Patient of the Week 16 December
This week’s Patient of the Week is Loki. Poor Loki was referred to the AHT as a very young dog - just seven months old - with a serious skin condition which started on his feet.
Loki’s owner, Matt, noticed Loki licking his feet a lot, and on closer inspection noticed that there were pockets of pus between Loki’s pads, which quickly spread across Loki’s body. Antibiotics from the local vet didn’t seem to help, and Loki was getting sicker and sicker.
Loki was referred for a consultation with one of our expert dermatologists who diagnosed the problem as pemphigus foliaceus, an uncommon, auto-immune, skin disease. The body directs antibodies against specific parts of the skin, causing pustules to form. These pustules readily rupture and leave dried crusts on the skin. The condition affects dogs of any age and sex, often starts on the face and is treated with drugs that suppress or modulate the immune system.
In this young fellow we chose the most gentle drug option available and he responded very well to the treatment. His skin lesions cleared up rapidly and, in time, we were able to stop his medication altogether.
As you can see from the photos below, Loki was feeling very sorry for himself when he was first examined by our vets but now, three years later (photo left), he has gone on to live a very happy life.
It’s fantastic to see how Loki is doing now and that his skin condition has not returned. Matt Penrod, Loki’s owner, said: “I’m so thankful for the AHT and the work that they do. Loki’s brother, Sir Didymus, and I were really concerned about Loki and thought that we might lose him. He was so uncomfortable, the pustules were all over his body, his hair was falling out and you could tell just by looking at him that he really wasn’t himself.
"I’m so glad we were able to find out what the problem was and that the treatment worked so quickly. Everyone at the AHT was so kind and really cared about Loki. Loki means everything to us and now he is a playful, loving three year old who loves his little red ball, belly rubs and face licking!”
Patient of the Week 9 December
Meet Truffle the poodle. Truffle was referred to the Animal Health Trust after her owners noticed a swelling under her tongue. However, this was resolved and after being thoroughly assessed the AHT Internal Medicine team found an incidental, but potentially life-threatening problem with her gall bladder called a mucocoele. Whilst this didn’t seem to be causing Truffle any problems at the time, a gall bladder mucocoele can rupture if left untreated. This becomes immediately life-threatening as it leads to severe peritonitis (inflammation of the abdomen lining). Clinicians, Mireia Fernandez and James Warland, initially planned a six week course of medication and close monitoring - surgery was not the first choice treatment for the team and her owners as Truffle is approaching 15 years of age and has several other lifelong health conditions to consider.
Returning to the AHT Small Animal Centre six weeks later, check-ups indicated that Truffle’s gall bladder was continuing to swell and would need to be removed to prevent her condition deteriorating. James recalls, “Unfortunately, it appeared from the scans that Truffle’s mucocoele was getting worse, and I was concerned it would rupture if left any longer.”
“At the time of surgery, the mucocoele was very large and was very close to rupturing. The surgical removal was performed at just the right time” says Georg Haimel, the surgeon who performed the operation.
“The team at the AHT acted swiftly,” said owner Julia “talking us through the pros and cons of treatment and were on hand to give us and our vet information to enable us to make the decision as to whether to go ahead. We decided to give Truffle the chance and are in no doubt that the exemplary skill and care of the AHT team led to the successful outcome.”
Thanks to both our Internal Medicine and Surgical teams, Truffle has gone on to make a full recovery and is back to her old self again. Since her surgery Truffle has even been feeling fit enough to go on holiday to the Lake District, enjoying the scenery and long walks by the water. Glad to see you looking so well Truffle! For more information on the services our Small Animal Centre can provide visit here.
Patient of the Week 2 December
This beautiful little girl is Zeva. At only three months old, Zeva is still very young, cheeky and full of mischief. So full of mischief that one night she was not content with staying her puppy pen for bedtime and decided to try and escape. In the morning her owners came down to find the living room in quite a mess and poor little Zeva with a limp. Whippets can be delicate and her owners were obviously very concerned at the damage she might have done to herself. On referral from her local vet to our Orthopaedic team at the small animal clinic, x-rays showed that Zeva had fractured her shinbone and would need surgery. Zeva had five pins placed in her leg with an external fixator to hold the bones in the correct position while they healed. Zeva went home for three weeks to heal – although keeping a three month old puppy still and calm was quite a challenge!
Zeva popped back into the clinic last week to have her bones x-rayed again to check they had healed securely around the pins; have the external fixator removed and was given a course of pain killers to ensure she was comfortable when she returned home to finish her recovery. Zeva is still having to take it easy at first, but she is definitely looking forward to getting back to playing with her seven dog friends back home.
“I have been so comfortable in coming to the AHT” said Zeva’s owner David, “everything is explained in layman’s terms; what they need to do and why. They gave us the options so we felt we could make an informed decision and that we were part of Zeva’s treatment”. Zeva has her sights on being a prize winning show dog in the future and the AHT team are sure she will go on to great things! For more information on our work in orthopaedics visit here.