Interesting Cases 


Every day at Townsend brings us new exciting challenges, we never know what's coming through the consulting room door next! We'd like to share some of our more interesting cases with you....



Meet Sox, she is a 3 year old cross breed dog with a love for chasing cats. One day she chose the wrong cat to mess with...the cat bit back. The infection from the bite caused extensive tissue damage to Sox's leg. Sox was treated with antibiotics and pain relief and her wound was managed as an open wound with regular bandage changes. The following photographs show the amazing healing process, which all in all took about 6 weeks. Manuka honey was applied to the wound to help speed up the healing process. Sox is now back happy and healthy, but won't be trusting the cat as her playmate anymore! Sox would not have recovered so well if she hadn't had such committed and excellent care from her owners.



This is Liam, he was an 11 year old jack russel terrier. Liam was diagnosed with a nasal tumour in March 2014. Sadly Liam's type of tumour was not curable. He recieved chemotherapy treatment, which we hope improved his quality of life for the time he had left with us. Despite it all Liam was a really brave little patient, if you saw him trotting down the street you'd never guess he had cancer.


Dogs and cats are commonly affected by tumours and cancer. Sadly the majority of cases, like Liam's, cannot be cured. However chemotherapy can make a real difference to these animals’ lives, often significantly improving quality of life and life expectancy.  Chemotherapy can sound a lot scarier than it actually is. Most pets, like Liam, tolerate it really well. We do sometimes see side effects, but not often to the same degree as in human medicine. Normally we just see tummy upsets, for which we give medication. Pets rarely lose their hair; generally they carry on leading relatively normal lives. 

Liam came in once every three weeks for an injection of chemotherapy. The injection was given into one of the veins in his front leg over about 20-30 mins, during which Liam had to sit still for us (not an easy task for a little jack russel!) He was super brave for all of his injections, he always behaved impeccably and always greated us with a waggy tail, happy to see us! Liam sadly lost his battle with cancer in August 2014. We hope we helped to make his last few months as comfortable as possible. 



Meet Mya, she is a 1 year old Syrian Hamster. Mya came in as an emergency one Sunday evening with a very unusual condition. Mya had been stuffing her cheek pouches full of bedding, ready to make a nice bed for herself. A strand of bedding had somehow become attached to the inside of Mya’s cheek pouch, so when she tried to pull the bedding out she unfortunately pulled her cheek pouch inside-out with it. This is an uncommon condition called “everted cheek pouch”. It required a general anaesthetic to replace the pouch and stitch it into place. A small section of the pouch was too damaged to repair and had to be removed.


Mya recovered well from her anaesthetic is is now back home with her caring owner



Zara is a Hungarian Viszla. As a typical 8 month old puppy does, Zara explores the world with her mouth, chewing EVERYTHING! Its not uncommon for young dogs to suffer from tummy upsets as a result. Puppies with vomiting or diarrhoea are probably one of the most common problems we deal with here at Townsend. Often its nothing to worry about and will resolve within a few days, but every now and again we are presented with a dog like Zara that just looks that little bit more poorly than the average “dog with an upset tummy”. 

Zara was vomiting and had lost her appetite. She was very lethargic and was showing a lot of discomfort in her tummy. She generally looked pretty sorry for herself. Zara’s vet was concerned that she may have eaten something she should have, so xrayed her tummy.



The xray confirmed our suspicions…Zara had been a very naughty puppy! She had swallowed something she had been chewing, which was now stuck in her intestines. Zara needed an operation to remove the object, which was found to be a plastic cover for a garden cane.

By then next morning Zara was feeling much better, her appetite had returned and she stopped vomiting. She was able to go home the day after her operation and has since made a full recovery. We just hope she keeps herself out of mischief now! 


Holly   Please note Holly's story contains photos from her surgery 

Meet Holly, she is a 10yo cocker spaniel. Holly developed a lump on the side of her nose. A biopsy of the lump revealed that this was a type of tumour known as a sarcoma. Sarcomas can be quite nasty types of tumours and can be quite difficult to remove, with a tendency to grow back. Thankfully Holly’s type of sarcoma was thought to be a low grade one, less likely to spread around the body causing cancer. Obtaining a biopsy of a lump is really important, no matter how inconspicuous the lump may look. Results let us know if the lump is safe to leave alone and monitor, or whether it needs removing. If it does need removing, biopsy results are a guide to what sort of surgery is needed and whether or not the animal may benefit from chemotherapy.

When we remove a sarcoma we aim to include a 2-3cm margin of healthy tissue right the way around the tumour and underneath it. If we leave any tumour cells behind there is a high risk the tumour will grow back. The location of Holly’s tumour would make achieving this near impossible. After much consideration we decided to go ahead with the removal of Holly’s tumour anyway. The pictures below show the extent of the wound left by the removal and how spare skin was “borrowed” from the side of her face to close the wound.   Holly recovered really well from her surgery and is now doing brilliantly at home. The above photo was taken about 6 months after her surgery when she came in for her booster.




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