ Category

Pet of the Month – January 2016

by admin on January 4th, 2016

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Fitzalan house pet of the month

We are delighted to report that Hadley, who has featured in this column before for eating mussel shells is doing very well after an operation to remove two Mast cell tumours (MCT). Sadly his proclivity for eating unsuitable foodstuffs continued on December 27th when half a Christmas pudding “disappeared’! Induced emesis and intravenous fluids have thankfully settled this unwanted event.

MCT is the most common skin tumour in dogs; it can also affect other areas of the body, including the spleen, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and bone marrow. MCT represent a cancer of a type of blood cell normally involved in the body’s response to allergens and inflammation. Certain dogs are predisposed to MCT, including brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds such as Boston Terriers, Boxers, Pugs, and Bulldogs, as well as retriever breeds, though any breed of dog can develop MCT.

When they occur on the skin, MCT vary widely in appearance. They can be a raised lump or bump on or just under the skin, and may be red, ulcerated, or swollen. In addition, many owners will report a waxing and waning size of the tumour, which can occur spontaneously, or can be produced by agitation of the tumour, causing degranulation. Mast cells contain granules filled with substances which can be released into the bloodstream and potentially cause systemic problems, including stomach ulceration and bleeding, swelling and redness at and around the tumour site, and potentially life-threatening complications, such as a dangerous drop in blood pressure and a systemic inflammatory response leading to shock.

When MCT occur on the skin, they can occur anywhere on the body. The biological behaviour of these tumours can vary widely; some may be present for many months without growing much, while others can appear suddenly and grow very quickly. The most common sites of MCT spread (metastasis) are the lymph nodes, spleen and liver.

Diagnosis can be simply achieved via a fine needle aspirate. This requires no anaesthesia and only rarely sedation. Early identification and surgical removal are key to the most favourable outcomes.

Hadley initially found the operation sites to be very itchy after surgery, something not uncommon with MCT. After removing a few of his own sutures Hadley was given additional medication, resutured and had to wear a full body suit! All is now fine.

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Pet of the Month – December 2015

by admin on December 2nd, 2015

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Fitzalan House Pet of the Month

We are delighted to report that Harvey who contracted meningoencephalitis several months ago and has a focal brain lesion is now back home and feeling much better after a recent relapse.

As in humans, the system of membranes which envelops the dog’s central nervous system is called the meninges. If this system becomes inflamed, it is referred to as meningitis. Meningoencephalitis, meanwhile, is the inflammation of the meninges and brain.

This inflammation can result in severe malaise, depression and vomiting as well as neurological symptoms such as impaired movement, altered mental state, and seizures.

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Pet of the Month – November 2015

by admin on November 2nd, 2015

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pet of the month fitzalan house  pet of the month fitzalan house

Gemma has had a very lucky escape!

She went lame whilst chasing a ball over the weekend. When this failed to resolve her owner brought her to the surgery for examination. Gemma’s right foreleg was found to be painful and swollen so she was admitted so radiographs could be taken.

We were shocked to discover that a 30cm long metal rod had penetrated her body in the region of her right shoulder and got stuck behind her shoulder blade, missing her chest by millimetres (see image on right). It had obviously been protruding from an unseen object and broken off inside Gemma as she ran by, leaving no visible exterior sign of injury, such as laceration or bleeding, to indicate that she had been impaled.

We used the radiographs to define the rod’s location and it was then surgically removed. We are delighted to report that Gemma, who has been a fantastic patient, is recovering extremely well!

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Pet of the Month – October 2015

by admin on October 2nd, 2015

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Pet of the Month

Poor Jake was recently involved in a road traffic accident. He suffered severe head injuries and developed respiratory difficulties as a consequence.

Jake has been a marvellous patient and has thankfully responded very well to intensive treatment. He is now continuing his recuperation at home.

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Pet of the Month – September 2015

by admin on September 7th, 2015

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Pet of the Month Reny

Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognise substances -or allergens- as dangerous.

Poor Reny was only playing in the garden for a short period when his muzzle swelled up tremendously and his left eye began to close. It often takes some detective work to find out what substance is causing the allergic reaction and sometimes it is never known. It could be due to an insect bite or sting or a noxious substance to name just a few of many potential causes.

Prompt action brought about a swift resolution although Reny did need to be hospitalised for a short period to monitor him.

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Pet of the Month – July 2105

by admin on July 31st, 2015

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pet of the month - July 2015

Poppy is a lovely cat who suffers from the colon disorder called idiopathic (meaning the cause is unknown) megacolon. Constipation (infrequent or difficult defecation) is fairly common in cats. If it occurs only occasionally there’s usually not much to worry about. However, in some cats, constipation begins to occur more and more frequently, ultimately leading to obstipation: constipation that can’t be controlled by medical means. There are many potential causes of obstipation, but over half result from idiopathic megacolon.

As the name implies, the cause of idiopathic megacolon is unknown, but cats with mild or moderate forms (or perhaps those with early stages of the disease) often benefit from increased dietary fiber, administration of laxatives or stool softeners of various kinds, and drugs called prokinetic agents (like cisapride) that stimulate the muscles of the colon. As things progress, the occasional enema performed at a veterinary hospital may be necessary. Unfortunately, the need for enemas or other methods of removing feces from the colon becomes more and more frequent; ultimately, cats with advanced stages of the disease may simply stop responding to any medical therapy and the colon becomes little more than a big, flaccid bag containing a mass of hard feces.

Subtotal colectomy – surgically removing the major portion of the colon – is at that point really the only remaining option. This is major surgery, but the overwhelming majority of cats respond quite favourably. The most common postsurgical problem is diarrhea, but most cats begin to form stool of an acceptable quality within several weeks or less. Life returns to normal, or near normal, within several weeks. Though a subtotal colectomy is not necessarily a perfect solution, the majority of people whose cats have had one are quite pleased with the results. They continue to share life with a cat friend who, without the surgery, would not have survived.

We are very pleased to report that Poppy has been coping very well with more conservative treatments including laxatives, prokinetic agents and the occasional enema.

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Pet of the Month – June 2015

by admin on June 30th, 2015

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pet of the month monty

Monty is our pet of the month. He can be seen here having his painkiller ‘patch’ changed as part of his treatment for Pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. Unlike dogs, cats with pancreatitis do not usually show vomiting or abdominal pain as their initial sign. In more than 50 percent of affected cats, lethargy, poor appetite or not eating, dehydration, increased respiratory rate, and a lower-than-normal body temperature are the initial signs. Only about 35 percent of the cats with pancreatitis will vomit.

Diagnosing pancreatitis can be problematic. Ultrasound is one of the best methods, and new blood tests are helpful.

All cats with pancreatitis will need extensive fluid therapy and careful monitoring of their electrolytes. If the cat is vomiting, food may need to be withheld, but ideally not for more than 48 hours and pain control is essential.

He was been a wonderful patient and we are delighted to report that he is now fully recovered.

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by admin on June 1st, 2015

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Mizia pet of the month

Our pet of the month is Mizia, seen here recovering from a hysterectomy she urgently needed for pyometra.

Pyometra is an infection of the uterus (womb).  It is a common condition in older female dogs that have not been speyed, but can occur in entire bitches of any age.  Occasionally we see cases occurring in cats.

Each time a bitch has a season (usually about twice a year) she undergoes all the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy – whether she becomes pregnant or not. The changes in the uterus that occur with each season make infection more likely with age.  A very common organism called E. coli, found in your dog’s faeces, usually causes the infection.  We most commonly see cases of pyometra in the 4-6week period after a heat.

The symptoms usually develop around 6 weeks after the female has finished bleeding from her last season, but in some cases the bitch appears to have a prolonged season.

Early signs that you may notice are that your dog is:

  • Licking her back end more than normal
  • Off colour
  • Off her food
  • Drinking more than normal  (and will probably urinate more)

These signs will progress and you may see:

  • Pus (yellow/red/brown discharge) from her vulva
  • She may have a swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

If left untreated signs will worsen to the point of dehydration, collapse and death from septic shock.


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Pet of the Month – May 2015

by admin on May 1st, 2015

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Pet of the MonthWe are delighted to report that handsome Harry continues to make good progress with his ongoing chemotherapy for lymphoma.

Lymphoma (lymphosarcoma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) is a malignant cancer that involves the lymphoid system. In a healthy dog, the lymphoid system is an important part of the body’s immune system defence against infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria. Lymphoid tissue normally is found in many different parts of the body including lymph nodes, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract and skin. Lymphosarcoma is classified according to the location in the body in which the cancer begins.

These include:

  • Multicentric form occurs in the lymph nodes.
  • Gastrointestinal form occurs in the stomach, intestines, liver and lymph nodes in the abdomen.
  • Mediastinal form occurs in the mediastinum, in front of the heart in an organ called the thymus. Hence this form of lymphosarcoma sometimes is called thymic lymphoma.
  • Cutaneous form occurs in the skin.
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia occurs when the disease starts in the bone marrow.
  • Miscellaneous forms of lymphosarcoma are less common and include those that begin in the nervous system, nasal cavity or kidneys.

While we understand how lymphomas form, we still do not understand why.

Chemotherapy treatment is considered the gold standard for this aggressive form of cancer and usually consists of a combination of oral and injectable drugs given on a frequent basis.


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Pet of the Month – April 2015

by on April 2nd, 2015

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AlfOur Pet of the Month for April is Alf, a handsome Burtonion Bulldog. As is often the case when puppies leave their mother and move to their first ‘home’ Alf suffered a bout of diarrhoea almost immediately.

As with ourselves, simply providing plenty of fresh water, temporarily withholding food then reintroduction of small amounts of an easily digestible bland diet such as plain chicken and boiled rice or a little scrambled egg, is all that is required to provide some ‘gut rest’ and for the diarrhoea to settle. In cases where very plentiful diarrhoea occurs, especially if accompanied by vomiting, a more proactive approach may need to be taken and this may include temporary provision of oral or intravenous rehydrating solutions if dehydration is identified as a risk. There is very little indication for antibiotics to be given in most cases of short-term diarrhoea.Whilst there are many medical treatments which may act as ‘adsorbants’ purported to ‘soothe’ the gut, in many cases, just as in their human owners, dogs and cats with short bouts of diarrhoea require no treatment. Investigation as to a cause of acute diarrhoea in otherwise healthy cats and dogs is rarely undertaken since this is not only usually fruitless, but results in both unnecessary expense and, more importantly, potential for completely unnecessary medical tests to be performed on a pet.

The are numerous potential predisposing factors such as dietary change, internal parasites and the stress of moving home. We checked that his worming program was up to date and are pleased to report that Alf’s tummy has settled and he is doing very well.

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