Pet Focus of 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 June 2018 - Candy!





Candy is a 13 year old undesexed Maltese Terrier who came in with signs of vague unwellness – slightly bloated and tender in the tummy, and a little off colour. It was uncertain when her last heat was, and on abdominal palpation there was the suspicion of a mass. Our immediate concerns focussed around the possibility of an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is a reasonably common and, if left untreated, fatal condition of older entire female dogs, so it was important to act quickly.

A quick ultrasound showed fluid filled loops in the abdomen, but Candy’s bloods were remarkably good for an older girl, and did not support a diagnosis of infection. We proceeded to an exploratory laparotomy to see what we could find and correct surgically. We found that Candy’s uterus was not infected, but had become filled with fluid similar to a blister, and looked like two tissue-thin water balloons just waiting to burst. A very careful ovariohysterectomy was successfully performed and was diagnosed retrospectively as hydrometra – a frequent but usually undiagnosed precursor to pyometra.

Candy’s recovery has been excellent and she now has the spring back in her step – good work, guys!

Pet focus for May 2018 - Benji!

 Benji is a 6 year old Staffy who got into something he shouldn't have - no one is sure what, but he vomitted up little bits of plastic one night, and then continued to have episodes of vomitting and abdominal pain over the next few weeks. 

Imaging studies showed no evidence of a retained foreign body. A presumptive diagnosis of motility impairment secondary to intestinal damage was made, and medication was started to help his gut function. As Benji continued to be a bit up and down, an exploratory laparotomy was performed. No foreign body or damaged area of intestine could be seen, so additional medication was trialled.

After 6 weeks Benji was still not 100%, he was referred for specialist work-up, which confirmed our diagnosis and further tweaked his medication. The hope was that Time, along with the medication, would hold the key. Fortunately Benji has responded well and is doing great guns.

Benji's case highlights how tricky it can be to arrive at the right diagnosis and the right medication for the individual patient. We are all unique beings, and sometimes a few different things need to be trialled to get the best results. Well done Benji and family - and Benji, keep away from those plastic-wrapped thingamejigs in future!

Pet Focus for April 2018 - Lulu!

Lulu is a sprightly 9 year ol Maltese X who came in to see us in some discomfort. The owners thought she may have been constipated, as she was restless, panting, and hadn't toiletted in a while. On physical examination though, we could feel a mass in her bladder, so she was immediately admitted for xrays. Those xrays showed mutliple bladder stones (uroltihs, or calculi), plus another in her urethra, which needed to be surgically removed. 

Lulu went in for surgery, and she coped very well with what became a very long procedure. The bladder stones were easily removed, but the stone in her urethra (the main source of her pain) was firmly stuck, and it took three of us to dislodge it back up into the bladder so it could be removed - one passing the urinary catheter, one manipulating the catheter and stone through the rectum, and one removing the dislodged stone from the bladder. Meanwhile, two nurses were sharing the monitoring of Lulu's anaesthetic and surgery. Great team work!

Fortunately, the bladder heals very quickly, and once the stones were removed Lulu made a great recovery. Stones form in response to abnormalities in the urine, which may be induced by food or by an animal's own metabolic process. Fortunately, most bladder stones can be controlled by diet, and Lulu is now on a diet to prevent them recurring. Who would want to go through that surgery again!

Well done Lulu!

Pet Focus for March 2018 - Misha!

 Misha is a 10 year old Beagle who was rushed into the clinic, collapsed and semi-comatose in her parents' arms, during one of our staff training meetings. This was Misha's good fortune - immediately 4 vets and nurses swung into action to try and stabilise her as well as determine what was going on. She was in acute shock, and as well as running blood tests and imaging studies, she was put on IV fluids,medicated, given oxygen and a warming bed to prevent any secondary damage to her organs. 

Over the next few hours and days her condition slowly stabilised, until she had improved sufficiently to go home. She had been so weakened that it took a full week for her energy levels and behaviour to start getting back to normal again.

Anaphylactic shock is an extreme and overwhelming reaction of the body to a particular stimulus, which may prove fatal - you will undoubtedly have heard of peanut anaphylaxis. In Misha's case, the underlying cause was never identified. It may have been an insect bite or similar, and we just have to hope that it does not occur again! Keep away from those bugs, Misha!

Pet Focus for Febuary 2018 - Diego!

 Diego had not been to our clinic before. In fact, we didn't even know his name. But a client had found a scared, dehydrated Devon Rex cat trapped in their shed, and brought him into us. The cat had no microchip so, before sending him to the RSPCA shelter, we decided to do some detective work. 

We checked our records but he did not match any description of cats on our files. No-one had called us about losing their cat, either. However, several of our clients did have Devon Rex cats. We checked out the Lost Dogs of Adelaide Facebook page, and we found that a Devon Rex had gone missing just before the scorching Australia Day long weekend, and that one of our new clients had "liked" the posting.

Were these two events connected? When we called the client, we discovered that Diego was in fact her cat! He was 18 years old, must have become disorientated and lost as they had just moved into the area, so sought refuge in the shed. As he had been missing for an extremely hot week, she feared the worst, and there were tears all round when Diego and his mum were re-united.

Lucky Diego - you have definitely used up a few of your lives! We hope that you and your mum are enjoying the opportunity for many many extra cuddles!

Pet Focus for January 2018 - Ruby!

 Ruby, a 12 year old Border Collie X, had been a healthy happy dog with some “middle-aged spread” until only a few months ago, when something subtle changed. Ruby’s owner noticed that she had just started drinking more, was becoming a little incontinent with her urine, and seemed a bit weaker. Nothing concrete – just something wasn’t right. These signs in an older animal can occur for numerous reasons, including kidney disease, metabolic and hormonal changes, and infection, so a full blood test was run. Ruby was diagnosed with early diabetes, along with mild liver and pancreatic changes. 

Ruby’s diabetic stabilisation took a little while to get the insulin dosing right as those extra few kilos made it a little tricky at first. Now, though, she has lost that extra weight and she is trim and stable in her diabetic management.

Even well-managed diabetes, though, puts a lot of stress on the rest of the body making it prone to seemingly unrelated problems. Over the Christmas break a mass was found in Ruby's spleen, requiring urgent removal. Several days after this, a (very) large sore developed on Ruby's shoulder. This was treated initially as an open wound, until it healed sufficiently to allow us to close it surgically.

Fortunately for Ruby, she has healed really well and is back to her normal (diabetic) self again. But her challenges, and those facing the many animals and people diagnosed with diabetes, is a reminder that diabetes can have dire impacts on the body’s well-being if not constantly monitored. Well done Ruby, and a special well-done to Ruby’s owner, for picking up the subtle changes that have allowed Ruby to do so well!