Pet of the month

Pet of the Month


Young, good looking, happy and playful. But Cally was experiencing the darker side of a urinary condition. Sent to us from another vet's, she was having difficulty urinating, with discomfort and some obstruction. Her x-rays and scan had shown a small area of thickened soft tissue at the opening of her bladder.

Making a diagnosis was quite simple and we achieved this by performing a cystoscopically guided biopsy under general anaesthetic. That is the introduction of a small en-sheathed telescope, with working channel, into the bladder via her urethra. We visualised the mass and took samples with biopsy forceps. The histo-pathology confirmed the tissue to be cancerous. Despite a guarded outlook, we were able to offer treatment options.

The first priority, remove the tumour. This resection was performed with a Diode Laser guided through the cystoscopy sheath (see Images). Repeat examinations will be required but with luck these may only be required every three months and treatment should achieve good palliation. In addition we have put Callie onto a simple long term medicine which has anti neoplastic effects with this type of tumour.

This might well be a cancer that won't be fully cured but shortly after our Laser resection Callie's owner reported that her dog was so very much happier than she'd been for a long time. If we can keep her happy, painfree and she can live with the cancer rather than die from it, then that to us is a good job done!

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Read more: Pet of the month September 18

Meet March pet of the month - Bobby

Bobby is a handsome 12 and a half year old Border Collie, who has always been a bit of a bull in a china shop.  We had known for several years that Bobby had arthritis in his left shoulder and he was occasionally slightly lame and stiff.  In November things changed dramatically.  One morning he could not use his left front leg at all.  It was as though the shoulder had locked completely.  He was in extreme pain and the usual pain medications were not helping much.  The use of Arthramid was discussed and, in December, Bobby's shoulders were x-rayed to determine whether or not he was a suitable candidate for this new and innovative hydrogel implant.  The verdict was positive and a decision made to inject a tiny amount of Arthramid into both shoulders.  It would take time for the Arthramid to work so we continued with pain relief, gentle exercise and a very unhappy dog for a few weeks.  Then one morning in mid-January Bobby rushed to the door to greet a neighbour.  He seemed to almost surprise himself.  Over the next few days, he improved in leaps and bounds (literally), as he rebuilt his muscle strength, and by February he was tearing about the fields like his gleeful old self. In fact, he obviously thinks he is a young dog again!

Meet September pet of the month - Oscar

Oscar Chaplin 2 editedOscar came in to see us because he had developed a lump near his bottom.  It had appeared quite quickly, it was quite red and sore and he had started licking it.

He was admitted for a general anaesthetic so that investigations could be carried out.  We found that the lump had multiple tracts.  These were explored with forceps and extensive flushing with saline.  We were certain that there was some foreign material that was causing this reaction but despite following all the tracts nothing could be found.  We then used our small rigid endoscope (a very small camera) to visually inspect all the tracts and to our (and Oscar's) delight a grass seed was visualised embedded in inflammatory tissue and fully removed (see video of procedure).  By using our specialist endoscopic equipment we were able to avoid referral for specialist imaging.  He has now fully recovered and the area has healed well.

We see problems with grass seeds every year.  The majority of problems arise from the seeds getting caught in the fur on the paws, they are very sharp and can easily penetrate the skin between the toes and enter the paw where they produce a foreign body reaction of inflammation and pus.  If not removed they can then continue to track along the limb and sometimes into the body.  They can be extremely difficult to locate and sometimes specialist imaging such as a CT scan is needed to locate them.

We recommend clipping the fur very short on the paws and especially between the toes during grass seed season.  Ensure you check all paws and ears thoroughly after every walk.  The seeds also often enter the ear canals where they cause sudden onset irritation which is usually seen as frantic head shaking.  Sedation is often required to manually remove seeds.  It is unusual to find seeds that have entered around the bottom area but this year we have had three separate cases!


Meet October pet of the month - Vito

Vito 2 edit

When this two year old Birman presented with vomiting he had been off his food for a couple of days and it would of been easy to assume that he'd simply developed a hairball.  He was a Birman after all! But the signs were more worrying than this because he had been sick repeatedly, vomited blood and displayed pain when we examined his abdomen.  This made it fairly easy to spot the need for further investigation.

We admitted him and took some radiographs which showed his stomach to be empty but with a very thickened wall that concered us even more.  Based on this appearance we progressed to gastroduodenoscopy.

Our video-gastroscope yielded the attached images, which show a necrotising gastric ulcer of the gastric body surrounded by haemorrhagic mucosa.  The dark center of the ulcer is at the point where it is at risk of rupture.  These changes represent severe pathology and would be completely unexpected in a cat especially of this age.  We were able to investigate the underlying cause by taking biopsies using flexible cup forceps via the endoscope.  The detailed pathology report ruled out cancer and infection but listed possible traumatic and toxic causes that we worked through by discussion with the owner.  In all likeihood this ulcer actually was the result of simply developing a hairball which had passed! Which makes you think!!!!

Vito recovered and the ulcer healed very quickly with medication.  He is now fed on a special hairball control diet and free to groom as often as he pleases.


Meet our 500th Laparoscopic spay - Mia

Mia 1We performed our five hundredth laparoscopic [keyhole] spay on 16th May 2017.  Five hundred happy dogs and a celebratory cake coming our way.  Mia's spay was typical of the procedure that we now perform and this photo was taken about half an hour after her anaesthetic.  What a beautiful dog!

Its been a bit of a journey, starting in 2011 with a years post graduate training, including practical sessions and lectures concluding with practical assessments and written examinations.  Patrick became a certified veterinary endosurgeon and endoscopist in 2012.  To enable the full range of minimally invasive techniques to be accessed, Springwell veterinary surgery bought a whole new Karl Storz endosurgical suite at this time. Patrick also holds a post graduate certificate in small animal surgery which gives us the options to perform most types of surgery in the kindest way that we can.

 Cake 2


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