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December 2017 newsletter

After Hours Emergencies

Village Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:
Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest
Cell: 084 520 1417
Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

Village Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:

Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest Cell: 084 520 1417

Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

ePetstoreVillage Veterinary Clinic is NOT attended 24 hours a day. If you have an after-hours emergency you have two choices of emergency clinics:
 
Hillcrest Veterinary Emergency Centre
Cube House, 32 Old Main Road Hillcrest
Cell: 084 520 1417
 
Sherwood after Hours Veterinary Clinic
Corner Locksley & 36 Jersey Road, Sherwood
Phone 031 207 1300

Village Vet Shop

shop4

Shop Open Times:
Monday - Friday:
7:45 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday:
8:30 am - 12 pm
 
Veterinary Consult Times:
Monday - Friday:
Mornings: 8:30 am - 12 pm
Afternoons: 3 pm - 5:30 pm
Saturday:
8:30 am to 11 am
 
 
 

Ceaser's Pet Parlour

ceasers_pet_parlour

Some of our patients' stories as related by their owners

Jonah's fight to walk again

Jonah, our 4 year old Jack Russel, is a typically bouncy little unit with lots of character. He’s a healthy dog and aside from a few run in’s with vervet monkeys and scrapes with his best friend Jess (Bull Terrier) from their daily rough and tumble, he’s never had any health issues. One late June morning I went to let him outside as per normal and noticed he didn’t want to get out of his basket. Initially I figured he just didn’t want to go out in the cold, so I playfully tipped his basket up and was very surprised when he literally fell out and lay un-moving on the floor. This obviously got my attention. Upon examination I found that he’d lost all the use of his hind quarters. Immediately I figured he’d damaged his spine from either, over boisterous play with the Bull Terrier or another run in with monkeys. I’d recently heard of vervet monkeys dropping out of trees onto dogs backs to break their spines. We took Jonah to Village Veterinary Clinic in Kloof and I explained to Dr Craig Mostert the symptoms and a bit about Jonah’s history. He was immediately admitted and tests were run. The following day Dr Mostert called me to say they suspected Jonah had contracted Idiopathic Polyradiculoneuritis commonly known as Coonhound Paralysis (more info at http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/neurological/c_dg_coonhound_paralysis)

This is fairly common in North America where dogs come into contact with Racoons (hence the name) but not very common in South Africa and not much is known about the condition. We were informed that the condition is treatable and Dr Mostert was confident that, with time, Jonah would recover fully. We discussed the fact that the reality in our family, with 3 small kids and 2 working parents, was that time was one thing we did not have a lot of. Jonah by this time was fully paralyzed and could not do anything without assistance. He also required constant physio and aquasizes. Of course this also comes at a cost, the reality of which could not be ignored. I’d always scoffed previously at pet medical aids, but not so anymore. Following this meeting where we’d agreed to go ahead with the treatment we received daily updates from the nursing staff. We were blown away by the care they were giving Jonah which included taking Jonah to their homes overnight to give him the care he required. Dr Mostert and his staff were really taken with Jonah in particular his fighting spirit. To our amazement they offered to cap the fees but continue the treatment. We visited Jonah regularly with the kids who were missing their little friend.

The time eventually came to bring Jonah home. At this point he was still immobile but he was starting to get movement back into his limbs. Our kids made it their project to occupy Jonah and help with his aquasizes in the bath with them. After approx 6 weeks from when his symptoms initially appeared we finally had a breakthrough when Jonah took his first few steps again. From there on the recovery process was rapid. He had lost a lot of weight and muscle mass but as I write this now he is fully recovered and back to his original self.

Our family will forever be grateful to the Village Veterinary Clinic and the competent, caring and generous staff without whom Jonah would not have made it to his 5th birthday. Dr Craig, you and your dedicated team are amazing!! Thank you.

The Hughes Family, Hillcrest.

 

Max the survivor  -  an inspiration to us all!! Written by Ruth Charnell from Husky Rescue

he last thing on Candice’s mind as she was taking her foster furchild Tyson for an early evening walk a few days after Christmas, was finding a corps lying in the veldt on her route….  Tyson, rescued by Phoenix Animal Care and Treatment (PACT) after being abandoned by his owners, became aware of something and determinedly brought his discovery to Candice’s attention. Candice decided to err on the side of caution and take Tyson back home first for the sake of his safety and call in the help of Neeri, the other lady who runs PACT, sadly an area rife with animal neglect, abandonment and abuse.

 The two ladies returned to the scene of Tyson’s discovery to find this…..

 They were quite convinced that the little body lying there had left this earth, but on closer inspection discovered that somehow he was still breathing. They were able to carefully pick him up and rush him to the only emergency after hours vet in the area. The vet on duty gave this little mite one look, poked him with her pen and said one word…. Euthanaze!!! Neeri and Candice were both upset and argued with the vet to at least give the dog a chance. Monday morning he was transferred to their regular vet in Umhlanga, and Dr Landsberg and staff from the Ridge Vet, being the amazing welfarists that they are, did not hesitate to start taking care of his primary needs.  And he found his name…Max….

 Max is a little guy of medium build, was grossly malnourished, full of mange and the resultant secondary skin infections and he had two fractures to his jaw. Blood work also revealed a severe anemic state from erlichiosis, a chronic insidious type of tick bite fever.  So his long arduous journey to recovery began with appropriate meals, medicated baths and antibiotics to bring him back to health. In the meantime they had put out an urgent call  for help on Facebook due to the financial implications of Max’s treatment. Husky Rescue SA (HRSA) was tagged and they agreed to accept responsibility and take Max on. R3000 was raised initially for Max and the balance was covered by HRSA whilst Husky Rescue KZN became involved in coordinating and overseeing Max’s treatment. Two weeks later Max had gained just over a kilogram in weight and was transferred to Village Vet in Kloof under the watchful eye of Dr Craig Mostert and his excellent team of doctors and nurses.

 Another two weeks of continuous care and eventually his blood work revealed that he was strong enough to undergo anesthetic to wire the two jaw fractures and snip and chip at the same time. The operation was a success and Max was well on his way to recovery. The wires were to stay in place for a month allowing the jaw to heal.

He received many visitors during this time and it was wonderful to watch his little personality unfold and develop in the hands of those that poured love and attention on him. From the day I met him, the expression on his face spoke volumes in terms of the suffering he endured but his gratitude was also evident in the little tail wag which was constant, a tail wag that grew into a blurr of happiness with each day as he grew stronger and came to the realization that he was now safe and loved.

Finally the day came that he was fit for discharge, so off to join the howling hounds of Husky Rescue KZN, we went where he would be fostered until a home was found. We hardly arrived when an email and a couple of whatsapp messages came through and we were on our way two days later to do a home check in Durban. The home check was successful, albeit Max’s interaction with the four family cats was dubious to say the least. But his new family were keen to give it a try. Two weeks later, I think it is safe to say, Max has settled, is no longer chasing the cats but in fact, has aligned himself with Starsky - and together they terrorize poor George, the big ‘little’ boy dog of the house. As the days have gone by Max’s personality has evolved into a naughty mischievous gregarious little fellow who is actually still a pup at heart…. dubbing him with a new name….Maximus Hilarious!!!!

Max, incidentally, means ‘greatest’ and was most certainly an appropriate name for the lead character of a great rescue story. We all know the famous Gladiator’s name was Maximus, and that he was sold into a life of deprivation and slavery, as with all gladiators. For them the only thing that made their life worthy was to die with honor. I believe Max had curled up into a little ball that day and had given up on life, just wanting to die…. But someone found him, saw his worth and gave him another chance to live a life of honor, to be a hero…. An inspiration to all of us… proof that we all deserve a second chance and that when given that second chance, to make it count!!!

Many people were instrumental in aiding Max on his road to recovery, and making his story one to remember…. You know who you are…. To all the heroes, especially Tyson, Candice and Neeri, that helped Max the Gladiator… we salute you!!!

 

 

Alex Naicker - survivor

Since late last year my African Grey parrot, called Alex, has been receiving treatment by Dr Odendaal at Village Veterinary Clinic.  Alex had a seized wing which had to be amputated. It was during the visit for his wing that it was discovered  he also had some form of head trauma.  This resulted in many more treatments than the initial issue of the wing. Alex was in quite a mess, underweight, malnourished and he had stopped talking for many months already. He had been living with a friend due to me losing my job which then resulted in having to give up my apartment and find a temporary home for Alex. 

To be honest, when I came to Village Vet for that very first appointment, I didn’t have much hope. I was praying all day for him but the sight of him and the pain that I could see that he was in, created doubt in my mind. I thought for sure that the vet would tell me that they would have to euthanase him. To my blessing we got Dr Odendaal. He explained to me the options I had and mapped the course of treatment going forward. For the first time I felt hopeful and I decided that in order for Alex to get better, I would have to make it my mission to try and get him back in my care. I didn’t think I could afford the treatment he needed but then I later found out there is a debit order facility to assist. I thought this to be the best idea ever, well done on that. 

Alex has since had a few operations, several treatments and many visits. He is much better and is back to his normal chatty self. Yes he is a bit of a plucker but we are still working on that. He does not even know that he has a wing missing. If anything he is naughtier than ever and probably thinks he is a stunt bird.  

Having an ill pet is very traumatic and draining on me as I am very close to Alex. What has made our entire experience and journey to recovery is actually your staff. Everyone is so pleasant, from the receptionists to the general workers. The general workers are so friendly and helpful and I never felt hesitant to hand my pet over to them. I really do appreciate the respect that each pet and owner is given.  

I have a Maltese poodle that is 20 years old and I have had my fair share of vet visits over the years. I have never had a vet like Dr Odendaal. He is so mild mannered and patient, even if he has had a long day. He returns calls when messages are left, which is a rarity these days. Treatments are explained in detail and I had a clear understanding every step of the way. He has been realistic and never once negative or off putting. I am truly grateful for the opulent care that he has given Alex.   

I do not think Alex has seen the last of Dr Odendaal…. He is still a work in progress but definitely much better than he was last year.   This is due to the amazing staff at Village Vet.  

Thank you and best regards, Niro Naicker and Alex

 

 

Tua Heukelman

Tua, a sulphur crested cockatoo, was named using her scientific name Cacatua Galerita. She has been part of our family for 27 years. She alerts the dogs to defend our home against monkeys, hadidahs and the garden services, with a bone chilling screech, not even the neighbours can ignore! She doesn’t consider herself to be a bird and therefore does not tolerate these lesser beings…

When Tua suddenly became ill, we were at a loss as to what was wrong. After emergency visits to the Sherwood after hour’s clinic and our own vet, Tua was still steadily deteriorating. I was referred to Village Vet in Kloof.  Tua was hospitalised and Dr. Lisa Aitken took x-rays, did blood tests and even a scope, but still we did not know what was wrong.

The house was like a morgue: we overslept, the dogs did not even realise when I arrived home, the monkeys took over the yard… You never know how much they mean until they are not there. Suddenly her place was empty and we all were missing her screech, something we never imagined possible!

After a week in hospital, without much improvement, they did a Barium flow and they would see that there was an obstruction, but still did not know what was causing it..  Surgery was an option but the risk would be very high.  So without a definitive diagnosis, I decided that  although Tua was feeling miserable she might as well do so at home, where I could at least love and cuddle her.

The prognosis was not good. She came home on Wednesday and continued with her medication, which she took with a teaspoon of tea, because she loves her tea. By Friday there were signs of improvement. Although still subdued, she was starting to get better. Too afraid to even hope, we watched and continued to weigh her to confirm what we were so desperately hoping for. By Monday, she was back to her old self! Demanding treats whenever anybody makes anything in the kitchen, now being extra spoiled and demanding tea anytime the kettle was boiled! Security is back to normal and the dogs are on guard… It is so good to have her cuddle and kiss and be part of the family for just a while longer.

 

 

Oros – The Persian Kitty and 3 months of treatment

Oros is our very furry, amiable 7 year old, obviously orange half-Persian. He is a great character with a delightful habit of flopping down and spreading himself wide in a variety of poses front and back on literally any surface - floor, couch, kitchen table, and driveway.  An accomplished protector of our territory, he has skirmished with the neighbour’s cat here and there but this year, he suffered a series of abscesses as a result of infected bites on his ears and face. In May, a larger ear abscess required drain flushing and he was hospitalised.   Despite antibiotics thereafter, a huge abscess formed along his jaw line and throat and it perforated nastily in the surgery when Dr Odendaal was attending to the brave “O” in June.

The wound was so infected that he had to remain in hospital for several days and endure indoor home care thereafter with the wound still draining for another week (collar included!)  Poor “O” then had to return to hospital to be medically managed & have the wound closed finally while we holidayed in the Berg.  His last visit was on Monday this week, for stitches removal.  Very proud-of-himself, in virtual “showroom condition,” he got a clean bill of health from Nicky with an immaculately closed wound and much admiration from his canine buddies at home, Higgins and Abby.  I may add Higgy, the Ridgeback, knew the story – in the previous month he had had an op to remove a testicle with amazing results (it had not descended throughout his 8 years).  Old Hig has enjoyed much better health ever since with increased appetite and energy (excellent advice Nicky!)

We thank all at the Village Veterinary clinic for their wonderful care, especially of our special “O”.  Dr Odendaal, Drs Nicky and Tina all tended to him with fantastic skill and compassion. So professional you were!  The tender care of the nurses and their supportive feedback was amazing, thank you Bridget, Alison and Paula  –  you were so kind and patient with him; unsung heroines you are doing all the wound management and medicines!  To the kennel assistants, Innocent, Senzo and Sandile and Patrick, a real star in the cat ward, for your special concern for Oros, thank you very much.  The fantastic reception from Kate, Tracy, Sabrina and Vicky whenever we arrived throughout our regular visits, was so appreciated – nothing is too much trouble for you ladies and always, you serve with personal, genuine interest and encouragement.  What a team!  How grateful we are to you all.  Oros is a lucky guy and so are we!-

 Penny and Mick Walters

 

CODA - The Husky Pup
 
 
About five weeks ago our five month old Husky X puppy, Coda, was mauled through Bonnox fencing by two Weimeraners. He had jumped up against the fence and his paw had slipped through, which was an ideal opportunity for the neighbour’s dogs to attack him.
Chris heard the commotion and managed to get the dogs to release Coda by chasing them with a lunge whip as the fence is a good 6 foot high and on a bank. As Chris tried to pick Coda up he bit him. He was in a state of shock and a lot of pain and this was the only way he knew how to retaliate. Pain aside, Chris managed to wrap Coda in a towel and gently lifted him into the car, it was then that he realised Coda was in a serious condition as his front leg was hanging at an abnormal angle. It was awful to see our puppy usually so playful and full of mischief, in so much pain. Chris rushed him off to Village Vet where he was seen immediately by Dr Nicky Evans.
Later that afternoon, after Coda was stabilised and lots of pain medication given, Dr Nicky Evans called us in to discuss the prognosis and our options. The X-Rays showed a complete break of the radius and ulna which would require surgery to fix.  There was an increased risk of bone infection because of the bite wounds next to his elbow. Had it been a back leg, amputation would have been an option with fewer complications. However due to the size of the breed, the load bearing on the remaining front leg would have been too great.
 
Euthanasia was not an option for us so Coda needed to undergo major surgery to have an external fixator fitted. This is a mesh of strategically placed pins and rods inserted into the bone and attached to an external frame, thus keeping the bones in place without rotation or movement taking place. The open wounds could then also be treated by means of regular bandage changes to prevent infection and necrosis taking place. The X-fix remains in place for 6 weeks!!!! This incredibly difficult and time consuming surgery was performed by Dr Craig Mostert.
 
Coda’s operation was a huge success; however this was the beginning of a very long and frustrating process for both Coda and the phenomenal hospital staff at Village Vet. Coda has been boarding at the hospital for the past 5 weeks as keeping him calm and confined to a small area was imperative to the healing process. Numerous bandage changes, medication and X-Rays have ensured that our puppy, Coda will be coming home within the next two weeks as good as new. Can’t Wait!
AN EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE:
To Dr Craig Mostert and Dr Nicky Evans for your amazing determination to make a plan to save our puppy’s life and the expertise and ability to carry this out.
To Dr Tina, Sister Brigid, Sister Paula, Senzo, Patrick, Innocent and Sandile for all the love, attention, patience and dedication given to Coda when we couldn’t be there.
To all the Receptionists for their constant updates on Coda’s progress throughout his recovery and all the dried wors and many other treats given to him to keep him out of mischief.  Nicky Paddock, Waterfall

CODA - The Husky Pup

About five weeks ago our five month old Husky X puppy, Coda, was mauled through Bonnox fencing by two Weimeraners. He had jumped up against the fence and his paw had slipped through, which was an ideal opportunity for the neighbour’s dogs to attack him.

Chris heard the commotion and managed to get the dogs to release Coda by chasing them with a lunge whip as the fence is a good 6 foot high and on a bank. As Chris tried to pick Coda up he bit him. He was in a state of shock and a lot of pain and this was the only way he knew how to retaliate. Pain aside, Chris managed to wrap Coda in a towel and gently lifted him into the car, it was then that he realised Coda was in a serious condition as his front leg was hanging at an abnormal angle. It was awful to see our puppy usually so playful and full of mischief, in so much pain. Chris rushed him off to Village Vet where he was seen immediately by Dr Nicky Evans.

Later that afternoon, after Coda was stabilised and lots of pain medication given, Dr Nicky Evans called us in to discuss the prognosis and our options. The X-Rays showed a complete break of the radius and ulna which would require surgery to fix.  There was an increased risk of bone infection because of the bite wounds next to his elbow. Had it been a back leg, amputation would have been an option with fewer complications. However due to the size of the breed, the load bearing on the remaining front leg would have been too great.

Euthanasia was not an option for us so Coda needed to undergo major surgery to have an external fixator fitted. This is a mesh of strategically placed pins and rods inserted into the bone and attached to an external frame, thus keeping the bones in place without rotation or movement taking place. The open wounds could then also be treated by means of regular bandage changes to prevent infection and necrosis taking place. The X-fix remains in place for 6 weeks!!!! This incredibly difficult and time consuming surgery was performed by Dr Craig Mostert.

Coda’s operation was a huge success; however this was the beginning of a very long and frustrating process for both Coda and the phenomenal hospital staff at Village Vet. Coda has been boarding at the hospital for the past 5 weeks as keeping him calm and confined to a small area was imperative to the healing process. Numerous bandage changes, medication and X-Rays have ensured that our puppy, Coda will be coming home within the next two weeks as good as new. Can’t Wait!

AN EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE:

To Dr Craig Mostert and Dr Nicky Evans for your amazing determination to make a plan to save our puppy’s life and the expertise and ability to carry this out.

To Dr Tina, Sister Brigid, Sister Paula, Senzo, Patrick, Innocent and Sandile for all the love, attention, patience and dedication given to Coda when we couldn’t be there.

To all the Receptionists for their constant updates on Coda’s progress throughout his recovery and all the dried wors and many other treats given to him to keep him out of mischief.

Nicky Paddock, Waterfall

 

Fennel – The Siamese cat 

They say that cats have nine lives and the history of one, Fennel, Siamese extraordinaire, surely bears this out. At four months he mistakenly wandered into our neighbours’ garden, the territory of three fox terriers, and had to crawl home mauled and punctured like a little pincushion. Air had got under his skin and he actually crackled. He was in deep shock and pain - we could only hold him until morning and get him up to Village Vet. Here he was taken into care and we were afraid to hold out too much hope. I visited him and found him being finger fed by one of our wonderful vets. He was purring so much I realized he had fallen in love. That the feeling was reciprocated was clear because at the end of his stay he was offered a new home. Lucky for us he came back to our besotted care. That was definitely one life.

Four months ago he became very bad tempered, picking on our gentle Jenny and bullying her in a most uncharacteristic manner. Then he refused most of his food.  He looked so poorly that I took him once again to the vets. Again they took him in for tests and more tests and then more tests and he was diagnosed with a pancreatic infection. He was very ill indeed. We were encouraged to visit him daily and it was hard to see him with a feeding tube, sad and wan BUT still purring. There were a number of new loves in his fragile life and he felt very safe in their care. It was touch and go but he made it and came home frail but on the mend.

One month later he manifested some very alarming symptoms. He tried to jump on my bed and missed his jump. He staggered and listed to one side. He was back at Village Vet in the blink of a third eyelid.

He does not like the cat basket but as soon as he gets into the cages he seems to settle in with a sense of trust and peace. Ill as he was he knew who was looking after him.

The news was dire. Renal infection and failure.  I was taken into the little waiting room and he was placed on my lap wasted but still purring. They gave me the prognosis. Fifty/fifty. We discussed all the implications whilst he flirted outrageously with his doctor, put long white hair on her jeans and kneaded her lap as best as he was able.  With such a game attitude we decided to go for it.

There were very bad moments: collapsed veins; rushed tests at another expert venue, kidney flushes by injecting the fluid beneath the skin; drugs and more drugs and all the time he was there (over three weeks) a daily SMS reporting his status. We visited him each day and at last he seemed strong enough to be sent home for a weekend visit.

On the day the heavens opened, my boy came home and so overjoyed was he to be in a garden that he stayed out all night in the storm. I was frantic. At who knows what hour in early dawn, the delinquent returned into my bed soaking wet.  The next morning (Sunday) I phoned one of the doctors and I took him back. He had a racking cough and he had contracted the dreaded ‘snuffles’.  Back into hospital and onto a nebuliser as well as more kidney flushes.  I very nearly gave up hope as his veins had collapsed and I did not think he had the strength to go on. He did.  He even broke out of his cage one morning and we decided that he could come home under strict guard and room confinement. I had to bring him back every three days for tests and each time he saw which ever doctor/ nurse was on duty he was clearly glad to see his friends. He was so resigned to the cat basket that I did not even need to close it.

I know of at least three lives in this part of his history but I think that I do not know the half of it. Had it not been for everyone at Village Vet and all their friends and colleagues who stepped in even on Sundays and mopped my tears and ministered to him he would not be with us today. Only the experts know how many lives Fennel has left but we all know that they are to be entrusted to our friends at Village Vet.

 

Ntombi - Our chicken

When my niece gave us her hand-reared chicken we never knew just how ‘human’ she would turn out to be. As soon as she arrived, I let her out the box and she walked right between the long legs of our black German Shepherd, pecking the dog’s feet as she went. Thereafter, she settled herself on our beds, on our domestic helper’s bed, on the back of our sofa, on the dogs’ blankets in the kitchen and even on the back of the German Shepherd! Our family had to do some firm socialization of her into a garden chicken where she reluctantly joined our other chickens.

Unfortunately she never learnt to keep out of the dogs’ bowls as they were eating. So one day our not so patient African hunting dog snapped at her and caused a gash in her wattle. This became septic with time and so we travelled the well-worn path (that many of our other chickens and budgies have been on) to Tina at Village Vet. I had to travel to Cape Town at the time so over the next week we communicated long distance over Ntombi’s progress after her anaesthetic procedure in the clinic. Brigid phoned me in Cape Town to give me a daily update on how Ntombi was doing, couched in terms like: ‘she appears much more cheerful today’.

Ntombi came home after a week but had to return at least once or twice a week for several weeks for her wound to be checked and ‘debrided’ (cleaned out) by Tina. I especially enjoyed the visits, timing them to enjoy that special cup of freshly ground coffee while Ntombi glared out at the dogs around her and replied to me when I called her in her basket. I believe she now feels quite at home at the vet.

I hope that she will not need any further surgery for any other incidents. I am grateful that Tina, Brigid, the front desk staff and all the other helpers, take looking after birds and chickens in their stride. I never once felt that they were laughing at me over the care of this chicken. Rather, their genuine love and dedication has been so abundant.

Thank you. - Sally John