Brave Pet of the Month


Lovely little Luna was found as a stray with a large wound on her ear and an injury to her jaw.

Despite her injuries she is a friendly little girl and somehow still managing to eat.  She was brought into the surgery for a general anaesthetic so we could take x-rays of her jaw which confirmed our fears that it was fractured.  An external fixator was used to hold her jaw bone stable while the fracture heals. 

Luna has not been claimed by an owner and is currently in the excellent care of Milnthorpe Cattery and Kennels.  It is hoped that the frame holding her jaw will be able to be removed soon then she will up for adoption hoping to find her forever home.


Dylan is a tiny,11 yr old Bolognese who started to strain to urinate and was passing blood.

Tests revealed a bladder stone, so he was anaesthetised and had a large, very rough stone removed from his bladder, poor chap.

He recovered incredibly quickly, wearing a pet suit to prevent him from licking his stitches.



Olive is a very cute 5 month old Spaniel. She came into the surgery with her very worried owners with a piece of metal hooked in her mouth and under her jaw.  Ben took great care and managed to remove the hook and gave Olive a course of pain relief.

Olive has such a nice nature and was super brave while Ben managed to remove the hook. She even managed to keep wagging her tail through the whole ordeal.

She was super lucky she didn't sustain any real injuries from it. We all know how inquisitive puppies can be. Let’s hope she keeps out of trouble from now on and stays safe.  


Jack is a lovely 11 yr old Jack Russell Terrier who had surgery to remove a male hormone related tumour from his bottom and had a small skin lump on his throat removed. He was also neutered.
All the wounds healed well and his stitches were removed. However 3 weeks later his owners brought him for a re-examination as the wound on his throat looked irritated. Despite antibiotics and anti inflammatories Jack didn’t improve. Our concerns were it was an aggressive tumour. He had further surgery to remove it and it was sent for laboratory analysis. We anxiously awaited the results.
The laboratory analysis came back as a viral papilloma which was thankfully benign. He had picked the virus up at some point in his life- a wart virus and presumably he was under the weather after his operation and his immune system was a bit flat which resulted in an excessive reaction.
His owners and the practice staff are overjoyed that he has fully recovered.


Buzz a 9 yr old Yorkie came to see us because he was struggling to pass urine.

We sedated him and tried to pass a urinary catheter which would only go so far and not into his bladder. X rays revealed 5 stones firmly stuck in the tube that passes through the penis and into the bladder (poor chap).

He had emergency surgery to remove them and has now fully recovered.

Here are his x rays and a photo taken as he went home. He’s a happy, lovely little boy.

Max's Story

Max is a 5 year old cocker spaniel who came into the practice as he was very lethargic and vomiting profusely. Max had been seen by a neurological specialist recently and was already on treatment for spinal disease which caused him to struggle to walk and was improving on the treatment.

We took some blood from Max and it was noticed that his blood sample was very pink instead of the normal red. This indicated there was a lot of fat circulating in his blood and prompted us to check for pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas - an organ that lays along side the stomach and produces digestive enzymes. His pancreatitis blood test came back strongly positive.

An ultrasound scan was also carried out on Max and free fluid was seen in his abdomen which was sampled and found to contain lots of bacteria indicating Max had secondary peritonitis - a life threatening condition. We operated on Max to get rid of the bacteria in his abdomen, placed a feeding tube and started him on lots of intravenous medications - we were very concerned he might not make it.

Finally, after a week of intensive treatment and surgery Max started to turn a corner and started eating and getting much brighter - we were delighted!

We are pleased to say has made a full recovery now and came in for a recheck today; he is back to his normal excitable self and is walking well as well!


Wilfie's Story

Wilfie is an eleven year old Border Terrier. His owners brought him into the practice after he started vomiting.

Wilfie was being sick so much that we suspected he might have swallowed a foreign body so we admitted him for some imaging.

Wilfie had an ultrasound scan that morning. Instead of finding a foreign body, we discovered an abnormality with his gall bladder. Gall bladders are normally filled with bile, which is a liquid, but Wilfie’s gall bladder contained a large ball of mucous which was completely sealing the duct into his intestines, causing him to be so ill. Gall bladder mucoceles (as this condition is called), are very painful, and so Wilfie was initially stabilised with lots of pain relief and intravenous fluids, as he was quite dehydrated after being so sick! Paul then successfully performed an intricate and challenging surgery to remove Wilfie's blocked gall bladder.

Recovery is often the hardest part of this surgery, as dogs can be very painful post op, but we managed to control Wilfie's pain really well and he recovered fantastically. What a little fighter!

Wilfie will need to be on medication for life to make sure that the bile he produces stays quite thin, as he no longer has anywhere to store it, but he should hopefully live a happy life without his gall bladder. Here he is wearing his special t-shirt in the practice during his stay with us (this was to cover up a medicated skin patch designed for pain relief, but we think he looks super cute wearing it!)

Ben's Story

Ben is an 8 yr old Border Collie who developed a swelling on his right foreleg, next to his elbow. He was also lame and had a temperature.

He was given pain relief and antibiotics, which didn’t help so he was then sedated and x-rayed.

The x-ray showed bone destruction of the humerus, just above the elbow and an aggressive tumour was diagnosed

Amputation was considered his best chance of survival as these kind of tumours spread rapidly to the lungs or elsewhere. The surgery was carried out successfully and he went home to find his balance on 3 legs. He recovered incredibly well and jumped over a gate after 3 days!

His owner is in awe of how well he has coped and here is some footage of him post op. He is very keen to go sheep herding again so she will try him and see how he manages.

A lot of people are very scared of amputation but animals don’t think like we do and whilst some may be depressed for a few days, they always (in my experience so far) adjust and get on with their lives. They are truly inspirational.


Dash is a 9½ year old English Springer Spaniel. In April one evening, Dash was admitted to the surgery as an emergency. She had gone missing for 5½ hours and was found in some woods impaled on a sapling. The piece of wood had gone through the top of her foreleg and armpit, damaging the muscle and leaving a very large wound.

Dash was anaesthetised and the wound cleaned and flushed with sterile saline and then sutured together. Healing of these types of wounds can be challenging due to the contamination and the traumatic damage to the tissue.

Unfortunately but not unsurprisingly the wound started to breakdown and open up, despite the stitches, about a week later. Dash was admitted to the clinic again for a further general anaesthetic and surgery to flush, debride and re-stitch the wound. Approximately 50% of the wound had opened up and we could see that the remaining 50% was beginning to heal up well.

Dash had to be kept on strict confinement following her second surgery to try to give the wound a good chance of healing, not easy for an active springer spaniel but throughout her recovery dash showed herself to be an extremely good and tolerant patient.

Disappointingly the wound once again opened up 5 days later. However the tissue looked clean and healthy so we decided to let the wound heal by secondary intention (i.e. allow to heal without stitches). We do this by keeping the wound infection free and using a mixture of medical grade manuka honey and hydrogel to promote moist wound healing.

Over a period of 4 weeks the wound gradually healed up. We saw Dash twice a week to clean and redress the wound. The wound had totally healed by the end of May.

Dash was very brave and an excellent patient. Thanks also go to her owner for being diligent in her care of Dash throughout her recovery. Dash is now back to her normal activities and exercise.

Amber's Story

Amber, a 4yr old Labrador misjudged a jump into a pickup truck and landed with her belly on the tailgate. She quickly became very ill and started vomiting. We operated and discovered she had ruptured her bladder. Secondary to this, peritonitis, a very serious condition had occurred.
She was given a guarded prognosis and treated aggressively with medication and fluids. Later that evening she developed ventricular tachycardia- a serious heart condition that can develop after severe trauma or gut bacteria getting into the blood stream from damage or peritonitis. Her heart was irregular and beating very fast, we were concerned we would lose her. 
She was given medication to settle her heart which thankfully worked and a day later she was allowed home. She had her staples removed 10 days later and was completely back to her usual self. Here she is being visited by her owners whilst she was hospitalised. Amber has now made a full recovery much to her dedicated owners relief.


Pudding was named by her rescuers and is currently under the care of Milnthorpe Kennels and Cattery.

When she was first brought into the surgery she was is in a bit of a bad way. She was underweight and had severe ear infections. She also has a number of broken teeth. Despite all of this she is such a friendly girl.

Pudding was first spotted wandering alone in Big Bell Wood in Foulshaw one Sunday but it was not until the following day that a member of the public was able to catch her and rush her to a vet for care.

It is feared she had been fending for herself for days, eating pheasants to survive before she was found. RSPCA inspectors are investigating how she came to be dumped in the woodland and where she came from. Unfortunately she did not have any form of identification and it has not been possible to trace her owners.

She has been undergoing vet treatment for her ears and being fed regularly to help her gain weight.  She was back at our Kirkby Lonsdale surgery recently for a check up and we are pleased to report she has gained 4kg’s in weight, her ears are improving and she is getting a beautiful shine back to her coat.

Despite all this she is a happy, friendly girl, always wagging her tail, hoping to get the forever home she deserves soon.

Oscar's Story

Oscar is a 3½ year old Border Collie who, like many Border Collies, likes to attack moving car wheels.

Sadly he ended up with a crushed foot involving severe tissue damage. The skin was sutured as best we could and it was bandaged every 3-4 days for 4 weeks whilst it healed. At first he had to be sedated, as it was very sore and he was always nervous at the vets. After a couple of weeks, he was coming in so happy and waggy that we were able to just gently hold him to re-bandage.

It is now healed enough to leave un-bandaged.

He’s been such a pleasure to deal with and seemed to know we were trying to help him.

Bonnie's Story

Bonnie is the cutest little Chihuahua.  She was due to come into the surgery for routine neutering but on the day of her operation her owners commented that she had been sick a couple of times. She was very bright and lively in herself so to be on the safe side we gave her some medication for the sickness and postponed the operation.

A few days later she came back again as she was still being sick and now had stopped eating and looked very miserable.  This made us suspicious there was more going on than just an upset tummy so she was admitted to the hospital for further tests and treatment.

An x-ray was taken of Bonnie but nothing conclusive could be seen but all the history made as suspect that she might have a foreign body. So with her owner’s permission she was taken into theatre for a exploratory laparotomy.

To everyone’s surprise, including the owners, a piece of one of her toys was found stuck in her stomach.  Nobody could believe that such a small dog could swallow something so large, which turned out to be a leg off her giraffe toy.

Bonnie made a very quick recovery after the surgery and seemed to quite enjoy all the attention she was getting whilst in hospital, which included being hand fed whilst she lay in her bed.

A few days later Bonnie was back in the surgery for a post op check, back to her normal, cheeky self, standing on the reception desk getting cuddles from everyone.  (Sadly all her soft toys have been thrown away to prevent this happening again)!

Jazz's Story


Jazz an 8 year old Bichon Frise. Her and her family were enjoying  a caravan holiday in Ayrshire. Her owner gives her raw chicken wings as a treat but had none left so she went to the local butchers who suggested a chopped marrowbone instead.

Jazz ate it happily, then her tummy bloated and she was snorting and uncomfortable. Her owner rushed her to the nearest vet and x-rays were taken which showed some bone stuck in her oesophagus – the tube from the throat to the stomach. She was given medication to relax her, in the hope it would pass into her stomach. The next morning another x-ray showed it was still in the same position and needed urgent treatment. Left as it was, she would have been unable to eat, even water would struggle to pass it and the bone could penetrate the oesophagus which could be fatal. Unfortunately the vets and other vets in the area didn’t have an endoscope (a camera in a tube to pass down the oesophagus to look at the obstruction). This would have hopefully enabled them to grasp and remove it, otherwise she would have to have had major and risky thoracic surgery.

Her owner rushed her back to us and after a long struggle the bone was safely removed.

Giving bones is controversial with strong views for and against. As a practice we don’t recommend feeding bones to your dog as we see what happens when things go wrong, particularly when they actually eat them rather than just gnawing away.

Jazz quickly bounced back thankfully and is back to herself now. She has a great zest for life as you can see from the photo. She is a big ‘foodie’ and defiantly bit off more than she could chew!

Raz's Story

Raz is a lovely collie who damaged his pads whilst running on hard ground.

The initial treatment was pain relief and he was given paw covers to protect his feet. A week later he was back with a temperature and very sore front paw. One toe was swollen and painful so we x-rayed his foot, no fracture could be seen so he was put on antibiotics and more pain relief. After 3 weeks the toe was still causing problems so   Raz had an operation to remove the hard, damaged section of the pad in the hope that it would finally settle.

However the toe continued to be swollen and painful and Raz was getting depressed and frustrated as he hadn’t had a proper walk for 6 weeks. It was decided to amputate the toe.

After a further 2 weeks treatment and care we were able to leave the bandage off and he is now walking normally and enjoying proper walks.

The toe was sent to the laboratory for analysis and had plant material deep inside the toe, so it would never have healed and amputation was right thing to do. Dogs can run and walk normally with a missing toe.

Here is Raz looking peeved during his long, long treatment! He would swear quietly under his breath when his foot was being bandaged which made us chuckle because he has a lovely temperament.