eats the wrong thing!
Bella, a 3 month old, female, Hungarian Viszla presented
after her owner noticed she had been vomiting overnight.
She was still bright and happy in herself, but had been
vomiting yellow liquid. During the examination her
abdomen was thoroughly palpated and a smooth, solid,
round object was felt in her mid abdomen. Together with
the fact she is a typical puppy that loves to chew on
anything, and that she had vomiting liquid overnight,
there was a high suspicion that she had ingested a
foreign body and it was partially obstructing the
Bella was admitted to hospital for an abdominal
radiograph to assess the actual size and location of the
foreign body. On the abdominal radiograph, there was a
solid radiodense object (white area on the xray) in the
small intestine. The foreign body was larger than the
size of intestine, and it was obstructing the early part
of her gastrointestinal tract. Surgery was indicated to
remove this foreign body before it caused any further
problems. Bella’s owner gave permission to go ahead with
the surgery, so an exploratory laparotomy was performed.
Bella was given pre operative pain relief, sedation and
placed on intravenous fluids before the surgery. Once
Bella was anaesthetised, a qualified nurse monitored and
recorded her anaesthetic progress with the aid of
devices to check her heart rate, oxygen saturation level
and blood pressure measurements.
Once Bella was stable under anaesthetic, surgery was
started. A thorough examination of each organ was
performed during the operation including: stomach, small
and large intestine, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, liver
and gall bladder. The foreign body was found in the area
of the intestines called the duodenum. A small incision
was made and a round rock was removed. The incision was
closed with a suture material that will dissolve over
time. Bella continued to be monitored during her
recovery and the surgeon assessed that she was well
enough to be discharged that evening.
Bella's post operative vet checks showed no further
vomiting or abdominal problems. She is now grown into a
beautiful girl and has gained nearly 20kg since the
We hope she has learned to eat more appropriate items!
has a thyroidectomy
Moppet, a 12 year old domestic short hair cat, is a
patient at our surgery. As we see her regularly
and routinely weigh our patients, we noticed that her
weight had been steadily decreasing. This was despite
the fact that her owner said she was eating more than
her other cats and seemed hungry all the time.
These clinical signs (weight loss with a good appetite)
suggested that blood tests should be performed to
determine the cause. Testing revealed
hyperthyroidism. This is a disease that causes the
thyroid gland to be overactive. Cats with
hyperthyroidism have increased metabolism, blood
pressure and heart rate which in turn can cause
secondary heart problems. This increases the need
for energy, hence more food, to maintain the higher
blood pressure and heart rate.
Treatment for hyperthyroidism is generally lifelong
medication in the form of tablets, sometimes up to 3
times a day. Another alternative treatments is
transdermal preparations that can be applied to the
skin. Unfortunately, Moppet was not an easy
patient to give tablets or to apply medication to the
skin. Because of this, Moppet's owner was given
the option of surgical removal of the thyroid glands in
preference to ongoing daily medication.
Moppet's thyroid levels needed to be within normal range
prior to surgery being performed. To do this,
medication was required for the month before the
On the day of surgery, Moppet had a preanaesthetic blood
test. In addition, her calcium levels were checked
as the parathyroid gland is situated next to the thyroid
gland and it is responsible for regulating calcium.
An intravenous catheter was placed and, under general
anaesthetic, the surgery was performed. The
thyroid glands are located on the neck area on either
side of the trachea (windpipe). It is a delicate
surgery as the glands are close to many sensitive
structures, including nerves, arteries, veins, trachea
and the parathyroid glands.
The surgery went well, both thyroid glands were removed
successfully and Moppet had a speedy recovery.
Calcium levels were checked and remained within normal
range. Since the surgery, Moppet has gained some
weight and at her next post operative check we will need
to check Calcium levels again and her thyroid levels to
make sure these have remained normal.
Moppet is doing well so far since her surgery and we
hope she continues to lead a full and active life.
the guinea pig
Digger, an eight week old guinea pig was brought to the
surgery in March this year. Part of her cage had
accidentally dropped on her. She was unable to use
her left hind leg, it was dragging, and her owner was
concerned that the leg may be broken.
Digger was examined by Dr. Michelle White. Her
weight was documented, her teeth, eyes, ears and the
colour of her gums were checked. Digger's heart
and lungs were auscultated, and her abdomen was
palpated. Her musculoskeletal system was checked,
including her spine and all her limbs. She had
sustained no other injuries apart from her left hind
leg. Just below Digger's knee and above her hock
there was some swelling of the soft tissues. It
appeared the tibial bone was fractured as it could be
moved from side to side. She was also dragging her
foot, with the underside up and was not able to put her
foot in to the proper position. The nerve and
blood supplies to the foot were checked and appeared to
be adequate enough for healing to take place.
Radiographs would have been the next step in the
diagnosis. This would allow us to view the fracture and
have given us a better idea of the treatment required
and a prognosis of how and when the healing may take
place. Unfortunately the owner declined
radiographs due to financial constraints. The
client was offered various options as Digger was in pain
with a broken leg and our main concern was her welfare.
Digger's owner opted for the treatment of splinting the
leg and providing pain relief while the bone was
healing. This was an interesting challenge for us
- to stabilise the bone enough that it would heal but
also allowing Digger to be able to place that foot
correctly and be mobile on that leg. You cannot
tell a guinea pig to "rest up" on that leg. Other
concerns were if she could keep the splint on or whether
she would try to nibble it off. A splint made from
a tongue depressor (flat icecream stick) was fashioned
to fit her leg correctly and taped in place with
micropore. Too much bandaging would have made the
leg difficult to move so just a light scaffolding to
keep the bone stable enough to heal was the aim of this
treatment. Pain relief medication was dispensed.
Two weeks later Digger returned for a follow up
examination. Her leg was healing well, she was
weight bearing, placing the foot correctly and
carrying on her usual activities. A small callous
around the fracture site confirmed that the bone was
healing well and the break was stable. We were so
happy that Digger was running around bright and alert.
Certainly a contrast to the painful little guinea pig
dragging her leg only two weeks earlier!
8 months old, American Staffordshire Terrier, Female
Some insect stings, most commonly bees & ants, can cause
allergic reactions. This is normally seen in the form of
a swollen face and lips of the dog. Each case can be
completely different and sometimes can be lethal if the
allergic reaction affects the breathing system.
Akaya was presented with asymmetrical swelling of the
face, lips and ears after spending some time in back
yard for the day. It is suspected that she was “playing”
with bees and got stung. Most of the time, bee stings
are diagnosed from just a clinical sign of facial
swelling, rather than by finding an actual sting that is
embedded in the skin.
The aim of the treatment is to neutralise the venom by
giving combination of anti-histamine and corticosteroid
injections. These injections aid in reducing the
swelling as well as pain that is caused by the bee
sting. Akaya was comfortable about half an hour after
her visit to the vets.
Similar reactions can happen with some ingestion of
toxins and sometimes with vaccinations. Any severe
allergic reaction regardless of the cause should be
immediately seen by a veterinarian so that individual
treatment can be performed. This treatment will depend
on the severity of the reaction and the systems