In the kennels today was cat which had been in a road traffic accident and had broken its jaw. It was on a drip, was struggling to breath and being fed through an oesophageal tube. However, it was happy to lick the syringe feeding it, suggesting that it wasn’t in severe discomfort and would improve rapidly. Also there was a cat with FATE written on its kennel door. I asked and found that this stood for Feline Aortic Thromboembolism caused by a thrombus, or blood clot, breaking away from a larger blood clot in the heart and lodging at the saddle, cutting off circulation to both legs. As a result, the cat could not move its back legs. Often this condition is triggered very suddenly by small stresses which lead to strain on a diseased heart. The cat was being and would continue to be given lots of medication including aspirin for blood thinning, appetite stimulants and pain killers. Heart disease cannot be cured, only kept at bay. Therefore, this cat was going to be discharged tonight.
During the consultations today, a family came in with a dog and two cats all to have their booster vaccinations. The vet drew up the syringe for the dog then asked me to draw up the syringes for the cats ready for when she had injected the dog. This was really exciting and I was very nervous of getting it wrong. It was a combo vaccination and I was fascinated to find that one of the vaccines in solid and dissolves when mixed with its combo. After inverted the pot containing the combination, I drew it back up the syringe before changing needles, ensuring that I left the cap on the clean needle for the vet to remove when she was ready to use it. I think it will take a lot of practice before I can become as swift and efficient at drawing up syringes as the vet.
An owner bringing in her dog for his vaccination asked about a chipped tooth she had noticed. However, it was not causing any apparent pain or discomfort, therefore the vet chose to leave it but keep an eye on all of the dog’s teeth.
A Chihuahua was brought in because it was sneezing. The vet concluded that it was likely to be an upper respiratory tract infection and prescribed anti-inflammatories to treat it.
A very old whippet was brought in which had a poor liver. However, the current problem was its sore anus which it kept rubbing along the ground. It had previously had problems with its anal glands and this seemed to be recurring. Therefore, the vet emptied them and suggested putting a mild cream such as sudocream on to sooth the soreness. Furthermore, this dog had very bad teeth. It was dangerous to consider anaesthetic because the dog’s age and liver problems, however the owners decided they would undergo a dental as the risk would only get greater with age and the vet had pointed that the teeth would need to be dealt with eventually.
A bulldog was brought in with an infected uterus. She had previously had a tumour in one of her ovaries, therefore she had been spayed. However, it was possible that before the operation was done, part of the ovary had migrated elsewhere in the body. When spaying, a stump of the uterus is left along with the cervix and vagina. It appeared that hormones were being released by the migrated piece of ovary which had not been removed which was affecting this stump. As a result, thick discharge was being produced and the dog was still having seasons. The vet discussed the options, suggesting that although another operation could be done to try and locate the migrated ovary, this was not the best option especially for the overweight bulldog. Also, the dog had very bad ears. The owners had been trying to clean them with wet wipes, however, these are the wrong pH so cleaner and ear drops need to be used.
A dog with infected anal glands was brought in. It was having its anal glands emptied every week and was also on antibiotics. Precaution needed to be taken because severe anal gland infection can be very serious, sometimes resulting in the glands coming out of the anus. In addition to the infected glands, the owner had noticed that his dog was drinking a lot of water. This could be a result of the medication but could also be an indication of more serious problems such as diabetes. The owner was going to take a urine sample so the concentration could be tested and he was going to try and measure the exact volume drunk in 24 hours. This would give the vet appropriate information to decide whether to carry out further investigation.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was brought in showing signs of pain in its neck and front legs. These were possible signs of syringomyelia or chiari malformation which are conditions this breed is prone to. Selective breeding for short skulls has resulted in abnormal formation of the cerebellum, in which it is displaced downwards. This can lead to the development of fluid-filled cysts in the spinal chord called syrinxes. A combination of these conditions can result in pain in the neck and front legs as well as a characteristic swatting of the air with the paw. This dog had previously been screened for syringomyelia but the results had never been received. It is a relatively new division of neurology and therefore the vet did not know much about it. She was going to follow up the results from the screening and in the meantime prescribe some mild pain killers. It was likely that the pain was not caused by chiari malformation but it was a possibility that mustn’t be looked over.
A chocolate Labrador was brought in with conjunctivitis. The vet tested it with fluorescein but found no evidence of foreign bodies, therefore she prescribed some ointment to be administered twice daily. The owner also expressed his worries that the dog may have eaten a pencil but the vet explained that as there had been no vomiting or diarrhoea, this was unlikely.
Finally, a dog was brought in to check up on its ear infection. It was improving well so was instructed to continue the medication. Whilst it was in the vet cut its claws. She caught its quick so used silver nitrate to cauterise the blood vessel and stop it bleeding, a technique which I haven’t seen used before.