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Success Stories

Read the success stories of some of our patients here at Swadlincote Vets

We have some of the most wonderful and toughest patients here at Swadlincote Vets - these are some of their stories.

Murphy - Foreign Body

Murphy is a 1 year old Miniature Schnauzer who presented to us due to vomiting, lethargy and appearing uncomfortable. One of our vets checked Murphy over found him to be painful when palpating his abdomen. The owners admitted that Murphy did have a tendency to eat things he should not, his favourite being stones.

Given Murphy’s presentation and history, it was recommended that Murphy undergo some further investigation to check that he had not eaten something that could have got stuck somewhere along his gastrointestinal tract.

X-rays were performed of Murphy’s abdomen which revealed what appeared to be a stone stuck in his small intestines, This is clearly visible by the circular opacity seen on the his x-ray (pictured). Not all foreign bodies are as easy to spot on X-rays so Murphy was lucky.

Foreign bodies are a common and very dangerous occurrence as if it is not diagnosed quickly it can result in the bowel perforating resulting in a potentially fatal peritonitis.

Murphy was placed on intravenous fluid therapy to correct any dehydration caused as a result of his vomiting, prepped and taken into theatre where he underwent surgery.

Unfortunately for Murphy where the stone had become stuck it had caused a large amount of damage. Although Murphy was diagnosed very quickly, the gut around the stone had become black, when it should be a nice pink colour. This indicated that this section of bowel had died and become necrotic. As a result of this the stone could not simply be removed but a section of the gut needed to be resected and an end to end anastomosis needed to be performed. This is where a section of the gut is removed and the remaining ends sutured together, this is a delicate procedure and needs to be performed accurately to prevent any leakage of gut contents into the abdomen during or post surgery. The rest of his abdomen was checked for any further abnormalities but none were found.

The surgery went well and Murphy was soon in recovery being closely monitored by our dedicated team of nurses.

Murphy continued to recover well and made a full recovery with strict instructions to try and curve his habit for chewing stones!


Misty - Pyometra

Misty is a 7 year old Doberman bitch who presented to us with a history of excessive drinking (polydypsia). She was otherwise very well in herself. One of our vets checked her over and found her to have a high temperature despite this Misty appeared in good health with no further abnormalities detected. Due to the vague and very few clinical signs shown by Misty the list of potential causes was long.

The vet advised for some investigation in order to help narrow down the potential causes. This started with some bloods.

Blood interpretation showed some good and bad news for Misty. On the good side all her organs were working as they should be, most importantly her kidneys. However it showed she had very high white blood cells (WBC). As a result of this assessment of Misty’s bloods the vet was able to rule out a lot of possible causes. The very high WBC’s indicated Misty most likely had a significant infection causing her polydypsia.

Misty, as mentioned above, is an entire bitch and a concern at this point was that Misty had a Pyometra. This is a life threatening condition where the uterus becomes infected, filling the uterus with purulent material. In most cases a Pyometra is ‘open’, this is when the cervix is slightly open, these are much easier to diagnose as the bitch presents with a purulent, creamy discharge from the bitches vulva. However Misty had a ‘closed’ Pyometra, where the purulent material produced is trapped within the uterus, this is much more serious and means the uterus is constantly expanding with the ever increasing production of purulent material.

Misty’s owners were then called and asked if they could please bring Misty back in to have a quick ultrasound scan which could confirm or rule out this concerning possibility. A quick scan revealed that Misty had indeed got a Pyometra. In order to treat her Misty required a life saving hysterectomy to remove her engorged uterus. She was immediately placed on fluids, prepped and taken to theatre where she underwent surgery.

There was a significant difference in the size of Misty’s uterus and that of another dog of similar.

Misty’s surgery went very well and was soon in recovery being closely monitored by our dedicated team of nurses. She recovered really well but due to being a little pale after surgery and still pretty sleepy by the evening spent the night with our out of hours practice who discharged her the following day.

Misty is now back to her normal bouncy self having made a full recovery.

Although we were pleased to present Misty as a successful story, it is important to remember that Misty’s condition was life threatening and not all dogs make it. A Pyometra is easily prevented by simply speying your female dog. The surgery during a routine spey holds much less risk for your pet. This is due to them being healthy at the time of surgery, the uterus is much smaller (see pictures), the blood vessels associated are much smaller and there is no infection present.

For more information on the above, please see our fact sheets on Pyometra (under general diseases) and Neutering on our Pet Advice page.

Teagan - Diabetes and Hypothyroidism

Teagan is an 8 year old male Irish Terrier that presented to the clinic with very bad skin and itchy skin (pruritis). On examination Teagan’s skin was red and inflammed and had a yeasty smell. Based on Teagan’s presentation and history it was treated as an allergy related problem. At first Teagan improved significantly with this treatment but after several months his symptoms deteriorated and he also started to become lethargic and gained weight and was also drinking excessively (polydypsia).

Unfortunately we do not have a ‘before’ picture of Teagan however the picture below is close example used to demonstrate.

After a discussion between the vet and Teagan’s owner the decision was made to do further investigation into Teagan’s condition as it was clear that repeating the same treatments as before would not be adequate.

The first step was to run blood tests to check Teagan’s overall health and to try and find a cause of the polydypsia. The list of reasons for polydypsia is long and includes certain conditions such as infection, diabetes, kidney disease and renal disease to name a few.

The blood test revealed that Teagan had high levels of glucose in his blood stream which was the first signal that he may have been a diabetic. The next step involved looking at Teagan’s urine to check for the presence of glucose and any signs of infection. Teagan’s urine did contain glucose and the combination for glucose in his blood and urine confirmed a diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus.

Teagan’s owners were contacted and an appointment was made to discuss Diabetes and the treatment required. Diabetes is controlled using life-long treatment with insulin injections and a change in the lifestyle of your pet is often required in relation to diet and exercise regimes. Our nurse who specialises in diabetic clinics discussed at length the management of diabetes and the method of injecting insulin with Teagan’s owners. Over the next few months Teagan was monitored closely at the clinic to insure that adequate control of his glucose levels was achieved.

In addition to Teagan’s diabetes, investigation had also revealed that he had a concurrent condition called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can have profound effects on skin health, weight and energy levels. Its finding allowed us to understand why Teagan was gaining weight, lethargic and skin remained a persistent problem. Fortunately hypothyroidism is easily treated with medication in a tablet form which helps to increase the body’s level of thyroid hormone (thyroxine) restoring the normal levels in the body. As Teagan’s thyroxine levels increased his coat improved and his skin problems resolved. In addition, Teagan started to return to his old self as his energy levels started to improve.

It is now several months since Teagan was originally diagnosed and both his Diabetes and Hypothyroidism are now well controlled. To ensure Teagan remains in good health he requires regular visits to the vets for blood tests and reassessment . Teagan is very happy coming into the clinic and it is great to see him looking so well, happy and back to his normal self!

For more information on Diabetes or Hypothyroidism please see our Pet Advice page.

Snuggles - Wound

Snuggles is an 11 year old domestic short hair cat who presented to us after having been missing for several days. She was non weight bearing on her left hind leg and had a large wound making an almost complete ring round her entire hock and another deep wound on her foot. Snuggles was also found to be dehydrated but otherwise seemed in good health.

As a result of the findings the vet advised placing Snuggles on intravenous fluid therapy to correct the dehydration and to do some investigation into why she was non weight bearing on her leg and fully assess the extent of her wounds.

X-rays revealed that Snuggles had fractured her fibula (one of the two bones in her distal limb) however her tibia (the large of the two bones) was still intact. This meant that the fibula should heal in time, with no need for additional support as the tibia was there to provide this.

The wounds were also found to be extensive, her wound between her middle digits was so extensive the decision was made to suture her two toes together. The wound around her hock, due to the large area, age of the wound and location could not be sutured and the decision was made for Snuggles to undergo extensive wound management only and allowing it to heal by secondary intention (on its own). The main risk factor in Snuggles recovery was infection, correct care was needed to prevent control infection present and prevent any further infection taking place.

Snuggles was put on appropriate antibiotics and a bandage was placed over the entire leg to cover the wounds, with a specialised dressing over the wounds themselves to aid healing and prevent infection. This dressing was changed every few days over the course of the following 3 weeks. Snuggles was able to go home in between dressing changes to relax with her family.

As you can see by the photos below, the wound in between her digits healed very quickly and snuggles coped very well with the permanent joining of her toes. The wound around her hock slowly started to heal and reduce in size until it completely resolved. Snuggles was the perfect patient and allowed us to dress and clean the wound, although very sore, without any additional restraint other than lots of fuss from our team of nurses.

Snuggles is back to normal with a fully healed and functioning leg.