Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter, the practice is continuing to go from strength to strength, we now have 6 vets including Kate and John and 5 qualified veterinary nurses.
Unfortunately dogs, like humans, can suffer from epilepsy. It can affect up to 5 in every 100 dogs. In most cases an owner will be unaware their dog has epilepsy until they experience their dog having a seizure or fit. Seizures can affect dogs in different ways and can be very mild, possibly manifesting as twitching on one side of the face to more severe when the dog may become unconscious and thrash around on its side on the floor. Seizures can be very distressing for an owner to witness.
Epilepsy can be classified as primary or secondary, primary epilepsy being diagnosed when there is no underlying cause for the seizure. There is unfortunately no single test for epilepsy diagnosis so a series of tests including blood tests and possibly an MRI scan of the brain may be helpful to make the final diagnosis. Primary epilepsy can affect any dog but is more common in purebred dogs aged 1-5 yrs.
If your dog has a seizure, try to stay calm, if possible remove any potential danger from around your pet, for example electric cords which it may become tangled in or put cushions by pieces of furniture that it may crash into. Turn off any noises such as television or radio which may act as stimuli and try to make the room as dark as possible by turning off lights or drawing curtains. It is a good idea to time the length of a seizure and also to keep a diary detailing the date, time, length of seizure, behaviour patterns associated before and after the seizure, so patterns may be able to be seen to help management.
Sadly epilepsy is a life- long condition and cannot be cured. It can however be managed in many cases to allow dogs and owners to have a happy life together.
HYPERTHYROIDISM IN CATS
Hyperthyroidism was first diagnosed as an illness in 1979 in the United States and it is possible that as much as 12% of the feline population over 9 years old may be diagnosed with it each year.
The thyroid gland is located as two thyroid lobes in the neck of the cat, thyroid hormones are required for normal growth, development and maintenance of a normal metabolic rate. In cases of hyperthyroidism, excessive blood levels of thyroid hormones can be damaging to the body and if left untreated can have serious consequences on internal organs such as the heart.
In the majority of cases of hyperthyroidism the cause is a benign overgrowth of the thyroid tissue sometimes called a thyroid adenoma. In a small number of cases the hyperthyroidism is caused by a malignant growth or thyroid carcinoma.
Clinical symptoms of hyperthyroidism can be varied but some of the more obvious ones may be weight loss, an increased appetite, anxiety and restlessness, an increased thirst and or increased urination, diarrhoea and vomiting, poor coat. Less commonly a reduced appetite may be seen, voice changes, weakness, depression and lethargy.
Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed by a history of clinical symptoms and a blood test to measure the total thyroxine or total t4 levels. Other blood tests may also be needed to make a definitive diagnosis.
Treatment of hyperthyroidism can be medical using antithyroid drugs which block production of thyroid hormones, surgical treatment by removing the diseased thyroid tissue or using radioiodine a form of radiotherapy to treat abnormal thyroid tissue.
Cats with hyperthyroidism can usually be managed so they can have a good quality of life, it is a good idea to have regular check- ups for your cat to monitor weight, heart rate and rhythm, kidney function and blood pressure.
If you are worried about your cat please do not hesitate to contact the practice for an appointment.
FIRST AID FOR YOUR PETS
We are hoping to organise some basic health and first aid courses for pet owners, if you would be interested in attending a course in the future please let reception know and we will register your interest and let you know when the courses are available.