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November Newsletter
In this month's newsletter, read about Becky's experience in Tonga as a veterinary nurse for South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW). We also have an interesting story about a Burmese cat 'Fitzwilliam' who has an eating obsession with an everyday object, which led to major surgery.

Our clinic is proud to announce that we are now licenced to perform Radioactive Iodine Treatment for cats with Hyperthyroidism. On our first round, we have successfully treated 2 cats, 'Myfanwy' and 'Tane' and hope to treat many more! 'Myfanwy's story will tell you more about what is involved when your cat undergoes Radioactive Iodine Treatment. 

Dog bite wounds from fights or playfights are a common occurrence, and Basil suffered from a very nasty bite on his leg a couple of months ago. Read about Basil's surgery and subsequent healing process. 
Becky's Vet Nursing Experience in Tonga
Our nurse Becky was given the amazing opportunity to travel to Tonga and work for South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW) for one week. She traveled there in a small group of 4 veterinary nurses and 4 Vets, from all over New Zealand. 
                             
"On our first day, we were all very nervous as we didn't know what to expect, but we got into the swing of things after a few hours. Throughout the day, I helped with surgeries and post operative care (90% of which were dog spays and neuters), as well as vaccinating and giving worm and flea treatments to all animals. We also did an amputation on a large dog, and an amputation on an Eclectus Parrot, all with the most basic equipment and drugs available. 
                              
The days were very busy and hot, we worked about 10 hour days in 28-30 degree heat, and held torches during surgery as the sun was setting. I was lucky as I was used to working at a fast pace and being organised so the day runs smoothly. 

I became a nurse to do this type of work, and I learned a lot about how to rely on my intuition and nursing skills in the absence of advanced machinery. This experience has opened my eyes to how other people live, and the necessity of education towards animal welfare and nutrition in other countries. I don't take things such as xray machines, computers, drip pumps, and anesthetic machines for granted anymore.

We accomplished a lot in one week. It felt good to be able to reduce the amount of future unwanted puppies and kittens, as well as treating those that had been suffering from injuries. However it was hard to leave when there were still so many animals that needed help. 


If you would like to help out, (during November till the end of January 2017) $10 from every pack of Revolution Flea & Worm treatment sold at our clinic will go towards sponsoring one of our nurses to assist SPAW in Tonga next year. 
 
Fitzwilliam's Obsession 
From the pictures, can you guess what we had to surgically remove from young Fitzwilliam's gastrointestinal tract? Fitzwilliam is a young Burmese cat, who had been off his food for a few days, and eventually became very ill and dehydrated. When we saw the x-rays of his stomach, we knew he had to have surgery straight away. During surgery, we pulled out 20 Hair Ties!! Although his owner had shut the hair ties away in a cupboard, they later discovered that Fitzwilliam had been using his teeth to open the cupboard door and fulfill his cravings for hair ties. After surgery and staying an extra day at the clinic with lots of pain relief and antibiotics, he recovered quickly, and went home to rest and have frequent small meals. He is now back to his normal self, with his owners making sure to keep all hair ties safely locked away! 
Radioactive Iodine Treatment to cure Hyperthyroidism in Cats
Myfanwy is a beautiful 10 year old female cat, who was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism earlier this year. She was showing the classic symptoms of Hyperthyroidism; very hungry and eating a lot, but losing weight, and was agitated around the house. 

At the time of diagnosis, we put Myfanwy on some tablets that had to be given orally twice a day. This turned out to be pretty stressful for her owner, as they also have a young child to look after and Myfanwy didn't eat her tablets readily. Her owner was keen to try Radioactive Iodine Treatment which is an injection of radioactive iodine under the cat's skin which can cure most cases of Hyperthyroidism permanently. 

In October this year, we received our license to perform Radioactive Iodine Treatment in our clinic. Our vet Helen worked hard to get all the procedures in place, and was happy to tell Myfanwy's owner that they would be one of the first clients to use our new Radioactive Iodine Treatment facilities. 

On her first day of treatment, Myfanwy was sedated and given her Radioactive Iodine dose under the skin. She stayed in our isolation room for one week (for the radiation safety of her family and our staff), and was cared for twice a day by trained nurses. 

When the week in isolation was over, Myfanwy and her family were so happy to be reunited. Although she was allowed to go home, her owners still needed to take 2 weeks of special precautions as she would still be shedding radioactivity in low amounts.  These included not letting her lick or sleep with them, washing hands, using gloves when cleaning her litter tray, and making sure that she is not in contact with any babies, sick, very elderly, or pregnant people. It wasn't easy for the family to not be able to cuddle her a lot, but those couple of weeks were quickly over and then things could be back to normal.

Recently, we did blood tests and a checkup on Myfanwy, and great news, her thyroid levels are back to normal! We will do another checkup in a few months time, and if it's still within normal ranges, she will be considered fully cured of Hyperthyroidism. 

 
Basil's Dog-bite Wound
Basil was out for a walk in a park when another dog grabbed him by the leg and shook him roughly. It created a pretty deep wound on his front leg, which also exposed his cephalic vein. He was very lucky the vein was still intact. Basil went to the After Hours clinic immediately and was treated with pain relief, bandaging, and antibiotics, then came to our clinic the next morning. He had one main large wound and a couple of smaller wounds around his leg.

Under general anesthetic, our vet Liz clipped the fur around Basil's wounds, cleaned the area, removed the dead skin, and sutured the wound edges back up. We were cautious with his healing, as it was in a high motion area, so there was still at risk of wound breakdown after surgery. Also we weren't too sure how much damage had been done to the nerves in his legs. 
2 weeks later, Basil's surgical site seemed to have healed pretty well but he wasn't putting any weight on his paw and although he seemed comfortable when we touched his leg, we suspected his healing scar was feeling a bit tight. He started using our Accell Therapy Mat to stimulate the healing of his leg muscles, as well as massage, and encouraging him to keep walking and using the leg. 
It has been a long road for Basil, but he is now walking on the affected leg, and it doesn't seem painful at all. However he still favors it and will hold it up when he is standing still. Hopefully in time, with more physio and massage, the muscles in his leg will regain their full strength again. Good Luck Basil! 
Bravecto for Cats: 12 Week Flea Protection!
Bravecto has released a 12 week topical treatment for cats, which is available now at our clinic. Easy to remember as you can apply just once at every change of season. If you find it difficult to remember when your pet's next flea treatment is due, we can put you on a reminder system - one of our lovely nurses will ring or text to tell you when the next dose is due! 
Pet Of the Month!
   
Congratulations to Barry and Shirley for winning Pet of the Month! 
 
If you would like to enter your pet for Pet of the Month, please email us a photo of your pet or look out for Pet of the Month Competitions on our clinic Facebook page. Winners receive a free bag of Premium Pet Food. 

FREE Vaccination and Health Check!

Here's how! Download our At The Vet's app to collect one loyalty point each time you visit and spend over $50 (on anything in our clinic, including medical treatment). When you have 12 Loyalty Points, you will receive a free vaccination* and health check for your pet!
Scan the QR code or go to https://atthevets.appsme.com to get the app.
*core vaccinations only - Dogs - Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and/or Kennel Cough. Cats - Feline panleucopaenia (or infectious enteritis), feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus (both causes of “cat flu”).


 
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