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Pet of the month – November 2019

by admin on November 5th, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the month for November is Hubble, a delightful Chocolate Labrador, seen here recovering from his fourth laparotomy to remove an intestinal foreign body; on this occasion we recovered a sock!

On previous occasions, in addition to socks, Hubble has swallowed a tea towel and a stone.

Let’s hope this is the last time!

Hubble 2

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Pet of the month – October 2019

by admin on October 1st, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

We had a very lovely visitor today, meet Princess Buttercup!

Four years ago she came to us as a stray and suffering from a condition called Hydrocephalus, which means she had an increased volume of fluid surrounding her brain.

We also found out shortly after her arrival that she was pregnant and she gave birth at the practice a couple of weeks later!

Now all her kittens have grown up and been rehomed, Buttercup lives in a wonderful home and enjoys a very happy life.

Here she is having her annual vaccination.

Buttercup

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Pet of the month – September 2019

by admin on September 2nd, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the Month for September is Max, it was his birthday last month and he was 10!

Although Max has reached his target weight on Sienna’s weight clinics, his owner still pops him in every 3 months to check his weight is stable.

If you haven’t heard of our weight clinics, for a £5 joining fee you and your pet receive a weight management booklet with tips on keeping your pet at a healthy weight, body condition score chart, measuring cup, calorie chart of common treats, food diary and leaflets on foods available to help your pet lose weight. All follow up appointments are free of charge.

Phone today to book an appointment with our weight management nurse Sienna!Max (1)

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Pet of the month – August 2019

by admin on August 1st, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Our Pet of the Month is the delightful Rascal, seen here recovering from removal of his anal sacs. Rascal had the misfortune to suffer months of anal sac issues ranging from impaction to infection with associated pain and discomfort, making anal sac removal the only viable way forward.

What are the anal sacs?
The anal sacs are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions. The walls of the sac are lined with a large number of sebaceous (sweat) glands that produce a foul smelling fluid. The fluid is stored in the anal sacs and is released through a small duct or canal that opens just inside the anus. The anal sacs are commonly called ‘anal glands’. The sacs are present in both male and female dogs.

What is their function?
The anal sac secretion contains chemicals that act as territorial markers or ‘dog calling cards’. The secretions are similar to those produced by a skunk, which are used to repel enemies and alert other animals to their presence. Anal sac fluid is usually squeezed out by muscular contractions whenever the dog passes a bowel movement, providing a distinctive odor (or individual ‘scent signature’) to the feces. This is why dogs are so interested in smelling one another’s feces.

Why are the anal sacs causing a problem in my dog?
Anal sac disease is very common in dogs. The sacs frequently become impacted (plugged) usually due to inflammation of the ducts. The secretion within the impacted sacs will thicken and the sacs will become swollen and distended. It is then painful for your dog to pass feces. The secreted material within the anal sacs is an ideal medium for bacterial growth, allowing abscesses to form. Bacteria that are normally present in the feces can readily travel up the ducts and enter the sacs. In normal situations, the bacteria are flushed out when the secretions are expelled during a bowel movement. However, if the sacs are impacted, the fluid does not empty normally and they become infected. The fluid then becomes bloody and eventually the sacs become filled with pus, forming an anal sac abscess.

The abscess will appear as a painful, red, hot swelling on one or both sides of the anus. If the abscess bursts, it will release a quantity of greenish yellow or bloody pus. If left untreated, the infection can quickly spread and cause severe damage to the anus and rectum.

Another cause of recurrent anal sac disease is change in stool consistency. This can occur in dogs with gastrointestinal diseases such as food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

How will I know if my dog has anal sac problems?
The first sign is often scooting or dragging the rear along the ground. There may be excessive licking or biting, often at the base of the tail rather than the anal area. Anal sac disease is very painful. Even normally gentle dogs may snap or growl if you touch the tail or anus when they have anal sac disease. If the anal sac ruptures, you may see blood or pus draining from the rectum.

How is anal sac disease treated?
Treatment for impaction involves expressing or emptying the sacs. If the impaction is severe or if there is an infection, it may be necessary to flush out the affected sac to remove the solidified material. Since these conditions are painful, some pets require a sedative or an anesthetic for this treatment. Antibiotics are often prescribed and sometimes may need to be instilled into the sacs. Most dogs will require pain relief medications for several days until the swelling and inflammation have subsided. In advanced or severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Problems with the anal sacs are common in all dogs, regardless of size or breed. If you are concerned that your pet may have an anal sac problem, call your veterinarian.

Is the condition likely to recur?
Some dogs will have recurrent anal sac impactions or abscesses. Overweight dogs tend to have chronic anal sac problems because their anal sacs do not empty well. Each impaction may cause further scarring and narrowing of the ducts, leading to recurrences that are even more frequent. If this condition recurs frequently, surgical removal of the sacs is indicated. If the cause of anal sac disease is change in stool consistency, prevention involves treating the underlying cause and may require changing the dog to a higher fibre diet.

Are anal sacs necessary for my dog? Will removal have any adverse effects?
Anal sacs produce the pungent smelling secretion that allows the dog to mark his or her territory. For our domesticated dogs, this is an unnecessary behavior and removal will not adversely affect your pet.

Are there any risks associated with surgical removal of the anal sacs?
Removal of the anal sacs is a delicate and specialized surgery. Some dogs will experience loose stools or lack of bowel control for one to three weeks following surgery. This occurs because the nerves controlling the anal sphincters (muscles that close the rectum) run through the soft tissues near the anal sacs. If the infection is deep and extensive it can be impossible to avoid damaging the nerves during the surgery. This damage resolves without further treatment in the majority of pets. In rare cases, the nerve damage is permanent and can result in fecal incontinence or the inability to control bowel movements, with constant leakage of feces from your dog’s anus.

As with any surgery, general anesthesia is required which always carries some degree of risk. Advances in anesthesia drugs and monitoring continue to decrease these risks. For dogs suffering from chronic or recurrent anal sac infection or impaction, surgical removal is the best option to relieve the pet’s pain.

What other problems can develop with the anal sacs?
Older dogs can develop cancer of the glands within the anal sacs called adenocarinoma. Therefore, it is very important to have your dog examined by a veterinary as soon as any of the above clinical signs are seen.

Rascal

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Pet of the month – July 2019

by admin on July 3rd, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Meet Dylan…

He came to us today because he was licking his front foot. On examination one of our vets found a small sore lesion between his toes. An anaesthetic was required to examine his foot and open up the lesion in which a grass seed was found!

This is not the first time Dylan has been so unfortunate. Last time a total of 16 grass seeds were found amongst all 4 of his feet!

Sensible precautions at this time of year are:

  •  Avoid long grass in the summer months
  • Maintain your own lawn
  •  Throughly check your pet after walks, particularly feet, ears, eyes and mouth.
  •  Ensure your pet is regularly groomed, especially if they have a long or thick coat.

Dylan

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Pet of the month – June 2019

by admin on June 6th, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Bob is one of many cats we are caring for who suffers from IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).

IBD is not a single disease but a group of chronic gastrointestinal disorders caused by an infiltration of inflammatory cells into the walls of a cat’s gastrointestinal tract. The infiltration of cells thickens the wall of the gastrointestinal tract and disrupts the intestine’s ability to function properly.
IBD occurs most often in middle-aged and older cats.

How is IBD diagnosed?

Symptoms of feline IBD are not specific.  They may include vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, lethargy and variable appetite.
The symptoms of IBD can vary depending on the area of the digestive tract affected.
A definitive diagnosis of feline IBD can only be made based on microscopical evaluation of tissue collected by means of an intestinal (or gastric) biopsy.

How is IBD treated?

The treatment of IBD usually involves a combination of change in diet and the use of various medications.  There is no single best treatment for IBD in cats. Your veterinarian may need to try several different combinations to determine the best therapy for your cat.
Hypoallergenic diets are usually tried first. Corticosteroids like prednisolone may be used to reduce inflammation of the gut, and antiobiotics such as metronidazole are commonly used.

What does the future hold for a cat with IBD?

IBD is a chronic disease.  Few cats are actually cured. Symptoms of IBD may wax and wane over time. IBD can often be controlled such that affected cats are healthy and comfortable. Vigilant monitoring by the veterinarian and owner is critical.

We are very pleased to report that Bob has responded well to dietary management and is currently not requiring additional medication. Luckily he is not adept at hunting and so we have no fear that he might upset the illness through illicit snacks!

 

BOB

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Pet of the month – May 2019

by admin on April 30th, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the Month is Scooby, an elderly Springer Spaniel, seen here having Acupuncture.

Scooby suffers from arthritis of various joints and lumbosacral disease, and is on appropriate pain medication. The acupuncture stimulates anatomical points of the body and prompts the body to produce chemicals that decrease painful sensations. This is Scooby’s third weekly session and he is showing some slight improvements. He also quite enjoys it!

 

Scooby

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Pet of the month – April – Molly

by admin on April 2nd, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the Month is Molly the Dachshund who has just recovered from a severe bout of diabetic ketoacidosis.

What is Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes)?
Most of the food that animals eat is turned into sugars to provide energy for the body. The sugar in the blood then needs to get into the cells of the body to help them work. A hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas (an organ in the tummy near the stomach), helps the sugar to get into the cells. Diabetes develops when the body does not produce sufficient insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels, and when the insulin levels are too low, blood sugar (glucose) levels increase, resulting in diabetes. Diabetes is a potentially life threatening illness, but fortunately it is one which we are able to treat successfully in the majority of cases.

Diabetes occurs most commonly in older dogs, and in middle-aged overweight cats. Some dogs and cats develop diabetes when they are younger, because they have a genetic predisposition for the condition.

What are the signs of Diabetes?

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased frequency and/or volume of urination
  • Possible increased appetite
  • Possible weight loss
  • Possible smelly urine – because of the presence of ketones (see below) or infection
  • Possible lethargy/tiredness

How is Diabetes treated?

Diabetes is best treated with insulin. In most cases, insulin is administered as an injection under the skin twice a day.

Ketoacidosis is a potential complication of Diabetes. In cases of uncontrolled diabetes, toxic (poisonous) metabolites (natural break-down chemicals) are produced which can lead to illness, lethargy, coma and death.

In Molly’s case we believe that her diabetes became unstable when she came into season, due to her altered hormonal levels, and we hope to spay her at an appropriate time in the near future.

Following intensive care Molly has substantially improved and her diabetes is being more effectively controlled with the use of a Flash monitoring system (Freestyle Libre).

A flash glucose monitoring system measures sugar (glucose) levels continuously throughout the day. It can help your diabetes team see:

  • if sugar levels are going up or down
  • how sugar levels change over time
  • the past 8 hours so you can see what happens overnight

Flash does not actually measure blood sugar levels. It measures the amount of sugar in the fluid under your skin, called interstitial fluid. Interstitial fluid sugar readings are a few minutes behind your blood sugar levels.

The measurements can help your vet team make decisions about treatment and any adjustments you need to make.

A flash system is made up of:

  • a sensor which is stuck to the body (about the size of a £2 coin)
  • a reader – a small device you use to scan the sensor to see your pet’s sugar levels

You can also use a smartphone app to scan the sensor.

Sensors usually last for 14 days.

 

Molly

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Pet of the month – March 2019 – Steve

by admin on March 4th, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Meet Steve the Common Gull who got himself in a tangle in some netting on a roof.

Our nurses cut him free and he is now recovering in the wildlife unit with some superficial injuries.

Please ensure you dispose of any netting, fencing or similar in an appropriate manner so that wildlife stays safe!

 

Steve

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Pet of the month – February – Jackson

by admin on February 1st, 2019

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the month is lovely Jackson, who pops into the clinic every week for socialisation clinic with our nurses. He has been coming in since he was a small puppy. He’s now 5 months old and still comes in weekly and LOVES it!

It’s a great way of ensuring a stress free visit for you and your pet and a prime age for socialisation skills for puppies! If you have a puppy and would like to do the same, please contact us, we’d be happy to help!

Jackson

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