Home' Clutha Leader : September 6th 2012 Contents 6.9.12 Leader
Don't forget the rare ones!
Clutha District, your district
Clutha Values, your values
Clutha Vets, your vets
Balclutha (03) 418-1280
Milton (03) 417-8032
I have a particular interest in cat medicine
and enjoy working with kitties on a daily
basis. It is very satisfying when a sick or
injured cat is treated in our hospital and
eventually goes home happy and well.
As you would expect, the cats we see are
usually suffering from a common illness.
However, as Murphy's Law dictates, we do
occasionally get thrown a curve ball and
end up dealing with a rare disease. As far
as my own cats are concerned, Murphy's
Law definitely applies. Two of my feline
companions have been diagnosed with
extremely rare conditions.
My lovely silver tabby Tibbles was
diagnosed with a rare cancer 7 years ago.
She developed what is known as a sarcoma
that had developed after vaccination. I
first found it as a pea-sized lump between
her shoulder blades a few months after she
was vaccinated. The lump was biopsied
and sent off to the lab for testing, which
confirmed that it was one of these rare
cancers. It has been estimated that these
tumours only occur in 1 out of every
10,000 vaccinated cats. Therefore,
the risk of an animal developing this
tumour is tiny. Most vets in New
Zealand will have never even seen one!
They are malignant and invasive tumours,
growing quickly into surrounding tissues
and spreading through the body. After
the biopsy, Tibbles underwent radical
surgery in an attempt to eliminate the
cancer. Complete removal is very difficult
and there is a high rate of recurrence
after surgery. However, Tibbles is a
miracle kitty and I am happy to report
that the surgery was a success and
she is still enjoying a cancer-free life
several years later!
However, don't take this example
to mean that vaccinations are bad.
The majority of vaccine sarcomas are
associated with rabies or feline leucaemia
vaccinations, which are not commonly
used in New Zealand. Although my
cat was the unlucky 1 in 10,000;
I still keep all of my cats up to date with
their vaccinations and believe that this is
vitally important in keeping them healthy.
As mentioned above, vaccine associated
sarcomas are extremely rare and any
risk is far outweighed by the protective
benefits of vaccines.
My big tabby Stumpy was very sick about
two years ago and came very close to
death. His blood results appeared to show
that he was suffering from acute renal
failure, so I instituted immediate and
aggressive treatment to save his life. He
recovered from this episode and his kidney
values returned to normal. However,
Stumpy crashed again three months later.
He received further emergency treatment
and once again escaped death by a
whisker. I then decided to test him for
hypoadrenocorticism (also known as
Addison's disease). This disease affects the
adrenal glands so that they stop producing
hormones that are required to keep an
animal alive. The symptoms of Addison's
can 'mimic' other diseases, particularly
renal disease. Therefore, a specific blood
test is the only way to detect it. Although
the disease is seen occasionally in dogs,
it is extremely rare in cats. There have
only been around 30 cases reported
world-wide! The lab results confirmed
that Stumpy did have Addison's disease.
He is now on daily medication to replace
the hormones his adrenal glands cannot
produce and has been well and happy for
over two years now!
Whew! This makes me wonder what
Murphy's law has in store for me and
my pets next. But it also goes to show
that if you don't look for something,
then you won't find it. Diagnostic tests
are of vital importance when your animals
are ill. There are many tests that can only
be carried out by a dedicated animal
health laboratory such as Invermay in
Dunedin. However, we are lucky in that
our Balclutha and Milton clinics are
well equipped with in-house laboratory
equipment including blood machines.
This means we can often get an answer
as to what is wrong with your pet at any
time. This is especially useful during the
weekend or in the wee small hours of the
night. We are then in a position to know
how to treat your pet when timing can be
critical to ensure a successful outcome. I
may have lost my lovely Stumpy if I had
not had access to this equipment when he
was really sick, so I feel privileged that we
can offer this kind of service to you for
Small Animal Veterinarian
Senior Constable Tom Taylor.
Teen driver doing skids
Police catch him,
A decision by a 17-year-old driver,
with a passenger, to do skids on
loose gravel on Cromer St proved
Senior Constable Tom Taylor said
during the skids the youth lost
control of his car and slid into the
kerb, across the footpath into a
low garden wall.
Mr Taylor said the teenager
drove off but a damaged rear
suspension only allowed him to
drive his car a short distance.
Police spoke to him later and as a
result his car was impounded and
he will appear on a charge of
sustained loss of traction in the
next Balclutha Court session in
Two single vehicle crashes
happened in the past week.
The first was at 1.45am on
September 1 when a Summerland
Express truck hit two cows on the
SH1 near Milburn. Mr Taylor said
both cows were killed and the
truck suffered minor damage but
the driver was unhurt.
The second crash happened at
9.35pm when a woman, driving a
car on SH1 near Hillend turn-off,
hit a wooden pallet lying on the
Mr Taylor said the woman was
uninjured. It is thought the pallet
fell off a passing truck or trailer.
There have been several
burglaries in the Taieri Mouth
area over the past month.
Mr Taylor said most were
discovered many days
Items taken include food and
alcohol, as well as an outboard
motor, fuel tank and fishing gear.
Mr Taylor said at least one of the
burglaries happened during
daylight hours so police are
asking people who live in, or near
the Taieri Mouth, to be extra-
vigilant regarding any suspicious
people, vehicles and occurrences.
Last month a burglary happened
at an Ajax St address in Milton
while the occupiers were
Mr Taylor said a Makita chainsaw
along with a yellow safety-hat
with muffs and visor were taken.
A shearing comb pouch
containing 20 combs and a bunch
of 50 used cutters was also
On August 29 a female driver on
Clyde St was stopped and taken
back to Balclutha police station
where she gave a breath alcohol
reading of 443mgm.
On September 1 two motorists
were processed for drink-driving.
Mr Taylor said one 20-year-old
Milton man gave a breath alcohol
result of 495mgm and a 19-year-
old male near Clinton gave a
result of 147mgm.
While the figure was under the
level that would result in a court
appearance, it still earned him a
$200 fine and 50 demerit points.
Forbidden to Drive
An 18-year-old woman was
stopped while driving on Clyde St
on August 30 and was found to
have never held a driver licence.
Mr Taylor said she was forbidden
to drive until she got a driver s
Earlier that day a 42-year-old
man visited Milton police station
to hand in his driver s licence
because he knew he had more
than 100 demerit points.
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