Kingsnorth Vets – 17th September 2014

After a long break during the summer holidays I have returned to continue with my fortnightly work experience are Kingsnorth Vets. On asking the vet if I had missed anything exciting whilst I was away, she told me about an operation they had done to remove a lung lobe in a young dog. One part of the lung was infected and damaged beyond repair so to prevent the infection spreading to across the lungs, threatening the dog’s life, they removed the lobe of lung which was infected. Incredibly everything had gone smoothly and the dog had made an excellent recovery!

The first consult of the evening was a group of seven springer spaniel puppies. They were seven weeks old and ready for their first vaccines. In need of some extra hands, I cuddled one of the puppies whilst the vet checked each puppy before vaccinating it. He looked particularly at their skin as they had previously been infected with Sarcoptes, a genus of mite causing mange. After being treated with advocate they were all rapidly improving.

A Staffordshire Bull terrier was brought in having been newly rehomed that day. Its new owner had made the decision to start her vaccination course from the beginning as her history was unknown. However, it was suspected that she had been used for breeding and she also had an unregistered microchip. The vet advised waiting until after her first season before considering spaying. She was very pretty and extremely friendly and I found it hard to imagine how someone could abandon any dog, let alone one like her. I’ve also recently noticed that the overwhelming majority of abandoned dogs are staffies. In the kennels today was a stray staffie waiting to be collected by the dog warden.

A cat was brought in which had on-going loss of appetite leading to lots of weight being lost. The vets had taken bloods but these hadn’t shown any conclusive results. However, today the problem was more superficial. Having had an antibiotic injection during her last consult, the cat had suffered with a vaccine reaction. The owner described how a bald patch had appeared and soon the cat was scratching it. Despite the owner’s best efforts, the skin on the back of its neck was red and sore and hadn’t shown signs of healing. The vet gave a steroid injection to calm down the inflammation and itchiness. This should result in a noticeable improvement within two days.

Next was a mongrel limping on its front left foot. Unfortunately, it was very nervous so after having muzzle put on, the vet examined its leg and foot, finally located that the outside left claw was resulting in the most whimpers. The vet could feel and very slight crunch when moving this nail and suspected a broken toe. She gave the dog an analgesic injection and gave them tablets to take away. Unless there was a rapid improvement with the pain relief on board, she advised booking an appointment for an x-ray. If necessary, the bone could then be manipulated into place whilst the dog was under anaesthetic and it could be bandaged firmly. However, if the joint was too damaged there could be the possibility of surgery to scrape away the cartilage, allowing the joint to fuse, although to amputate the toe would be the simpler and much cheaper option.

Finally, a very old cat was brought in. The owners were very concerned that her condition was becoming progressively worse from day to day as she struggled to move and suffered with diarrhoea. The cat’s abdomen was hugely distended. The vet explained how she could feel a fluid thrill; when she tapped one side of the abdomen she could feel the impulse bounce into her hand on the other side – evidence that the abdomen was full of fluid. This meant the distension was not a result of swollen organs or bloating but gave a reason behind why the cat was so dehydrated despite drinking lots. The vet suggested possibilities for immediate action to put her on a drip then investigating the situation by taking blood or possibly doing some imaging. However, this was unlikely to extend the length of the cat’s life significantly and would put her through a lot. The owners decided to have her put down.

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