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                                   T Y G E R B E R G           A N I M A L          H O S P I T A L           N E W S L E T T E R

                                    Although a sad occasion for colleagues, clients      With human relations as his non-veterinary

Strong                              and patients, Mike Strong has given his all during
                                    an auspicious career which saw the practice
                                                                                         portfolio within TAH, Strong felt pleased by the
                                                                                         stellar progress in this sphere. Now featuring an

            stuff                   grow from a 4-man team of vets to 20 and 105
                                    staff members. And if given the chance, he
                                    would do it all again the same way.
                                                                                         HR manager at the helm of the department, in-
                                                                                         house staff training continues apace with
                                                                                         certification courses in theatre assistance, animal
                                                                                         behaviour and theatre sterility. “It’s a far cry from
                                    He basically started and ended his veterinary        the staff relations portfolio managed when time
After 30 years                      career at TAH after studying for 12 years.           allowed way back when,” he remarked.
                                    Academic qualifications include four subjects
in the saddle at                    short of a B Comm, BSc Hons in Zoology and           One of the most rewarding aspects of progress
                                    Physiology and BVSc. While at TAH, he
     Tygerberg                      suspended his career for a year intending to do
                                                                                         was the huge change in clients’ attitude towards
                                                                                         pets, Strong said. “From the extreme of people
         Animal                     a PhD, but lectured in human hypertension at
                                    Wits University instead.
                                                                                         willing to put their pets to sleep for the sake of
                                                                                         convenience years ago, pet owners now spend
       Hospital,                    Recounting the highlights over the last 30 years,
                                                                                         whatever it takes to keep their pets healthy and
                                                                                         alive. With all the hi-tech options available for
Dr Mike Strong                      Strong said, “Dr Du Buy and I started the first
                                    clinical pathology clinic for animals by sending
                                                                                         optimum pet health care, it certainly is much

    has retired.                    blood to pathologists to set up a blood test
                                    database for dogs and cats. And through the
                                                                                         more satisfying to be a vet these days.”

                                    Western Cape Veterinary Association, I promoted      He fondly remembered his co-workers, patients
                                          continued veterinary education non-stop.       and clients. “Yes, I’ll miss the camaraderie of
                                                                                         our happy team. But now it’s on to the next
                                         “I joined TAH Bellville way back in 1978        phase. I’ll continue my fossiling hobby in the
                                         when it was situated in Kort Street. Next,      Karoo with the SA Museum. Then there’s the
                                         we moved into our first custom-built hospital   farm in the Cederberg that needs managerial
                                         at 86 Edward Street and finally Kontiki         input and a little hotel development in
                                         Street. With each move, the facilities were     Mpumalanga on the horizon.”
                                         upgraded and I feel privileged to have
                                         been part of the huge technical advances.       And that’s not all. Having climbed Table Mountain
                                         Over the years we acquired a highly             a phenomenal 1 500 times, Strong will continue
                                         advanced ultrasound machine, a digital          his intrepid mountain climbing career after
                                         X-ray unit and the availability of magnetic     recovering from a knee replacement operation.
                                         resonance imaging (MRI).”




                                   Money
               C O N T E N TS                                                            With a ballooning abdomen and movement
                                                                                         difficulty, nine-year-old Staffie Max was brought
                        PAGE 2


                                   Matters
                                                                                         to TAH. Dr Frank Kettner performed an ultrasound
    RIDING OUT THE STORM                                                                 exam, which showed fluid as the cause of the
                                                                                         distension. A fluid

                                                                                                                   Pet
                    PET TRIVIA
                                                                                         analysis suggested
            CLOWN COLUMN
              FOOD FOR FISH
                                    As is standard practice the world over, Tygerberg
                                    Animal Hospital essentially requires cash
                                                                                         the heart as the likely
                                                                                         cause. Chest X-rays
                                                                                         demonstrated an
                                                                                                                  Pin-up
                                    payment for products and services. For first-time
                        PAGE 3                                                           enlarged heart
                                    clients, food and merchandise are strictly cash
   OOPS… ANOTHER MISHAP             only. On elective procedures, full payment is        shadow, while an
                                    required on discharge, while R1 000 deposit          echocardiogram
                        PAGE 4                                                           showed a large
                                    is payable for emergency procedures and the
             SORE EYE BLUES         balance prior to discharge.                          amount of fluid in
                                                                                         the heart sac. In
                  CAT AGGRO         Long-standing clients with a TAH credit history      turn, needle drain-
                                    or an approved TAH account also need to              age of this fluid
Tygerberg Animal Hospital Group:    pay cash for food and                                (peri-cardiocentesis)
      Durbanville: 021 9763015;     merchandise. Elective                                revealed a bloody effusion. Kettner said causes
         Bellville: 021 9191191;    procedures require full                              included tumours, heart chamber rupture and
                                    payment on discharge, but                            bleeding tendencies. “In Max’s case, not
     Goodwood: 021 5912571;
                                    in exceptional cases,                                unusually so, no specific cause was identified.
        Kenridge: 021 9140886;
                                    arrangements for a credit facility                   The abdominal distension resolved spontaneously
          Parow: 021 9397102;       may be made with the consulting veterinarian.        once the heart problem had been addressed.
        Sonstraal: 021 9751870      At least a third of the amount needs to be paid      After one further peri-cardiocentesis, Max
               www.tah.co.za.       before discharge for emergency procedures.           recovered well.”
     T Y G E R B E R G                                A N I M A L               H O S P I T A L                  N E W S L E T T E R


                                                      Does your dog dive under the bed when it




  food
                                                      thunders? Some owners are willing to put up
                                                      with storm phobia symptoms such as hiding,
                                                      trembling, whining, drooling and pacing.
                                                      However, in severe cases panicking dogs


   for fish
                                                      have been known to chew furniture, tear
                                                      curtains, break windows or simply take off.
                                                      Whatever the case, the behaviour points to
                                                      a terrified dog.

                                                      Some breeds may be predisposed to a fear
                                                      of storms. Herding dogs, such as Collies and
                                                      German Shepherds, and hounds, such as
                                                      Beagles and Bassets, seem to be more likely
                                                      to develop a storm phobia than other dogs.           your dog may be showing, you could make
                                                      The phobia is also common in sporting and            the phobia worse.
                                                      working breeds, as well


                                                                                  Riding
                                                      as rescued dogs.                                                        If gentle retraining doesn't
                                                                                                                              help your dog, ask your vet
                                                      What to do                                                              to prescribe one of several
                                                      To help your pooch
                                                                                  out the                                     anti-anxiety or antidepressant



                                                                                      storm
                                                      overcome his thunder-                                                   medications to help your dog
                                                      storm fears, talk to your                                               remain calm during storms.
                                                      veterinarian. He/she can
                                                      help in developing a                                                    Ensure that your dog has a
When choosing fish food, determine your               programme to retrain your scared dog                 warm, safe ‘den’ to retreat to when the weather
fish’s natural diet: herbivores, carnivores or        gradually, gently helping him adjust to storms       gets too scary. Pad a crate with blankets or
omnivores. The majority of aquarium fish              through behaviour modification. Technically          clear a space underneath your bed. Just make
are omnivores.                                        called ‘systematic desensitisation’, this involves   sure that it's somewhere your dog can get out
                                                      exposing the storm-phobic dog to some gentle         whenever he wants. A panicked dog can do
Many of the staple diets provide a broad              reminders of a thunderstorm, such as a soft          much damage to his crate and himself if he's
range of essential nutrients, but they need to        recording of thunder and rewarding the dog           confined. Most importantly though, is that you
be fresh as their vitamin quality degrades            with treats, attention and positive reinforcement    treat your dog gently and kindly when he’s
with time. Don’t buy in bulk to save money            when there's no evidence of anxiety. Over            afraid. Don't cuddle and reassure him, because
- by the time the last food is fed, its quality       time, the intensity of the stimulus is increased     that will reward his scared-dog behaviour,
                                                      and only calm behaviour rewarded.                    but definitely don't punish him for it either. Just
has decreased substantially. Offering
                                                                                                           be calm and play some soothing music to
supplementary foods assures better nutrition.
                                                      Before starting this process, get professional       help him ride out the storm.
Plan on rotating fish food periodically and
                                                      guidance either from a vet or a veterinary
supplying supplements or vitamin boosters             behaviour specialist. If you introduce frightening   Contact animal behaviourist Karen Forsdick
for added nutrition.                                  stimuli too quickly or don't see signs of fear       at TAH Bellville 021 9191191.



                                                        pet
Beginners should stay clear of live food.
Freeze-dried foods and pellets make good                                                                     CLOWN COLUMN
alternatives, as do items such as zooplankton
and krill. For the experienced owner: your
fish will be healthier and breed better if fresh
foods and insects are supplied. Never
introduce any food or water to your tank that
could contain harmful parasites, bacteria, or
                                                      trivia
                                                      • An estimated 1 million dogs in the US
                                                      have been named the primary beneficiary
toxins. Choose food sources carefully and if
                                                      in their owner's will.
you collect your own wild harvested species,
give them several days in clean water or              • Inbreeding causes three out of every 10
earth to 'clean out' their intestinal tracts. Rinse   Dalmatians to suffer from hearing disability.
carefully before putting them in your tank.           • Pekingese dogs were sacred to the
                                                      emperors of China for more than 2 000
Food quantity is imperative to the overall
                                                      years. They’re one of the oldest breeds of
health of your fish and the tank. Underfeeding
                                                      dogs in the world.
can result in thin or stressed fish. Overfeeding
can result in uneaten food that will decompose,       • Scientists have discovered that dogs can
causing an increase in ammonia, nitrogen,             smell the presence of autism in children.
or unhealthy bacteria and mould in the tank.          • Seventy percent of people sign their pet's
As a basic rule, fish should be fed two to            name on greeting cards.
three times a day with a quantity that they
can consume in 3 to 5 minutes. Overfeeding            • At the end of World War I, the German
is much more common and detrimental                   government trained the first guide dogs to
than underfeeding.                                    assist blind war veterans.
 T Y G E R B E R G                                  A N I M A L             H O S P I T A L                 N E W S L E T T E R


Urinary incontinence is the involuntary passing                                                         female dogs. The pet can urinate normally,
of urine and pets can be incontinent for many                                                           but they leak urine while resting. Physical
different reasons. Those reasons can involve                                                            examination, as well as blood and urine tests
the bladder, the urethra, or abnormalities in                                                           usually are normal.
parts of the brain and spinal cord that control
bladder function.                                                                                       As pets age they may become incontinent.
                                                                                                        This may be due to a weakening of the muscles
Ectopic ureter is the most common birth defect                                                          that hold urine in the bladder. There are many
that causes incontinence. If one or both ureters                                                        diseases that can cause a pet to create more
(the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder)                                                         urine than normal and several of these occur
bypass the bladder and connect to an                                                                    in older pets. If a pet has one of these diseases
abnormal location such as the urethra or                                                                and often has a full bladder, the full bladder
vagina, the puppy may drip urine. Siberian                                                              can push against the weakened sphincter and
Huskies are most often affected. Other breeds                                                           cause incontinence. Older pets also can
that have a higher occurrence of this birth                                                             develop senility and simply be unaware that
defect include: Miniature Poodle, Labrador
Retriever, Collie, Welsh Corgi, Wire-haired
Fox Terrier and West Highland White Terrier.
                                                         Oops...                                        they’re dribbling urine.

                                                                                                        Brain or spinal cord disease can cause a pet
Female dogs are more commonly affected.
Affected dogs may still pass urine normally
between dribbling urine episodes.                   another                                             to lose control over bladder function. Most
                                                                                                        often they’ll have other signs of nervous system


An endoscopic examination of the urethra
and bladder is the diagnostic procedure of
choice. Ultrasonic evaluation of the bladder
                                                            mishap
and/or a x-ray dye study of the bladder may
be needed to help diagnose the condition.                Evaluation tests for
Sometimes the abnormal opening into the
vagina can be seen during careful examination        incontinence depend on
under anaesthesia. Most puppies with ectopic
ureter(s) also have a bladder infection that
will improve with antibiotics, but the infection
                                                       the pet’s age and the
will return until the problem is corrected.
                                                      presence or absence of
In some cases, the ureter can be moved back
surgically to the normal location in the bladder                 other signs.
and incontinence may resolve. In other cases,
long-standing kidney infection may have              bladder actually forces some urine to leak
damaged the kidney - requiring removal of            around the blockage. In these pets the enlarged
one kidney. In yet other cases, the ureter           bladder can be felt on examination. Total
abnormality can be corrected but the pet             blockage of urine flow usually is fatal in three
remains incontinent, probably because of             to four days.
other birth defects in the urinary system.
                                                     Hormone-responsive incontinence can occur          disease such as muscle weakness or paralysis.
Bladder infections can cause a strong urge           months or years after neutering. It occurs in      Intermittent incontinence, primarily at rest, has
to urinate, but rarely cause true incontinence.      neutered dogs of both sexes and occasionally       been reported in cats of both sexes that are
If the bladder infection is long-standing, it can    in spayed female cats, but most commonly in        positive for the feline leukaemia virus. How
cause bladder scarring, preventing                                                                           the virus causes incontinence is unknown.
it from stretching to hold urine. In
this case the pet usually isn’t truly                                                                       A less common cause of incontinence in
incontinent in that they know                                                                               female dogs is called vulvovaginal
they’re urinating, but they have such                                                                       stenosis. Occasionally when the pet
a strong urge to empty their                                                                                urinates, some urine is trapped in the
bladder that they may urinate in                                                                            vagina in front of the narrowed area.
abnormal locations or urinate                                                                               Then when they rise after lying down, the
frequently. It’s essential to evaluate                                                                      urine pours out. This condition can be
incontinent pets for the presence of                                                                        diagnosed with examination. In some
a bladder infection.                                                                                        dogs the narrowing can be stretched
                                                                                                            under anaesthesia. The incontinence may
Pets who have a partial blockage                                                                            or may not resolve, because sometimes
of the urethra with a stone or a                                                                            other defects also are present.
tumour may show incontinence. If
they can’t empty their bladder                                                                              Evaluation tests for incontinence depend
completely because something is                                                                             on the pet’s age and the presence or
blocking the path to the outside, the                                                                       absence of other signs. These may include
bladder may become so large that                                                                            a urine sample, blood tests, plain and/or
the back pressure of urine in the                                                                           dye X-rays, ultrasound or drugs.
  T Y G E R B E R G                                 A N I M A L             H O S P I T A L                  N E W S L E T T E R




                                                          Sore
                                                            eye                                    blues
                                                      Conjunctivitis, the most common ailment affecting a cat’s eye, is an inflammation or
                                                      infection of the conjunctiva (the thin membrane lining the inside of the eyelids and part
                                                      of the eye ball). Either allergies induced by pollens, grasses, etc, or infections caused
Cat
   aggro
                                                      by viruses, bacteria, or fungi can irritate the conjunctiva. If the white portion of the
                                                      eyeball also is inflamed, this condition is occasionally referred to as 'pink eye'.

                                                      Depending on the cause, symptoms vary. Typically, both allergies and infections cause
                                                      severe redness of the conjunctiva. This is because of fluid build-up and an increase
The phenomenon of a cat’s redirected
                                                      in the size and number of blood vessels within the tissue. Both allergies and infections
aggression towards humans can be puzzling
                                                      cause the eye to discharge.
and frightening to cat lovers. Consider this:
Ginger is sitting in the window sill as usual.
You pass by and gently stroke his back.
Suddenly your affectionate and gentle pet
has his teeth in your arm. This behaviour
occurs when a cat is highly aroused and in
an aggressive state (for instance, the sight of
another cat, just having been in a fight, or
a loud, disturbing noise). Generally, cats
don’t redirect aggression unless they’re
touched or approached closely by another
animal or person.

If a cat is in an aggressive mood, it’s
dangerous to approach it, or pick it up. Wait
until it’s changed its mood before interacting
                                                      The discharge consistency often helps determine its cause. Usually infections caused
with it. The state of arousal can last two hours
                                                      by bacteria, fungi, etc, create a thick yellow or greenish eye discharge. When held
or more, but in most cases is over within 30
                                                      shut, the eyelids may actually stick together due to a white blood cell accumulation
minutes. After the cat has engaged in
                                                      or pus excreted into the area to fight off the infection. Allergies, on the other hand,
behaviour such as grooming, playing, or
                                                      generally cause a clear or watery discharge. Regardless of the cause, a patient with
eating, it’s usually safe to approach it.
                                                      conjunctivitis might squint and/or keep the third eyelid partially covering the eyeball.
                                                      Conjunctivitis is often painful, causing a cat to paw at or rub the eye against objects.
To treat this type of aggression, the arousing
stimulus must be identified so that it can be
                                                      Normally, the condition isn’t life threatening. However, in advanced cases of infection,
eliminated. For example, if the cat is upset
                                                      the organisms can spread and affect other eye structures, impairing vision. In addition,
by looking at other cats through the window,
                                                      infections or foreign bodies may cause corneal ulcers which are extremely serious
the outside cats should be kept from passing
                                                      conditions. Conjunctivitis also may be a symptom of a more serious disease such as
near the window or the resident cat's view
                                                      a feline immunodeficiency virus infection. Some infections can be transmitted to other
should be obstructed by closing the curtains
                                                      individuals or littermates.
or blinds. If the triggering stimulus can’t be
removed, then the cat should be desensitised
                                                      All cases of conjunctivitis should be treated at once by your vet. A culture and sensitivity
systematically. In the case of a disturbing
                                                      test may be necessary to determine if bacteria are the cause, and if so, what medication
noise, it should be repeated at regular intervals
                                                      is necessary. Scrapings of the conjunctiva can be made and examined to test for
at very low levels until the cat is used to it,
                                                      various viral infections. Eye drops or ointments are usually the drugs of choice.
then increasing the volume gradually, always
keeping it below the cat's stress threshold.
                                                      If an allergy is the suspected cause, then various medications are available containing
                                                      anti-inflammatories. If the cause is an infection, then bactericidal or fungicidal ointments
If the owner is the victim of redirected
                                                      or solutions may be applied. In severe cases, oral antibiotics are used in addition to
aggression, it’s important not to retaliate
                                                      topical preparations.
so that the attacking cat develops a fear
and becomes defensively aggressive,
thereby creating another, more difficult                     WHO'S WHERE BELLVILLE Dr Ater McDonald Dr Colin Levitan Dr Ian Campbell
problem to solve. Keep in mind that it’s the
                                                      Dr Frank Kettner Dr Nolan Moss Dr Sam Pillay Dr Franci Swart Dr Sophia Frick Dr Kevin Solberg
cat's predatory nature that enables it to
concentrate so single-mindedly on a particular        Dr Jackie Terblanche Dr Nthabiseng Phala DURBANVILLE Dr John Adam Dr Izak van der Vyver
object of interest. This all-consuming focus of         GOODWOOD Dr Paulina Crous PAROW Dr Pieter Human SONSTRAAL Dr Anél Coetzee
the cat's attention isn’t easily transformed into                  KENRIDGE Dr Stephen Smith Dr Zelda van der Merwe Dr Liesl Shaw.
recognising the touch of an old friend – so,             Although each branch handles all species, Sonstraal is our avian branch and Kenridge is
don't take it personally!                                                   our exotics (reptiles, wild animals, etc) branch.


           Editor: Mariette Greyling, Tomar Communications, Tel 021 5540442; fax 021 5540449; mariette@tomar.co.za

								
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