Squeak is a lovely 7 year old one eyed black cat. His owner brought him to see us because she was concerned about a habit he had developed—eating the pellets from a nerf gun. Whilst he usually brought them back up, she was concerned one may have been stuck. Squeak developed vomiting and became very poorly, so much so that his kidneys began to fail and his life was in danger. His blood results showed that putting him through surgery immediately was not an option as it would likely have been fatal. He needed intensive fluid therapy and monitoring so he was transferred to our out of hours service at vets now so that he could be monitored round the clock overnight.
The following day he had improved enough to allow us to operate. Squeak had complications at the start of his anaesthetic which meant that he stopped breathing for himself so the nursing team had to breathe for him for 40 minutes. Once his anaesthetic improved Neil managed to remove the nerf gun pellet from where it was lodged in his small intestine. Luckily the intestine had not perforated and the rest of his surgery was completed quickly to minimise his anaesthetic time.
Squeak took a few days to recover and had to be syringe fed to encourage him back to health. Now he is a much happier cat, and his owner has made sure he doesn't have access to the pellets any more!
Lady’s owners called our emergency vets when they noticed that she seemed completely out of sorts. She wasn’t eating or moving and was lying down panting. She had been in season a few weeks earlier and had some discharge. The emergency vets at Vets Now in Longton saw Lady straight away and quickly determined with an ultrasound scan that she had a potentially life threatening condition known as pyometra. This is a uterus (womb) infection where the uterus becomes full of pus. They took bloods from Lady, put her on an intravenous drip to stabilise her and gave her antibiotics and pain relief. She started to feel much better after a few hours and she was transferred back to Blue House in the morning to have the surgery she needed.
When Lady arrived at Blue House, she was assessed by Kay who agreed that surgery was the best option. Lady needed a general anaesthetic to remove the uterus and both ovaries (ovariohysterectomy), plus a lump in the breast tissue which was also present. This procedure is much more complicated than a spey operation (performed usually in young dogs to prevent them from having seasons, becoming pregnant or developing pyometra). This is because the uterus becomes much larger and there is a risk of infection and peritonitis due to all the pus. A dog with a pyometra is also usually unstable because of all the toxins inside the uterus and can lead to a difficult anaesthetic and recovery.
Lady did well with her anaesthetic and surgery, and was awake very quickly in her recovery kennel. She was able to go home the same day for lots of TLC and is now recovering well.
Pyometra can be prevented by getting your dog speyed (also known as neutering). We recommend neutering for all female dogs in good health if you are not planning on breeding. In young dogs it also massively reduces the chance of your dog developing breast cancer.
Receptionist / Administrative Support – maternity cover
Blue House Veterinary Centre in Biddulph requires two exceptional individuals to join our friendly team of award-winning receptionists. Both positions are to cover maternity leave, one on a full-time basis and the other part time, starting December 2015. Excellent communication skills and good presentation are essential, to provide our clients with the high level of service to which they have become accustomed.
Your previous experience should include reception duties as well as customer service and administration. You should be articulate and able to empathise with clients, enthusiastic and proactive, with a good sense of humour. This is a busy role where a calm but friendly and outgoing personality is needed to deal with visitors, the telephone, general enquiries, messages and the occasional emergency – sometimes all at once! Responsibilities will include meeting and greeting clients in person and on the phone, ensuring front of house is clean (including hoovering and mopping), assisting with office duties, stock control, handling lab samples, dispensing medication and lots more. This is a real hands-on role which requires a professional approach, lots of common sense and a bright helpful attitude. Computer literacy is essential. Veterinary knowledge is not necessary as training will be given, but a love of animals is required.
Working hours vary 8am-7.30pm Monday to Friday and some Saturday mornings 8am-1.30pm on rota.
To apply please send a CV and covering letter by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for applications: Saturday 10th October 2015
Surgical “Wiz” helps Oz
Ozzy and his brother Mason came to see us at Blue House because their fosterer at Iris’s Cats In Need had noticed that there was something wrong with their chests. When Kay examined them, she confirmed that they had a condition called ‘pectus excavatum’. This is an abnormality present from birth, where the sternum (breastbone) and ribs are deformed, resulting in a narrowing of the chest and compression of the heart and lungs. X-rays showed that they were both very severely affected and would not survive without very risky surgery to correct the problem.
The surgery was performed by Royal College specialist surgeon Catherine Sturgeon here at Blue House following a crowd funding appeal. A chest plaster cast was moulded to each kitten, and needles passed through the chest, narrowly avoiding the heart and lungs. Ozzy’s surgery went well, but Mason had a lot of difficulties including his heart stopping following surgery, and sadly had to be put to sleep the following day despite some very intensive care. It was always a risk but we knew he would not have survived if the surgery had not been done.
Fortunately, Ozzy recovered well and adapted to his cast which was removed 3 weeks later. He is now doing really well, and will be ready for adoption soon. If you are thinking of getting a new cat or kitten, Iris’s Cats In Need have a great many that deserve new homes. You can find them on facebook.
Maggie’s back on track!
Maggie (or Margaret if she’s been naughty) is an eight-year-old Bassett Hound who was having problems with pain in her back. Neil referred her to Northwest Surgeons, where she had 2 MRI scans and it was found that she had a large disc extrusion (a squashed disc between the bones of her spine). She had to have a major spinal surgery (a hemilaminectomy) to try and prevent her from becoming paralysed.
The surgery was difficult, but she recovered well. She then needed intense physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to try and restore the function in her back legs. Kay referred her to Physiovet to give her the best chance at recovery. After a programme of rehabilitation, Maggie has improved really well and is almost back to normal. She is now a very happy camper!
Leo is a lovely Labrador who came to see us with an itchy lump on his tail. This didn’t improve after a course of medication so it was decided he needed surgery to remove it. Unfortunately due to the size and location, of the lump, there was not enough skin to close the wound completely. We debated whether we could save his tail or not but thought it was worth a try. This meant that Leo’s tail needed bandaging. Tail dressings are never easy to keep on, and Leo was quite good at getting out of them. With daily dressing changes, often under sedation initially, we had to come up with a way of keeping his dressings on.
Joel, one of our Veterinary Nurses had the great idea of attaching the dressing to a t-shirt, and Lucy (our student nurse) donated a very fetching pink vest to the cause! Luckily this helped keep Leo happy and his dressing stayed on. He quickly became more comfortable and his tail started to heal. It took quite a few weeks, but his tail is now all healed and as waggy as ever.
He still loves coming to see us (we think it was all the treats) and we love seeing him too! We are monitoring him closely for any signs of the tumour coming back but so far so good.
Who’d have thought a t-shirt could play such an essential part in Leo’s recovery!
After weeks of anticipation, we are pleased to announce that from 15000 nominations across the UK for veterinary staff for 6 awards, our amazing team at Blue House Veterinary Centre have won 2 awards at the Petplan Veterinary Awards 2015! We are so proud of our staff Victoria Jane Smith and Marcia Titterton for winning in their categories. Thank you to those who nominated us in all categories. We received our highest ever number of nominations and to win 2 awards from the same practice is almost unprecedented. Very well deserved awards for Victoria and Marcia and a lovely evening presented by Alexander Armstrong. Congratulations!
Videos are available on our facebook page and the Petplan website, and more photos and videos will be appearing from the ceremony soon. We are so proud!
A yearly health check prevents a big problem for Dollar
Miniature Dachshund Dollar visited Blue House for her health check and booster vaccinations recently. Dollar is three years old, fighting fit and had just raised a litter of pups - so as far as her owners were concerned she was absolutely fine.
We always perform a full health check when pets come in for their annual vaccinations, and this time was no different. Kay was not expecting to find anything wrong with a healthy little dog like Dollar, but when she felt her abdomen she found a hard round lump hidden in there!
Of course this was very worrying for her owners. Dollar had been showing no symptoms whatsoever, so what was this strange object in her tummy? Kay conducted an ultrasound scan of Dollar’s abdomen, and it was confirmed that the ‘lump’ was in her bladder. Despite that fact that Dollar had shown no signs of discomfort or bleeding when she was urinating, we suspected a bladder stone; she was booked in for an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis and surgery to remove the stone.
The surgery went well and Kay was able to remove a single bladder stone that was almost the size of a golf ball! It is remarkable that Dollar had shown no symptoms with most of her bladder occupied by the stone. Dollar has now recovered well and is now on a specific diet designed to reduce the chances of more stones forming. However, her little story demonstrates just how important regular health checks are, even when your pet seems well. If the stone had not been found it would have eventually caused significant discomfort for Dollar and may have led to permanent bladder damage.
If you would like your pet checked for any reason, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and make an appointment!
Angel’s all back on track!
Poor Angel came home one day with a horrible infected wound on her back leg. The wound was what we call a “degloving” injury and involves a large amount of skin damage. This can sometimes happen with road traffic accidents, but we will never know exactly what caused Angel’s injuries and she’s still keeping mum about the whole affair.
There was a large amount of skin missing from her leg (we thought the pictures were too graphic for a newsletter). Neil operated to clean and partially close the wound. There was a high risk of the wound breaking down, and the circulation to Angle’s foot was so poor that amputation would have to be carried out if things did not improve.
Angel was very fortunate in having a dedicated owner who gave her physiotherapy and massaged her foot twice daily. Fortunately, with some timely veterinary help and a committed owner, Angel has made a full recovery. Except for a scar (which will be soon covered with fur) she is back to her old self.
In our constant search for the best food for our pets we have recently discovered Canagan. Unfortunately the company producing Applaws, another of our favourites, has now discontinued its large (12kg) bags and this has proved inconvenient for some of us.
Canagan is British company producing complete dog and cat foods containing a host of high quality biologically appropriate ingredients. These diets have an ideal ratio of animal and vegetable proteins and avoid grain as a carbohydrate source
If you would like to know more please feel free to speak to a member of our team of either on the phone or in person about the different options available.
If you would like to try Canagan dry food for yourself, we have free samples available at reception (one per customer, please - or we’ll run out!).
More information is available at www.canagan.co.uk