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There is always plenty going on at Quantock Veterinary Hospital so do keep an eye on our News page to keep up to date with our achievements, staff changes and other key pieces of news.
Forest : Our Pet of the Month for April
Our Pet of the Month for April is Forest Goodland, an 11yr old West Highland White Terrier.Here is his story in the words of his owner.'Forest had not really been himself for quite a while, he stopped wanting to go for walks and when he didwant to go seemed to really struggle and as he was now 11 we put it down to perhaps his old age.
One Sunday a few weeks ago we knew there was something more wrong with him, he did not move from his bed all day, and in the evening I took him outside so he could then come in and settle for the night and he could hardly stand up and barely even move.
I rang and spoke to the nurse at Quantock Hospital and she told me to bring him in to see Dominic the next morning.
I carried Forest into the treatment room put him on the table and he could not stand at all, I knew it was obviously serious.
I left him there so he could have some tests done and just after lunch time I had a call from Dominic, it was not good, Forest had Diabetes, Pancreatitis, a water infection and was dehydrated.
I was shocked to hear just how seriously ill he was and how complicated these illnesses were. My first thought was that we were never going to see Forest again, and I just cannot explain how upset we were.
Forest was admitted suffering from acute pancreatitis and diabetic keto-acidosis a life threatening combination.Forest has made a remarkeable recovery but will remain a Diabetic for the rest of his life but thanks to his dedicated owners,a strict feeding regime and insulin injections he now has lots of energy and is back to his normal self!
2013-05-20 back to top
Titch Our Pet of the Month for March
Titch was a stray when she arrived at Mrs Keenan’s farm back in 2007 and has been a regular visitor to Quantock Veterinary Hospital since then. She was diagnosed with glaucoma (high eye pressure) in 2008 and had to have her left eye removed in 2009 as the pressures became too high causing pain. She now has three different types of drops applied to her right eye, three times a day, to maintain a normal eye pressure and she has regular checks at the surgery to measure her eye pressure.
The picture is of Titch's abdominal scan and shows the large roughly circular mass in the centre.Slightly darker than its surroundings it's limits are shown by four small white crosses which we use for measuring purposes.
It was at her normal check in March that Mrs Keenan also mentioned they had recently noticed Titch had a bulge in her tummy. On examination of her abdomen two large lumps were detected. Vet Rhiannon Davies performed an ultrasound scan and with the ultrasound guidance was able to biopsy the masses. The results of the biopsy indicated the masses were ovarian tissue but it was impossible to say whether these were benign masses or more a more aggressive cancer. Vet Samantha McGuiness performed an ovariohysterectomy, removing Titch’s uterus and the two huge, abnormal ovaries. Mrs Keenan and the staff at the surgery then faced an anxious wait for the results.
We were pleased to give the good news to Mrs Keenan that the ovarian masses were benign tumours called ovarian dysgerminomas. This means that the removal of the ovaries has cured the problem and there is very little risk of other areas in the body being affected by this growth.
Titch has recovered very well from surgery and continues to have her regular eye drops and eye checks. Mrs Keenan is obviously very dedicated to little Titch who couldn’t have chosen a better doorstep to arrive upon.
2013-04-24 back to top
Congratulations to our Competition Winner
The team here at Quantock Veterinary Hospital would like to thank everyone who entered our recent Healthy Hearts wordsearch competition.
Teresa who organised the event presented the lucky winner,Mrs Graham, with a box of chocolates and two bottles of wine kindly provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd.
We all hope Mrs Graham enjoyed her prize and that it lasted for at least a few days, after all it was a Healthy Heart competition!
Look out for more competitions and offers on our website and facebook page.
2013-04-24 back to top
Quantock Veterinary Nursing Community Open Event
Come along and join Quantock Veterinary Hospital's Nursing Team for our open day promoting Veterinary Nursing and the variety of services it provides.
The event is being held at:
SECRET WORLD WILDLIFE RESCUE CENTRE, New Road, West Huntspill, Highbridge,Somerset.TA9 3PZ
'BADGER BONANZA' will be their first open weekend of the year and the public will have the chance to see wildlife,wildlife displays, attend talks,ferret racing,jewellery stands,fabric and craft stalls,food stands,four legged fancies and much more.
This will be a great day out for all so come along and join the fun. We look forward to seeing you there and hope to make it part of your HAPPY EASTER.
2013-03-26 back to top
Millie Pet of The Month for February
Millie is one of several dogs we see each year following a 'running onto a stick' injury. This is caused by the dog chasing a stick which lands end on in the ground and they fail to stop properly once they reach the stick.Typically with the mouth open to grasp the stick it is forced down the throat and into the soft tissues creating a penetrating injury.
Millie's owners said :' We were walking late on Saturday in the snow near home and Millie was chasing a stick. On the last occasion we threw the stick and it landed pointing upwards and Millie impaled herself on the stick.Initially we heard her yelp and then we saw a lot of blood spreading on the snow and knew we should take her straight into the Hospital'
Dominic was on duty and admitted Millie for an anesthetic in order to properly examine her injury. Once anaesthetised it became apparent that the stick had penetrated through the soft palate (the sensitive soft flap at the back of the roof of the mouth)before being forced into the back of the throat. Dominic removed a 10cm x1 cm stick and after stopping the bleeding cleaned and stitched the soft palate before flushing the puncture wound in the back of the throat to try to ensure no debris was left behind. This wound was left open to heal naturally and Millie went home very late on Saturday night. Millie continued to cough up blood for a few days and was anaesthetised again to examine her wound and airways with our endoscope. The soft palate was healing well and the puncture wound was again cleaned out,it was here that the blood was accumulating before being coughed up. After this treatment Millie settled down and has recovered well.
Her owners told us: 'Millie still loves chasing about and running around with sticks but we are careful never to throw them for her anymore' Millie's case shows how a relatively innocuous game with a stick can potentially be fatal if it damages vital structures at the back of the throat. We recommend only throwing balls (big enough not to be swallowed or to lodge at the back of the throat) or specially made throwing toys. We are always happy to advise on suitable toys and we keep a stock of suitable toys at the Hospital.
2013-03-08 back to top
We are proud to present: Our New Ultrasound machineOur new state of the art ultrasound machine is now up and running.With specialist abdominal and cardiac probes it provides excellent real time images of the abdominal organs and the moving structures of the heart. Colour Flow Doppler allows us to visualise blood flow through organs and we are able to measure flow velocities across heart valves to allow us to pick up on early heart changes.All this is done non invasively and so can be done in most cases on conscious patients. The large 19" screen gives great detail and we can save images for future reference and measurement. The machine is mobile and so if needed it can be moved to critical patients. Our substantial investment in this new equipment is just part of our commitment to provide the best possible care for your pet.
2013-02-22 back to top
Sooty Buck Pet of the Month for January
Four days before Xmas when Sooty's owners heard what they thought was the sound of someone being sick, they found him coughing up blood and bleeding from the mouth. He was very shocked and kept hiding under the furniture, but once they managed to catch him they brought him straight to the Hospital.
On examination, Dominic found Sooty had scuffed claws on all of his feet (typical evidence of a Road Traffic Aciddent) and also had a separation of the mandibular symphysis ( the point of the chin where the two lower jaw bones meet). Initial treatment to stabilise Sooty commenced immediately with intra-venous fluids for shock and regular pain relief.
The following day, now stable, Sam anaesthetised Sooty and took radiographs which confirmed no other fractures and so she wired the jaw back together. Sooty recovered well from the operation but despite ongoing fluids and pain relief he refused to eat voluntarily.
On Xmas Eve , under another quick anaesthetic, Colin placed a pharyngostomy feeding tube.This is a tube which is placed into the oesophagus through a small hole made in the skin on the left side of the upper neck and it allowed Sooty to be easily fed several times a day until he was happy to eat normally himself. Sooty progressed well and went home on January 4th where he has been doing really well and is expected to make a complete recovery.
Mrs Buck said 'I remember feeling very emotional seeing Sooty with blood pouring from his mouth. We took him straight to the vet and they admitted him for treatment. We were able to visit him every day even over Xmas which made us feel better as we could see the steady recovery that he was making. We always had a daily update from the vet and by the end of the second week he was eating on his own and was able to come home. The first few weeks were strange as the other cats stayed well clear of him but he got lots of love and attention from everyone. We are very glad we had insurance to cover the costs as if we didn't I am not sure how we would have managed'
2013-02-15 back to top
Healthy Hearts for Valentine's Day!
At Quantock Veterinary Hospital, we want you to be thinking of your pet’s heart this Valentine’s day. Throughout February we are raising awareness of heart disease in dogs. Certain breeds of dogs are more at risk from heart disease as well as older dogs and those that are over-weight. Heart disease can develop slowly over time with the gradual emergence of symptoms. Does your pet suffer from any of the following symptoms?
Certain breeds of dog are more at risk from heart conditions, as well as over weight and older dogs.
The early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease can help to give your pet a happier life for longer. If you recognise any of these symptoms or have any concerns about your dog’s heart make an appointment today for a free health check with one of our nurses.
2013-02-05 back to top
PET OF THE YEAR 2012
Many congratulations to our unanimous and popular winner Rambo Cross! Mrs Cross received her award from Liz who kindly came back to be one of our judges for the evening, along with Catherine Tomlinson and last years winning owner Mr James.
Everyone had an enjoyable evening and as well as our Pet of the Year, this year we had 'Two Bravest Pets', Tilly Keane and Barbosa Mellor and our most dedicated owner award went to Mr Miers with Kila.
Whilst we hope none of your pets will be in the running for an award this year we will continue to nominate one pet every month and you can read their story here on the web site so keep checking back.
2013-02-04 back to top
Pet of the year awards for the Bravest Pet
And here are the owners of Tilly Keane and Barbosa Mellor receiving their awards.
2013-02-03 back to top
Congratulations to Teresa RVN!Well done to Teresa on successfully completing her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing at Bridgwater College. She now becomes one of our team of 7 qualified nurses helped by 4 trainee nurses in providing nursing care in Quantock Veterinary Hospital 24 hours a day every day of the year!
2013-01-29 back to top
Kila our Pet of the Month
Kila is a Patterdale Terrier, born in 2004 as a result of inbreeding on a puppy farm. Three of her sisters died of abnormalities and Kila wasn't doing well when she was rescued,underweight,cold and obviously unwell. She was nursed back to health and she subsequently had no major issues until January 2008 when she had her first seizure. Seizures are not uncommon in dogs and generally happen infrequently and are usually well controlled with medication. In Kila's case despite medication,the seizures were coming in clusters by February and in March an additional medication was given and although the seizures continued they were less frequent and less intense.
Regular blood tests monitored the levels of medication and whenever seizures worsened the levels were increased still within normal ranges to lessen their frequency. Through most of 2009 seizures were still happening though controlled but towards the end of the year Kila became very flat and lost her sparkle and she also became progressively wobbly on her legs. We conducted various tests for brain problems and they all came back negative and we had to add a third, human medicine into Kila's treatment.
In the summer of 2010 she was doing well with no cluster seizures and we started weaning her off some of her medication but the clusters recurred so back on the medication she went and the 'normal for Kila' pattern of seizures continued for about a year.Then in May 2012 she became much worse,unsteady on her legs and increased seizures. Blood tests revealed pancreatitis, she was admitted and despite intensive care and resolution of the pancreatitis, the seizures were no longer controlled and she became very ataxic.
In June we referred her to Bristol University at Langford for an MRI scan which revealed nothing abnormal and problems with the medication were suspected and it was decided to wean her back off her drugs and replace them with human medication. The seizures still happen though less frequently than at their worst but the good news is she is now much brighter and steady on her legs again.
This refractory type of seizure is very uncommon and most of our cases are controlled well with just one veterinary druj. Kila's case is exceptional, not only in its complexity but also in the level of care and dedication her owner has given her through all of the years on medication, and all without the help of pet insurance>
2013-01-17 back to top
Ralph Pet of the Month
Ralph is another cat who just refused to move home with his owners!
After returning to his old home 5 times it was decided he could stay with his current owner who decided to insure him straight away. That was an excellent decision because just 1 year later in 2007 he developed kidney problems. It was a sudden illness but when he was admitted his kidney parameters on a blood test were so high and his blood count was only one third of normal that we didn't give him very good odds of surviving. We should have known better.
Ralph has always been a fighter, in every sense of the word, he still comes in with battle scars regularly even now! Back then he needed every bit of fight within him,but with intensive care for four days,he made a remarkable recovery. Ralphs kidneys were permanently damaged and ever since then he has had a special diet supplement together with fortnightly injections to boost his blood count and more recently monthly iron injections. Regular monitoring with blood tests, a good diet and close monitoring are keeping him stable.
He has always been the local 'King of the Walk' and is always let outside with instructions of 'no fighting' but despite quietening down somewhat lately he can still 'walk the walk!'
2013-01-16 back to top
Rambo Pet of the Month
Over two years ago, Rambo's original owners moved house but Rambo wasn't impressed and repeatedly turned up back at the old home! Despite trying everything to persuade him to move, eventually they had to give in and neighbours agreed to feed and look after Rambo. All went well until last summer when he was shot.
Falling into a water filled ditch he was extremely lucky to be heard by a passer-by who waded into the ditch to rescue him.Rambo couldnt use his hind limbs when he was brought into the hospital. He was so cold his temperature didn't register on a thermometer and he had lost control of his bladder and bowels. He was immediately admitted for intravenous fluids, pain relef and gentle warming. Next day he was more comfortable and x-rays showed an airgun pellet lodged in his spine.
Over the next couple of days with advice from human trauma surgeons used to dealing with this kind of injury, the wound and tract made by the pellet were cleaned debrided and flushed. The pellet was left in situ, as removing it could have caused permanent damage to the spinal cord. With ongoing pain relief,his bladder catheterised with a special drain and round the clock nursing care, Rambo slowly began to regain some movement in his legs and some control over his bowel and bladder.
More than 3 weeks later he was allowewd home, still with a long recovery ahead of him, but out of danger and steadily improving. Thanks to the quick thinking of the person who found him, the care from our team and the dedication of the owners Rambo continues to recover from the cruel and thoughtless actions of the person who shot him.
2013-01-15 back to top
Hooch Pet of the Month
Hooch's picture gives no idea of how lively and powerful he is which is part of the reason he has had such an eventful few months.Mr & Mrs Green explain the initial events:
'We're not quite sure exactly when Hooch damaged his leg.He had been playing with his brother Turner and at first we just noticed a slight limp but he was still doing all the usual things so we didn't worry unduly. Over the next couple of days we kept an eye on him but the limping didnt improve so we took him in to see Rhiannon who prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. The limping continued so we took him back in and he stayed in for xrays to be taken. The result was a left cruciate ligament rupture,we were upset but after we had been told of the various surgical options in great detail we took him home to digest all the information. We opted for the TTA operation which involves removing a piece of his bone below the knee,moving it forwards and reattaching it with a titanium plate and screws. The operation went well and two days later we took Hooch home for a restful recuperation. Unfortunately Hooch had other ideas and didn't like being separated from his brother. After 2 days he saw my husband walk past the window and jumped up at the door,fell back on his leg and cried out. Back to the Hospital and another xray confirmed he had broken the piece of bone which had been moved forward in the operation. A second operation followed and Hooch spent 6 weeks in the hospital for complete rest. We visited him regularly with Turner as they missed each other. Eventually he came home again and although he still has to be quiet he is steadily progressing and it is great to see the two brothers back together.'
Repair of cruciate injury is one of the commonest orthopaedic operations we perform in dogs, there are many ways of treating the condition depending on size and age of the patient and we always select the operation that seems best for the individual case. Hooch is a very friendly and very boisterous dog and managed to become the only case we have ever seen to fracture his leg post surgery. He is a great character and fully deserves to be our Pet of the Month.
2013-01-14 back to top
Purdey is our Pet of the Month
Purdey is a bit of a scavenger so her owners weren't too concerned when she was vomiting through the night and did the usual thing and starved her for 24 hours. Mrs Parker takes up the story:
'Starving Purdey seemed to be working but when we re-introduced her to food a day later, the vomiting recurred and we took her into Quantock Veterinary Hospital for a check over. On examination nothing seemed obviously wrong apart from the vomiting so Purdey was sent home with medication, but when this didn't stop the vomiting and she became more lethargic we took her back and she was admitted for X-rays. The X-ray showed an intestinal obstruction and after discussing the results with vet Samantha McGuiness we agreed to an operation to investigate the cause. A peach stone was discovered and successfully removed in the operation and Purdey was back to her normal self just 2 days later when she came home. We have no idea where she found the peach stone as we hadn't had any peaches for months! We were really pleased with the care and treatment Purdey received, the only down side is that Purdey hasn't learned her lesson and she still scavenges!'
Purdey is just one of numerous dogs we see every year that heve swallowed a foreign body and prompt treatment saved her life. It is really important to contact us if witholding food for 24 hours doesn't resolve a case of sickness or diarrhoea, and even before that if your pets demeanour becomes lethargic and quiet. In Purdey's case the peach stone had travelled a distance down the small intestine before becoming lodged, causing inflammation of the gut wall, if the condition had been left a couple of days the outcome could have been very different.Whenever there is any doubt, be in no doubt and pick up the telephone, call us and speak to a member of staff. Remember we are on the premises 24 hours a day, every day to help in all cases of emergency and serious illness.
2013-01-12 back to top
Jess Gray Pet of the Month
Jess at 14years old is a wonderful testament to the benefits of insurance and proves you just can't keep an old dog down!
Mr Gray had become concerned when Jess came into season and instead of it lasting the normal couple of weeks it had dragged on for 6 weeks. Jess was otherwise fairly well but knowing that elderly bitches that have not been spayed suffer commonly from a condition known as pyometra,it was arranged to admit Jess for an ultrasound scan.
The scan revealed a large mass mid abdomen, and worryingly there appeared to be nodular lesions in the liver also. This can be a sign of spread from a primary cancer via the bloodstream to the liver. The options and the risks of surgery were discussed with Mr Gray and it was agreed that further blood tests and xrays would be taken and if nothing more was found then an operation would be performed to see if the mass could be removed.
Blood tests showed liver function and clotting factors were ok so the plan was to proceed with xrays under anaesthetic followed by exploratory surgery if they were clear. The good news was the lungs were normal for Jess's age (the lungs are a common site to see tumour spread) so the operation began.
A huge 12cm diameter mass growing on a stalk from the liver was carefully removed by Rhiannon and the nodules on the liver were biopsied. Jess's ovaries were cystic so at the same time she was spayed to prevent further hormonal problems if the surgery proved successful.
The liver nodule biopsies showed these were nodular hyperplasia, a non-cancerous condition not uncommon in older dogs and even better, the histology on the large mass showed this to be a benign adenoma. Despite the major surgery, after 48 hours on fluids Jess was able to go home. Mr Gray was really pleased :
'Since her surgery, Jess has become much more bouncy, just like her old self.We are really pleased we went ahead with the surgery and also that we had pet insurance to help us pay for Jess's treatment. Including our other dog we must have claimed £5,000 from the insurance company it has been really worthwhile'
Jess has made a marvellous recovery from a major operation and it just goes to show how useful pet insurance is when unexpected problems arise, even later on in life.
2013-01-11 back to top
WINNERS OF OUR R.A.W. PRIZE DRAW
During Rabbit Awareness month, all rabbits that attended for a free nurse health check at Quantock Veterinary Hospital were entered into a free prize draw to win a ‘Bunny Hamper’ full of tasty hay, treats and toys.
Our lucky winners, who were selected at random were Crystal and Phoebe Hillier. Miss Hiller’s two sons Corey and Olly came along to the practice along with Dad Chris and little sister Sophia to collect the prize for their two rabbits. I think you will all agree they were delighted to win! Congratulations and we hope that Crystal and Phoebe enjoyed their hamper!
Rabbit Awareness Week aims to raise the profile of rabbits as pets and encourage owners to seek the right veterinary advice on rabbit nutrition and healthcare. Quantock Veterinary Hospital took part this year offering free nurse health checks, we also extended this for a month to allow owners to take advantage of the free offer and access valuable information on diet, husbandry, vaccination, neutering, worming, parasites, companionship and dental care.
Rabbit consultations and vaccinations are available all year round. For more information contact the hospital on 01278 450080.
2012-11-14 back to top
Miley, Pet of The Month
When Miley started coughing and vomiting back her food, her owners initially thought it might just be a fur ball,but when she coughed up blood they knew it was more serious and brought her in to the hospital for a check up.
After a full clinical examination which revealed increased respiratory sounds, Miley was admitted for further tests. A blood sample was taken and the results were normal so Miley was anaesthetised for X-rays of her chest,neck and head. Suspicions of a problem at the lower end of the trachea on the xray led to further examination with an endoscope. This is a long flexible tube with a light at the end and optic fibres allowing us to see inside any body cavity large enough to allow the endoscope to pass. The lower end of the trachea (windpipe) divides into large branches (bronchi) that carry air to the lung lobes and in one of these a build up of mucus was visible partially covering a green object.
Using a long flexible grasper less than 2mm wide which passes inside the endoscope there was some surprise when not one but two large grass seeds were retrived! On recovery from the anaesthetic Miley was noticeably improved, her cough stopped and her breathing and eating were completely normal and after overnigth observation in the Hospital Miley went home the next day.
Mr Easman said ' We first thought she had a furball but when she coughed up blood that was scary. We got her checked out the next morning. That was it! She went in to the Hospital had the grass seeds removed and has been fighting fit ever since. It's not too surprising,she is a real outdoor cat and with our other 5 cats she is forever in the long grass looking for 'presents' to bring us! We have pet insurance and we have been very happy with the insurance company.There have been no problems and everything was just paid for.It was real peace of mind to know she could have the best treatment with no worries.I would recommend insurance to everybody.'
2012-11-07 back to top
Remember remember fireworks continue into the New Year
PREPARING FOR FIREWORK SEASON SPECIAL OFFERS!
Each year pets and their owners dread the arrival of firework season. Here in Bridgwater this often lasts from the start of carnival, through bonfire night and on into the new year. The most important thing in planning for this time of year to avoid unnecessary stress in pets is to start early - and that means NOW!
Each year we have even more help than ever before to get your pets through the stressful firework season. Pheromone treatments (plug ins, collars and sprays) such as 'Adaptil' (formerly 'DAP') and 'Feliway' can be combined with stress busting products such as 'Zylkene' or 'Calm' diet. For some pets these products may be combined with other prescribed anti-anxiety drugs. Contact the Hopsital on the usual phone number or come in and see us to get your pet prepared and avoid what can be an otherwise stressful time of year for everyone
To help further we are offering 15% off the normal price for all the above products from now until the end of the year.Just ask for more information.
Commando Challenge 2012 : £1309 raised
Four teams from Quantock Veterinary Hospital raised the fantastic sum of £1309 in this months Commando Challenge. 6 kilometres running and 4kilometres through the water,mud,tunnels and streams of the marine commando course left everyone feeling wet,muddy,exhausted but very proud to have raised funds for the Devon & Somerset Air Ambulance and for C Group Royal Marines Charities.
Well done Muddy Vets 1 who finished a very creditable 25th in the mixed category and special congratulations to the 'first timers' who didnt realise quite what they were letting themselves in for but who all finished the course.
2012-10-09 back to top
Feisty Fudge Pet Of The Month
Fudge had previously experienced an episode of passing a little blood in her urine, but when Mrs Leonard noticed clots of blood in her bedding and on the kitchen floor, she knew this was something serious and brought her straight in to the Hospital. After a full examination, Rhiannon arranged for her to be admitted the following morning for further examination and tests.
The following day, Natasha performed an ultrasound examination of Fudge's tummy and also too an Xray, a mass surrounded by fluid was visible in Fudge's uterus.Suspecting that this might be an adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer which is fairly common in female rabbits that haven't been spayed, Natasha carefully checked for any signs that the cancer might have spread elsewhere. The good news was that there was no sign of spread and Fudge's lungs were also apparently clear.After discussion with Mrs Leonard, Fudge was given intravenous fluids to correct her dehydration and prepare her for surgery. Natasha spayed Fudge removing the entire uterus including the mass which was growing in one uterine horn.
The operation undoubtedly saved Fudge's life and after an initial slow recovery from her anaesthetic, Fudge picked up when Mrs Leonard came to visit and by the next day she was eating well and allowed to go home.
Mrs Leonard said 'I spent an anxious and tearful day on the day of the surgery and went shopping to try and pass the time. It was wonderful to hear Fudge had made it through the operation and I am very grateful to Natasha and the nurses for their great care. When Fudge came home we tempted her with her favourite foods and also syringe fed her to speed up her recovery! She was quiet for the first few days but it wasn't long before she returned to being our much loved Feisty Fudge!'
2012-09-13 back to top
QVH staff raise money for the Moon Bears
Recently on a misty autumnal morning 7 members of QVH staff, past and present set off on a walk along the coastal cliff path at Kilve. Their mission? To raise money for the Moon Bears Rescue Charity, www.animalsasia.org
This organisation does tremendous work in rescuing beautiful Asiatic Bears (they are called Moon Bears after the markings on their chest) from the cruelty they endure when they have been captured and are then kept in small metal cages in oder to 'milk' their bile from their livers which is then used in Chinese medicine for its supposed medicinal benefit.
The walk was for 5 miles and not long after starting the sun came out and the walk completed in high spirits, not least because of the knowledge that £300 had been raised for the charity. The girls would like to thank everyone who sponsored them and we would like to say a a big Well Done to Julie, Lucy, Natasha, Pinky, Sam, Sara and Zoe.
2012-09-13 back to top
Barbosa Pet of the MonthWhen 1 year old cat Barbosa was hit by a car one sunday in March, the first his owners knew about it was when the driver of the car brought him to the front door wrapped in a blanket. Mrs Mellor told us " My first impression was the he wasn't going to make it. He had blood in both his eyes and his nose and I couldn't see the rest of him as he was all wrapped up. I called Quantock Veterinary Hospital and was told to bring him straight in.By the time we got there Barbosa was sitting up, but the duty vet Natasha explained that this wasn't all good news because as he had breathig problems despite his pain it was easier for him to breath 'sat up'." Natasha explained "Barbosa was in shock having suffered serious head trauma, he had bleeding from his eye,mouth and nostrils and blood in his airways. He was given strong pain relief, given intravenous fluids for the shock and put into an oxygen tent to help his breathing" After his condition was stabilised,the following day Barbosa was given a general anaesthetic to assess the full extent of his injuries. As well as an unstable jaw and damage to his eye socket, Xrays showed he had fractured his pelvis and damaged one of his vertebrae. Barbosa remained in hospital in intensive care for several days until he was able to feed himself again.During this time he received powerful intravenous infusions for pain relief and was also treated for severe constipation, common after pelvic injury of this type. The next few day in intensive care with rest and ongoing pain relief brought great improvements and Barbosa began to lap up the liquid diet he was given.This allowed him to be taken off intravenous fluids and he was soon well enough to continue his care at home. Barbosa remained on the liquid diet until his jaw healed and was kept confined for 6 weeks of enforced rest. Xrays then showed good healing of all of his fractures and so surgical repair was not needed. Mrs Mellor said " He's doing really well now although I am sure he remembers the accident as he runs and hides whenever he hears a fast moving vehicle, even if it's on the TV! He also stays in the garden and doesn't want to venture out,I am really pleased to have him home and well again after all the wonderful care he received at Quantock."
2012-06-28 back to top
Renewal of QVH top ‘Hospital’ status and Nether Stowey’s RCVS status
Last autumn, the Quantock Veterinary Hospital was inspected and we have just been informed we have once again earned the highest accreditation (Tier 3) for standards awarded by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for veterinary practices. Only 4% of veterinary practices in the country have this ‘Hospital’ status and it is critical to us that we are one of them. The three yearly Hospital inspection takes an entire day and inspectors appointed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons scrutinize every aspect of the premises, our patient care, health and safety and staff training. It is always a very stressful time but we are delighted to say that we not only passed again but that the inspectors were very complementary about many aspects of the hospital.
We are also very proud that our Nether Stowey branch practice was also inspected and retains its own RCVS ‘Core practice’ status - the highest award it can gain for its size and the work we carry out there.
2012-06-27 back to top
Dental care month
During June, Quantock Veterinary Hospital will be taking part in 'Dental Care Month'. As advertised on TV. As four out of five dogs over three years of age are now seen to have periodontal disease (bad teeth and/or gums) we want to help you to care for your pet’s oral care. With this in mind we are offering free dental checks for dogs, cats and rabbits during June as well as 10% off any dental treatment carried out and dental products sold, making this the perfect opportunity to deal with any dental problems your pet may have. Plus, as home dental care is the key to helping maintain healthy teeth and gums, why not come and learn how to keep your pet's teeth healthy with tips for brushing or advice for other home care where brushing just isn't possible.
2012-06-21 back to top
Tilly our Pet of the Month
Our Pet of the month for March is Tilly Keane! Tilly is an 8yr old female Great Dane which is quite an age for such a large breed of dog and Mr & Mrs Keane had the foresight to keep her insured for vets fees, a good move we are sure you will agree! The story began in January when Tilly had her regular vaccination and check up and Mrs Keane asked Colin about a growing mass on her foot which was repeatedly bursting open and becoming infected. Other small lumps were checked and in addition a lump could be felt inside Tilly's abdomen. As the foot was the only thing causing problems at the time, in view of Tilly's age Colin suggested that mass and a couple of smaller ones in the skin should be removed, but the internal mass left alone as he thought surgery to remove it might be too much for Tilly to cope with at her age.Little did he know!
Surgery was performed as planned and went well & Tilly went home to enjoy what was hoped would be an uneventful recovery.
Mrs Keane takes up the story: "Tilly had no problems after the initial surgery until about a week later when at about 11pm on Saturday night Tilly became restless and started retching and salivating and acting as if she had a serious stomach problem. I realised something was desperately wrong and phoned the emergency out of hours service and was told to take Tilly straight in. I drove the car while my husband tried to keep Tilly awake as she just just wanted to curl up and we were afraid she was dying. Then, right in front of us a man fell off his scooter making the journey even more eventful! When we arrived, Liz immediately reassured us and said that although she felt Tilly had a twisted stomach, she hoped there was something she could do to save her."
Now on emergency intravenous fluids, Tilly's Xrays showed her stomach had indeed twisted and was filling with gas. After relieving the pressure by passing a stomach tube Tilly went straight to surgery where the 110degree twist was corrected and the stomach stitched to the abdominal wall to prevent it happening again. On investigating the abdomen the mass felt in January was found to be an ovarian tumour! After further discussion with Mr & Mrs Keane in the early hours of the morning it was decided to spay Tilly,removing both ovaries and uterus. The surgery finally finished at 3am and Tilly went into intensive care to recover over the next 36 hours before going home for a relatively uneventful recovery.
To survive such major surgery at her age is testament to Tilly's fighting spirit and the skill of the team that saved her and is also proof of the value of insurance cover even in a pet's later years. Mrs Keane agreed : "We were kept well informed throughout Tilly's treatment and having been made aware that she might not make it through the surgery it is great to see her back home ,a happy,healthy dog. She was such a good patient and didn't bother with any of her dressings and we all hope she has gained another couple of years of happy life"
2012-06-10 back to top
Becky receives award for 25 YEARS Loyal serviceBecky Chamberlin first started working for Colin on 25th May 1987, but as she is off to run in a charity marathon in Edinburgh at the weekend,we surprised her today with an award for a quarter of a century working here. In addition to all her pets, Becky also collects teddy bears so Colin and Dominic presented her with a limited edition Steif teddy bear in her favourite colour wearing a tag inscribed in recognition of her'first' 25 years with us. We are sure you will join with us in thanking Becky for all her hard work and in hoping that she will remain working here for many years to come!
2012-05-23 back to top
FLEA & TICK CONTROL SPECIAL OFFERS FOR MAY & JUNE
Spring is here and with the warmer weather comes an increase in flea and tick activity, which threatens the health of your pets.
Controlling fleas is a challenge, particularly in households with more than one pet. We regularly hear from pet owners who have stuck diligently to a flea control programme but who have still experienced significant flea problems. It can be a source of great frustration.
Ticks are also a persistent problem due to the high levels of tick population in our rural environment and the risk of tick born disease such as Lyme's disease.We are here to help you achieve the best possible control by using the most appropriate product for your pet.
Whilst many modern flea and tick products work well, misapplication,incorrect dosing and frequent swimming or washing of your dog or cat can all compromise their effectiveness and. once this happens, fleas may survive and breed. laying eggs in the house and thereby perpetuating the problem.
To help you achieve the best flea and tick control for your pets we are offering FREE flea and tick consultations with our nurses AND up to 25% OFF selected products!
There are many options when deciding upon the most appropriate flea and tick control programme but you can be sure that we only recommend the most up to date and effective flea control methods including new ,flavoured chewable monthly tablets for dogs, twice yearly injections for cats and spot-ons and collars.
To find out the most appropriate flea and tick control for your dog or cat and to participate in our special offer of up to 25% off flea and tick control in May & June call us on 01278 450080 for more information & to book your FREE nurse consultation.
2012-05-20 back to top
A very warm welcome to our new Vet Sam
We are very pleased to introduce our new veterinary surgeon,Samantha McGuinness to Quantock Veterinary Hospital. Sam joined us in April after working in small animal first opinion practice where she had been running her own successful locum service for some time.
Sam has completed two post graduate internships at Bristol University and has a special interest in surgery and pain management although like the rest of the veterinary team you will most likely meet her for the first time in the consulting room.
You can read more about Sam and the rest of our team by clicking on the link to our staff pages.
2012-05-10 back to top
Rabbit Awareness MonthFollowing on from Easter, which generally sees an increase in rabbit ownership, Quantock Veterinary Hospital are promoting Rabbit awareness and highlighting the commitment and cost involved with owning rabbits. Rabbits are the third most popular domestic pet but by far the most neglected, often being fed an incorrect diet, kept in inadequate accommodation without access to an outdoor run and alone. During April we are offering a FREE nurse consultation including a clinical examination and a bunny pack full of lots of information about housing, diet, pet insurance, veterinary care such as vaccinations and neutering, companionship, bunny boredom buster ideas and much more. Are you …. Committed??? To care for me all of my life …. Maybe 12 years or more? To spend £1000 p/a on things I need? To give me a large safe house to live in? To get me a neutered companion rabbit? To neuter and vaccinate me? To feed me the correct diet? To provide veterinary care? To nurture and protect me? To give me space to play? To never get bored of me? To spend time with me? To not abandon me? It takes a lot of time money and effort to meet a rabbit’s needs …. Can you meet them?? For more information contact the H
2012-04-16 back to top
Pet of the Month (February 2012) - Lindy PittardBelinda Valentine Pittard, usually known as Lindy, is a thirteen year old Birman, a stunning breed of cat with pale silky hair, striking blue eyes and distinctive white gloved paws. Earlier this year, she was brought into the Hospital with her two feline housemates showing typical symptoms of flu – off food, sneezing and nasal discharge. As they were all eating and drinking normally, they were given symptomatic treatment to help them through the flu and allowed to return home. However, four days and various hospital visits later, Boris and Lindy returned as they had now stopped eating and they now had a thick nasal discharge common with secondary bacterial infection. Both cats were given antibiotics and decongestants, but disappointingly, two days later they were still not eating or drinking and so they were admitted for intravenous fluid therapy. Special steam baths with Olbas oil were given to them both and they were encouraged to eat, given lots of TLC and monitored closely. After 24 hours of care, Boris had improved well but poor little Lindy was still refusing food and her condition was becoming more serious. Mrs Pittard explained “It was a terrible time as we’d recently lost our wonderful 19 year old Birman, Monty and then to have all the cats suffer with flu at the same time was very distressing, it felt like we were constantly in and out of the hospital! Lindy is such a tiny little thing and such a fussy eater I knew she’d be the most reluctant to start feeding again. She was absolutely miserable.” Rhiannon, the vet in charge said “Lindy was by now in a state where we needed to place a feeding tube down under a General Anaesthetic; this is placed well down her oesophagus through a small hole made in her neck and this meant we could now give her the critical nutrients she needed so badly”. As Lindy now much thinner and weaker, recovered from her anaesthetic, some of the thick mucous from her sinuses suddenly blocked her airways and the team had to work very quickly and carefully to clear it. Fortunately she recovered well from the drama with oxygen therapy and some intensive care. Later that night, disappointingly, Lindy didn’t help the situation, as she managed to pull her feeding tube out despite it being taped and stitched into place. This was a worry as the team were very reluctant to give her another General Anaesthetic to repeat the procedure. Rhiannon explained “By the next day Lindy was still refusing to eat, so reluctantly we had to give a second General Anaesthetic and replace the feeding tube. Fortunately this time there were no further problems and it remained in place which was a relief!” With the feeding tube now doing its job, over the next four days Lindy recovered well. Her owners were naturally very keen to take her home, so the hospital nurses taught Mrs Pittard how to feed Lindy through the tube several times a day. Exhausted but determined, Mrs Pittard, who had been nursing the other cats successfully through the flu, struggled on to ensure Lindy got better “It was a long old process!” she said. At home, Lindy recovered well with Mrs Pittard’s loving care and strict feeding regime and soon chose to eat a few biscuits from her bowl which was an encouraging breakthrough! One final set back arose when Mrs Pittard noticed that the wound around the feeding tube had become infected. Lindy was admitted for the feeding tube to be removed and appropriate medication prescribed and everyone was very pleased to watch her go on to make a full recovery at home where she continues to eat normally! Mrs Pittard said “Nearly two months after the start of all these problems, Lindy was considered well enough to be given a vaccination, and so now she is inoculated against cat flu amongst other things! I don’t want this happening again! It’s a huge relief that this episode is over, I have to say it was a very depressing and expensive time but the team at the Hospital was excellent – they couldn’t have done more for us.”
2012-04-09 back to top
ROLY: Pet of the Month
Pet of the Month January 2012 - 'Roly' Cobbledick Happier, chattier and spleenless!
Seven year old border terrier Roly was brought in by his owner late one night just before Christmas. The little dog had been sick earlier in the day and seemed off colour. By late evening he was obviously in increasing discomfort and had started suffering stomach contractions. After some probing questions on the phone Rhiannon, the vet on duty at the hospital, asked Mr and Mrs Cobbledick to bring Roly in urgently so that she could examine him carefully.
Rhiannon found that Roly's cranial abdomen was uncomfortable although she couldn’t detect any obvious obstructions. In pain and now dehydrated he was admitted for fluids, blood tests and pain relief. An ultrasound showed clearly that Roly had a worryingly enlarged spleen and fluid in his abdomen. Abdominocentesis was performed and it was discovered that the fluid was blood. Rhiannon explained “At this point we knew there was a serious problem with Roly’s spleen and I needed to carry out surgery to investigate further.” The owners agreed and Rhiannon soon found out that the cause of Roly’s distress was a worrying mass at the head of his spleen, amazingly in such a small dog it was the size of an orange and had obviously been there some time! The blood in his abdomen was from the rupture of the mass.
Rhiannon carefully carried out a full splenectomy – animals, including humans, can live perfectly well with out a spleen! Lymph node biopsies were also taken as they were found to be enlarged. The surgery went well but as you can imagine this had come as a huge shock for the Cobbledicks and they were immensely worried about their much loved pet. Mrs Cobbledick said “When we saw Roly in recovery he tried to wag his tail but you could see he was very weak. I climbed into the cage to comfort him and would have stayed there if I could have! We were very upset and there was a chance that the cancer had spread which was a terrible thought, but the staff were all so kind and helpful and we knew he was in good hands.”
After a quiet week and with lots of care, Roly recovered from his surgery. “We brought him home on Christmas Eve” said Mrs Cobbledick “and spoiled him rotten with lots of attention and small amounts of tasty vet food and rice which he loved. He had stitches right up his tummy and was very thin so could only manage very short walks but we had him home for Christmas and that was great. However because of Christmas it seemed like an eternity before the results of the biopsy arrived, it was an extremely worrying time.”
Eventually just after the Christmas period the wonderful news came back that Roly’s laboratory results showed that the mass was not malignant, there was no evidence of neoplasia (tumour) in the spleen nor in the lymph nodes. “We were over the moon” said Mrs Cobbledick “We were prepared for the very worst and so it came as a huge relief.” Rhiannon said “It was great that we managed to catch this in time, the mass was very large and had ruptured. Roly could have died as a result of blood loss if it had gone untreated. We see quite a few less fortunate cases where it’s too late to help or where aggressive cancer has caused the disease. Always be vigilant if your pet is showing unusual signs of discomfort and seek veterinary advice” Mrs Cobbledick added “We’d like to say a massive thank you to all the staff especially Rhiannon who has made us very grateful for her care and attention. Roly is like a new dog, more focused than before and more talkative. Pip, our other dog can’t catch her now when they play chase and he doesn’t understand why!”
2012-02-25 back to top
New Simpler Pet Passport Regulations Now in Force
As from 1st January 2012 new rules apply for bringing pets back into the UK after travelling abroad. Dogs and cats will still need to be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies and have an EU pet passport (which we can issue). Following a waiting period of 21 days after the initial rabies vaccination your dog or cat can then enter the UK via an authorised route. This does away with the need for a blood test and subsequent 6 month wait as was previously the case. Tapeworm treatment by a vet for all dogs is still required before re-entry but this can now be given between 24 and 120 hours before the scheduled arrival time in the UK. Tick treatment is no longer mandatory but may be sensible, please ask us for details. The full information is available from the following DEFRA website :
2012-02-23 back to top
Pet of the Year 2011
On 17th January Quantock Veterinary Hospital held it's annual 'Pet of the Year' awards. The owners of the twelve 'Pets of the month' came together for an enjoyable evening of presentations, food and drink. Our three judges - Elly Woolcott (Petplan), Nicola Ward (Kyoo Marketing) and Dan Taylor (owner of last years winner 'Lola') - had the difficult decision of making four awards on the night.
Our winners are pictured in the photo here (from left to right), Mr Williams with his dog 'Ella' won the award for 'Outstanding owner dedication', Mr and Mrs James received the 'Bravest pet' award on behalf of their pet 'Cleo' and Mrs and Miss Lowe collected the 'Pet the nurses would most like to take home' award for their dog 'Pebbles'. Cleo James, a rescue Staffi cross who had two major operations on her stifles (knees) in 2011, was subsequently chosen by the judges as our 'Pet of the Year'. Find out all about Cleo (July's Pet of the Month), Ella (October), Pebbles (May) and all our other pets of 2011 by looking through the other news items here on the website. Congratulations to all twelve pets and their owners.
2012-01-23 back to top
It's time to award our 2011 Pet of the Year!
On Tuesday 17th of January at 7.30pm we are celebrating our most amazing and notorious animals of 2011! Every month the hospital staff vote for their most inspiring ‘patient’. Voting criteria ranges from ‘Immense bravery’, ‘Brilliant character’, ‘Determined to survive’ and ‘Learning to live with a disability’.
This year the nominated pets have ranged from adored pets who have endured accidents, injuries and distressing conditions, dogs whose greedy ways have got them into serious trouble and an impressive slimming rabbit. All of them have their own story and behind them are their dedicated owners. The ‘Pet of the Year’ Award allows our staff an opportunity to award a prize to their most admired pet and thank all of their remarkable owners for their commitment and loyalty to their animals and the Hospital.
Vet Liz Mullineaux who runs the scheme along with nurse Sian Holman said “Over the year all sorts of animals come to the Hospital with an extraordinarily wide variety of problems. Some of the cases and stories behind them are complex, some incredible, some heartbreaking but so many of the pets and importantly their owners too are an inspiration to those of us dealing with them. They help make our jobs rewarding and this is our chance to celebrate some of those that have been considered somehow particularly special.”
Judging takes place on 17th January 2012 at an evening Awards event at the Hospital and this year as well as an overall ‘Pet of the Year’, there will be three runners up in categories for ‘Bravest Pet’, ‘Outstanding Dedication’ and ‘Pet the nurses would most like to take home’.
2012-01-16 back to top
Pet of the month Sam
It’s true – onions really can make you cry!
Our final Pet of the year for 2011 was Sam. Out of the blue one day Sam, an adorable three year old black Labrador experienced sudden onset muscle tremors and alarming convulsions. When Sam reached the Hospital he was distressed, still experiencing tremors and was very wobbly on his feet. There was no previous history of similar episodes so exposure to some sort of toxin was high on the list of possible causes.
Natasha Strelzyn was the vet who saw Sam and she explained “Bloods were immediately taken and Sam was given sedative drugs to achieve muscle relaxation and to prevent further convulsions.” Sam was kept quiet in a darkened room under close observation and was carefully monitored - he eventually settled although slight muscle tremors remained.
Natasha continued “The blood results came back all normal, which ruled out many potential causes but Sam then began retching and rather helpfully vomited up some large chunks of onion – onion toxicity was suddenly number one on the list of possible causes!” Unknown to many people, onions (and garlic) are poisonous to cats and dogs in all forms - raw, cooked and dehydrated.
The VPIS (Veterinary Poisons Information Service) were contacted for further detailed information regarding onion toxicity – the VPIS provide a valuable 24 hour advice for veterinary professionals on the diagnosis and management of poisoned animals. They confirmed that although not common, onion toxicity could well have caused the convulsions. Other and more common signs of onion toxicity include gastrointestinal symptoms primarily vomiting and delayed onset anaemia (decreased number of red blood cells in the bloodstream).
Anti-nausea and anti-vomiting treatment was administered to help Sam settle and then activated charcoal was given to prevent further onion absorption into the body – the charcoal binds to the toxin whilst in the gut. Natasha said “We added some activated charcoal to some food once we were assured that Sam was alert enough to be eating. Naomi (the nurse initially looking after him) and I were delighted but amazed when the small bowl of food complete with activated charcoal was wolfed down in an instant! The bowl was licked clean with no hesitation whatsoever! This may have explained Sam’s initial problem!!” Fluid therapy, supportive and symptomatic care was continued along with careful monitoring throughout his five day stay.
The toxin in onions (thiosulphate) can damage the part of the red blood cell responsible for transporting oxygen around the body and can cause the cells to become fragile and burst, therefore resulting in anaemia. This can result in the bodily tissues being deprived of oxygen and can be a rapidly life-threatening condition which can occur up to 5 days after exposure. So, each day the level of red blood cells within Sam’s bloodstream was assessed to check for delayed onset anaemia. Worrying signs to look out for are general weakness, depression, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, discoloured urine, jaundice appearing as a yellowing of tissues such as the whites of the eyes, gums and skin as well as very pale pink or white gums.
Onion toxicity can also result in gastrointestinal signs due to the toxin causing direct damage to the stomach and small bowel lining, which results in vomiting, abdominal pain decreased or no appetite and occasionally diarrhoea. However, luckily over a few days, Sam’s muscle tremors and wobbliness reduced and he showed no other disturbing signs. He was soon completely back to his normal self and went home five days after being admitted.
If you suspect onion toxicity either as a result of your cat/dog showing any of the symptoms mentioned above if you know your pet has ingested onion please do not hesitate to contact us. Severe anaemia and even death can occur if the cat or dog ingests a significant amount of onions and receive no treatment. Naomi added “Sam was an absolute pleasure to look after throughout his stay; he has a gorgeous temperament and was extremely loving even when disorientated - he definitely received a fair few cuddles from myself and the nurses!” Sam certainly lived up to the Labrador’s reputation as a very greedy breed of dog. Let’s hope his Labrador ways don’t get him into trouble again!
2012-01-15 back to top
Pet of the Month - 'Dilly' Sage
A curtailed holiday away may have been a blessing in disguise
Mr and Mrs Sage, clients of the Hospital, were having a week in France when Mrs Sage was taken ill. They decided to return early after just a few days. It was on returning that they found their thirteen year old, much love Bengal cat Dilly on the sofa with an update from their cat sitter that she had been there for a few days and had hardly eaten or moved.
Mrs Sage said “We assumed that it was perhaps her age and the colder weather that had driven Dilly in - she spent most nights in a horse box where she’d re-homed herself in protest at the arrival of our new cat, Custard! However, the following day Dilly, who is usually a very active cat, had still neither moved from the sofa nor eaten so we decided to bring her into the Hospital.”
Vet Aimi Glover explained “Dilly’s tail was lifeless and hanging down and proved to have no pain sensation at all. Her pelvic area was painful and she turned out to have a massively distended bladder. These are all signs of a tail pull injury with consequent nerve damage – something very common in cats and often down to road traffic accidents.” There were no other visible signs of injury but after a general anaesthetic and X-rays, damage could be seen confirming Aimi’s diagnosis. A urinary catheter was placed to drain the bladder for a couple of days.
Dilly was kept in the Hospital for around a week in order for her bladder to be expressed manually and enemas to be given to help her pass faeces. The Sage’s were nurses and so happy to have Dilly home to care for after this initial period of intense care. Three weeks after getting home Dilly’s nervous system was showing all the signs of recovery and she was passing urine and faeces normally. However, despite everyone hoping that her tail would recover, it remained lifeless and in her way so it was agreed that the best thing would be to amputate it. Surgically the operation went smoothly.
Mrs Sage said “We had a very distressing time around this period as, at the same time as Dilly’s accident, our other cat Custard suddenly went off his food and blood tests showed that he had advanced bowel cancer which proved to be inoperable. It was a terrible shock. The team at the Hospital was wonderful and someone contacted us every day over this awful period.” She added “Now I can’t quite believe how well Dilly is doing, especially without her tail. She has never once troubled the area and doesn’t seem to miss it at all which is a huge relief. She now has a slightly weak bladder but it’s not a problem. She’s also given up her horse box and sleeps in the house again which is really nice. We have just got a new cat which Dilly of course also hates, but despite that, this time it doesn’t look like she’s going to budge! I hope 2012 will be a kinder year for our cats!”
2011-12-21 back to top
Ella Williams the boxer - looking beautiful again
Skin problems and diseases are very common in pets today and we see many patients at the Hospital suffering from a wide range of skin conditions ranging from common parasitic problems, such as flea infestations, to rarer skin conditions such as immune system disorders and cancers.
“Accurately diagnosing skin diseases is critical in dogs as many skin diseases have similar appearances yet require very different treatments – some can be cured and some require life long treatment. This process of diagnosis and treatment has to be very methodical and can take time which is frustrating for patients, owners and vets” said Dominic Phillips “however it is worth it as once we have a diagnosis we can treat a patient in the best possible way. Ella is an example of where, with the patience and support of Mr Williams, we were able to use a range of diagnostic tests to rule in or out all the possible causes of Ella’s skin problems until we identified what was causing her skin problems. Whilst we were doing this poor Ella’s skin was getting worse and worse – she looked a very sorry state.”
Mr Williams, Ella’s owner explained “I lost my wife a short while ago and a couple of months later Ella started loosing her hair in patches. I wondered if it was due to stress as she missed my wife terribly. At her lowest point poor Ella looked just awful, like a pig with big patches of baldness on her hips, head, flank and shoulders. I was worried to take her out in case people thought I was mistreating her. It was very upsetting.”
Dominic added “Ella is a wonderful patient; she put up with all the tests and trials cheerfully and stoically. After extensive tests in May this year, including skin biopsies and bloods tests for hormonal and allergic diseases, Ella was diagnosed with canine atopy”. “Canine atopy is an immune system disorder or allergic skin disease. Ella’s dramatic appearance with hair loss, redness, scabs and itchiness were caused by her immune system reacting inappropriately in response to some food stuffs and environmental allergens. It is a disease which cannot be cured but can be managed by selecting an appropriate diet and using medication to control the immune system’s behaviour”.
Based on the diagnosis new treatment was started in June using a relatively new and currently expensive drug called Cyclosporine A. This drug is initially given daily and then gradually reduced. Fortunately Ella was insured and this allowed Mr Williams to give her the best treatment available, which otherwise might not have been possible. Dominic also prescribed a special hypoallergenic diet free from the beef and yeast she was allergic to.
To everyone’s delight, Ella has had a wonderful response and Mr Williams is over the moon with her improvement. “My dogs are my life now and I’ll do anything for them. It’s wonderful to see her back to normal and happily playing with my other Boxer Roxy. Ella is a ‘one hundred mile an hour dog’, she eats at a hundred miles an hour and runs at a hundred miles an hour and it was heart breaking to see her so low and suffering. Things are looking up.”
2011-12-12 back to top
Salam Harris - 'Pet of the month'
Salam Harris, a beautiful three year old Persian cat lives happily with the Harris’s two well behaved Rottweiler’s. One unfortunate day in September, Salam and one of the dogs, 16 month old Roxy, both noticed a bit of chicken fall to the floor, they dived at the morsel and poor old Salam’s head was seriously injured in the process. Mrs Harris explained “I don’t think either animal realised what had happened but Roxy must have snapped at the chicken and caught poor old Salam’s head instead. Salam ran off and when I caught up with him it was very shocking, his right eye was in a terrible mess and literally hanging out!”
Salam was immediately admitted to the Hospital and seen by vet Dominic Phillips and veterinary nurse Sue Hoddinott. “Poor Salam had very severe head trauma injuries,” explained Dominic, “with his right eyeball prolapsed and both left and right jaw joints dislocated. Our immediately priority was treatment of pain and shock, and to replace the prolapsed eye and the dislocated jaw”. He had successful emergency treatment to his eye and jaw that night and by the next day he was stable enough for a full assessment under anaesthetic and for x-rays to be taken of his skull. X-rays revealed no obvious skull or jaw fractures however as Dominic explained “jaw fractures are common following a dislocation such as Salam’s and though we couldn’t see any fractures on the x-rays we knew that there might be small fractures of the delicate jaw bones which might not be detectable. As for his eye – it was successfully replaced, however whether it would survive or be visual again was not known”. Salam was in intensive care for 4 days, however he was very nervous, wasn’t eating and was losing weight so he went home in the hope that he might do better in his own surroundings.
However, once home he still refused to eat and had to be readmitted for further assessment. Repeat tests and x-rays of his skull revealed a mildly displaced fracture of the right temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) that was leading to instability and misalignment of the jaw making eating difficult and uncomfortable. Referral to a specialist centre elsewhere to resolve the problem was an option but the Harris’s decided to continue to have Salam treated at the Hospital. Following the placement of a special feeding tube that by-passes the mouth to allow feeding of a liquid diet, the specialist help of human dentist David Ward, who has worked on veterinary cases previously, was called upon to create a perfectly stable and immobile jaw by using advanced dental materials to bond Salam’s upper and lower teeth together. For 10 days Salam was in intensive care and was struggling with tube feeding. Once the dental bonding broke down jaw stability had been achieved for a sufficient time to allow the jaw fracture to heal, so the feeding tube was removed and Salam was allowed home again where healing continued and he went from strength to strength. Dominic said “Salam did so well considering the severity of his injuries; we still don’t know if he will see with his right eye but he’s very happy and comfortable. He’s benefitted from incredibly devoted owners who have been critical in supporting and nursing him through a very long recovery period.”
Mrs Harris added “Now seeing him you wouldn’t believe anything ever happened, he is eating with no problem, there are no signs of discomfort and he has put on weight. His eye looks perfectly normal but unfortunately he has, at least for the time being, lost his sight in that eye. It seems to cause Salam no distress and it’s great to see him go from strength to strength. We’ve had a very unlucky year with our various animals so it’s been a huge relief and very reassuring to belong to the Hospital where there’s a reliable and experienced team on hand at all times."
Salam and Roxy remain the best of friends.
2011-11-21 back to top
Cleo - our very expensive rescue dog is 'pet of the month'
Four year old Cleo James has been, as her owner affectionately put it, “a bit of a disaster zone” since they chose her as a four month old rescue puppy from The Mayhew Animal Home in London! Mr and Mrs James selected the appealing pup thought to be Staffi crossed with Husky (or certainly “something big”); she was a stunning dog with an unusual coat and a broad smiling face!
Mrs James said, “When we moved down to the area with our three rescue dogs last year, we chose to register with Quantock Veterinary Hospital as it obviously offered more than your average practice and the staff seemed friendly and helpful. Little did we know then how much time we’d spend there over the year with poor old Cleo!"
Cleo already had a chequered history, suffering as a young dog from a condition called ‘Panosteitis’ a bone disease that causes pain and lameness and usually affecting the large dog breeds. She also proved to be rather an expensive rescue dog in other ways! Mrs James explained “Cleo has chewed absolutely everything – from Rayban sunglasses, to mobile phones, electrics, shoe insoles and even my car’s precious walnut gear stick!” Cleo once had to have her stomach pumped at the hospital when she managed to chew into a bottle of car engine coolant! We think she’s lucky to have such committed owners; however adorable she is it can’t have always been easy!
But more trouble started this Spring when, during a lovely walk on the beach with all the dogs, Cleo pulled to an abrupt and painful stop – something was obviously very wrong with her left hind leg.
Vet Colin Cheetham gave Cleo initial anti-inflammatory pain relief and advised strict rest, but concerned that it might be something serious, he arranged to sedate, X-ray and re-examine Cleo when the pain and lameness didn’t improve. This follow up examination confirmed Colin’s fears - cruciate ligament rupture. Colin explained “Cruciate ligament rupture is a serious knee injury which can lead to osteoarthritis and reduced mobility unless corrected with surgery. I decided to use a relatively new and extremely well thought of orthopaedic procedure for correcting the problem - Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA). This involves stabilising the knee joint by first cutting off the front of the bone just below the joint and then moving it forwards before re-attaching it using titanium implants. The knee is very complex and this procedure stabilises the joint, limiting the abnormal movement that follows cruciate ligament rupture and at the same time neutralising the unwanted forces that lead to the the ligament rupturing in the first place."
The procedure went well but just prior to the six week post-op X-rays, Cleo's right hind leg started to suffer too and sadly but not surprisingly it proved to be the same condition. Once again Cleo underwent TTA surgery.
Now, after five months of carefully controlled exercise (and the James’s sleeping in the dining room to be with Cleo), her final examination has just taken place and the news is positive. Her knees seem to have healed well and though there may be issues in the future, Mrs James is hugely looking forward to seeing her let loose on the beach with the other dogs any day now!
Mrs James said “Cleo is very special, despite their reputation I’d recommend Staffi’s to anyone – I think it was the Dog Whisperer who said “there are no bad breeds, only bad owners"! Everyone at the Hospital has been brilliant, but one thing I do regret is that Cleo wasn’t insured, it has turned out to be a very expensive year! We now have her insured, having found a very good deal with M&S online, as I suspect we may be in for more trouble with our much loved but very expensive dog!”
2011-11-13 back to top
Diabetes Awareness Month
Quantock Veterinary Hospital is taking part in Diabetes awareness month which runs throughout November, with special events and information
What is Diabetes?
The PANCREAS is an organ in the body that produces a hormone called INSULIN. This is produced when blood glucose (sugar) levels in the blood rise (after eating for example). The insulin acts like a key, opening the doors to the cells to allow the glucose to enter and be used. Without the key the glucose cannot get into the cells so remains in the blood.
When INSULIN is either not produced in sufficient amounts or the body does not respond to it, the glucose in the blood stream cannot be used and remains high. This is known as DIABETES MELLITUS.
Diabetes is on the increase affecting 1 in 100 to 1 in 500 cats and dogs. Certain breeds, overweight, inactive, neutered male cats and unspayed bitches are more at risk of developing diabetes.
The classic symptoms of diabetes are:
Diabetes can be diagnosed through clinical signs, urine samples and blood tests and managed with Insulin injections.
Here at QVH during the month of November we are trying to raise awareness of diabetes and offering our clients:
If you would like more information or like to complete an online assessment to determine if you’re pet is at an increased risk of diabetes, and to be entered into a prize draw to win £250 in Pet Store vouchers go to
2011-11-03 back to top
Ben the bunny is 'Pet of the month'
You may not be aware but rabbits’ teeth are quite extraordinary! The wild rabbit, our domesticated rabbit’s ancestor, feeds mainly on grass and so a rabbit’s teeth are designed for grinding down grass which is very tough, fibrous and abrasive. Designed for all this hard work, rabbit’s teeth grow continuously and fast enough to keep up with this wear and to ensure the optimum mechanical chewing action is maintained to break up food efficiently ready to be digested. However, domestic rabbits are very prone to serious dental problems and tooth overgrowth is the most common reason for pet rabbits requiring veterinary treatment. There are two main reasons that the domestic rabbit suffers from tooth overgrowth. Firstly, the breeding of rabbits over the years has often favoured the smaller dwarf breeds which have smaller skulls and consequently suffer from poor alignment of their teeth; this allows the teeth to overgrow. Secondly, the modern diets we feed our rabbits are often inappropriate, not being tough and fibrous enough to wear the constantly growing teeth down sufficiently and this also allows the teeth to over grow. Over grown teeth rub against the tongue and cheeks causing ulcers and pain.
One of our patients over the last five years is Ben an adorable 8½ year old rabbit who has been in and out of the hospital regularly for dental treatment. Being a dwarf breed, dental disease was always a risk for Ben and in 2006 he first showed the symptoms of dental problems, when he was diagnosed and treated successfully for tooth over growth. Since then his owners have shown great commitment, working with the staff at Quantock Veterinary Hospital to ensure that Ben has his teeth treated regularly to keep him comfortable, happy and healthy.
“It’s most important to stay alert” said Mrs Bryant. “When Ben first started showing signs of lethargy and discomfort, strangely enough only at night, we had no idea what the problem might be and certainly, as a very young rabbit, we didn’t expect to hear that he had abscesses caused by dental problems. But we now watch him really carefully for any sign of unease and then he’s straight back to the hospital. Now, every two to three months, he has a regular trim of his incisors and less frequently has his cheek teeth rasped and burred back under anaesthetic.”
Dominic Phillips, veterinary surgeon explained “Rabbits have a distinctive and important side to side chewing motion which, together with the right diet, should wear the teeth keeping them at the optimum length as they continue to grow. Unfortunately we see lots of cases of dental problems in domestic rabbits. All rabbit owners should stay vigilant for the signs of dental disease such as reduced food intake, changes in eating habits, such as avoiding harder foodstuffs, reduced grooming, drooling and lethargy. If any of these signs are observed, owners should take their rabbits to the vets promptly – rabbits can deteriorate very quickly and timely veterinary treatment is essential.”
He added “Mr and Mrs Bryant are very quick to detect the very subtle signs that Ben shows when early tooth problems are developing. Over the years they have worked so hard and showed extraordinary care and commitment to Ben and his health – Ben has regular checks so that we can act before his teeth become a problem and cause him any discomfort. As such a regular visitor to the hospital and being a real character, he is a well known and popular patient with all our staff!”
Mrs Bryant added “I’m over the moon that Ben has been voted Pet of the Month as he has been through such a lot over the years and is such a wonderful character - we’re very close. He’s bright too and definitely knows when I’m taking him to the Hospital as he’s extremely hard to catch on those days! However, as much he doesn’t like the treatment it’s a huge relief that they can keep the problem under control and Ben can live a healthy and pain free life.”
2011-10-20 back to top
Pet of the Month - 'Pebbles' Lowe
Pebbles, an adorable one year old spaniel was voted June's pet of the month for her outstanding character throughout treatment for a very nasty and potentially life changing injury. Pebbles was being looked after by the Mr and Mrs Lowe's son whilst they were on holiday and was hit in the eye by a high speed golf ball while running around a field. The ball hit poor Pebbles directly in her left eye - extremely distressing for the little dog and owner.
Vet Dominic and vet nurse Sian were on duty when Pebbles was brought into the hospital. The little spaniel was in a lot of pain and the injured eye proved to be very badly damaged so she was kept in hospital for four days receiving intensive eye care with frequent medication and pain relief. Dominic explained "Pebbles suffered severe intra-occular haemorrhage (bleeding into the eye) and this meant that we were not initially able to assess all the structures of the eye to determine whether it would be possible to save both the eye and Pebble's vision. The initial intensive medication did stabilise the eye but after a few days it was apparent that the eye was deteriorating and the very best thing for Pebbles would be to remove it surgically. The surgery went well and Pebbles has returned to her normal life. She was a wonderful patient and took it all in her stride. She was also lucky to have such a caring and committed family."
Mrs Lowe said "It was the most awful feeling when we heard what had happened and our poor son was terribly upset too but Dominic and the staff at the hospital were brilliant and kept us reassured and informed all the way through. They are such a caring team, nothing was too much trouble - I think the nurses cuddled Pebbles all the way through the nights - they were amazing."
She added "We wanted Pebbles home as soon as possible and so readily took on the responsibility of administering eye drops and medication every three hours, day and night. Pebbles has fully recovered and now you wouldn't know anything had happened to her. She may only have one eye but she's back to her old self, running around, playful and full of fun, it's amazing. After all the trauma we are delighted with the outcome.”
2011-09-13 back to top
Capo is 'Pet of the month' and doing well
Capo Allen, a young and usually bright Staffordshire bull terrier, was brought to the hospital earlier this year panting and lethargic. The little four your old's owner Mr Allen was extremely worried as he'd declined significantly since a visit the week before.
Mr Allen explained "I've had capo since he was a puppy and we go everywhere together including work. He's a really loving dog and means the world to me. He'd been a bit under the weather at the beach one day and I'd noticed blood in his urine which really worried me. At the hospital, they checked him over, told me to watch him very carefully and put him on a course of antibiotics suspecting a urinary tract infection. However, over the next few days Capo got worse and became extremely inactive and lost for breath so I took him back in first thing on the Saturday morning."
Vet Rhiannon Jones was concerned and decided to keep Capo in. A number of tests were carried out which revealed that the young dog had developed Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA). IMHA is a disease in which the body's immune syestem, which is designed to attach and kill germs, attachs and kills the body's own red blood cells. This explained the blood pigment in Capo's urine. The red blood cells are needed to carry oxygen to the tissues, and the animal won't survive without adequate oxygenation.
The causes of IMHA remain largely unknown but it occurs more often in dogs than cats and is a life-threatening disease which can progress rapidly. As well as lethargy and panting for breath, some other signs of IMHA to look out for are pale gums, yellow tinged gums or whtes of eyes, dark urine, loss of apetitie and vomiting.
Further tests and intensive care treatment were carried out, but after a couple of days Capo's red blood cell count continued to fall and a decision was made that a blood transfusion was required. Mr Allen said "Poor Capo was so low that I wasn't allowed to see him in order to keep him as calm as possible. I was in pieces. Rhiannon warned me that he was in a very dangerous condition and that there were rsiks associated with a blood transfusion, but he was deteriorating and they felt that a transfusion was Capo's only hope. It was devastating but in my heart I awlays felt that he would be OK."
The blood used in Capo's transfusion was donated by Mr Allen's parents' wonderful Alsatian Cirus - thank you Cirus! This saved time and money and meant that the procedure could go ahead immediately. The transfusion was a huge sucess, Capo gradually improved and was able to go home a couple of days later - actually on Mr Allen's birthday! Capo has been monitored closely ever since, his red cell count has continued to rise and although he is still on some medication he is doing well.
Mr Allen added "The whole team was amazing at the hospital, hats off to them, we were so grateful. Rhiannon was brilliant, I think she called the shots at exactly the right time - there were some tough decisions but she was great and kept me informed all the time. Because of them Capo is alive and well."
2011-08-09 back to top
Amazing team endurance test - WE DID IT!
At six in the morning of a very wet and windy Saturday 16th July 2011, staff from the Quantock Veterinary Hospital in Bridgwater, Somerset started the infamous and daunting 100 kilometer Trailwalker UK Challenge endurance race. This epic race originated in Hong Kong as a test of stamina and teamwork for soldiers of the Queens Gurkha Signals Regiment and has since evolved into a fund raising event for The Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
Now held in the UK, the race covers 100 gruelling kilometres from Petersfield to Brighton along the South Down hills - the equivalent of 2½ marathons and climbing Ben Nevis and Snowdon combined!
The two teams from the Bridgwater based hospital included vets, nurses and administrative staff - Dominic Phillips, Claire House, Becky Chamberlin, Katie Jones, Sara Loveridge, Sian Holman, Rachel Thomas and Zoe Richards. It took thirty hours but they managed to complete the course reaching the finishing line at midday on Sunday having walked virtually non stop and much of it in pouring rain. Out of 521 teams that started the event only 276 complete teams finished! Two of them were ours and we raised a total of £3200 for Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust! That's something to be proud about!
Dominic Phillips, one of the team and a vet and partner at the Hospital said “Having completed the Trailwalker Challenge three times previously, I knew exactly what a tough test of physical endurance and mental stamina it would be but eight of us started together and eight of us finished together – that for me is the ultimate achievement. What happened in-between had to be seen to be believed - coldness, nausea, discomfort, pain, tiredness, utter exhaustion, misery, despair … the list goes on! But they came back and came back stronger and they finished and that was a feat of pure mental strength, willpower and sheer bloody-mindedness!”
He added “You learn a lot about people when they go through these experiences; the extreme physical and mental stresses of an event like Trailwalker bares the soul - everything else is stripped away and it can be a humbling experience. We witnessed a pretty impressive display of the most coveted and admirable qualities: selflessness, determination, courage and compassion to name just a few. Where there were tears there was laughter, where there was misery there was comfort, where there was despair there was hope, where there was pain there was … more pain! Everyone had their ups and everyone had their downs – when someone was down there was always someone else beside them putting aside their own woes to comfort, support and help or to just be there by their side so that no-one felt alone. That is true teamwork – you know it when you see it and when you feel it.
The eight of us standing on the podium with our medals at the end was the achievement of the whole Practice and our hugely supportive extended family including Jo Lewis, Chloe Ackerman, Sue Hoddinott, Rhiannon Jones, and their friends Sarah and Owen, as well as Sara's wonderful parents. It was a true testament of what amazing things we can achieve together and demonstrates powerfully that when we work together in a team we are greater than the sum of the team’s individual parts. Our Practice is special not just because we all contributed in some way to getting the teams through to the finish but also, more importantly, because of the way we did it!
Zoe Richards added “We are so pleased with ourselves! I’ve never done anything quite this challenging but looking back now it doesn’t seem real! I’m not sure I’d do it again but once the blisters have gone I’ll probably start to consider it!”
2011-07-22 back to top
Wibble was a very special patient at the hospital and at 25 years old, one of our oldest cats ever. Having survived many problems over her lifetime Wibble sadly died in July 2011. Just before this happened she had been voted 'Pet of the month' by our nursing staff, having sucessfully come through dental problems earlier in the year. Wibble's owners were still keen for us to report her story and for us to remember her in this way - we will all miss her very much. This is Wibble's Pet of the month story:
PET OF THE MONTH APRIL 2011 - Wibble Hindle
Wibble is a very old and much loved cat who has been through a lot over the last few months. Mrs Hindle explained 'Wibble is a wonderful 25 years old cat who is very much part of the family. A while ago she started pawing at her mouth and was obviously in increasing discomfort; then she stopped eating and began loosing weight so we took her to the hospital to try and sort the matter out'.
Wibble was admitted for routine dentistry, taking special care because of her age and existing kidney problems, and an obvious problem tooth was removed. Her problems however persisted, nerve problems in her jaw were diagnosed, and further treatment resulted in all her remaining teeth being removed. Although this sounds drastic it is not so unusual in cats and they cope well following this type of treatment. Vet Colin Cheetham explained 'painful teeth can be extremely dangerous to animals and removing them is often the best course of action'.
Within days of her operation Wibble improved dramatically - a huge relief to all concerned. She regained her appetite and put on weight. Zoe Richards one of the nurses involved in Wibbles care said 'Wibble is a wonderful cat. She's extremely loving and cuddly and despite all she's been through is always a pleasere to nurse. She even has her own Facebook page where she describes "I am a rather beautiful feline of advance years...I enjoy sleeping, mewing loudly when others are sleeping, Agas, cushions, pillows, cuddles, garlic mushrooms, Italian food in general.......a lot of my friends are people and chickens (see picture!). I only drink from a pint glass even though I am very much a lady".'
We will miss this lady very much!
2011-07-17 back to top
Good luck to the Veterinary Hospital Trailwalker Walkers
At six in the morning of 16th July 2011 staff from the Quantock Veterinary Hospital in Bridgwater, Somerset will be tackling the infamous and daunting 100 kilometer Trailwalker UK Challenge endurance race. This epic race originated in Hong Kong as a test of stamina and teamwork for soldiers of the Queens Gurkha Signals Regiment and has since evolved into a fund raising event for The Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
The race covers 100 gruelling kilometres from Petersfield to Brighton along the South Down hills - the equivalent of 2½ marathons and climbing Ben Nevis and Snowdon combined all in under 30 hours!
There are two teams from the Bridgwater hospital undertaking the challenge - vets, nurses and administrative staff who will need to use the total dedication, commitment and cooperation that they employ at work in the hospital on a daily basis. It will be a feat of physical endurance and mental stamina which will test each and every one of them - Dominic Phillips, Claire House, Becky Chamberlin, Katie Jones, Sara Loveridge, Sian Holman, Rachel Thomas and Zoe Richards. The minimum team fundraising commitment for taking part is £1500 a team so their two teams need to raise at least £3000 – a challenge in itself. All the funds they raise will be donated to two worthwhile and respected charities, Oxfam and The Gurkha Welfare Trust.
2011-07-12 back to top
Village Fete Week
From 9th-15th July 2011 Quantock Veterinary Hospital will be holding a variety of 'village fete' themed events to raise money for the Gurkha Trust and Oxfam as part of the Trailwalker 2011 event.
Village fete events will include:
All events will take place during surgery hours only; Saturday morning then Monday to Friday, a the Bridgwater Hospital. Come along, take part and help us to raise our target £3,000 for the Gurkhas and Oxfam.
2011-07-03 back to top
Trailwalker auction on eBay
Quantock Veterinary Hospital has been very kindly donated some special items to auction in aid of our Trailwalker fund raising (see news item below). These include a signed Chelsea FC pennant (eBay listing 280700215356), signed Joanna Lumley photo (eBay listing 280700222985), signed Charles Bronson drawings (eBay listings 280700984609 and 280700235889) and items signed by actor John Altman (East Enders 'Nasty Nick Cotton' - for these items search on eBay).
The auction starts on Monday evening (27th June) and will run for ten days. Please help us to reach our Trailwalker fundraising target.
2011-06-27 back to top
Rabbit MOT month
June is the perfect month for an MOT for your rabbit. Firstly as part of National Vaccine Month we have a free second myxomatosis vaccination (given in 6mths time) for all rabbits over 9mths old vaccinated for the first time. You will also get a free rabbit check with a veterinary Nurse, including checks of teeth and nails, and lots of advice on rabbit care and management.
Lots of reasons for you to come and see us with your rabbit this month
2011-06-10 back to top
June is........Dental Care Month
During June, Quantock Veterinary Hospital will be taking part in 'Dental Care Month'. As four out of five dogs over three years of age now have peridontal disease (bad teeth and/or gums) we realise how important it is to check your pet's mouth on a regular basis.
With this in mind we are offering free dental checks for dogs, cats and rabbits during June as well as 10% off any dental treatment carried out and dental products sold, making this the perfect opportunity to deal with any problems your pet may have.
As we know home dental care is the key to helping prevent dental problems from arising, so why not come and learn how to keep your pet's teeth healthy with tips for brushing or advice for other home care where brushing just isn't possible.
For more information contact our Veterinary Dental Nurse Sian Holman.
2011-06-02 back to top
Pet of the Month March 2011 – ‘Molly’ Faulkner
A slimmer, bouncier happy bunny!
2011-06-01 back to top
National vaccination month May 2011
During May 2011 Quantock Veterinary Hospital is offering owners the chance to restart their pets vaccination course for just the price of a routine booster vaccine.
The Hospital is participating in a nationwide campaign to increase pet owners’ awareness of the disease risk to unvaccinated pets and to help local pet owners get their pets protected. We know that during the difficult economic times of the current recession, finances can be stretched and doing the best for your pet can be a challenge and so we are very pleased to be able to offer all our clients the opportunity to get their unvaccinated or lapsed adult dogs, cats and rabbits vaccinated with a full vaccination course for just the price of a normal booster.
Serious, sometimes fatal diseases such as dog parvo virus and cat flu are on the increase. Many of the diseases we vaccinate our pets against have been reported in the Bridgwater area and for some of them, including parvo virus and cat flu, the Bridgwater area is an at risk area. If your pet is out of date with its vaccine cover now is the ideal time to ensure it is protected. For more information contact the Hospital today.
2011-04-20 back to top
Pet of the Month February 2011 – ‘Moby’ Weston
From little acorns......
Moby is a five year old miniature wire haired Dachshund brought into the hospital in mid January, listless, retching and completely off his food. His owners the Weston's were very worried about him.
Mr Weston explained 'Moby was a young dog in need of a home when we took him on. He was in a terrible state, skinny, and suffering from total neglect. Over the past three years he has grown into a happy, healthy dog and one who loves his food, so we were very worried when he didn't want to eat at all and was so miserable. He was trying to be sick but had nothing in his stomach so was retching badly. When we spotted some blood in what he had coughed up we decided that we needed to take him to the Hospital immediately.'
Vet Rhiannon Jones took x-rays straightaway to try and identify a foreign body, but nothing was seen. Moby was keep in the Hospital on intravenous fluids and supportive treatment but was surprisingly slow to improve. Eventually after four days he passed a rather harmless looking acorn in a bowel movement and it became clear what the problem had been.
Acorns can be very toxic to animals as well as potentially causing bowel obstruction. They unfortunately don't show up on x-rays as they are radiolucent.
Mr Weston said - 'We were so worried about Moby - when we visited him in the Hospital mid week he was listless and hardly acknowledged us. I really thought he might not recover, but once he passed the acorn he improved amazingly quickly! It never occurred to us that they were poisonous to dogs.'
Because of his breed - Dachshunds were originally hunting hounds with a good sense of smell, and his history of neglect, Moby will probably always be a scavenger, but the Weston's are doing everything they can to ensure that he doesn't eat another acorn! Mr Weston added - 'We have been walking Moby on a lead whilst we tray and train him not to scavenge. If he starts nuzzling around we've bought him a smart orange muzzle which we pop on to stop him eating anything he shouldn't! I think we'll always have to remain vigilant, but he's a bright dog and although we are pushing against his natural instincts he's definitely learning a new way to behave.'
Moby picked up quickly after his critical bowel movement and is now back to full and robust health again.
2011-03-17 back to top
'Healthy Hearts Month' Competition winner
We would like to congratulate Matthew Druce on winning our Healthy Hearts month Valentine's competition. Mr Druce's correct competition entry was picked at random and he has won £50 of vouchers for a meal for two at Prezzo. We hope he has a lovely time. Mr Druce is pictured with his dog Jenson, receiving his prize from head Veterinary Nurse Jo Lewis. Jenson also had a successful trip to the hospital and is fit and well.
2011-03-10 back to top
Pink Paws month
Throughout the month of March we are highlighting the problem of skin disease in dogs. If your dog is showing any of the signs listed below there are number of possible reasons. One is an allergic skin condition common in dogs called atopic dermatitis, or atopy.
Scratching, rubbing, chewing, and gnawing can cause serious skin inflammations and lesions and can lead to hair loss and dry, flaky skin. The situation is often further complicated by secondary bacterial and/or yeast infections.
If you notice any of the above signs or are concerned about your dogs skin then please contact the surgery to make an appointment for a free skin health check and discussion with one of our nurses. Based on this assessment we can make recommendations.
In addition our 'Fleas and ticks' campaign runs through March and April, with free nurse advice on how to control these parasites and lots of special product offers for our clients.
2011-02-28 back to top
Katie Jones successfully passed her nursing exams in January to become a fully qualified Veterinary Nurse. Katie started work with us just over a year ago when she was midway through her nurse training. She'd had lots of problems completing the course, through no fault of her own. After a year on day release at Filton college and in house training at the hospital she passed both her final written and practical exams first time, a fantastic achievement. We are please that Katie has now been employed with us as a qualified Veterinary Nurse.
2011-02-26 back to top
Pet of The Year 2010
Lucky Lola wins Quantock Veterinary Hospital 2010’s Pet of the Year!
On Friday 28th of January Quantock Veterinary Hospital celebrated its most amazing and notorious animals of 2010! Every month the hospital staff vote for their most inspiring ‘patient’ – voting criteria ranges from ‘Immense bravery’, ‘Brilliant character’, ‘Determined to survive’ and ‘Learning to live with a disability’. All of the twelve of the pets (see previous news stories) had their own story and dedicated owners who have given so much to do the best for their pet.
After much deliberation, judges Nicola Ward (Kyoo marketing services), Catherine Tomlinson (dog trainer and behaviour expert) and Sam Fordy (owner of last year’s winner ‘Ruby’) awarded the ‘Pet of the Year’ Award to Lola Taylor, a young basset hound who survived a terrible road traffic accident and life threatening injuries. Lola was hit by two fast moving vehicles in quick succession on the NDR as the Taylor’s watched in horror. She suffered a badly fractured pelvis and broken tibia. She was shocked and in terrible pain and surgery involved particularly complex pinning of her leg. The young dog then had to endure a month in hospital and weeks of dressing changes and cage rest. She was in a lot of pain for some time and needed help expressing her bladder for some time.
The Taylor’s (right in the picture) and their young family showed true compassion and dedication as they nursed Lola through the weeks. Mr Taylor explained “It was a lot of hard work looking after Lola when she came home – it was like having another baby! However with the guidance and support of the vets, the dedicated commitment of the veterinary nurses and help available 24/7, we felt able to provide the care Lola required. Looking after her meant lifting her carefully using towels, helping her go to the toilet and administering all her medicine around the clock, but it was great to have her back. The children were brilliant and took it all very seriously.” After the weeks of rest and medication and gradual physiotherapy Lola is now back to good health and full of fun again.
The ‘Pet of the Year’ Award allows the hospital staff an opportunity to Award a prize to their most admired pet and thank all of their remarkable owners for their commitment and loyalty to their animals and the Hospital. Vet Liz Mullineaux who started the scheme along with nurse Zoe Richards said “Friday night reminded us of some of the most extraordinary cases we’ve had over 2010 – some had particularly complex injuries, some incredible stories, some were heartbreaking and some even made us laugh. We probably see around 1000 pets over a month and so to be voted ‘Pet of the Month’ shows how special these twelve and their owners are – they help make our jobs rewarding and this is our chance to celebrate some of those that have been considered somehow particularly special. Lola is a fabulous dog and although the judging was difficult she deserved to win – she’s shown great character throughout her ordeal and her family have given so much to pull her through. They’re an inspiration to us all. ”
Mr Taylor added “When Lola had her first walk after the accident and we watched her break into a run we were over the moon – it’s a sight I thought I’d never see again! We’re very proud of her winning this award.”
Runner up for the Award was Egbert (his owners, the Willis's, are left in the picture) the notorious 50 year old tortoise who has endured numerous accidents and conditions over the years and showed perhaps the greatest determination to survive!
For the full story of Lola and Egbert and all the other pets of 2010 look through our previous news on this website.
2011-02-06 back to top
Billy is pet of the month for January 2011
A huge relief for Barbara
Barbara Hunt is one of our most regular clients; she earns huge respect for her dedication to and hard work with ‘special needs’ cats, particularly those with the viruses of FIV or FELV. Through her charity ‘Catwork’, Barbara ensures that these often rejected cats live the rest of their lives happily and safely in as ‘normal’ an environment as possible.
Barbara explained “I grew up surrounded by rescue animals and have always particularly loved cats. When we came back to live at Nether Stowey, my birthplace, the odd cat casualty found its way to us! In 1995 we purchased a timber chalet and put it up in our large garden, one thing led to another and Catwork was initiated. In the first two years we mostly rescued and re-homed cats, with the odd ‘special needs’ cat turning up and staying. We never anticipated that our early work would lead to the sanctuary we run today.”
One of Barbara’s non FIV cats, Billy, had probably had flu when a kitten as he had a permanent snuffly nose and his breathing problems always returned after treatment. “Billy was brought to us in 2000” Barbara continued, “He was as wild as a hawk and absolutely terrified of people. He lived under someone’s shed and just came out for food. Once he was caught, he was brought to us and I took him to the hospital for a check up, micro-chipping and to be neutered by Liz. When asked what his name was, I just plucked “Billy” from the air, and it seems to suit him.”
Over time, Billy gradually learned to trust Barbara and her husband Bob. “Although initially he preferred to remain outside, he made great friends with another of our cats, Ginger Tom; he then dared to start to come into the house and we couldn’t believe it when he first sat on my lap”, remembers Barbara.
When Ginger Tom died Billy gained confidence and started staying in more, but then in early January his snuffles got even worse and he was finding it harder to breathe or swallow. Barbara knew she had to take him in to the Hospital urgently. Colin would usually only pencil in a ‘Billy Hunt appointment’ because it was still so hard for the Hunts to catch him! However, Barbara managed to get Billy into his basket relatively easily this time because he was so unwell, and feeling extremely anxious she left him in their care. Although most of Barbara’s cats remain healthy for many years, due to the high number of cases she deals with, she is used to receiving bad news. Barbara and Bob feared the worst.
The vets were concerned that Billy’s airways were permanently damaged and that there would be no further treatment possible to add to the drugs they were already using. The only possible ‘good’ outcome would be if a polyp was found at the back of his throat. Vets Liz and Rhianon, with veterinary nurse Lucy, gave Billy a General Anaesthetic – not a straightforward job due to his laboured breathing. As soon as his mouth was opened for intubation a huge pharyngeal polyp could be seen under his soft pallet. Apart from having to manipulate the size of the mass it was removed without much trouble. Liz was delighted “Billy’s condition could well have proved more sinister but the polyp was a welcome relief. It was the largest polyp I’d ever seen, very unusual, it gave us quite a surprise! We were so very pleased to be able to give Barbara some really good news!”
Once Billy came round he very quickly regained his former appetite and started eating immediately – since then he hasn’t looked back! Barbara is delighted with the outcome – “Billy is like a new cat, breathing and eating with enthusiasm and not a snuffle to be heard. He used to be a quiet cat but since the operation Billy seems much happier and has even found his meow!”
Catwork is run by Barbara and Bob Hunt. Since 1995, it has been a private independent sanctuary for cats that need to be cared for but that, for various reasons, have not been able to be re-homed as pets in a normal domestic home. The organisation now focuses on helping cats which have FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) or FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus). The sanctuary is based in the Hunt’s garden in Nether Stowey where these cats can live and be cared for, for the remainder of their lives.
For more information on Catwork see http://www.catwork.co.uk
2011-02-06 back to top
A cuddly young Pixie Bob has a close call
Our final 'Pet of the month' for 2010 was 'Duke' Cox.
Donna Cox, one of the Hospital’s long term clients has been a responsible and specialist, top breeder of Pixie Bobs since 2004 - in fact she was one of the first in the country to import and breed this type of cat. Pixie Bobs are originally from North America, they are bred to resemble the North American Bobcat and are renowned for their strikingly marked coats and laid back, affectionate natures. Still rare in the UK, Pixie Bobs make great pets as they’re not only beautiful but incredibly loving. Duke was one of Donna’s latest kittens born in September 2010.
Donna explained “Right from the start I felt that Duke was a special kitten. When he started walking he had a real swagger that reminded me of John Wayne and that’s why we named him Duke, it seemed very appropriate! But, when he was only nine weeks old, Duke, who was a chunky little kitten, rapidly and out of the blue started losing weight – it was really distressing. I spent a whole night with him cuddled on my chest after I became worried, we watched rubbish TV together and I carefully syringed water down his throat to try to hydrate him over the night. However, in the morning he was obviously still deteriorating so I got him straight to the Hospital.”
Rhiannon Jones, the vet who admitted Duke was also concerned, small animals like kittens can quickly deteriorate in a situation like this with tragic consequences and although Donna had brought Duke in very promptly Rhiannon rushed to insert a drip in order to rehydrate the little cat as soon as possible. With such a tiny animal even placing a drip takes great skill.
Donna said “I burst into tears when Rhiannon called me the next day to say that Duke had survived the night and was reacting really well to his treatment and much brighter – the prognosis was looking really good, it was such a relief. She admitted that he was in such a bad way they wouldn’t have been surprised if he had died in the night but they did everything they could and Lucy nursed him through those long hours with amazing dedication and care. It was obvious that they too were over the moon he’d pulled through. I could go on about that hospital and the team there all day – they’re incredible.”
Once home Duke wasn’t quite out of the woods and for ten nights Donna slept downstairs with the little cat watching over and reassuring him. Once he was better and totally relaxed again she felt she was able to go back to her own bedroom and get some proper sleep! “I’ve decided not to sell Duke but keep him because of what we’ve been through. Pixie Bobs tend to be very unique cats but Duke really is special and I want to watch him grow older and live his life with us” added Donna.
For more information on Pixie Bobs and Donna’s cats see www.pixiebobkitten.co.uk and www.alsoomsepixiebob.com
For our 2010 'Pet of the year' watch this space.......
2011-01-11 back to top
He may not sit straight anymore but Ted is another lucky road accident survivor!
‘Ted’ Cotton or “Barrel” as he is affectionately known by his family, is a much loved one year old cat that was lucky to be found by a kind neighbour after a road accident. When she found him he was obviously in great pain and had collapsed whimpering in her garden. As a client of the hospital, she immediately brought him to us and luckily for Ted, he was micro-chipped and his responsible and now worried owners, the Cotton’s, also clients of ours, were traced immediately.
Poor Ted suffered the sort of road accident where, along with bad grazes, the tail is pulled away from the spine and dislocates. Often this type of injury doesn’t look too serious but can lead to devastating nerve damage. Fortunately, we were soon hugely reassured to witness that Ted’s bowel and bladder were functioning fine – a massive relief to all. Not so fortunately, the tail wound proved more serious than we’d all hoped and over a couple of weeks of hospital care, Ted’s wound worsened and his tail literally broke away leaving a very nasty wound and the bone exposed and hugely vulnerable.
Mrs Cotton explained “Rhiannon very quickly decided that the best thing for Ted would be to amputate the whole tail and by this point frankly it was a relief as it looked so awful. She did a great job and the skin has now healed over leaving a neat little bob which makes him look so funny! When he runs off he looks like a little frolicking lamb from the back! He doesn’t sit straight anymore either, perhaps because it feels so different for him. We are just so relieved that he is healthy and well again.”
But like so many animals after a serious accident, Ted’s life has changed - the Cotton’s now feel they can’t let him outside on his own. “We’ve already lost two much loved cats in a road accident in the area” explained Mrs Cotton “and like many cats of his age Ted is so adventurous, we just can’t trust him to stay away from the roads. He’s very bored about it! I took him out in a harness the other day for a walk and I don’t know how but he managed to slip right out of it! However he’s getting his own back! The frustration at being kept in is making him even more mischievous inside the house, he’s forever jumping up onto high surfaces and running away with bits and pieces like my daughter’s make up brushes or the children’s toys! He’s a really cheeky character and he does make us laugh!”
2010-10-16 back to top
A prawn treat means the injections just aren't a problem!
When Muffin Bull, a usually feisty and robust thirteen year old cat, was brought into the hospital, he was showing a number of worrying symptoms – he wasn’t eating, he had lost weight, he was walking strangely on his hind legs and was extremely lethargic - “he was like a rag doll” Jo Bull remembered. The staff at the Hospital examined him and took a number of blood samples and it proved that Muffin had developed diabetes, a condition not uncommon in older cats and particularly neutered males.
Rhiannan Jones explained “In diabetes there is either no insulin, or not enough of it and without insulin, glucose can’t get from the bloodstream into the body cells to provide energy. As the cells are starved of sugar, muscle and fat are burned to try and ‘feed’ them, leading to weight loss and lethargy. It is a potentially fatal condition if left untreated. Fortunately Mrs Bull brought Muffin to us in good time and although it took quite a bit of testing, monitoring and working out that a slow release insulin suited him best, now with regular insulin injections he should be well controlled and absolutely fine. He’s a lovely cat and we’re delighted he’s better.”
Jo was taught by the staff how to recognise any worrying symptoms, how to treat them quickly by rubbing honey or glucose into Muffin’s gums and most importantly how to inject him every day – quite a commitment and not an easy undertaking with some cats. However, Muffin has proved a perfect patient and Jo isn’t finding the commitment too arduous. “We started off having to give two injections every day and visit the hospital every week with Muffin staying overnight for more tests and monitoring but its much easier now with only one daily injection and a check up every three months. I just have to call him now and he comes running. Tempted by a prawn - the only food he’s ever stolen, he comes and sits down and takes his injection without any fuss at all! It’s such a relief, I’m over the moon with his recovery. They were absolutely brilliant at the hospital. When he was really low Rhiannon even hand fed him to keep him healthy! They show true dedication and compassion, I can’t praise her and the team enough.”
2010-10-15 back to top
Pet of the month 'Egbert'
A trouble prone but truly loved old tortoise!
Egbert Willis keeps his owners on their toes. Now probably over 50 years old, Egbert, a Greek tortoise who appears to believe he’s one of the family’s Labradors, shows no sign of slowing down or keeping out of trouble. Egbert’s most recent visit to the hospital was due to a worrying lump on his neck which meant he was unable to retract into his shell – a huge inconvenience for a sleepy tortoise. Egbert was anaethetised and carefully monitored by the veterianry nurses at the hospital whilst vet Liz Mulllineaux removed the lump. The lump was sent to a pathologist to find out what it was, as we were concerned that it might be a tumour. Fortunately, the lump turned out to be a benign abscess and Egbert survived the risks of an anaesthetic and recovered well from his surgery. We are delighted to say he has healed well and can once again retreat effortlessly into the peace and quiet of his shell.
From his adoption by the Willis’s, at the persuasion of their young son, fascinated by reptiles from a very early age, Egbert left his home with an old lady who was moving into a retirement home. For nearly 20 years since, he has kept the Willis’s entertained with his escapades! Mr Willis explained “Egbert came to our home as a one-eyed thirty-something! He sometimes walks around in circles – we presume a consequence of his one eye - but he manages well and has wandered further afield a number of times over the years. On one occasion we even called the police as we couldn’t find him and were very concerned that he had been stolen. He turned up shortly after the call, found snoozing under a cosy pile of leaves - most embarrassing.”
As long term clients of the hospital, we have seen the Willis’s and Egbert through some most interesting events. Two particular occasions have to be mentioned! One was the time the family called, having lost and then found Egbert, through a lucky guess, at the bottom of their meter deep fish pond. Scooped up with a fishing net, they called the hospital in panic – Greek tortoises cannot swim and are prone to drowning. Luckily the advice of placing him on a plank at a 45 degree angle and letting him drain worked wonders and Egbert survived to tell another tale! The pond has now been filled in!
However, the occasion which accident prone Egbert is most famous for, was the notorious Easter turkey incident. One of the Willis’s was taking a rather substantial, 16lb turkey out of the freezer for an Easter Sunday family get together, when the carrier bag split and the large turkey crashed to the ground, landing most unfortunately on a very shocked Egbert. His beautiful shell cracked right down the middle and he started losing a frightening amount of blood. The Willis’s bound him tightly with gauze and insulation tape (impressive quick thinking) and rushed him to the Hospital. Although it was a first for the team, vet Liz managed to patch him up and glue the shell back together again using a highly effective black and gluey epoxy resin normally used for repairing horses’ hooves. Egbert now sports a well knit shell with a very unique ‘go faster’ stripe as shown is the picture!
Mr Willis added “When Egbert hibernates in his box – any time soon right through 'til March time – we all really miss him! He has caused us great embarrassment and a huge amount of worry over the years but we have had many good times with him, he really does keep the family laughing! Although he’s an old boy now, we hope he will be with us, and the hospital, for many more years to come. We are very grateful to the team at the Hospital for looking after him and all our pets over the years.”
2010-10-01 back to top
Rag’s Alternative Rescue!
‘Rag’ Dilloway, a cuddly, one year old, ginger and white shorthaired cat was yet another victim of a road traffic accident – a sadly common occurrence in our area. He was brought in by his owner, Mrs Dilloway in late April obviously suffering, lame and with badly scuffed claws and paws. After careful examination it transpired that he had displaced his pelvis and fractured a toe. Disturbingly his upper tail was damaged too and as is often the case with this sort of accident, there was nerve damage at the base of his spine and with it a worrying loss of bladder and bowel control.
After over a week of cage rest and with the nursing staff still having to express Rag’s bladder twice a day, Rag’s options were not looking promising.
Mrs Dilloway said “Rag was born on the island in our kitchen in June 2009! His mother, Gina, a tiny stray, had walked in, stayed and then delivered five beautiful kittens literally in the middle of a small party we were having to celebrate the arrival of Artisan, our new horse! I’d taken her in to be spayed but asked them to check her first as she did have a fat tummy on a tiny body! Liz came out laughing “would you like to see your babies on the scanner?” Rag, the first born, arrived looking into the eyes of four fascinated and huge dogs that proceeded to adore him! He is a special and loving, young cat and we were devastated to realise that his injuries meant he might eventually have to be put down. We would have done anything to save him.”
At vet Rachel Thomas’s suggestion, Rag’s owner agreed to try acupuncture as a possible resort. Rachel explained “Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles at points along lines which run along the body and limbs. It’s increasingly used in animal care for the relief of pain and can be a powerful non invasive treatment alongside conventional medicine. In Rag’s case I was hoping to stimulate the appropriate nerves.” Much to everyone’s delight, within ten minutes Rag started to urinate on his own and after a few sessions had fully functioning bowels again! Mrs Dilloway remembered “I arrived at the hospital to see how the treatment was going and walked in just as a great cry went up from within the surgery “Rag has wee’d!”! We were obviously overjoyed.”
She added “We’ve been clients of the hospital for over twenty three years now and they’ve seen us through all sorts of times with our many and various animals. In our view it’s so important to be with a practice that you trust but also with people that will listen and trust you and your judgement. They gave us the time to prove that Rag’s tail really was getting better despite all indications to the contrary on visits to the hospital. He slowly got better and better and now enjoys full use of his tail again. He’s a real success story!"
2010-09-25 back to top
Nursing exam success
Three of the four trainee veterinary nurses at Quantock Veterinary Hospital recently celebrated exam success. Claire and Rachel both passed their RCVS/NVQ level 2 examinations and Sara passed her level 3 examinations. Claire (left in the picture) and Rachel (right) are both studying to be veterinary nurses through in house training here at QVH and day release at Bridgwater college, whilst Sara (middle) is currently on a block release placement with us from her degree course at Hartpury college. All three are brilliant trainee nurses and we are very proud of their recent achievements.
2010-09-04 back to top
Lucky Lola Basset Hound
Lola Taylor, a lovable basset hound belonging to a local family with two young children was only 7 months old when, out for a walk, she squeezed through a hedge and ended up in the middle of two lanes of fast traffic. Mr Taylor watched in horror as terrified Lola was hit by one car and then a second fast moving vehicle. She ended up on the verge, conscious but extremely shocked and in acute pain.
Mr Taylor explained “It really was a horrifying sight to witness and we had no idea how badly hurt she was but with the help of some very kind passer-by, we wrapped Lola up and I held her very carefully while a lady drove me straight to the veterinary hospital. It's so reassuring to know that in times of trouble there are people who will drop everything to help".
Vet Liz Mullineaux, who had just finished surgery on a cat, rushed to check Lola over- the worry was not being able to see the extent of her injuries and concern about spinal damage-things were not looking good and Mr Taylor had to leave Lola in the team's capable hands but not knowing if she would pull through.
Liz said "after we'd calmed Lola down and sorted out her pain relief we discovered that she had a fractured pelvis and broken tibia. Surgery involving complex pinning of her leg and then she had to endure weeks of dressing changes and cage rest-not easy for a young pup. She was in a lot of pain for some time, despite good pain relief, and on top of that poor Lola had lost the ability to urinate on her own and so needed help expressing her bladder".
After nearly a month, the family were keen to get Lola home. Mr Taylor explained “It was a lot of hard work looking after Lola when she came home – it was like having another baby! However with the guidance and support of both Liz and Dominic, the dedicated commitment of the veterinary nurses, in particular Stuart, and help available 24/7, we felt able to provide the care Lola required. Looking after her meant lifting her carefully using towels, helping her go to the toilet and administering all her medicine around the clock, but it was great to have her back! The children were brilliant and took it all very seriously".
After weeks of rest and then gradual physiotherapy, with the help of physiotherapist Helen Massey, Lola improved, physically and psychologically, little by little and she has delighted everyone with a full recovery. Mr Taylor added “We can’t believe it. When Lola had her first walk and we watched her break into a run with joy we were over the moon – it’s a sight I thought I’d never see again!".
2010-09-01 back to top
Summer trips with pets
This summer you may be thinking of taking a family trip. Here are some travelling tips to make the journey more enjoyable for your four legged family members.
To prevent injury to your dog as well as yourself and your passengers it is strongly recommended that you restrain your dog within the vehicle. There are three good ways of doing this:
1. You can install a pet barrier between the boot and the back seats. While this does help prevent your dog from causing a distraction while you are driving, and offer some protection to those in the car as a result of the dog being thrown forward in an accident, it does not offer much protection for the dog in an accident.
2. Your dog may be contained in a crate while traveling. The crate should ideally be secured to the car so as to avoid it moving in transit or during an accident. If the pet suffers from travel sickness this can be the best method to prevent the car from becoming soiled.
3. You can restrain your dog with a safety harness that attaches to a standard seatbelt. This prevents the dog from being thrown around in the event of an accident and restrains him/her within the car, while still allowing the pet to sit, lie and look out of the window.
To get your dog used to traveling take him/her for short car journeys to an enjoyable destination, such as a park or the beach, so that the dog associates the car with a positive experience.
If your dog suffers from car sickness do not feed him/her for a few hours before the journey.
If travel sickness is a persistent problem speak to one of the vets about medication to help reduce or stop this.
2010-08-12 back to top
Sparky is pet of the month
Long haul for brave Sparky but she's up and running!
Once stabilised and before surgery took place poor Sparky then suffered a plural effusion with fluid building up around her lungs making it hard for her to breath. This complication delayed surgery but a few days later she was undergoing a long and complex operation with two vets, Liz Mullineaux and Dominic Phillips, working hard to preserve her quality of life. As part of Sparky’s treatment, the vets attached an ‘external fixater’ to her badly damaged hind leg.
After a few months of returning home it was apparent that Sparky’s pelvis had healed well and critical neurological functioning of the bladder and bowels back to normal which was a huge relief. However, despite the treatment and rest, Sparky’s fibula was not mending as it should as a result of the infected damaged bone from the open fracture and in June it was agreed by all involved that it would be best for her to have her rear leg amputated.
Mrs Houghton said “It’s been a long haul with Sparky following the accident but we’ve got there in the end and despite the loss of her leg, she is as right as rain again! Sparky was originally my mother’s cat and very wild, it took her a long time to trust us and become part of our family. After the accident it was a difficult time waiting to see if the various injuries had mended successfully, particularly as this sort of damage can lead to serious neurological issues. Then, after she lost her leg, she was very wobbly and frustrated but I’m happy to say that she now really is fine and bounds up our stairs just like before! Everyone at the hospital has been kind and dedicated and their hard work has paid off. I’ve been a client of theirs for a very long time and we have been very impressed with their care, I really can’t thank them enough.”
Nurse Zoe Richards said “Sparky was such a brave little cat and so friendly and loving despite all she was going through.> We’re really delighted that she’s home and coping so well on her three legs.”
2010-07-13 back to top
Flystrike action now!
Over the past two months here at the hospital we have admitted 10 rabbits that have developed flystrike. This is a disease that occurs when flies lay their eggs around the rabbit’s bottom, normally because faecal material has built up around this area. The eggs hatch into maggots which mature and burrow under the skin making the rabbit extremely ill and if not treated soon enough toxic shock can be fatal.
Even if you check your rabbit’s bottoms routinely for cleanliness it only takes 12 hours for a complete cycle from egg to flesh eating maggot!
The smallest amount of faeces or tiniest wound will make your rabbit very attractive to that blue bottle fly that is looking for somewhere safe and warm to lay her eggs.
All rabbits are at risk from developing flystrike but some conditions make them more susceptible than others.
Responsible rabbit owners should be applying a preventative product, either one that prevents maggots from developing or one that repels flies, or in some cases both. Come and talk to us about which product(s) are most appropriate for your pet.
Why risk your rabbit’s life?
2010-07-12 back to top
Summer is here!
As we all look forward to some sunshine it is easy to forget about how the season might affect our furry friends.
At Quantock Veterinary Hospital we are highlighting the problems which Summer can bring for your pets. These include: a variety of allergies; itching caused by fleas and ticks; and 'Heat stroke' (which can be fatal).
Thankfully there are many things which pet owners can do to make life more comfortable for their animals:
Call into the Hospital for advice on the best care for your animals throughout the warmer months .....our team will be happy to help you!
2010-06-16 back to top
Sian scoops national dental award
Veterinary Nurse Sian Holman has been awarded a Pfizer Dental Leadership Busary by the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA). She collected the award at the BVNA congress in October (Sian is in the middle of the picture). The bursary worth around £1600 will allow Sian to undertake theory and practical training in veterinary dentistry and eventually the BVNA Nurse Certificate in Veterinary Dentistry which she hopes to complete in 2011. As dental disease is one of our most common conditions in pets the extra skills Sian gains will allow us to provide an even better service for the treatment and prevention of dental disease.
2009-10-27 back to top