please help more animals get back on their feet this christmas
This Christmas we want to share some good news stories with you - stories that wouldn’t have had such happy endings without donations from loyal supporters and animal lovers like you. With your Christmas donation we will be able to help many more animals in need like Mylo, Lula and Buster.
Our team at the Animal Health Trust includes vets, nurses, researchers and technicians, all dedicated to keeping animals healthy, fit and pain-free. Our research has helped to pioneer cures and treatments for all kinds of illnesses, and our vets are on hand if your own local vet needs our advice or expertise. So if your pet suffers a life-threatening illness or injury, they could benefit from the combined knowledge, expertise and research discoveries of the AHT’s specialists. Our work plays a vital part in restoring our best friends to health and getting them back on their feet again.
MYLO MAKES A SPLASH
Mylo means the world to his owner, Kim, who has a neurological condition and a motorised wheel chair to help her get around. When Kim is having a bad day, or feeling down, Mylo is her reason to get out of bed. It was therefore
terrible news when Mylo suffered a nasty cat bite to the base of his tail. Something initially quite small quickly became life-threatening as it became infected and the abscess started to compress Mylo’s spinal cord.
When Mylo was referred to the AHT he was paraplegic and it was a life or death decision to operate to try and relieve some of the pressure on his spinal cord. An MRI scan showed the infection had extended halfway along Mylo’s spine. Weeks of carefully monitored physiotherapy and hydrotherapy followed to help Mylo regain the strength in his lower back and back legs and to help retrain and stimulate his nerve endings. He tolerated the hydrotherapy very well and with the help of a harness, lifejacket, treats and toys for motivation, Mylo’s mobility gradually started to improve.
After a few months of dedicated care, Mylo had regained a fantastic quality of life for a cat whose initial outlook looked so bleak. Jo Handley-Howard, Head of Hydrotherapy at the AHT, said: “Swimming is not the most natural thing for a cat to do, but Mylo tolerated the treatment amazingly well.” Kim, Mylo’s owner, added: “I really thought for a time that Mylo wasn’t going to make it but I owed it to him to try everything I could, as long as he wasn’t in pain. I’m so grateful to everyone at the AHT that cared for him.”
LULA'S MYSTERY LAMENESS
Lula came to the AHT after displaying some very out of character behaviour - rearing during a dressage test. Lula’s behaviour became more unpredictable and owner Eleanor lost her confidence in their partnership. Referred with suspicions that there was an underlying pain-related problem, Lula was assessed and showed a reluctance to go forwards and a low-grade lameness in both hindlimbs.
Nerve blocking her hindlimbs to pin point where the pain causing lameness was originating from, Dr Sue Dyson, found blocking just below the back of the hock substantially improved Lula’s gait. Further ultrasonographic investigation confirmed there was proximal suspensory desmopathy (damage to the suspensory ligament) in both hindlimbs. This is a very common injury that our clinicians see and treat on a regular basis.
Lula was recommended for a neurectomy and fasciotomy, which involves removing a piece of the nerve that stimulates the painful ligament; as well as cutting through the band of tissue (fascia) which effectively squashes the ligament between the back of the cannon bone and the splint bones. Lula made good post-operative progress and Eleanor had a strict rehabilitation plan to follow at home, giving the two of them time to build their relationship again. A year on, and the pair have gone from strength to strength, taking a much needed positive step toward a better and healthier future.
BUSTER BOUNCES BACK!
Buster, a normally bouncy, nine-year-old black Labrador was slowly becoming more and more unsteady on his feet. His mobility continued to deteriorate so his vet referred him to the AHT where an MRI scan was performed which revealed that Buster had a severely slipped intervertebral disc, which was pressing on his spinal cord.
Buster’s owner, Jim, said: “It was explained to me that an operation was needed to give him a fighting chance of leading a somewhat normal life. If we’d done nothing, he could have been left paralysed. If the operation went wrong, and the spinal cord was too severely attached to the enlarged disc that was causing the problem, he could still have been left paralysed.” Following intensive surgery for such a badly slipped intervertebral disc it’s normal for patients to take a few days before they can stand up again, let alone try and walk. But just a few hours after surgery Buster tried to get up and out of his kennel! The next morning he was up on all four paws and by that evening he was up and walking again.
The neurologist in charge of the operation, Anita Shea, said: “Despite all of Buster’s difficulties he constantly wagged his tail and was so eager to be everyone’s friend. It was very obvious why he is such an important and extremely loved member of his family!” Jim said: “I am very grateful to all the incredibly caring staff at the AHT who looked after Buster. Without the level of care he was given I fear he would not be here today.”
As a charity we need to raise over £3 million every year to improve the lives of thousands of animals, so anything you can donate will be gratefully received. You’ll be helping us find new treatments and cures, and help sick animals get back on their feet.
On behalf of us all at the AHT, may I wish you a very happy festive season and thank you for your generous support.