By Jason Spina, DVM, DACVS February 23, 2015
Pets are an integral part to many households in the US. In 2012, it was estimated that 62% of American households included at least one pet and this number has likely grown.
Chester, a handsome 7-year-old Maine coon/orange tabby mix, has been seeing the ACCES internal medicine specialist, Alan Schreiner DVM DACVIM since 2012 for pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), Inflammatory Bowel Disease and weight control. (Being a Maine coon mix, he had always been a larger cat, but after moving he began putting on weight.) His weight loss was being carefully monitored when, in March of 2014, he became painful, lost his appetite, and had frequent bouts of diarrhea.
Moco, a nine-year-old Bengal, presented to ACCES Renton for trouble breathing. He had also stopped greeting his owners and was not eager to go outside on his normal walks. Approximately one year prior Moco ate some firm ornamental grass that was pointed on the end and had serrated edges. For a few weeks afterwards he would cough and repetitively swallow but he seemed to recover from this. At ACCES, Moco was found to have a severe infection in his chest (pyothorax), thought to be due to the inhaled piece of grass, and to be anemic.
Suzie, five-year-old Chihuahua, presented to ACCES after being attacked by a large dog while out for a walk. The trauma to her body was severe and she was taken to surgery to assess the damage and repair the wounds. At surgery, the right kidney was found to be torn and fractured with significant bleeding which resulted in it having to be removed. Suzie was actually very lucky as one of the wounds was very near her spine. Due to her blood loss, she was given a whole blood transfusion from donor Petey.
Lily, an 11-year-old Domestic Shorthair, transferred to ACCES Renton due to low red cells, white cells and platelets (called pancytopenia) The prior two weeks, her owner noticed that Lily was not greeting her like normal, her appetite was decreased, and she was hiding. She had been on medication (methimazole) for hyperthyroidism for the past year. She had acutely collapsed at home prior to presenting to her primary veterinarian. The very low cell counts were thought to be an uncommon reaction to her thyroid medication.
Michonne, a five-month-old Shepherd mix, transferred to ACCES for an intestinal obstruction. She had been vomiting and having diarrhea and refused to eat almost all food. Radiographs showed foreign material in the intestines and an area of plication (where the intestine appeared to be folded or bunched up). She also had very low proteins. At surgery, foreign shell material was found and the ileum and part of the jejunum were found to be intussescepted into the colon.
Smokey, a six-year-old Russian Blue, was referred to ACCES Renton for an abdominal ultrasound following a prolonged period of decreased appetite, severe weight loss, and elevated liver values. Blood work showed that Smokey also could not clot his blood normally. In order to safely get liver samples to diagnose his condition and to place a feeding tube, he was blood typed and given fresh frozen plasma from donor Willow. Liver aspirates revealed hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver. Smokey was able to go home after two days in the hospital.
Gizzy, a two-year-old Pomeranian, transferred to ACCES for anemia from possible ingestion of rat poison. He had been very quiet, limping, and bruising was noted on his belly. Blood work revealed elevated clotting factors and a very low red blood cell count. He was prescribed vitamin K, the antidote to anticoagulant rodenticides, and sent to ACCES for treatment. He was given frozen plasma from donor Jive to help normalize his clotting factors and packed red blood cells from donor Aloha Lani.
Belle, a 12-year-old Siamese mix, presented to the ACCES Surgery department for repair of a peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia, a congenital condition where the heart sac and abdominal cavity are connected. She had an 18-month history of retching and recently several bouts of rapid breathing. A CT scan confirmed the hernia but also showed a mass on her liver that had moved into the hernia and was pressing on her lungs. At surgery, the liver mass and her gall bladder were removed and the hernia was repaired.
Bella, a four-year-old Siberian Husky, presented to ACCES Renton for not eating. She had been prescribed an anti-inflammatory pain medication following a knee injury. Bella was in shock at presentation. An abdominal ultrasound showed fluid in her abdomen and analysis of the fluid was very concerning for a leak in her intestinal tract. She was taken to emergency surgery and a large leaking ulcer was found in her pylorus (the lowest part of the stomach) and this was repaired.
Dr. Weh. So very compassionate and aware of my concern about cost. She treated my boy Huck as if he was her pet. Explained everything and as well as my own personal doctor would have to me. The work...