What's New at KVC
Jacqui, who completed her training with us last year, will be joining our team. Jacqui has always wanted to work with animals and is currently raising a cute kitten called Bart,a s well as being foster mum to a litter of stray kittens.
Sarah has decided not to return to us following her maternity leave so she can spend more time with her lovely baby Quinn.
If you have been to the clinic lately, you may have noticed that our lovely clinic cat Charlie has lost weight and has lots of shaved patches over his body.
Charlie was diagnosed with cancer (renal lymphoma) in November last year, after we noticed his appetite was reduced but he had increased thirst.
We have all been devastated by this news, as our dear boy is only 4 years old. Unfortunately lymphoma is a cancer that can affect young as well as old animals.
We chose to try chemotherapy with him, as he is such a good cat and remission time can be as high as 12-18 months if all goes well.
He is currently on a weekly dose of alternating multi agent chemotherapy.
The decision to undertake chemotherapy for a pet is a difficult one, involving a balance between the positive time we get to spend with them and the cost of that time in side effects for the patient. It has been an emotional journey for us and, even though we can stop the chemotherapy at any point, it is often difficult to decide what is the best thing to do on a day to day basis.
We believe that, although he has been unwell for some of the last 3 months, he has generally had good quality of life and he has been very happy now that he is allowed to eat whatever he wants. For the moment we are going to continue treatment.
Chemotherapy drugs work in a range of different ways.The treatment Charlie is having is aimed at killing rapidly dividing cancer cells, and thus can have the side effects of lowering his white cell count and causing intermittent diarrhoea, as the cells that line the gut and those that fight infection are the ones in the body that divide most rapidly.
Charlie has also had an intermittent fever secondary to his cancer and is persistently anaemic, although he is coping well with this.
Next time you are in the clinic, feel free to stop and give him some love, as he likes to be patted while he is eating and never says no to a pat.
PET CARE FACTS
Poisons Around the Home
Many people are not aware of all the potential hazards lying around the house that their pets can get into.
You must be very careful to keep any medication you are taking out of reach of playful dogs and cats. Blister packs and pill bottles can be quite fun to play with and chew; and it is very easy for them to ingest tablets in the process.
Also medication for people should never be given to animals without advice from a veterinarian. Many drugs are metabolised differently in different species and can be poisonous for your pet even though they are very safe for us. This also means that we cannot use dog products on cats, especially some of the flea products and shampoos on the market. If you are ever in doubt, please phone the clinic for advice.
Many household cleaning products can be quite toxic to our pets too, especially if they ingest them. Curious dogs and cats may choose to lick anything new, and some products such as household bleach actually taste quite sweet. Remember to keep all your cleaning products locked up.
We should also be very careful with our garden products. Fertilisers like blood and bone smell wonderful to dogs but can be quite toxic if eaten. Many of the pesticides and herbicides can also be a problem, even if they are just licked off the coat. Round up can irritate the throat and cause gastrointestinal upsets. Many insect sprays can be poisonous especially to cats, even if they just breathe them in while you are spraying, so be very careful next time your pet wants to help you do the gardening. And of course - don't forget - snail bait and ratsack are designed to taste good to tempt the snails and rats: unfortunately our pets also think they taste good!
There are also many plants in suburban gardens that can be toxic if eaten. It has recently been discovered that all members of the lily family are poisonous for cats. All parts of the lily are toxic including the pollen, so be very careful with your cut flowers if you have an inquisitive cat or kitten. Dogs seem to be immune to this as yet unknown poison and they may only experience an upset tummy if they eat a lily.