The other side of the table

horseSeveral weeks ago one of our horses , an Arab called Sunflower, was diagnosed with sarcoids. She had quite a few of varying sizes in her pelvic and upper leg area . Sarcoids are common tumours in horses and are generally benign but can be locally invasive . One of these tumours was quite large and was getting bigger . In consultation with our horse vet we decided to have these masses removed by laser. This would require a sedation and a trip to the horse hospital.

As is the case for many people , this horse is very special to us, she really communicates and interacts with us and is very open to people. She had a fantastic upbringing at the stud that bred and backed her which has resulted in a horse that is not at all sceptical about any of life’s experiences.

We now had to hand our beautiful horse over to our vet and entrust her to his care. This reminded me that my clients do the same with me every day and the enormous responsibility that this is. Every animal I treat is somebodies special pet that we have to treat to the best of our ability .

We were very anxious during the wait for the surgery (we stayed with her before and after her operation ) and while she was being operated on. I have seen this same anxiety on the faces of my clients as the have waited for their pets surgery, now it was my turn.

All went well with her surgery and is now beginning to heal, she made it clear that this was painful for the first week and we had to extend her pain relief. Even though the treatment was needed we still felt upset that we had put her through all of this, which is a sentiment that many people feel after any traumatic surgery.

This whole experience has reinforced my understanding of what my clients experience when they entrust their pets to our practice.

(Photo for illustration purposes only)

Looking after our pets in the warmer weather

Heat stroke dogDuring the lovely weather we have been experiencing it is really important that we remember how the weather affects our pets. Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans; they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through the foot pads and nose. In the hot weather please keep dogs cool, we don’t advise walking them until the weather has cooled down in the evenings and even then if it’s still quite warm then only short walks are advised. In the day time if you are outside with your dogs then have a paddling pool out for them to cool down and make sure there is plenty of space available in the shade. Temperatures in dogs vary but usually anything above 39 degrees Celsius is abnormal and organ failure can occur at around 41 degrees.

Signs of heat stroke or hyperthermia may include panting, salivation, a reddening of the gums, rapid heart rate, collapse, vomiting, muscle tremors and vomiting. If you are concerned that a dog may be suffering from heat stroke then it’s very important to get to your vet as soon as possible, wrap the dog in cool wet towels to try and lower the temperature on the way. Never leave dogs in cars on hot days, the temperature in a stationary car can get very high in a very short space of time, although it’s common knowledge not to do this sadly a few people still do. If you see a dog left in a car that you feel is in distress then call 999.

Dogs are not the only animals that can suffer in the heat, all animals can overheat and our small furies must not be forgotten about. Rabbits and guinea pigs living outside should have their cages moved into the shade and wrap their water bottles in something to keep them cool. A blanket can be used to put over the cage to keep them out of the sun and if they are in a run then again there should be plenty of space for them in the shade.

White cats can be prone to sunburn on the tips of their ears so you can use a little bit of sun cream as protection if they are out and about. Cats are usually quite good at regulating their temperature and will find shade when they are hot but they should be monitored and if they are showing any signs of heat stroke then immediately contact your vet and try and cool them down.

Enjoy the weather and if you have any concerns then contact your veterinary surgery who will be happy to help.