Zelda’s Story

by admin on July 21st, 2017

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Zelda is a 3 year old German Shepherd that was rescued from Romania as a puppy. In early 2015 she was diagnosed as having cataracts in both eyes that may be a congenital disorder as three of her sisters also have the condition.

Zelda’s Story

In March 2016 it was discovered that Zelda had mild kidney problems when a blood test indicated elevated levels of Urea and Creatinine. She had intensive treatment of fluid therapy that she responded well to, however the cause of her kidney disease was never found. She continues to be monitored for this condition with supplements, medications, regular blood and urine tests and special diets to help support her kidney function.

In July 2016 Zelda presented with lameness. Radiographs were taken and it was discovered she has hip dysplasia affecting both hips. Joint supplements, controlled exercise and regular hydrotherapy help alleviate the symptoms and she has been coping very well.

In December 2016 Zelda presented with a swollen left ear. She was diagnosed with an aural haematoma; a blood filled pocket in her ear due to head shaking as a result of an ear infection. She underwent surgery to drain the haematoma and clean her ears with medicated drops to remove the infection. She recovered from this very well and the surgery was successful.

However, in July 2017, only 7 months after her last aural haematoma, Zelda’s right ear presented with a similar swelling. This was also diagnosed as another haematoma. She has been so brave and undergone surgery for a second time.

Zelda has been through so much in her 3 years since coming over from Romania. She is always brave and a lovely patient and the staff at PetCare are always happy to see her for treatment and cuddles.

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Rossi’s Story….

by admin on November 17th, 2016

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Rossi's StoryRossi the seven year old British Shorthair cat came into Petcare back in early September with difficulty passing urine. On examination, it became clear that his bladder was completely blocked. This is an emergency situation with male cats as their bladders can eventually rupture and cause them to go into renal failure.

Rossi was admitted to the surgery and sedated so a catheter could be passed to allow him to urinate. The cause for his blockage appeared to be urinary crystals which can form into larger stones in the bladder – radiographs revealed that he had several of these uroliths (stones) causing the problem. Depending on what type of urinary crystals make up the stones, they can sometimes be dissolved with a particular type of prescription diet. Unfortunately, not all types can. A sample was taken and sent off to the lab for analysis. In the meantime, a catheter was sutured into place so Rossi could pass urine into a collection bag.

Over the next few days, Rossi stayed at PetCare and was given only urinary diet food to eat. He was passing urine, but his lab analysis results came back informing us that he had calcium oxalate crystals present in his bladder which are not the type of crystals that can be dissolved with diet, meaning he would need a procedure to surgically remove them.

He was placed on an intravenous drip and given a general anaesthetic before being taken into theatre for surgery. An incision was made into the middle of his abdomen and then his bladder to remove several little stones. The vet flushed his bladder with sterile saline to ensure there weren’t any left behind, as they were difficult to remove manually. Once finished, Rossi was taken back to his kennel to recover and be closely monitored.

Rossi continued to do well over the rest of the day and was ready to be discharged that afternoon. Thankfully, he has gone on to make a full recovery and is enjoying life at home with his other two feline friends!

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Louie’s Story…..

by admin on December 4th, 2015

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Louie's Story....Louie came to the surgery back in May after running in the park and injuring one of his back legs. He was very lame and would not bear any weight on it. After a few days of rest and pain relief, he still wasn’t any better, so the decision was made to x-ray the leg. The radiographs showed he had luxated his tarsal bone (equivalent of the ankle) and that was the source of his discomfort. This is quite an uncommon injury, so advice was sought from an orthopaedic specialist as to what the best treatment would be.


It was decided, after referral to an orthopaedic centre, that Louie should have surgery to repair the tarsus. This involved replacing the bones back in the right position and then securing them in place with pins and an external fixator, which would then need to be kept in for six weeks.


Louie was incredibly brave throughout this whole time, but there were some post-operative complications with infection occurring around the pins in his leg. This meant him coming in regularly for wound management and dressing changes, but he was very obliging for every visit. Swabs were taken from the wounds during this time to help decide which antibiotic was best to treat the infection, as certain bacteria are more resistant than others.


His pins were finally removed in August at the orthopaedic centre and, thankfully, Louie has healed well and is continuing to recover at home.

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Wally’s Story

by admin on January 28th, 2015

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Wally's Story

Wally the five year old Miniature Schnauzer was rushed into the surgery after his owner had seen him eat a piece of fish attached to a fishing hook on the beach. When he came in for examination, he still had the fishing line hanging out of his mouth, but it wasn’t immediately obvious how far down the hook had gone…

Wally was admitted for the day so he could be given a general anaesthetic to try and retrieve the hook. Once he was asleep, the vet was able to have a thorough look in Wally’s mouth and throat. The hook was not obviously stuck there, which meant it had gone further down than his oesophagus. An x-ray revealed it was lying right in the middle of Wally’s stomach; so the only way to remove it was surgically.


He was taken through to theatre and prepped for surgery. Once Wally’s stomach was opened up, the vet was able to locate the hook and slowly remove it – still with a piece of fish attached to it! It was a very large hook and could have caused a lot of damage had it torn through his oesophagus or stomach lining.

 wally 22

Wally was taken back to the kennel room to recover and, being the brave chap that he is, was back on his feet in no time. He was monitored closely for the rest of the day to ensure there were no complications from his surgery, but was able to go home with his owners later that evening.


Wally has since gone on to make a full recovery and we wish him and his owners the best of health in the future.

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Minnie’s Story

by admin on October 22nd, 2014

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:


minnie's Story

Lovely Minnie the grey-hooded rat was brought in to see us in August with a rapidly growing lump on her tummy, which was likely to be a tumour. Pet rats are unfortunately prone to lumps and, due to their fast metabolism, they do tend to increase in size rather quickly. It was decided to book Minnie in to have the lump removed, as she was well in herself apart from the odd episode of sneezing.

She came in a few days later for her operation and was given a general anaesthetic. Once asleep, the lump was prepped for surgery. Being such a big lump, there was a risk that it may be too large to remove all of it safely, but her owner was aware of this possibility and was realistic that the surgery may not be curative. Thankfully, Mr Smith was able to remove the entire mass from Minnie’s tummy and the wound was sutured closed. She had been stable throughout her anaesthetic and came round smoothly.

The problem now was keeping Minnie from chewing her stitches! Being right under her nose, it was too tempting for her to try and nibble on them. The nurses tried to fashion a small plastic collar for her to keep her from getting to them but, unfortunately, this didn’t stay on for very long. In the end, the only deterrent was distracting her with food and talking to her.

Minnie went home later that day and has gone on to make a full recovery with her owner’s TLC!

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JJ’s Story….

by admin on May 12th, 2014

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

JJ's Sory...JJ the Collie X will always be remembered by the staff here at PetCare for his bravery and gentle nature, and the trauma he had endured prior to being rehomed with the Brennans’. He had been locked in a garage for 5 years and starved and beaten, so bonding with people was understandably hard for him when he was finally rescued.


JJ was suffering from malnutrition and several other health problems when he was rescued.


jj bad 1He first came to see us back in 2009 with several health issues including sore and infected ears, alopecia, dermatitis, and increased thirst. He was diagnosed with demodectic mange and hypothyroidism and started on treatment. This involved special washes at the surgery on a weekly basis until the demodex mites were destroyed – they are particularly hard to get rid of as they live in deep burrows in the skin. As the mites disappeared, JJ’s fur began to slowly regrow.

JJ was extremely shy and anxious

jj goodIn 2010, he continued on tablet therapy for his hypothyroidism, but it was difficult to achieve the right dose for him and required close monitoring and regular blood samples to check his thyroid levels. With his condition, it became difficult to keep JJ’s weight steady, so his owners brought him in for weight watchers nurse clinics for advice and to start him on a prescription weight loss diet. This seemed to work, and JJ began to slowly decrease to a healthier size.

In 2011, we did not see JJ for a while as his owners moved out of the area, but at the end of the year they returned and we were pleased to see one of our favourite patients again. We continued to see JJ regularly to keep an eye on him and he was given a general anaesthetic in April to remove a lump from his stifle.

JJ looking a lot healthier with a beautiful glossy coat – he did so well, and so did his owners.

A chronic problem for JJ proved to be his ears. As he had likely been suffering with ear infections for a long time when he was rescued, there had been permanent damage and he had developed several polyps down his ear canals. He was started on anti-inflammatory pain killers and referred to Grove Lodge for their opinion on whether any of the polyps could be surgically removed. Unfortunately, it was decided that they were too deep into the ear canal and it would require major surgery to remove them. It would be too big an ordeal for JJ to go through, so they had to be managed medically.

Every now and then, his ear polyps would bleed and it was frustratingly hard to stop them. His owners became very efficient at applying dressings and ear bandages, which helped to apply pressure and cauterise the bleeding. He was kept on antibiotic ear drops, which helped to prevent infection and his owners cleaned them regularly to remove any wax.

Sadly by the beginning of this year, JJ’s ear polyps began to bleed more and more regularly. On some occasions this could be stopped by dribbling local anaesthetic onto them to stem the bleeding, but by April Mr Smith and his owners decided it wasn’t fair for JJ to carry on with his ear problems and made the very hard decision to say goodbye to him.

We will never forget how brave and gentle JJ was and how dedicated his owners were to giving him a new and happy life from the horrible start he had been given.

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Maggie’s Story….

by admin on February 3rd, 2014

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Maggie the 11-year-old Parson Russell Terrier came to see us in December 2013 after there was concern that she was passing blood in her urine and was straining to pass a normal amount. With a history of urine infections, se was prescribed pain relief and antibiotics, but her owners were advised that she might need further investigation if her signs persisted…

Maggie’s owners were going away on holiday so she was staying at a boarding kennels for just over a week. The owners of the kennels had been informed to keep a close eye on Maggie and were asked to bring her back to us if there were at all concerned.

Unfortunately, her straining to pass bloody urine continued so it was decided she would need to be admitted in order for an X-ray to be taken of her bladder. She was given a general anaesthetic and a radiograph was taken. Straight away, Mr Smith could see that Maggie had a large stone – a cystolith – in her bladder. It would have been far to large for her to pass it normally, so permission was obtained from her owners during a telephone conversation for surgery to be performed to remove the stone. She was placed on an intravenous drip to replace any fluid she would lose and prepared for her operation before being taken through to theatre for her surgery.

Over the next hour or so, Mr Smith delicately removed the stone from Maggie’s bladder and flushed the inside of her bladder with sterile saline, while our nurses monitored her closely. He carefully sutured closed her bladder, taking great care to ensure there were no points where the bladder could leak, as this would obviously cause problems when it filled up with urine again.

Thankfully, everything went well and Maggie was soon recovering in her quiet kennel upon a heat pad, surrounded by warm blankets and with her nurse at her bedside.

Surprisingly, Maggie was on her feet in no time. She was keen to go outside for a walk and some fresh air, but as expected, wasn’t producing any urine yet as her bladder had been emptied during her recent surgery. Being such a strong willed little dog, Mr Smith was happy for her to be discharged later that afternoon.

 The kind staff at her kennels were fully aware of everything little Maggie had endured and being experienced in looking after dogs with medical conditions, were happy looking after her during her period of convalescence.

Maggie has continued to recover well from her surgery and is now on a veterinary supportive prescription urinary diet, which will help prevent her developing more bladder stones in the future.

We were delighted to have been able to share Maggie’s story with you, and wish her and her owners all the best in the future and look forward to seeing Maggie again soon.

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Opal’s Story….

by admin on November 14th, 2013

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Little Opal is one of our long-term patients who was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus back in April this year. She was started on a treatment programme of injectable insulin but being a rather feisty dog, managing her condition hasn’t always been easy….

 Poor Opal has also had a few bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea whilst being treated for her diabetes, but has always made a good recovery with treatment. She has also had cystitis, which isn’t uncommon with diabetic patients as bacteria thrive on high sugar levels and this tends to manifest itself as cystitis.

Just lately, Opal’s blood glucose levels have started to become more stable and her readings more in the normal range, which has been encouraging for everyone, especially her owner! She still has her off days, which is not totally unexpected, but always appears lively and full of spirit when she comes into the surgery.

At the start of Opal’s treatment, her blood glucose levels were very high and the aim was to try and find a regime that would bring her blood glucose down to a normal level. She was hospitalised for a blood glucose curve – this is when several blood samples are taken throughout the day to monitor the animal’s glucose levels and identify at what point they are at their highest. Taking blood from Opal has never been the easiest task as she does tend to resent it, but she is always a very happy dog when she’s not being examined! 

Trying to stabilise Opal has been difficult as her blood glucose levels have seemed to remain consistently high despite gradually increasing her insulin dosage. Sometimes animals can be insulin resistant, which means that no matter what dose is administered, their bodies don’t respond in the way they should. However, Opal appears to have times when she does respond favourably to her insulin injections so this means she can’t be totally insulin resistant.

While we are able to help keep Opal’s condition stable, we always encourage you to contact the surgery and arrange a physical examination of your pets if you are at all concerned about changes in your pets behaviour and habits, which may indicate Diabetes. Initial investigations can start with a harmless urine sample.  In any case it is always better to diagnose a condition and start treatment at the earliest opportunity, in order to manage and understand a condition and give the best possible outcome for you and your much loved pets.


Diabetes can become a very expensive condition to treat, with regular blood samples needing to monitor stability and ongoing insulin medication, so we would highly recommend you insure your pets for peace of mind; knowing you don’t need to worry about paying for all their veterinary fees.



Otherwise known as ‘sugar’ diabetes, this is a condition that occurs when the body either doesn’t produce insulin or doesn’t utilise it efficiently. Insulin helps to move glucose from the blood into the cells of the body where it is needed.



  • Increased thirst and urination.
  • Weight loss.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weakness or lethargy,

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A hedgehog story…..

by admin on August 14th, 2013

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

A little baby hog was brought in to us at PetCare by one of our long-term clients after he was found out during the day time and struggling to breathe. When he came in, he was clearly in respiratory distress. He was breathing through his mouth, his chest sounded bubbly and wheezy and the poor little hog was struggling to take every breath. We suspected he had a condition called lungworm, which they pick up through eating their usual diet of slugs and snails – this is how dogs can also pick up these worms. As a secondary complication, his fragile lungs were battling pneumonia. This condition is treatable but can take a while before the animal makes a full recovery.

We started the little hedgehog on a treatment regime of antibiotic, steroid, bronchodilator (to open up his airways) and an appropriate wormer to start killing the worms. Eating was a problem for him as he was obviously trying so hard to catch his breath that chewing and swallowing food was a struggle. We started syringe feeding him small amounts of liquidised food throughout the day, knowing that he needed the nutrients to fight this infection and recover. It was touch and go whether he would last the night as he was so poorly, but we wanted to give him the chance.

The next morning, remarkably, little hog was still with us! He was still mouth breathing but seemed stronger as he started stomping around his cage on his little spindly legs, trying to make his escape through the bars. We continued with his treatment regime and syringe feeding, and added in some Olbas oil in his cage to help clear his airways and ease his congestion.

This little fighter was not easily defeated and slowly but surely began to make progress with his recovery. He stopped mouth breathing and finally seemed to be showing some interest in eating by himself. We had been concerned that his appetite would not return, in which case his prognosis was not good, but once he stopped mouth breathing it came back with a vengeance. 

He had dropped weight initially but then gained 100g very quickly after he started eating again. We were very encouraged by this progress and now have high hopes that he will go on to make a full recovery.

For further information on how to help wildlife flourish in your garden click here.

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Ambers Story…..

by admin on May 17th, 2013

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Poor little Amber the Irish Setter was involved in a nasty road accident last month after she accidentally ran out in front of a car and was hit and dragged down the road by it. Amazingly, Amber survived her ordeal and was rushed down to PetCare as an emergency…

Unsurprisingly, Amber was very stressed on arrival at the surgery and was admitted for treatment. She had a wound on her back leg from where she had been dragged, but apart from that there were no other obvious injuries. She was put on an intravenous drip to prevent her going into shock and given some pain relief, which would also help to calm her down.

Once she was more stable, the vet decided to take some x-rays to ensure she hadn’t sustained any internal injuries or fractures. A common injury after a RTA is a condition called a diaphragmatic rupture, where the muscles of the diaphragm tear and this often allows organs to be displaced. This is not always easy to see on x-rays, but Amber didn’t appear to have internal injuries. There was also no sign of any fractures. The wound on her leg would need stitching, but it was decided that after everything she had been through that it was best to wait until the next day to give her a general anaesthetic.

Amber was kept in overnight for observation and was fed little and often throughout the rest of the day. She seemed bright and bouncy the following morning so was prepped for surgery and given an anaesthetic to repair her skin wound. Thankfully this didn’t take too long and she was back in recovery in no time. It was decided she could continue her healing at home and was discharged that evening. Her relieved owners were pleased to see her doing so well after what she’d been through!

Amber came back to have her stitches removed just over a week later and has since returned to the surgery to be speyed. She has been extremely lucky to come through such a trauma without any lasting damage and we wish her and her owners good health and the best of luck for the future!

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