Autumn 2021

What's New at KVC

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients who have been so understanding and considerate over the past 12 months as we have tried to continue our service for your pets during the pandemic. We are very appreciative of your efforts to help keep our staff safe during this difficult time.
153383243 sWe will continue to wear masks for the moment while we are waiting for the vaccination program to take effect, and we request that our clients wear a mask in the consult room only. We also request that only 1 person come into the consult room at a time. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

Cruciate Rupture in the Dog

lilly bedsml"L"is a 10 year old West Highland White who presented non weight bearing on her left hind leg.
On examination it was apparent that her knee (stifle joint) was painful and unstable. Xrays were consistent with a diagnosis of cranial cruciate ligament rupture.
"L" had already ruptured her right cruciate ligament in 2020, and had had a successful surgery performed at KVC at the time.
The cruciate ligament is the internal stabilising ligament for the knee and has an anterior and posterior branch.
Rupture of the anterior ligament is a common problem in dogs and can destabilise the knee (stifle) joint. It can be caused by degeneration or trauma, but most commonly in the dog it occurs after trauma to a ligament already weakened by ageing or conformational problems. It usually occurs while weight bearing and twisting through the trolleysml
It is diagnosed by excessive movement of the tibia relative to the femur. Xrays may be helpful to rule out other causes of pain in the joint.
Partial rupture results in a stable but painful joint, and often progresses to full rupture over time.
Conservative management - pain relief and rest - is best tolerated in patients weighing less than 10 kg, and they may return to adequate function without surgery (although some will need surgery).
Larger dogs generally need surgical stabilisation to ensure optimum function.
Surgery is either aimed at recreating the passive constraints of the stifle (extracapsular method) or by changing the mechanics of the stifle to achieve stabilisation (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy or TPLO).
Larger more active dogs do better with the TPLO surgery.
Progressive arthritis occurs after rupture regardless of the treatment method.
They may also be at risk of rupturing the other ligament in the next 12-18 months as the patient will shift more of the body weight to this leg while they are recovering.
lilly lgesml

"L" did not do well with conservative management last time so it was decided to go ahead with surgery to stabilise the joint.
Dr Kathy performed an extracapsular repair on "L" 's left knee and she is now beginning to use her leg well.



Separation Anxiety
We are currently seeing an increase in cases of separation anxiety in our pets.123732277 s
It is partly because many of us were home more during 2020 and our pets have become used to having our company for more of the time. There has also been a significant increase in adoption of rescue pets over 2020, and many of these have some history of trauma or anxiety.
Separation anxiety is a distress response that occurs when our pets are separated from the person or persons to whom they are most attached. It can result in destruction, vocalisation, repetitive behaviours such as pacing, anorexia, panting, hypersalivation, escape attempts or inappropriate toileting.
There are often underlying problems such as fear, anxiety or lack or appropriate stimulation or interactions.
44381651 sThey are more at risk of developing separation anxiety if they are rescue animals, have a single owner or have not had appropriate training or socialisation.
There also may be a genetic component for some animals.
It is estimated that over 10% of our companion animals have some separation anxiety.
Treatment involves behavioural modification aimed at desensitising the pet to the fear evoking stimulus - ie the owner leaving.
It will include independence training, changing the predictive value of departure cues, modifiying the departure and greeting routine, and departure counter-conditioning.
Counter-conditioning involves changing your pets emotional response to any situation.
Helping pets with separation anxiety will require the assistance of a competent trainer and a lot of time and patience. Meanwhile the pet should never be left alone.116639961 s
Daily adequate exercise and a consistent routine will also help.
Many pets also required a short course (>6 months) of anti-anxiety medication to help them learn to be calm and relearn their responses to situations.
It is essential to have a physical checkup before embarking on any behaviour modification, as illness can also cause anxiety.
If you are experiencing any anxiety problems with your pet, please book an appointment to see one of our vets and we can help you to make some improvements to their quality of life.