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Archive for December 2009

Christmas tree at ‘root’ of cat’s illness

A taste for Christmas proved too much for Middlesbrough cat Leah when she became seriously ill – after swallowing a miniature tree.  The peckish puss’s sickness mystified PDSA vets until tests revealed a discarded Christmas tree decoration as the ‘root’ cause.

Leah’s owner Claire Smith (27) noticed the one­-year-old cat was losing weight, suffering from chronic sickness and looking poorly, but had no idea why.  It was only when vets at Middlesbrough PDSA PetAid hospital investigated  the problem that an x-ray revealed a perfectly formed miniature Christmas tree in her abdomen. 

PDSA Head Nurse Stephanie Williams said: “Various conditions can cause chronic vomiting and weight loss in cats so there were several possibilities to explain Leah’s symptoms.  However the last thing we expected to see was a Christmas tree staring back at us on the x-ray!  Even small foreign bodies can cause so much trouble in pets.Leah underwent surgery to remove the tiny tree, which had actually split into two pieces, and was kept in overnight for observation before returning home.

Leah’s owner Claire Smith added: “It was fantastic to see Leah after the operation and to take her home, knowing that the cause of her illness had been treated and she could recover.“I was very surprised when the vets told me that Leah had swallowed a Christmas tree. I can see the lighter side of it now but it was a very stressful period.  Now I make sure that nothing is left lying around that Leah can get her paws on. 

PDSA Senior veterinary Surgeon Sean Wensley said: “We always see cases of swallowed ‘foreign objects’ around Christmas time. We urge all pet owners to look around their home, room by room, identifying any dangers to their pets. These can include decorations, toys, lighting, shiny objects and turkey bones."“Think of your pet as a curious child and make sure that anything potentially dangerous is safe and out of reach.  Make sure that any uneaten food and other tempting items are put in a secure lidded waste bin.  Pets can be very inquisitive and can eat the most unexpected things – a hazard more prevalent at this time of year!  Christmas trees can be pulled down by curious cats – and chocolate, potentially poisonous to pets, can be too attractive! “Just by taking a few simple measures you can enjoy a happy and safe Christmas with your pet during the festive period.”

Help foot the bill for PDSA

 


Veterinary charity PDSA is asking local people to ‘put the boot in’ at its local shops, so that it can treat more sick and injured pets this winter. 

The charity is urging local people to ‘step up’ and donate good quality shoes and boots to the Boscombe, Winton, Poole and Christchurch throughout November.

From wedges to wellies, stilettos to sneakers – all footwear can be taken along and will be sold to raise vital funds to care for the pets of people in need.

“I hope lots of people will support our vital donation drive this month,” says Christchurch Shop Manager, Iain Vatcher. “Shoes are always popular and sell really well in our shops. At the moment we’re running very low so need your support.

“If every household in the area donated just one pair of good quality shoes, we could raise enough money to cover Bournemouth PDSA PetAid hospital running costs for six months. So please get rummaging in your wardrobes to help a very worthy cause!”

The four local PDSA shops raise funds to provide free veterinary treatment to sick and injured pets at Bournemouth PDSA PetAid hospital, located in Moordown. The hospital cares for over 75 pets each working day.

For more details about Christchurch PDSA shop, please contact the Shop Manager, Iain Vatcher on 01202 490 536.

For information about PDSA visit www.pdsa.org.uk 

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