Pet of the Month – Poppy

Birkenshaw Pet of the Month - February 2018 - Poppy

Birkenshaw – February 2018

This is Poppy the 4-year-old Labrador, the Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month for February 2018.

Poppy has been a frequent visitor here at Yorkshire Vets over the years. Back in 2015, she began to experience problems with her ears. She was also scooting her bottom along the floor. These problems were intermittent, to begin with, but became more frequent as the year went by. As the primary recurring issue was related to Poppy’s ears, we booked her in for an anaesthetic to fully clean them out and conduct a more thorough examination. While the ear canals were inflamed and we were able to clear out some discharge, there was no easily identifiable cause for Poppy’s problems. At this stage, we recommended that allergy blood testing may be the next best step for Poppy. These blood tests came back clear.

Over the next two years, Poppy’s problems came and went. For much of this time, she had no problems at all but did suffer from occasional flare-ups. As and when these flare-ups occurred, we trialled her on a number of different medications. Unfortunately, none of these proved to offer a permanent solution. At the end of 2017, Poppy came back to see us again. She had suffered from another recurrence of her itching which, by this time, had begun to cause issues with her paws in addition to her ears and bottom. The itching had become so severe that we recommended a repeat allergy test. Allergies can develop over the life of a pet and we hoped that a second test would be more revealing than the first.

Aural Haematoma

A few days later, as we waited for the allergy test results, Poppy came back to see us having developed an aural haematoma. This is a condition in which the blood vessels in the ear burst and cause the ear flap to fill with blood. This is quite a common problem in dogs with ear infections, as repeated head shaking can trigger the condition. We booked Poppy in for surgery the following day to drain and repair the haematoma. Poppy’s allergy test results came back to reveal that she had borderline reactions to a number of different allergens. We were recommended that a special immunotherapy treatment was produced to help protect against these allergens in future.

Following successful surgery on her aural haematoma, we have now ordered Poppy’s special immunotherapy vaccine. We will begin administering this as soon as it arrives and we hope that this will finally resolve her itchiness. After such a lengthy period of treatment, we think Poppy is particularly deserving of our Pet of the Month award. Well done Poppy!

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Pet of the Month – Bea

 Birkenshaw Pet of the Month - January 2018 - Bea

Birkenshaw – January 2018

This is 7-year-old Bea, the Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month for January 2018.

Bea has been visiting us here at Birkenshaw since being adopted from Romania back in 2015. As a Pet Health Club member, she visits us regularly, though many of these visits are routine. In August, however, she came to see us after suffering from a sudden discomfort in her right hind leg. In order to properly investigate this lameness, we booked Bea in for x-rays at our Thornbury hospital the following day. These scans revealed that she was suffering from cranial cruciate ligament disease. This is a breakdown of the cruciate ligament, which results in a complete inability to weight bear on the affected leg. Unfortunately, this condition was starting to affect both of Bea’s rear legs and both would require surgery.

Bea’s first surgery

A few days after her x-rays, Bea came back to Thornbury for her first surgery. The operation went well, and she was able to go home the following day. Over the next few weeks, Bea continued her recovery at home. Because of the issues with her other leg, recovery would be longer than usual, as Bea would not be able to rely on a fully functioning leg to support the one recovering from surgery.

Bea’s second surgery

2 months after her first surgery, Bea was doing well. Consequently, we were able to book her in for a second surgery to deal with her other cruciate. Again, this surgery went well and Bea was able to go home the following day. Over the following weeks, Bea recovered well. She is now using both legs well and has been able to gradually increase her exercise levels. After having two major surgeries so close to each other, we think Bea is a worthy winner of our Pet of the Month award this month. Well done Bea!

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Pet of the Month – Coco

Coco - Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month - December 2017

Birkenshaw – December 2017

This is 9-year-old Coco, a Boxer dog, who is the Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month for December 2017.

Coco has had a long history here at Yorkshire Vets. Way back in 2011, she came to see us with sore ears, which we treated with ear drops. Then, in 2012, she came in to see us with skin lesions between her toes. These lesions were inflamed and sore, so we prescribed some antibiotics to help them heal. After a few weeks, Coco’s lesions had dried up and healed. At this point, we were able to sign her off but also advised her owners that skin problems such as this are prone to recurrence.

Recurrent Skin Problems

Around a year later, Coco was back again. This time, she had developed skin problems on her neck, as well as another lesion between the toes on one of her feet. Initially, we were able to clear this issue up with medication, but unfortunately, only a month later, the problem returned. At this stage, we performed some tests in order to find out why these skin problems were recurring. After the results of these tests came back, we discovered that Coco was suffering from an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). The symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary hugely from dog to dog but can include skin problems such as those experienced by Coco.


Over the following years, we continued to support Coco’s hypothyroidism with medication. Throughout this time, we regularly tested her blood to ensure that her medication remained effective. She suffered from occasional skin flare-ups and developed a couple of lumps, which needed surgical removal. One of these surgeries involved the amputation of a toe. Unfortunately, Coco’s skin recently took a turn for the worse and became flaky. We discussed the best options for Coco’s continued treatment with her owners and decided to refer her to a skin specialist.


Following further investigation, the specialist found Cheyletiella mites present on Coco’s skin. This is a very uncommon mite to find and is completely unrelated to her other skin problems! The specialist prescribed some further medications, which were able to resolve this additional problem. Coco was also diagnosed with allergies, which have been contributing to her skin problems over the years. She now appears to be doing well and, because of her long-term health problems and repeated visits, we think she is a worthy winner of our Pet of the Month award. Well done Coco!

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Pet of the Month – Chico

Birkenshaw Pet of the Month - November 2017 - Chico

Birkenshaw – November 2017

This is 3-year-old Chico, a British Shorthair cat, who is the Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month for November 2017.

Chico has been a fairly regular visitor here at Yorkshire Vets over the last few years. He first came to see us with intermittent lameness on one of his front legs. This did not appear to be due to an injury, as there were no wounds or swelling on the leg. We booked Chico in for neutering not long after this problem presented. This gave us the perfect opportunity to x-ray his legs under the same anaesthetic. These x-rays revealed that Chico’s front legs were not growing quite as expected. As this issue was not significantly affecting Chico, we decided to allow him time to grow before any further intervention.

In the following year, Chico began to develop dental problems. To begin with, Chico’s owners did a fantastic job keeping his teeth clean, but eventually, he needed some dental work done under anaesthetic. As the lameness had persisted during this period and Chico was now fully grown, this gave us a perfect opportunity to x-ray his legs again. These follow-up x-rays revealed that Chico was suffering from congenital shoulder dysplasia. After discussing this with Chico’s owner, we decided that we would manage this condition with medication at this stage. We would then be able to discuss surgery at a later date if necessary.

Since this diagnosis, Chico has done well on a combination of painkillers and joint support medication. His owner’s continued dedication to his oral health has meant that he has not required any further dental surgery, which is fantastic. Due to the ongoing condition that Chico has had to deal with during his relatively short life, we think that he is a worthy winner of our latest Pet of the Month award. Well done Chico!

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Pet of the Month – Lamb

Birkenshaw Pet of the Month - October 2017 - Lamb

Birkenshaw – October 2017

This is Lamb, the Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month for October 2017. Lamb is a rescue cat that was adopted from Leeds Feline Friends and is missing one of her front legs.

Lamb came to see us about 18 months ago after having a funny turn. We took some blood to send for testing and admitted her at our hospital for monitoring. During her stay, we noticed no further abnormal behaviour and her first batch of blood results came back normal. At this point, we were able to send Lamb home. In the following days, we received the remainder of her test results. These results showed that Lamb was suffering from hyperthyroidism, which is a condition caused by the overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. Continue reading… “Pet of the Month – Lamb”

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Pet of the Month – George

Birkenshaw Pet of the Month - September 2017 - George

Birkenshaw – September 2017

This handsome lad is George, a 10-year-old King Charles Spaniel. He has been a regular visitor here at Birkenshaw over the years and has also made a few visits to our Thornbury Hospital. George has most often visited us with eye and ear infections throughout his life but has also suffered from some dental issues over the years. Because of this, he is a well-known patient here at Birkenshaw. Continue reading… “Pet of the Month – George”

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Pet of the Month – Belle

Birkenshaw Pet of the Month, August 2017, Belle

Birkenshaw – August 2017

This is Birkenshaw patient Belle, a beautiful little English and French Bulldog cross, who has recently spent time at our Thornbury hospital.

Belle came to see us after managing to get hold of, and eat, a 100ml bottle of Loxicom. While this is a commonly used medication in dogs, a 100ml dose is over 100 times more than we would normally prescribe. As a consequence, Belle had become very unwell and was vomiting. In order to save Belle, we immediately admitted her to the hospital and administered intravenous fluids and medication. It was important that Belle received continuing treatment to bring down the levels of meloxicam in her system. After analysing Belle’s blood, we estimated that this treatment would take around a week. Continue reading… “Pet of the Month – Belle”

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Pet of the Month – Tizzie

Birkenshaw – July 2017

Meet Tizzie, a Tibetan Terrier who will be turning 9 on the 16th July. She is the Birkenshaw surgery Pet of the Month for July 2017.

Tizzie, the Birkenshaw Pet of the Month for July 2017

Tizzie was brought to us in February this year after her owner noticed that she had started drinking and urinating more frequently. We ran some tests, which confirmed that Tizzie had developed diabetes. Following this diagnosis, she was prescribed insulin injections, which are administered daily by her owners. Although this can be intimidating, to begin with, many pet owners adapt very quickly to a schedule of daily injections. Consequently, many diabetic pets are able to live long and happy lives.
Continue reading… “Pet of the Month – Tizzie”

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