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Pet of the Month

A page dedicated to our star pets at Cambridge Vet Group

Pet of the Year 2019

Congratulations to Fudge who is our Pet of the Year for 2019!

Meet the adorable Fudge, our Pet of the Month for November. Fudge, an 11 year old mini lop, came to us at the start of the month as his appetite had reduced and he had not passed any poos overnight- very worrying signs in a rabbit. Gastro-intestinal stasis is often secondary to another problem in rabbits, be it a fright, pain or ill-health. Although he had some long-standing issues including a lump and some mildly irregular teeth, it wasn't quite clear what was causing this problem from first examination. So the next day Fudge was seen again and had a blood test and abdominal x-rays. The blood test showed no anemia and measured blood sugar, which can be a marker for stress to the body indicating how severely ill a rabbit is. The x-rays showed some sludge in the bladder and a small stone.


 

These findings are very common in rabbits, who excrete calcium in high concentrations in their urine, and often they cope well with it, voiding the calcium deposits alongside their urine. However, sometimes the calcium sludge will cause problems, such as bladder irritation or bladder stones, either as a primary issue, or sometimes secondary to another problem causing inactivity. The lack of movement then leads to the sludge concentrating and causing bladder pain and wee-ing issues.

Over the course of treating Fudge's gastro-intestinal stasis it because clear that his bladder was tender and the primary cause of his upset. Therefore he was admitted for bladder surgery mid-November. Vet Helen looked after Fudge and under anesthetic she emptied out his bladder of all the stones and sludge and flushed it clear. Please see the photograph for the stones that were removed. Ouch – poor Fudge!

It is a big surgery for a rabbit to undergo, but with lots of care in the post-operative period from both Fudge's owners and vet Helen, Fudge is doing really well. He is now on a low calcium diet for the long term. We are very glad to have been able to help Fudge – he's a lovely boy!

Rabbits are prey species and as such hide being unwell until they are really struggling. Often the first sign of illness is a reduction in appetite, feces or mobility. Rabbits need to eat the right food and regularly throughout the day and night to maintain a healthy gut, so any concern about eating and poo-ing should be taken seriously, and veterinary advice sought promptly.

  • February 2020 - Beau
  • November 2019 - Fudge
  • October 2019 - Milo
  • September 2019 - Mihli
  • August 2019 - Asterix
  • July 2019 - Jet Black
  • June 2019 - Pinkie
  • May 2019 - Sesame
  • April 2019 - Libby
  • March 2019 - Barnaby

February 2020 - Beau

February Pet of the Month: Beau

Beau came in to see vet Alessandro on the 20th of February, after having gone to Vet24 the night before, as he was very unsettled and was struggling to open his left eye. It was also noted that Beau had been drinking and urinating more than usual. On examination Alessandro found that Beau’s left eye was swollen and sore. It was difficult to fully examine his eye, as he was so unsettled, so the decision was made to admit Beau to the hospital for further investigations under sedation. Blood and urine samples were taken and looked at in our lab, the urine sample showed Beau had a urinary tract infection (UTI), which would explain his excessive drinking and urination. An ultrasound of his eyes under sedation found that Beau’s right eye was normal, however his left eye contained an abnormal amount of tissue in the anterior chamber, which was distending the chamber and displacing the lens. This suggested there was a mass in the front of his left eye. This would be causing Beau a great deal of discomfort. The decision was made to give him pain relief and antibiotics (for the UTI) whilst his owner decided on further imaging (to confirm whether the mass was contained solely to the eye) or enucleation of the left eye. Beau came back to see Helen on the 25th as the swelling had increased dramatically. After discussing his treatment options the decision has made to enucleate the left eye the following day, and Beau was given strong analgesia to keep him comfortable overnight. On the 26th Beau was admitted to the hospital for his surgery, which was performed by vet Anna. The eye was removed under general anaesthetic and fixed in formalin to be sent for histology at an external laboratory.

 

After the procedure Beau was already much brighter and went home that evening to recover with some pain relief. He was re-examined by one of our nurses on the 2nd of March, his wound was healing very well and his owner reported he was almost back to acting like a puppy! Anna then saw him on the 9th of March and gave the owners the histology results. The results showed that Beau did indeed have a mass in the anterior chamber of his left eye, however it was found to be benign and the removal should be curative. This is fantastic news for Beau and his owners, who had been extremely worried about him! Thanks to their diligent care and great investigative work by our team Beau has now made a full recovery and is back to enjoying life at home!

November 2019 - Fudge

November Pet of the Month: Fudge

Meet the adorable Fudge, our Pet of the Month for November. Fudge, an 11 year old mini lop, came to us at the start of the month as his appetite had reduced and he had not passed any poos overnight- very worrying signs in a rabbit. Gastro-intestinal stasis is often secondary to another problem in rabbits, be it a fright, pain or ill-health. Although he had some long-standing issues including a lump and some mildly irregular teeth, it wasn't quite clear what was causing this problem from first examination. So the next day Fudge was seen again and had a blood test and abdominal x-rays. The blood test showed no anemia and measured blood sugar, which can be a marker for stress to the body indicating how severely ill a rabbit is. The x-rays showed some sludge in the bladder and a small stone.


 

These findings are very common in rabbits, who excrete calcium in high concentrations in their urine, and often they cope well with it, voiding the calcium deposits alongside their urine. However, sometimes the calcium sludge will cause problems, such as bladder irritation or bladder stones, either as a primary issue, or sometimes secondary to another problem causing inactivity. The lack of movement then leads to the sludge concentrating and causing bladder pain and wee-ing issues.

Over the course of treating Fudge's gastro-intestinal stasis it because clear that his bladder was tender and the primary cause of his upset. Therefore he was admitted for bladder surgery mid-November. Vet Helen looked after Fudge and under anesthetic she emptied out his bladder of all the stones and sludge and flushed it clear. Please see the photograph for the stones that were removed. Ouch – poor Fudge!

It is a big surgery for a rabbit to undergo, but with lots of care in the post-operative period from both Fudge's owners and vet Helen, Fudge is doing really well. He is now on a low calcium diet for the long term. We are very glad to have been able to help Fudge – he's a lovely boy!

Rabbits are prey species and as such hide being unwell until they are really struggling. Often the first sign of illness is a reduction in appetite, feces or mobility. Rabbits need to eat the right food and regularly throughout the day and night to maintain a healthy gut, so any concern about eating and poo-ing should be taken seriously, and veterinary advice sought promptly.

October 2019 - Milo

October Pet of the Month: Milo

Milo was rehomed by his owner's from the Blue Cross a few years ago, and came to see us in August for a routine appointment for preventative treatments. However, vet Jen noticed that Milo had lost quite a lot of weight since his last visit, and had very little muscle. Based on this she recommended a blood test to check the internal organs and blood cells. The blood test revealed no concern regarding blood cells, proteins or kidneys, but did show some elevated liver values and an overactive thyroid.

A more common problem for older cat's is an over-active thyroid, typically caused by a benign tumour of the thyroid gland producing too much thyroid hormone. This leads to weight loss despite good appetite and drinking (typically) and causes progressive internal damage, especially to the heart and kidneys. However, the high heart rate typically caused by hyperthyroidism can mask kidney problems, also common in older cats, so it's important to keep an eye on the heart, kidneys and blood pressure during treatment.

Milo was started on tablets, a common first-line treatment for hyperthyroidism, and came back at the end of August for a check-up. He had gained two-thirds of the lost weight and was looking much better. His blood test showed normal thyroid levels and no indication of kidney problems. However, Milo was suffering a very rare side effect of the tablets, and his white cell counts were very low. This was confirmed at an external lab test and so the tablets were stopped.

Medical treatment is the first line for all hyperthyroid cats, and includes tablets, oral liquid, a skin gel, and a prescription food. However, other options, ideally once stabilised on medication, include surgery to remove the affected thyroid gland(s), and Radio-Iodine therapy. Milo's owners then opted to have surgery.

Milo came in at the start of October to have surgery with vet Anna. Thyroidectomy is a minor operation, and in Milo's case we only needed to remove the left, enlarged gland. Milo recovered well from his surgery and at his final check-up in November his thyroid levels were normal, his kidney values fine, and his white cells all normal as well.

Hyperthyroidism is a more common condition of older cats and the cause is not yet completely clear. Cats with this condition usually seem very well, but are losing weight and may become quite greasy and scruffy. As mentioned above, hyperthyroidism causes muscle loss and weakness, heart changes leading to failure, and can cause kidney damage, so it is recommended to treat this condition. Many cats do very well on long term medication, and many also do very well on surgery or Radio-Iodine therapy. Your preference will direct how we treat your cat.

If you are worried that your older cat is losing weight, please don't hesitate to book in, either to see a nurse in our Senior Pet Clinic, or a vet.

September 2019 - Mihli

September Pet of the Month: Mihli

Mihli is a very sweet Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has, unfortunately, seen rather a lot of Cambridge Veterinary Group in the last few months. She came to see us several times during August for investigation of various lumps. Then, just as she was discharged, she came in at the start of September due to problems urinating. Mihli was passing bloody urine and not behaving quite the same is when she had previously suffered bladder infections.

Vet Caren examined Mihli and tested a urine sample, which indicated that as well as having blood in her urine, there were some crystals and bacterial infection. Crystals can occur secondary infection, so Mihli was put on a course of antibiotics, alongside anti-inflammatory pain relief with a plan to monitor her closely and check another urine sample in a few days.

Although Mihli's signs improved, despite the treatment they did not resolve, so we proceeded to an ultrasound examination of Mihli's urinary tract, performed by Vet Emma. The scan showed multiple large angular structures in the bladder consistent with stones, so poor Mihli came back for surgery to remove them.

Vet Helen along with Nurse Selina and trainee Nurse Ana looked after Mihli for her surgery, extracting all the stones – 12 in total! These stones have been sent off for evaluation as to the primary type of stone, and Mihli has made a fantastic recovery. She will now eat a very specific prescription diet long term to prevent the formation of more bladder stones in the future.
We hope Mihli now has a break from coming in to see us all!

Signs of cystitis (bladder inflammation) include frequent urination, straining and blood. There are many causes of these signs, with bacterial infection in the bladder being the most common. If you are worried about your pet's toileting please don't hesitate to contact the practice.

August 2019 - Asterix

August Pet of the Month: Asterix

Asterix is our Pet Of The Month for August! He is a one year old French Bulldog, and came to see vet Anna Riddoch at the end of June after suffering from breathing difficulties. French Bulldogs are one of several brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds, which unfortunately suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). This is due to them having a compacted skeleton, causing a number of malformations in their airways, spine and their tails - but have normal amounts of skin and soft tissue. Their soft tissue is therefore excessive for their skeleton. This causes skin folds on their faces and bodies, as well as inside the body - causing obstructions in their airway.

In Asterix’s case he had been born with stenotic nares, meaning that his nostrils were extremely narrowed and essentially blocked themselves when he attempted to breathe. Surgery can be performed to aid passage of air through the nostrils, by resecting away the excessive tissue and opening up the nares. Asterix’s owner opted to go ahead with the surgery, which was performed by Anna on the 14th August. The surgery involved removing a wedge of tissue from each nostril to open up the airway. He was sent home to recover the same evening and came back to see the vet a week later. At his post-operative check his owner reported that he was breathing much better, also Asterix was sleeping better and snoring a lot less.

Well done to Asterix and his owner for their diligent care of him throughout his recovery, and to the veterinary team that cared for him.

Unfortunately all brachycephalic dogs suffer from BOAS to some degree. Some are more affected than others, with the minimally affected ones often living their entire life without showing much distress. The more affected ones however will show various degrees of respiratory distress or digestive troubles, ranging from being occasionally short of breath to collapsing during exercise. Therefore much consideration and research must be put into deciding whether to get a brachycephalic breed, and it is always worth seeking veterinary advice before purchasing a puppy if you are unsure.

July 2019 - Jet Black

July Pet of the Month: Jet Black

Jet Black was brought in to us on the 22nd July after his owner noticed him bleeding from his back end. On exam the bleeding was found to have come from his urinary tract, his bladder was full and uncomfortable. Being a neutered male cat this was indicative of a possible urethral blockage.

Urethral obstruction is a problem that occurs almost exclusively in male cats. This is because the urethra of a male cat is much longer and much narrower than that of a female cat, and so is more susceptible to becoming blocked. It is not a common condition, but when it occurs it is painful, the cat will be unable to urinate despite repeated efforts, and it is a life-threatening emergency as it can cause acute kidney failure and even death if not appropriately managed.

He was admitted to the hospital where he was given sedation and had a urinary catheter passed to shift the blockage and empty the bladder. The bladder was drained and flushed with saline before the catheter was removed and Jet was placed on intravenous fluids in hospital overnight. He was also given pain relief and antibiotics. The next day he was much brighter in himself, but he had not passed urine on his own so his bladder was expressed.

He was started on alprazolam to help relax the bladder and encourage him to pass urine on his own and kept hospitalised. However, the next day he was less comfortable so cystocentesis was performed to empty some urine from the bladder and started on a low dose of sedative to further relax the bladder. This made him more comfortable and the next day he was x-rayed to check for calculi, that could possibly have been contributing to the blockage.

Thankfully the x-ray was clear of calculi, so he continued with the sedation protocol and hospitalisation until he was passing urine more comfortably. After passing urine normally overnight Jet Black was sent home on the 27th on a wet food diet and oral pain relief, he came back for more sedation to be given that evening to keep him comfortable and afterwards continued to improve at home. We are happy to report that he is now back to his normal self and enjoying lots of love and care from his owners! Well done to all of the team involved with caring for Jet Black during his stay at Cambridge Veterinary Group.

June 2019 - Pinkie

June Pet of the Month: Pinkie

Meet Pinkie the pink bellied Australasian freshwater turtle! Pinkie is our Pet of The Month for June. He came in to see vet Jill Pearson on the 18th June after the lighting above his tank fell into the water, electrifying it causing him serious burns - his tank mate, unfortunately, didn't make it.

He was admitted into the hospital where the nurses cleaned his wounds with F10 solution and gave him a tube feed of carnivore care - to ensure he was getting enough calories for efficient wound healing. He was also given Metacam orally (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) and an injection of Ceftazidine (antibiotic). He continued with this care for several days in our hospital, improving each day, until he was well enough to be discharged on the 21st. He continued his pain relief at home and has since made a full recovery, as you can see from the photo he is very much back to enjoying life at home.

May 2019 - Sesame

May Pet of the Month: Sesame

Sesame is our Pet Of The Month for May! She originally came to see us in April as her owners noticed some hair loss. Sesame had previously been treated for allergic skin disease, and to this treatment was added a Cytopoint injection, a new a very effective treatment for this condition. However, her itching deteriorated alongside severe crusting skin lesions, so they came back to see vet Anna at the beginning of May. Due to Sesame having been acquired from a rescue in Cyprus, Anna was suspicious her symptoms were indicative of Leishmania (an intracellular parasite).

Leishmania isn't endemic to the UK, as it is primarily spread through bites from sandflies - which do not currently inhabit the UK. Sandflies are widespread in the Mediterranean region, Africa and the Middle East - however, recent evidence indicates that they may be spreading to new areas as a result of climate change. The incubation period can vary from 3 months to several years and is dependent on the immune response of the individual infected dog. Dogs may present with a wide spectrum of clinical signs including skin lesions, enlarged lymph nodes and gastrointestinal upset - if left untreated leishmania can cause renal failure and as a result be fatal. Blood and a needle aspirate from a lymph node was taken to be sent to an external lab to test for leishmania. The results came back as positive, so Sesame was started on treatment consisting of Allopurinol (inhibits Leishmania parasites by interrupting the pathogen’s protein synthesis) and twice daily Megulmine injections (an antiprotozoal).

Drug therapy aims to reduce the parasitic load, decrease shedding of the parasite (infectiveness), and reverse the clinical signs. Treatment typically lasts 12-18 months. Unfortunately due to the nature of the disease after treatment they may remain a carrier, and could become ill again at any time in the future. A check up at the beginning of June with vet Jessica, was extremely promising as Sesame was itching a lot less and hadn’t had any further formation of crusty lesions. As you can see from her before and after photos, the difference is quite remarkable. Well done to Sesame’s owner for being so dedicated in her treatment and to vet Anna for getting her on the road to recovery! Exotic diseases such as Leishmania should always be considered when importing an animal from abroad. If you are concerned about exotic diseases, whether you are travelling abroad with your pet or importing one from over-seas please seek veterinary advice.

Before & After

 

April 2019 - Libby

April Pet of the Month: Libby

Meet Libby, who has been chosen as our Pet of The Month for April! Libby has had chronic eye infections for a while now. Her eye infections had been managed medically until the beginning of the year when vet Jennifer noticed the recurrent eye infections had caused bilateral entropion (the eyelid folds inwards causing the eyelashes to rub continuously against the cornea). This was causing more recurrent infections and irritation for Libby, so the decision was made to surgically resect the eyelids to rectify the entropion - which would hopefully reduce the recurrence of the eye infections.

Libby came in for surgery with vet Jennifer who resected sections from both upper eyelids to rectify the bilateral entropion, she also flushed Libby's tear ducts to removed any debris in them which may have been causing further irritation. Libby recovered well from the anesthetic and was sent home with antibiotic eye drops and anti-inflammatory pain relief. She came back to see Jennifer 10 days later and her eyes are now looking a lot better. Thanks to the diligent care of Libby's owner she is now recovering well and is back out in the garden enjoying the sunny weather, well done Libby!

March 2019 - Barnaby

March Pet of the Month: Barnaby

Barnaby came in to see vet Sarah on the 12th of March after his owner noticed a swelling appear on the back of his left thigh. A fine needle aspirate was taken from the mass to determine what the mass was, this was looked at by the vet in-house and revealed the mass to be a mast cell tumour.

Mast cells are normal cells found in the body which are used in both inflammatory and allergic mechanisms, however just like any cell within the body they can form tumours. Mast cell tumours are the most common malignant skin tumours in dogs. Barnaby was booked in for the mass to be surgically removed by vet Caren that Friday, the mass was removed and sent for histology to ensure it had been fully excised.

Unfortunately over the weekend Barnaby's wound opened up a little so he came in to see vet Jennifer on the Monday who placed staples to close this incision. Due to the position of the wound on the back of Barnaby's thigh there was little skin to allow for normal movement, meaning the wound was constantly being strained. Due to this the staples didn't hold and Barnaby was admitted for wound re-suturing by vet Anna on the 20th, this time two small incisions were made next to the original incision to allow for some of the tension to be released from the skin in that area.

As we had also received the histology results, stating that the mass had been completely excised, we were able to start K-Laser treatment to help with wound healing. The K-Laser does this by promoting increased circulation, drawing oxygen and nutrients to the affected area - this creates an optimal healing environment. Barnaby was kept on strict rest by his extremely diligent owner and continued to come back for repeat K-Laser sessions on his wound, his wound began to heal well.

On the 30th of March he came in for a final check up with vet Anna who was happy his wound was healed well enough to remove the sutures. Barnaby is now getting back to his normal routine thanks to the attentive care of his owner and the team at Cambridge Veterinary Group - well done Barnaby!