National veterinary group, Vets4Pets highlight the weird and wonderful cases that are rarely seen in a veterinary practice.
As in human health care, vets often treat a diverse range of weird and wonderful cases in their practices – but what are some of the more unusual ones?
From dogs swallowing foreign objects and parrots with bad breath problems, to an owner who said that her dog detected her breast cancer, 2019 has provided vets with a wide range of challenging and interesting clients.
Vets4Pets has compiled a list of strange and memorable cases that its teams have treated during the last twelve months.
Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets, said: With hundreds of practices spread across the UK, our hardworking vets and nurses see thousands of pets every year, so there were bound to be some more unusual cases amongst them, that really tested the skills and expertise of our veterinary professionals.
“Although, we were definitely surprised by a few of the cases we heard about from our practices, one of the more common issues we found was vets having to remove foreign objects from inside pets, mainly after they had swallowed something they shouldn’t have.”
This was the case with mischievous young Beagle Benson, who, unbeknownst to his owners managed to ingest 14 drawing pins. Luckily, they were removed, and he escaped with no internal damage.
Black Labrador Monty (pictured above) also required emergency surgery after he ate a lump of jagged coal, that travelled through his system before it became stuck and perforated a hole in his intestines. If vets hadn’t removed the coal in time, it could have led to a fatal infection.
Dr Stacey added: “Some pets, and dogs in particular will eat almost anything they come across, as they don’t have the understanding that we humans do of what the consequences of such an action can be.
“Pets can often consume items left lying around the house, garden or outdoors, so it’s important that owners are aware of what their pet is doing in case of an emergency. If a pet ingests a foreign object, it can sometimes lead to serious issues if it isn’t removed quickly. But as long as owners act fast once they realise what has happened, then their vet will be able to remove the item and ensure the pet is fit and well before returning them to their owner.”
However, Vets4Pets’ findings show that vets can also end up performing operations a bit more ‘out of the norm’ from their usual surgeries, with one case involving putting a goldfish under general anaesthetic to remove a lump from its back.
Vets in Wrexham also had to remove the majority of a dog’s jaw recently due to cancer, whilst vets in Swindon are currently treating Milo, a Weimaraner with acupuncture to help with its muscle problems.
“Just like us humans, pets can suffer from a variety of illnesses throughout their life, from cancer to diabetes, or are born with, or develop, rarer conditions which then need more long-term ongoing treatment and care,” explained Dr Stacey.
“During consultations vets can also hear stories if how pets have helped owners with their own medical conditions, with one of our clients claiming that her dog smelt breast cancer before it was diagnosed. The owner then underwent successful treatment and is now recovery.
“This was definitely one of the more unusual cases we heard about from one of our practices, and shows the remarkable abilities our pets have, particularly dogs, whose senses are hundreds of times better than our own.”
As a pet-loving nation, there are millions of dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs across the UK. But it’s not just the everyday pets that vets treat.
This was the case with vets in South Wales, who were puzzled by an African Grey parrot with garlic bad breath. Only after a long process of diet changes was it found that sesame sticks were the culprit of causing the issue.
Dr Stacey concluded: “Every animal has its own unique personality and quirks, which can lead to them being weird and wonderful cases for the UK’s vets and nurses to treat, and they all certainly make the job very interesting indeed.”