What's New at KVC ?
We wish to extend a warm welcome to Dr Wendy, who will be joining the clinic this week. She has just returned to Melbourne after working in Bendigo and is looking forward to settling into practice in Kensington. Wendy has a passionate interest in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, especially pocket pets. Harry, pictured here with Wendy, is a lovely Tabby and White boy who is looking for a new home.
Dr Eleanor has returned to us after her recent personal leave. She will be sharing Saturday consults with Dr Trepheena, who will be spending more time doing referral behavioural consultations through Good Pet Behaviour.
Dr Kathy would like to thank everyone for the best wishes during her recent illness.
Receive $20 cashback when you purchase a 6 month box of Sentinel chews (flea, worming and heartworm control).
Case of the Month
We have recently had a reminder of the importance of checking all lumps and bumps thoroughly on our animals.
One of our staff brought her dog into the clinic and happened to mention a small skin lump that had been present for some time. The lump was slightly raised and appeared to be the same colour as the surrounding skin.
Dr Kathy did a fine needle aspirate on the lump (a needle is passed into the lump and some cells are extracted using backwards pressure on a syringe), and found lots of malignant mast cells when she checked under the microscope.
Mast cell tumors are common skin tumors of dogs and cats. In dogs they appear most commonly on the body, although they can be found on the limbs. They can vary greatly in appearance and can be present for months or years before spreading to the rest of the body, although some behave very aggressively early. They may cause irritation and ulceration of the overlying skin.
Diagnosis is made by fine needle aspiration but surgical removal is required for grading and thus an accurate idea of prognosis.
The best chance of cure is complete surgical excision, although large margins are required, so the surgical wound is often large.
Fortunately our staff member had the all clear after surgery.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also available for those animals who are not so lucky to have complete surgical removal.
Pet Care Facts
A common presenting complaint in our companion animals is that the owners have noticed an increased thirst - or sometimes just that they have to fill up the water bowl more often.
The stimulus to drink is generated in the thirst centre in the brain. It responds to either intracellular dehydration or reductions in blood volume - which in turn are measured by pressure receptors in the heart and great blood vessels, or by the kidneys.
Thirst can be affected by environmental factors such as hot weather or even increased drying out of air when the winter heating is turned on.
Behavioural changes such as increased exercise or increased agitation resulting in excessive panting can also influence how much water our pets require.
There are many pathologic causes of thirst and the following is a general list:
- kidney disease - including urinary tract infections
- liver disease
- excessive hormone production such as thyroid hormone or cortisone (cushings disease)
- some cancers
- some drugs especially cortisone
- some poisons especially some ratsacks
- blood loss either externally or internally
- vomiting or diarrhoea (some pets can be secretive about vomiting and diarrhoea and owners may not always notice)
- shock from allergic reactions eg severe insect bite allergies.
If you notice your pet is drinking more we recommend a visit to the clinic (and bring a urine sample if possible) so we can give your pet a full clinical examination. We will check the urine in clinic and if required we can send a blood sample to the lab to test for diseases such as liver disease. Depending on these results further testing may be required and could include more specialised bloods tests or imaging such as xray or ultrasound.
Don't ignore increased thirst! It may be a sign of something more serious, especially in older animals.
Remember - old age is not a disease.