Pet of the Month

 

Sometimes we are struck by the particular loyalty or bravery of a pet, often when they are going through difficult treatment or helping their owner through a challenging time.

We do, of course, love all our patients, be they young or old, big or small, cheerful or grumpy! They all have their unique personalities and endearing characteristics.

With that in mind, we thought it would be nice to recognise and celebrate these pets and to share a little bit of their story with you.

Please check back to see if your furry friend could be our Pet of the Month!

April’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the month for April is Kasparov (or Kaspar to his friends.)

Kaspar is a handsome, seven-year-old cream Saluki x Greyhound who arrived in a rescue centre after being dumped over a fence and came to live in Cambridge aged nine months. Kaspar had suffered some sort of injury as a puppy resulting in a scar behind his left ear and a rather wonky eye, giving his face a very distinctive lopsided appearance.

A month after arriving in Cambridge (and on one of the first occasions he was let off the lead) Kaspar had a fall in the Mill Road Cemetery whilst playing with another dog. He must have collided with one of the many overgrown gravestones as he ended up with a serious shoulder fracture, that stretched from one side of the scapula to the other. Kaspar was referred to an orthopaedic specialist in Suffolk who fitted a metal plate to stabilise the shoulder and ordered six weeks strict crate rest. Not the easiest ask for a bouncy young dog but happily the shoulder healed well, and other than a bony protuberance in his right shoulder (that balances out the wonky left eye) he is none the worse for his early misadventure.

Kaspar is a definite character. He is a typical sensitive hound, who squeals if he even sees a needle. Ever since the accident he has been less keen on other dogs, which can be challenging when walking around the highly populated streets of Petersfield. He loves the occasional sprint in pursuit of the crows on Parker’s Piece, and one of his happiest places is snoozing on the patio on a sunny day. Despite (or maybe because of) his many quirks, Kaspar has bought a lot of pleasure to his family and the team here at the surgery and has a special place in our hearts.

Congratulations Kaspar!

March’s Pet of the Month

Our Pet of the Month this March is Tiggi.

Tiggi is a gentle, calm, easy-going and very friendly Lurcher. She arrived at her current home aged seven weeks, joining a family of two teenage girls, three cats and a hamster, and has happily cohabited with cats and hamsters ever since!

At seventeen and a half years old, Tiggi is one of our oldest patients and we are proud to have been treating her here at the clinic for her whole life. However, despite her long acquaintance with us, she is not the biggest fan! She is least fond of the periodic blood tests that are required to monitor her response to long term medications. Overall Tiggi’s health has been good. She was diagnosed with kidney failure a few years ago but responded well to a change in diet. More recently she started having monthly injections to help with pain and stiffness in her joints. Tiggi is lucky to have very committed owners, and a combination of a good constitution, great care and a little bit of good luck. She continues to have a very good quality of life, and loves going for walks to see all of her friends (possibly something to do with all the treats she receives!)

Her other favourite things are having her face dried after a rainy walk and sleeping on the bed with her friends, the cats, though she is not so happy when Harvey tries to play with her when she wants to sleep.

We do love a golden oldey here at the surgery and have really enjoyed getting to know Tiggi over the years, even if the feeling is not reciprocated! Congratulations Tiggi!

February’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the Month for February is Rodney.

Rodney is a thirteen-and-a-half-year-old Shih tzu. He may be small, but he is a big character, ruling the roost at home, and making sure that everyone in the family knows he’s boss.

Rodney certainly knows his own mind. He doesn’t like other dogs and is rather picky about his food. He does like duck treats which he demands on his own terms. He has one favourite toy, that he has loved so much that it now has only one leg and one ear.

There are two things Rodney does like. Number one is burying treats in the garden (so he doesn’t have to share them!) and number two is his daily walk, which he continues to enjoy despite a few recent health problems. He has struggled in the past with skin problems, and over the past few years the discovery of a heart murmur and possible arthritis. Most recently Rodney has been treated for an ulcer in his right eye. He is just about tolerating treatment.

A visit from Rodney always makes us smile so we thought he deserved a month in the limelight. Congratulations Rodney!

January’s Pet of the Month

Our Pet of the month this January is Jake.

Jake is a 12-year-old Labrador Retriever, whose owners describe him as “a loving happy member of the family.” Jake has been coming to the surgery all his life. He has been mostly healthy aside from the odd accidental injury, a couple of lumps and bumps requiring removal, and now, in his old age, somewhat stiff and sore joints.

Jakes greatest love is swimming. He will jump in water wherever and whenever he can. However, a couple of springs ago this this love of swimming was nearly his downfall when he jumped in the River cam at Paradise nature reserve in Newnham, still wearing his harness. He swam out, fixated on retrieving a ball, but it soon became apparent that he was somehow stuck in the river. His owners watched from the bank as Jake swam and swam but grew increasingly tired. It became clear that Jake needed some assistance, so Estelle bravely removed her outerwear and waded out to the rescue. The harness was caught on an underwater branch, and it was quite a struggle to support a large, tired dog in the cold water whilst trying to untangle him. After 20 minutes or so Jake was free and the pair struggled back onto the bank, bedraggled, exhausted, extremely cold but unharmed. Following this incident Jake still swims, but only in the buff!

We are always happy to see happy go lucky Jake come wagging through the door and were very happy that his watery adventure had a happy ending.

Congratulations Jake!

December’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the month this Christmas is Dylan.

Dylan is a 12-year-old Border terrier, who lives with brother, Marley, both of whom have been coming into the surgery since they were puppies.

Poor Dylan has been through a lot. He was always super energetic and excitable until early 2021, when his owners noticed he was drinking a lot more than usual and had an increased appetite. Blood tests and X-rays were carried out and Dylan was diagnosed with Cushings Disease, a condition that occurs when the body produces too much of the hormone cortisol. There was an initial improvement once medication was started, but then a deterioration and additional symptoms suggesting Dylan might also have developed diabetes. He became very lethargic and dehydrated and was admitted for fluids and further blood tests and referred to Dick White Referrals for hospitalisation while his condition was stabilized.

He was discharged after a few days and his owner was shown how to administer insulin injections to regulate Dylan’s blood sugar levels. Managing both the Cushings and the diabetes proved quite difficult and it took a few months to get all of his symptoms under control. A further setback was the sudden development of diabetic cataracts in both eyes   resulting in a loss of vision.

Despite all of these challenges, Dylan copes brilliantly – he is incredibly brave, gentle and positive and continues to enjoy life despite a rigorous feeding schedule that minimises treats and two insulin jabs each day. Happily, he has a very dedicated owner who does a great job of meeting his daily needs for medication and monitoring, and despite all his trials and tribulations he still seems to genuinely enjoy his visits to the surgery. Congratulations Dylan!

November’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the month for November is Yennefer.

Yennefer is a lovely 2-year-old rescue cat, whose owners originally fostered her along with her 5 kittens. When the kittens went on to permanent homes, Yennefer’s then fosterers were so fond of Yennefer that they decided to keep her!

“Yennefer is clever and chatty, the kind of cat who wants to be with you all day and lie not on your lap but on your chest so she can feel your breathing. She’s also a great family cat as she loves to play, while also being incredibly gentle.”

About a month ago, we received an early morning call as Yennefer had returned home with a huge wound. We asked her owners to bring her straight down to the surgery so we could assess her condition. We often see injuries from cat bites and dog fights but even we were shocked by the extent of poor Yennefer’s injury. We still don’t know what the cause was; perhaps she was somehow caught on a sharp fence or garage door. The wound was very clean but there was a large flap of skin and corresponding area of exposed tissue. Extensive surgery was clearly required but Yennefer’s owners felt that because she was so young and had managed to make it home, they wanted to try to help her heal even if it would take a long time.

Two operations, about 60 stitches, and more bandage changes than we can count later, Yennefer has fought off an infection and is doing really well. Her owners have done a fantastic job of nursing her at home, bringing her in for frequent check-ups and bandage changes, and keeping us updated regarding her progress.

“She is still spending a lot of time in a crate to allow full healing, but is desperate to come out and cuddle with us! We get lots of happy purrs when we go and see her, and can’t wait until she recovers her full elegance, confidence, and range of miaows. We are so grateful for everyone at Clarendon Street, whose guidance and advice has meant the world to us!” 

We definitely thought that after all Yennefer has been through, she deserved a special ‘pet of the month’ mention. Not only has she put up with all the above intervention, she has done so with patience and stoicism.

Congratulations Yennefer!

October’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the month for October is Super G.

Super G (or ‘Soups’ to her many friends) is a pretty female tabby cat who is not yet a year old but has already had a tough time. She currently lives at Feline Care Cat Rescue in Norfolk. She arrived via a local vet practice, very weak and poorly and covered in fleas. She was suffering from feline herpesvirus (FH1) a highly contagious virus that is one of the major causes of cat flu. She was also very anaemic due to the heavy flea infestation. She needed round the clock care but, by a small miracle, she pulled through. Unfortunately, the FH1 caused a condition known as symblepharon (which literally means ‘stuck together eyelids’ in latin) leaving her with very limited vision.

Soups has adapted well to her condition. She is faster than her brother, Tucker, when it comes to finding treats. She loves to be taken for short walks outside and does her best to hunt grasshoppers and butterflies, but never strays too far from her guides. Her tear ducts do not work properly, so she has had to put up with 3 times daily eye cleaning, but she now has such a strong association between the cleaning and treats that she sometimes asks to have her eyes cleaned more often!

We heard about Soups and thought it may be worth asking David Williams, the very experienced eye specialist who sees cases at the surgery, for his advice on her vision. It turns out David has performed surgery on similar cases, cutting the third eyelid away from the cornea to allow light through to the retina at the back of the eye. He very kindly offered to carry out the procedure here at the surgery. Soups came in for her operation at the start of the week and we are happy to report that she is recovering well. She is seeing her toys properly for the first time, starting to develop some depth perception and is already desperate to get out and about.

We wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ to David, who gave his time for free to help Super G.

If you want to find out any more about the many cats at Feline Care, there is lots of information on their website.

https://www.felinecare.org.uk/

They have more than 150 cats at their 4-acre site near East Harling in Norfolk. They have colonies of semi-feral cats who will never be rehomed, quite a few special cases who will live out their lives at feline care, but also lots of very lovely cats looking for new homes.

September’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the month for September is the lovely Albie, seen here winning the ‘Top Dog’ award at the Grasmere Show.

Albie is a Cocker spaniel, aged 3.5 years. Not only is Albie very handsome, he is also blessed with a resolutely cheerful disposition. He loves everyone he meets, human or canine, but his favourite friend is his neighbour, Decca, a lurcher with the longest legs and the sweetest smile.

Albie’s favourite pastime is swimming. He particularly enjoyed a recent visit to the Lake District, where he swam so far that he had to be scooped up by a friendly paddleboarder!

Although he is only young, Albie has been a regular visitor to the surgery. Aged 9 months he tore a cruciate ligament in his back leg, which required surgical repair at Dick White Referrals and a long period of crate rest and recovery. He has had repeated issues with ear infections and had a particularly tough time earlier this year with grass seeds, enduring surgery on multiple occasions to remove several small but extremely persistent seeds that were deeply embedded in his paw.

Despite all this, Albie still greets us with a wagging tail when he arrives at the surgery and it is always a pleasure to see him, though we hope for his sake that it’s a little while until we see him again!

Congratulations Albie!

August’s Pet of the Month

This is Chip, our pet of the month for August.

Chip is mostly cocker spaniel with a little Jack Russell Terrier in the mix, or as her owner puts it “with big ears and a gentle nature, she’s like a spaniel in a JR suit”. Fifteen in August, Chip has had a wonderful life, spending her first 13 years on a small farm in Dartmoor with her housemate Fizzy, a Border Terrier, Jack Russell cross. She now spends most of her time curled up on her very own sofa, but still enjoys a short walk past the local stables, sniffing out her favourite treat of horse hoof trimmings!

Chip was diagnosed with likely peripheral retinal atrophy (PRA) a few years ago. PRA is an inherited, degenerative condition that causes gradual deterioration of the photoreceptor cells at the back of the eye, eventually leading to blindness. PRA is more common in certain breeds, including Cocker Spaniels. Chip now also has cataracts in both eyes and is completely blind. However, she has adapted really well to her lack of vision, using her fantastic sense of smell to create mental maps of her surroundings (only once bumping into a rather angry sheep!)

Chip has also acquired warts and a significant number of lumps and bumps. Most of these are small and benign but we did recently have to remove a larger lump from her leg as it was causing significant discomfort. Happily, she has recovered well from the surgery, despite her advanced years.

Chip is a sweet little soul who, throughout her hardships, has never lost her kindly, gentle spirit and waggy tail. We do have a soft spot for the ‘golden oldies’ here at the surgery and thought she had earned a special mention and a month in the limelight. Congratulations Chip!

July’s Pet of the Month

Meet Jesse, our pet of the month for July. Jesse is a 13 year old Labrador who has recently had a splenectomy (spleen removal) at the surgery, and shared his experience of surgery and recovery with a local reporter. Jesse’s owner passed this on to us and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did!

Interviewer: Good afternoon, Jesse, or should I say Jester? Which do you prefer?

Jesse: Well, depends on the day, really. Today I’m feeling quite jestful, so let’s go with Jester.

Interviewer: Excellent. Jester it is. Now, you’ve recently undergone a major operation at the Clarendon Vet Surgery, and now you’re Pet of the Month! Can you tell us a little about your experience?

Jester: Oh yes, it was quite an adventure. I was just on my way to do my regular doggy duties, you know, digging for treasures in Parkers Piece, inspecting the bins, chasing my tail… and suddenly – boom! A bike slammed into me. That evening I felt grim – even a Rich Tea in front of my nose went nowhere. Don’t ask, I barely remember.

Interviewer: Sounds dramatic! How was the trip to the surgery?

Jester: Fast and furry-ous! All the humans zoomed around me like greyhounds on a race track. And efficient, let me tell you, if there was an Crufts category for “Fastest Spleen Removal,” they’d win gold!

Interviewer: They sound fantastic. Can you describe how you were treated?

Jester: With kindness, of course! And plenty of treats, thank heavens. The vets there have a magic touch. One moment, I’m a canine on a stretcher, the next, I wake up with a belly full of stitches and a yearning for tennis balls. Incredible, really.

Interviewer: Indeed, it sounds like quite the transformation. How was your recovery?

Jester: Oh, it was smooth sailing. I’m part Labrador, part Lazarus, it seems! The team at Clarendon had me fetching balls and barking at squirrels in no time. I must say, I do miss the belly rubs, though.

Interviewer: You certainly seem to have a zest for life, Jester. What’s your message to all the other dogs out there?

Jester: Life’s a garden, dig it! And, of course, if you ever end up needing a trim or a stitch, Clarendon Vet Surgery is the place to go. They’re top-dog when it comes to care.

Interviewer: Wise words from a wise dog. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jester. And here’s to many more games of fetch on Parkers Piece.

Jester: Absolutely! Fetch is life. Thanks for having me.

June’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the month for June is Rocco, who may be a familiar face to some of you. Rocco was surrendered to the surgery when he was 10 weeks old and fostered by Anna, a member of our team. He was born with various of health issues, including urinary incontinence, half a tail and problems with his kidneys.

Against all odds, he has grown up to be a wonderful and happy little dog and is now a full-time member of the Clarendon Street family (Anna has a reputation for being a terrible fosterer but a great adopter!).

As Rocco has grown up here at the practice, he is incredibly well socialised, loving all other animals and everyone he meets. He is often used as our in-house, therapy dog to relax nervous dogs and demonstrate that coming to the vets is nothing to be scared of.

Rocco is only 18 months old but has already had a number of operations including the removal of a deformed kidney, the realignment of an ectopic ureter (the tube that transports urine from the kidney to the bladder) and a recent operation to fit a band round his bladder to help him learn to how to control his urination.

Happily, Rocco is now mostly continent during the day but still somewhat incontinent overnight. This doesn’t stop him loving life and wagging his tail and he does look rather cute in his nappies! Rocco has a very devoted owner who loves him to bits and is not fazed by his additional needs. He can often be found mooching around the vets or snoozing in the staff room so please ask a member of the team if you would like to say hello to him; he would absolutely love a cuddle!

 

May’s Pet of the Month

Our pet of the month for May is eight-year-old Springer Spaniel, Lyra.

Lyra is a loving dog who her owners describe as very much ‘springer by name, springer by nature!’

Lyra has been with the practice since she was adopted, aged two, from Luna Animal Rescue. Since then, poor Lyra has had to contend with three major health issues. Firstly, Lyra went lame. The initial worry was a cruciate injury (a tear or sprain of the cruciate ligament, which connects the thigh bone to the shin bone) but further investigation revealed chronic arthritis.

The following year Lyra’s owners came to see us following changes in Lyra’s behaviour. There were no obvious signs of ill health but after seeing footage of usually bouncy Lyra hesitating before jumping onto the sofa, we took a few X-rays which revealed a perforated duodenum, requiring emergency surgery.

Having fully recovered from the previous surgery, this year Lyra became entangled in a fence when jumping and dislocated her shoulder! This is an unusual injury which required referral to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon, who stabilised the joint with a metal plate. As Lyra is a very active dog (living as one of 6 dogs in a busy household) her owners opted for a full splint and plaster cast to deter Lyra from jumping and ruining her surgery. Despite this barrier, Lyra still manages to jump onto their bed, 80cm off the ground, and needs stairgates to stop her from tackling stairs until she heals!

Luckily for Lyra, she has thoroughly dedicated owners, and luckily for us Lyra is a pleasure to have in the surgery! The surgery is clearly a second home to her and she is very easy to handle despite all her misadventures. We are always happy to see her walk through the door but hope for her sake that her visits are a little less frequent in the coming years!

 

April’s Pet of the Month

Meet Buster, our Pet of the month this April.

We have a soft spot for the ‘golden oldies’ at the practice and 18-year-old ginger gentleman Buster ticks all the boxes!

Buster was happily settled up north until his owners sadly had to return to Australia. As feisty as Buster may be, in his advanced years the flights and quarantine would have been too much for him, so arrangements were made with friends in Cambridge.

Buster has settled well into his new home. His days of zoomies may be over, but he does maintain a dogged (no pun intended!) schedule of garden perimeter patrol keeps a watchful eye on the neighbourhood from his windowsill perch. Anything that displeases him is the subject of testy croaking meows.

He loves yoghurt treats, the occasional tussle with his stuffed mouse toy, and waiting for his carers to open the door for him (he is familiar with concept of the cat flap idea but considers the reality beneath him).

Buster has various age-related conditions to contend with, including arthritis, hyperthyroidism and periodic tummy upsets. Sadly these are all conditions that are not uncommon in older cats. He has become a bit of a fixture here at the practice and is now on first name terms with many in the team.  Despite struggling mightily when loaded into his carrier, he is always calm and curious on arrival at the surgery, puts up with necessary treatments and has even been putting on weight.

All those who love him, from Cambridge to Melbourne, wish him a long and happy old age.

 

March’s Pet of the Month

Our ‘Pet of the Month’ for March is Oso.

Oso is a 9 year old, chocolate labrador, who lives with Olive, a one-year-old fox-red labrador. His owner describes him as the most companionable dog you could ever imagine, a handsome, warm and loyal shadow.

Oso means bear in Spanish.  He was born in Mexico and as a puppy resembled a grizzly bear cub which earned him his name.  He speaks both Spanish and English although is fluent in any language if you have a bit of sausage to hand!

In the past few years Oso has been a fairly regular visitor to the surgery, first with arthritis and then with some spinal issues, which have both required ongoing treatment. Last September, Oso’s owners noticed that his lymph nodes seemed a little swollen and bought him in for a check-up. We ran blood tests and carried out a fine needle aspirate (FNA.) This involves using a needle to extract a sample of cells which can then be sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Sadly the results confirmed lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes and lymphatic system. With significant reservations, Oso’s owners decided to send him for chemotherapy at Dick White Referrals in Newmarket, which involves regular visits for an intravenous infusion of medication.

We were all worried about the potential side effects of the treatment, which can be quite debilitating, however, six months in, Oso has responded really well.  He has had virtually no side effects, always returning home from treatments waggy-tailed, and is currently in full remission.  His arthritis and back problems have also subsided so he’s definitely having a second wind!

We are all so grateful that Oso has reacted so well to the chemotherapy. He bears it all with such a good nature that we thought he very much deserved the title of Pet of the Month this March!

 

February’s Pet of the Month

Meet Yoyo, our Pet of the Month for February.

Yoyo is a pretty, long-haired, 10-year-old tortie, who came to live with her new family in 2012, along with sister, poppet, who sadly died of congenital heart failure aged 4.

According to her owners, Yoyo is the sweetest cat ever, and literally wouldn’t hurt a fly. She has a regular daily routine which includes 11am zoomies, flying around the house at top speed, often sliding into doors and furniture, a daily garden patrol (She is great at climbing up trees, but not so good at getting down) and a midnight bedroom patrol to find someone to cuddle up with.

Her favourite foods are heart and raw shrimps, which she is allowed in strict moderation.

Yoyo gave us all a bit of a shock earlier this month, when her owners found her under the bed retching repeatedly. The initial thought was a fur ball, but her condition quickly deteriorated. When we examined her at the surgery she had a very swollen tongue, her head was tilted to one side, and she was clearly in considerable discomfort.

Yoyo was anesthetized to allow a thorough examination and X-rays. We were amazed to see, very clearly on the X-rays, a 7cm needle lodged in her throat. The position of the needle meant that the only option for removal was surgery, a tricky procedure given the delicacy of the area. Patrick made a small incision in Yoyo’s throat, and was able to extract the needle, and the 80 cm of thread that was attached to it. His theory was that Yoyo had most likely been playing with the thread, swallowed it, and then the action of the digestive tract had pulled the needle deeper into her throat and made regurgitation impossible.

Happily, Yoyo has made a full and speedy recovery. She went home the evening of the surgery, ate her tea without complaints and was very put out when she couldn’t resume garden patrol the following morning. A few weeks on it’s as if the whole misadventure never happened!

We thought Yoyo deserved a special mention as she was so brave and resilient and provides a cautionary tale about novel objects and curious cats!

 

January’s Pet of the Month

Meet Iko, our pet of the month for January.

Iko is a handsome 8-month-old boy who lives with his equally pretty sister, Fai, and friend Ghibli.

Iko had a rather adventurous start to life when, aged just 5 months old, he escaped out of a first-floor window and came to us with a very sore, swollen, non-weight-bearing paw. Our X-rays showed that Iko had fractured four of the metacarpal bones in his left fore-paw. Luckily, he was otherwise unscathed.

Because of the complexity of the injury, Iko was referred to East of England Veterinary Specialists, an orthopaedic referral centre close to Cambridge. East of England performed a CT scan to gather more information about the extent and severity of the fractures and then carried out surgery to pin two of the four metatarsal bones. Further X-rays were then taken to check the success of the procedure, and after a night’s hospitalisation and rebandaging of the wound, Iko was allowed home.

The weeks that followed involved frequent trips back to the surgery to change dressings. The area between the toes was very sore and required some skilled bandaging by our nurses to prevent pressure and allow ventilation (whilst still preventing Iko from licking the area … He was very skilled at removing his buster collar!) Persuading Iko to rest was a challenge as he was so young and keen to play with his housemates. However, after a month ago the wound was sufficiently healed to allow the dressing to come off and Iko was able to slowly resume normal activities.

Normal activities for Iko include emptying boxes and shopping bags and squeezing himself into very small spaces. He is playful and full of energy and loves to explore.

Iko recently came back for his castration and it was lovely to see him looking so fit and well following his early challenges!

December’s Pet of the month

Our Pet of the Month for December is the lovely Cookie.

Cookie was bought in by one of our clients, who had seen him in the  neighbourhood for many months with what looked like very sore ears. We tracked down Cookie’s owner, who didn’t have the funds to treat Cookie but was willing to hand Cookie over to the care of the local RSPCA, so that his issues could be resolved. The client who had bought Cookie in kindly offered to foster him until he was well enough to re-home.

Both of Cookie’s ears were inflamed and sore, and the right ear in particular had a purulent discharge. Cookie stayed with us for several weeks while we tried to get the symptoms under control so that we could investigate further. This involved ear cleaning and the application of two different types of drops three times a day! Despite our best cuddles and attempts to entertain, Cookie was clearly bored in kennels and fed up of being treated but he bore it all like a real champion.

Recurrent ear problems are common in dogs, but less so in cats, and usually the sign of underlying problems. Once symptoms were under control we sedated Cookie to allow us to have a proper look into his ears. There turned out to be several polyps (benign growths of tissue) in his right ear. Cookie has been referred to the Cambridge Vet School, who carry out surgery on pets under the care of the local RSPCA. He is currently waiting for an appointment with a Veterinary Dermatologist, who will decide whether to remove the polyps or to carry out a more comprehensive surgery in which a portion of the external ear canal is removed to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

Hopefully once Cookie has undergone surgery he will find a new loving home. He is a lovely laid-back boy, around ten years old, who we are sure will make a fantastic companion … Big thanks to his fosterer and the local branch of the RSPCA for giving him a second chance.

November’s Pet of the month

We may be a little biased, but as we are celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the practice this November it seems only appropriate that practice cat Samba is our Pet of the Month!

Most of you will have seen Samba around the practice, often sitting ‘helping’ on the reception desk.

Samba has been a part of the practice team since 2010. We had recently lost practice cat Katie (an equally feisty black and white moggie) when a client brought in a young cat she could sadly no longer keep. Patrick agreed to a 2-week trial to see if the little tabby would adapt to the busy practice environment. She settled in well so after two weeks we agreed to take her on as a permanent team member. A week or so later we noticed she was looking a little rounder. Perhaps a result of being slightly spoilt as she adjusted to her new home, we thought? However, she continued to expand and a month or so later gave birth to a litter of six kittens!

Wolfie, Samba’s son, lives with Patrick. Several other kittens went to live with clients of the practice and Calypsa, one of her daughters, stayed at the surgery as Second-in-Command Practice Cat for a few years. On quiet days you would sometimes find her snoozing in the in-trays. Unfortunately, Samba was not that fond of her daughter and Calypsa, far less bomb-proof than her mother, was not as well suited to the hustle and bustle of the surgery. A couple of years ago she retired from practice life and moved across the road to live with receptionist Sue.

Samba is very happy to be back in charge of the practice. She is on a permanent diet, as she is very good at telling each of us that she has not been fed when we arrive in the morning and accumulating multiple breakfasts. She enjoys sunbathing upstairs in the office and swearing at the birds on the roofs opposite. She sleeps in the waiting room with one eye open and is quick to swipe at any over-friendly dogs, though has to make the occasional swift retreat when she has taken on a little more dog than she can handle.

We are all very fond of Samba. She is a very vocal presence and does, now that she is a little older and softer allow an occasional cuddle, which is much appreciated after a busy day at the surgery …

October’s Pet of the month

October’s Pet of the Month is Growler. Despite his name, Growler has a lovely nature! He is an eight and a half year old Patterdale terrier, who was rescued as a tiny pup along with his brother, Gandalf, from an unhappy home. The pair were so small that nobody thought they would survive, but with a lot of patience and TLC they both made it through to adulthood.

Growler is a typical lively terrier! He is a terrible chewer and will destroy most toys in minutes given half a chance. Unlike his brother, he is not a swimmer, but on land he has plenty of energy and enthusiasm for life.

Growler has recently been very poorly. He initially presented with vomiting and diarrhoea, lethargy, lack of appetite and dehydration. A faecal sample was sent away for analysis and confirmed Parvovirus, a very infectious virus that is often fatal in older dogs and puppies.

For five days Growler was very unwell. The diarrhoea eventually stopped as he wasn’t eating but he was drinking only the very small amount of water that his owner was able to syringe into his mouth. He was very weak and struggling to maintain his body temperature. We set up a temporary isolation ward at the back of the clinic, and Growler came in daily for intravenous fluid therapy. He was also prescribed antibiotics, to prevent any secondary infections.  Our Vet Student Emma did a fantastic job barrier nursing Growler in his isolation area, and we were all thrilled when after more than a week he finally started to show an interest in food.

Three weeks on and Growler is fully recovered. He is back home, chewing up everything in sight and slowly gaining the weight he lost during his illness. Welcome back Growler! We are so happy to hear you are back to full health after such a worrying time …

 

September’s Pet of the Month

Our Pet of the month for September is Leo. Leo is a lovely old gentleman who has endured more than his fair share of ups and downs in the last 14 years.

Leo was born in Thetford and has been with his owners since he was a puppy. He is a gentle boy with a fabulous nature who loves everyone he meets.

Leo has certainly kept his owners’  busy. His first serious injury was a torn oesophagus, which happened while chasing a stick, his second was a badly cut tongue following the ingestion of some fishing bait. Leo has also raided many picnics in his time, managing to ingest lots of foods that are very bad for dogs, whilst causing general chaos.

So far Leo has survived two rounds of cancer. Initially he had a mast cell tumour in his tail which necessitated amputation of the whole tail. A little while later he had a 2kg tumour removed from his liver which also meant the removal of his gall bladder. Recently Leo has been quite unwell with stomatitis, a severe and often very painful inflammation of the soft tissues in the mouth.

Despite all these trials and tribulations Leo is still a kind and happy dog. He seems to have recovered his appetite following his recent illness, and whilst he may not have a tail to wag, he still manages to wiggle his stump, especially when treats are on offer.

We have all enjoyed getting to know Leo and thought his bravery and good nature deserved a special mention …

 

August’s Pet of the Month

Meet Scooby, our Pet of the Month for August. Scooby has just celebrated his fifteenth birthday and has been attending the practice for many years.

He has always been a very healthy chap, with the exception of a few ear problems and more recently a little arthritis. He has just started having monthly injections to help manage any pain. As he has grown a little older he finds it a little harder to take care of his lovely long fur, so came in recently for a grooming session, which he tolerated very well.

Scooby is usually a shy and quiet boy but will shout loudly for food or to go outside, where he loves to sunbathe when the weather allows. He enjoys drinking fresh water from his water fountain. His sister, Bubble, passed away in April, and Scooby has been a little sad since then, as the two used to cuddle up together and were great companions.

Scooby is a very sweet natured cat. We were all very taken with his kind and quiet personality when he visited recently and so we thought he deserved a special mention …

 

July’s Pet of the Month

Gracie is a 7 year old Italian greyhound. After a short stay with her first owner Gracie went to live with Nick and Frances, and a whole assortment of hounds. She now lives alone with owner Francis after all her companions gradually passed away.

Unfortunately, Gracie was spooked on a recent walk over midsummer common and bolted, falling into a cattle grid. At first it seemed as if she’d had a lucky escape; she was a little lame but her legs were all intact and there were no other obvious injuries. However, after a week Gracie still wasn’t quite right so came back to the surgery for further investigation. We took a series of X-rays and and discovered she had in fact fractured her jaw.

Gracie needed specialist surgery so we referred her to the orthopaedic team at Vets One in Downham Market. It turned out the underlying dental disease had probably contributed to the injury due to a weakened jaw.

The night before the operation Gracie was hospitalised for intravenous fluids and pain relief. The following day she had a wire fitted, which significantly improved the alignment and stability of her jaw, and she was discharged the next day. A week or so later a swelling appeared in Gracie’s jaw. Further X-rays revealed an infection, possibly related to the underlying dental disease. A course of antibiotics was prescribed and the infection subsided.

Gracie is now her usual self again. She loves her food, going to work at the race horse training stables in Newmarket with Frances on the bus or train and lending moral support to the gardening. She enjoys walks, sleeping under the duvet and being carried, cuddled and fussed. She has run many park-runs with a PB of 26:06 mins, but only because her owner is so slow! Gracie loves running off lead but this is now only allowed in a safe enclosed area. She also adores venison sausages for her treats but needs them cutting up small after her accident. Other than scratching her bed, the furniture or her owners when she feels she is not getting quite enough attention, Gracie is thoroughly sweet natured and affectionate.

She has one more operation to go at Vets One and she should be completely recovered very soon.

We were all struck by Gracie’s quiet bravery throughout her ordeal. She soldiered on without complaint and put up with all the examination and treatment without complaint. We are very much looking forward to seeing her back on full form!

 

June’s Pet of the Month

Cassie was adopted by Tom and Kate 2019 after a short career on the greyhound racing circuit in Kent. Known professionally as Kendlea Cassie and Upton Gunner, Cassie won only 3 out of her 27 races (a far cry from her famous grandfather Westmead Hawk, who is immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds!)

It took a while for Cassie to adjust to the real world, but after a few months she settled into her new life in Cambridge and her sweet, calm and friendly nature began to shine through (cats and squirrels aside.) Cassie loves a run around Logan’s Meadow or a sunny stroll around Gwydir Street Cemetery almost as much as she loves lying on the sofa, often for upwards of 18 hours a day!

Cassie has been very unwell for the last 5 months. She had a very unusual set of symptoms, including severe lethargy and significant weight loss. She was referred for extensive tests at Dick White Referrals and for a few weeks we were very concerned about whether she would pull through. Fortunately in the last month or so Cassie has really turned a corner. She is nearly back to her previous body weight, is enjoying her walks once more and needless to say her owners are greatly relieved. Cassie has endured all her trials and tribulations with great patience. We are so happy to see her back to her previous form and announce her as our June Pet of the Month!

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