Pet Focus for the Month

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Google Maps location for Aberfoyle Hub Veterinary Clinic

Aberfoyle Hub Veterinary Clinic
Hub Professional Centre
Aberfoyle Park
SA 5159

08 8270 5155


Each month the staff at Aberfoyle Hub Vet Clinic have the hard task of choosing one patient they think should be recognised as 'pet focus for the month'. These patients are often complex cases or spend a great deal of time in hospital receiving treatment. After nomination we share their story with you and they go in the running to win a fabulous Christmas hamper at the end of the year.


Pet Focus for the Month of August 2017 is Duke!


Duke is an 18 month old rescue Great Dane, who is still quite nervous from his previous life experiences. He was rushed in to us after almost completely slicing off his toe from putting his paw under a colourbond fence - a not-uncommon scenario we have to deal with, although Duke's injury was worse than most. He was bleeding profusely from two severed arteries, his joint was completely dislocated, and it was touch and go as to whether we could save his toe. While dogs can manage with only three toes on a foot, it is far from ideal for the larger dog, and they don't come much larger than a Great Dane!

Fortunately the bleeding could be stopped and the toe could be salvaged. It required a lot of work both on the day and over the following weeks, including behavioural medications to manage Duke's fear of coming in for his bandage changes, but the great news is that he is a happy four-toed dog now. That is a comfort for his dad, who was not at all happy with having to clean the signs of carnage from his car after that mad first dash! Great effort guys!


Pet Focus for August 2017 - Arlo!

Arlo is a loving,8 month old pussycat who decided to put the "Curiosity killed the cat" expression to the test one night. He sustained serious injuries after coming off second best to a car, with fractures to his pelvis, hip and thigh bone (femur). Luck, or several of his lives, were on his side though - he did not suffer any major internal injuries, and he has a family that could afford to give him a chance.

After being stabilized at the after hours vets, he came back to us to address his fractures. The options were immediate leg amputation; hip removal and modified fracture repair which might or might not save the leg; or specialist referral.

Cats do very well on three legs, but with Arlo being only 8 months old both we and the owners were keen for him to keep 4 legs if at all possible. Our talented vet Michele performed the modified fracture repair, and Arlo was kept confined for several weeks as both his pelvis and thigh bone healed. The great news is that the procedure was successful, and Arlo is back to jumping on couches and being a curious 4-legged cat again.

Just stay away from cars in future, Arlo!!

Pet Focus for June 2017 - Mike!

Mikey is a 6 week old puppy that we recently delivered by caesarean section. Being a Frenchie puppy, he has already had his fair share of challenges in life, and will continue to have many more!! Mike is a gorgeous little puppy - like they all are!!! - that we helped bring into the world and, in our demanding line of work, that is a truly beautiful thing.

So thank you, Mike, and all the beautiful puppies and kittens that we get to see and cuddle. This month it is not about what we have given you, but what you have given us! Keep on growing!

Pet Focus for May 2017 - Molly!

Molly was a healthy happy 7 year old dog when she presented to us for a simple ear infection. When she returned for a recheck 2 weeks later the ear had responded well to treatment, but it was noted that many of her lymph nodes were unexpectedly large. While ear infections may cause one or two local lymph nodes to enlarge, it is deeply concerning when numerous nodes increase in size.

A fine needle aspirate of Molly's lymph nodes was suggestive of a type of blood cancer called lymphoma. This was confirmed on lymph node biopsy, and Molly was immediately referred to a specialist for treatment. Scans and x-rays showed no signs of systemic change, and she started on an intensive cycle of chemotherapy while awaiting further test results, which showed her cancer to be a B cell lymphoma.

Cancer is never a great diagnosis, but Molly is very lucky in a number of ways. Her lymphoma was picked up incidentally at a routine visit, before she became unwell. This means the cancer can be attacked early and hard, improving her outlook. She is also lucky because she has a B cell lymphoma. This type of lymphoma is much more sensitive to chemotherapy than its cousin, T cell lymphoma. Finally, she is lucky that her owners are in a position where referral to a specialist is possible – certain chemotherapeutic agents are more effective than others against B cell lymphoma, and the more effective ones require specialist management.

Molly's response to date has been great. Her lymph nodes are back to normal size, and she has stayed well with minimal side effects. Keep it going Molly!

Pet Focus for April 2017 - Kara!

“Never give up, never surrender!” is the catch cry of one of our favorite Sci-Fi movies (Galaxy Quest), but it could also be the motto by which Kara lives her life – even as a 14 year old Doberman she still has a puppy’s outlook on life!

Kara is one of our senior patients who we have been seeing ever since she was just 6 weeks old. She is a graduate of both our Puppy Preschool and our Hubba Blubba Weight Loss programmes, and has run the gamut of our veterinary services – vaccinations and desexing as a young ‘un; cuts and scrapes, the odd tummy upset, and too many lumps needing removal in her middle years; and battling with mobility, weight, incontinence, balance disturbances and other unexpected health issues in these twilight years. If you think she sounds just like a person, you would be pretty close to the truth!

At the moment, Kara is benefiting from acupuncture, pain relief and nutritional supplements to keep her mobile and well. It is a genuine pleasure to be able to give the grand old dame good quality of life, as well as give her parents the joy of her continued loving presence. By Grabthar’s hammer, Kara, you are a marvel! Well done!

Pet Focus for March 2017 - Leroy!

Leroy is a gorgeous 4 year old pug who has been given a second lease of life through Pugs SOS. When we saw him he was slightly tubby, undesexed, and with the typical breathing issues of the brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breeds – narrow nostrils and a loud snore!

Brachycephalic syndrome typically involves narrow nostrils and a long soft palate – these combine to significantly restrict airflow that, over time, may lead to swellings within the larynx and even laryngeal collapse. Nothing can make these dogs’ noses long again, but there are a few things that can be done surgically to improve airflow and long-term well-being. In Leroy’s case, the changes had not progressed to his larynx, so he just had his nostrils widened and his soft palate shortened. His improved airways, combined with his desexing and weight loss, have turned him into a new and quieter dog!

Well done you handsome little man!

Pet Focus for February 2017 - Bella!

Bella is an otherwise well 12 year old black labrador who developed glaucoma (increased eye pressure) in her right eye in November. This was causing Bella significant pain, as well as blindness in that eye. No obvious underlying cause could be found, and trying to find out the cause would not have altered the treatment plan. Efforts instead were directed to reducing the glaucoma and alleviating the associated pain.

Initially there was a response to treatment, but ultimately the condition could not be controlled and the difficult decision was made to remove the eye. While prosthetic implants are available for dog eye sockets, we encountered significant delays due to Christmas period, and surgery went ahead without one for Bella's well being.

The great news is that Bella has made an excellent recovery. The cosmetic result is good, there is no more pain and no further medications are required, and Bella is back to her old labrador self. She will need to have monthly eye rechecks - maintaining a healthy left eye is essential – but she and her owner are much happier now! Well done guys!

Pet Focus for January 2017 - Mynx!

Mynx is a 7 year old cat who was rushed into the clinic on a Saturday morning, gagging and having extreme breathing difficulties. Immediate supportive care was instituted while we ran blood screens and radiographs, but there was no defining cause. He had been in a cat fight the previous night, but had then gone to bed in the laundry seeming perfectly healthy.

In a case like Mynx’s, where no definitive cause is found, all avenues have to be considered as the consequences of failing to do so can be dire. Lungworm, cat fight trauma, cat collar “hanging” – these were all possibilities. Mynx’s respiratory signs stabilised over the next 24 hours with supportive care, but the gagging and vomiting persisted for several more days, and it took 5 days of hospitalisation and care before Mynx was stable enough to go home.

What was the cause? After many discussions with the owner we concluded that Mynx had probably suffered from chemical inhalation. Painting products, turpentine and bleach had been cleaned out in the laundry tub that day, and spending the night in that enclosed and poorly ventilated space after the excitement of the cat fight had caused significant inhalation of the chemical fumes, leading to severe inflammation of Mynx’s airways and oesophagus.

The great news is that Mynx has made an excellent recovery, AND I think he has now had a bedroom upgrade! Well done Mynx and family – it was certainly a challenging journey!