Wednesday, December 31, 2014

1164. Last case of 2014 - a Netherland dwarf suddenly stopped eating

Dec 31, 2014

I was still in the surgery at around 5 pm. The rabbit had suddenly stopped eating and the lady owner came as her vet must have closed shop on this last day of New Year. Enjoyment was in the air and so many shop owners close early.

This was a new owner who had given critical care to this anorexic rabbit as I noticed some wetness in his mouth. She did not want any injection and this is a mindset of some of the younger generation pet owners and vets as regards injections of rabbits and guinea pigs, thinking they will suffer death.

They would dictate the type of treatment and had researched the internet..

"I am a doctor," she said when I explained that the rabbit would recover faster from injection.
"You heard a squeak when I palpated the abdomen," I explained that the rabbit had a swollen stomach which was painful on palpation. "As a doctor, you would know that it is best not to give oral medication to an upset stomach whenever possible. The stomach would get further irritated."

She reluctantly agreed to the injections which were 0.1 ml of baytril and 0.1 ml of painkiller meloxicam added to 0.4 ml of saline and given subcutaneously via fine needles. There was no painful squeal from the rabbit on injection.

"I want some antibiotics," she said.
"Be patient," I said. "Tomorrow morning, New Year's Day, I will be working in the morning. Giveme a phone call if the rabbit has not started eating. Antibiotics may irritate the stomach and intestines now inflamed."

Now it is 10.30 am on New Year's Day and no news from her.

This is a strange case in the sense that she lives in Toa Payoh but had never come to Toa Payoh Vets. So proximity was not her concern. She liked the service of the other vet south of Toa Payoh. This rabbit has a habit of licking wall paint and biting things compared to the other two roaming ones. So, the stomach could be upset by chemicals from the paint.

"Strict monitoring of the rabbit outside the crate would prevent a 4th occurrence," I said.


I was at the pet shop to buy hamster food and had a chat with the operator. Her Primary 6 daughter had helped her in the shop. "I listened to what you said about having my children learn about the pet shop business," she told me. "So this 2nd daughter is here. The one in Seconday 1 will come another day."

"If you shield your 5 children from working in the shop, thinking that they better stay at home, you are bringing up your children to dislike the pet shop business and succeeding you later. You think you are protecting them from the smells and dirt of the pet shop animals. But this is a mistake. They will grow up self-centered and not assisting you at all, to keep their hands clean."

1163. INTERN. SCRIPT. A dwarf hamster has an itchy lower elbow wart

The mother and pre-teen daughter complained that this 2-year-old dwarf hamster had a red bald patch on the right backside area and was itch scratching continually. I observed the hamster and saw the scratching (video) mainly on the right side.

Some vets perform physical examination which does not involve picking up the hamster to examine his lower body. After all, this is such a small creature and everything can be seen at one look.

I picked up this hamster. Surprisingly, there was a hidden lower elbow wart! This could be the irritating inflamed growing wart that caused the right sided itchiness including right ear scratching and the left backside biting wound. Biting and scratching provide instant temporary relief of pain. This was my hypothesis.

If my hypothesis is correct, electro-excision of this ventral wart would resolve the problem.

Now how to excise this wart which extends the whole width of the lower elbow? It is a gigantic wart if you imagine your lower elbow's width being occupied by a large wart. Should the vet use scissors to excise it and how to control the post-op profuse bleeding?

The hamster is aged, being 2 years old and has around 6 months of life generally. Would the hamster die under anaesthesia and therefore damage the vet's reputation?

What to do to resolve this problem without killing the hamster? Reputational risks are more important for a private vet. Nobody will refer cases to him if he or she has hamsters dead on the operating table.

I decided to give the hamster only isoflurane gas anaesthesia. I used the circular electric loop wire to electro-excise the wart in a split second when the hamster was just anaesthesized by the gas. I used forceps to lift up the wart and excise under it. There was some normal skin. The wart came off and there was just a 3 mm wound. Blood-less. See video.

The hamster went home on the same day and the mother and daughter were happy and satisfied.

In conclusion, if the vet does not examine the underside of the hamster, he or she would mis-diagnose as environmental cause of itchiness and this would not resolve the itchiness problem.


Always examine the underside of the dwarf hamster by picking up the hamster and turning him upside down. This elbow wart would have been missed as it was not protruding. A correct diagnosis resolves the client's problem and bring in more referrals than slick advertising. Vets have to deliver results and perform like any service provider.


Jan 3, 2015


1. A fast-paced concise video

To improve the quality of production
1. Not to publish the title of video as this is unnecessary
2. Subtitles to be on white text on a black band. White text not easily read in this video.
3. Subtitles are too rapid to be read
4. The BKTP image is flashed by too quick to be read
5. Weak concluding frames - same videos of hamster still scratching. Should have a post-op video or something similar rather than repeat the opening
6. The backside wound - main complaint was not emphasized.
7. Credits --  more videos at

1162. Advices from a pet shop operator - terrapins and pellet food for guinea pigs and rabbits

1. The terrapins imported from the USA are in better health and condition than those from Thailand and Malaysia. Shell quality and health are better. They are selling $4.00 to $5.00 and look like hatchlings, about the size of a 50-cent coin. See video.

2  Rabbits and guinea pigs should be fed pellets, not the mixture of seeds and pellets as given to hamsters. Otherwise they will not get the essential nutrients.

1161. Four skin-diseased dogs on 30 Dec 2014 morning.

Unusual to get 4 skin diseased dogs in Case 1,2, 4 and 5 on this Monday morning, Dec 30, 2014. I thought it would be a quiet day.

The 3rd case was a Schnauzer going to Yangon in 2 days' time and needed a healthcheck. The brother of the owner had taken the dog to a vet for bladder stone removal. With 10 days of hospitalisation, the total bill was over $3,600.

I made 4 videos of the skin disease dogs for review next visit one month later. Three had a common disease- generalised ringworm. The other one was an overweight Jack Russell who bit her front paws and groin area till they become brown and black.

1160. A cat spayed by a vet 2 years ago still caterwauls

"Is it due to the spay not properly done?" the mother asked me. "My cat makes a lot of noises, rolling on the floor and lifting up her tail. She went outdoors and attracted the male cats"

I checked the cat's vulval area. There was no discharge.

"Why didn't you let the vet know aboat this caterwauling 2 years ago after the spay? Or a few months after? It is now 2 years later."

"I thought this meowing was normal," the mother said. "The vet had said it was normal after spaying. Before, the cat was not making so much noise as she was indoors. Now she is outside and exhibits this type of noisy behaviour!"

"It is possible that there was some ovarian tissues left after spaying," I said.
"I want to give away the cat," the mother said.
"Take the Ovarid 20 mg tablet at 1/4 tablet per day for 4 days when there is caterwauling," I advised. "This will stop the caterwauling. Take for the next 3 months and let me know. It will be very difficult to look for the ovarian tissues now but that may be the only solution!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

1159. Hernia repair mesh in human and canine surgery

Dec 31, 2014.

 1159. Hernia repair mesh in human and canine surgery

omyra mesh sold

2 types of mesh.
Normal mesh causes intestinal adhesions from $80 --- intestinal obstruction -- strangulation  -- death.
Adhesive prevention mesh  $900 (10 cm x 15 cm).

Human hernias
Incisional hernias (after surgery) 
Umbilical hernias

Inguinal hernia


1. The plug method (mesh cut diagonally half way and formed into a cone or funnel to close the hole) is NO longer used in human medicine. It requires the expensive adhesion prevention mesh. It has been described in a veterinary hernia repair book published by Europeans. .

1. The adhesion prevention mesh must be used if there is contact with the intestines for very large perineal hernias.

2. In hernias where the sides can be stitched up, use the normal mesh to cover the muscles after stitching. There must be a 3-cm margin to account for shrinkage of the mesh. For example, a perineal hernial opening of 12 cm x 12 cm will need a mesh size of 15 cm x 15 cm.

3. Plug method is no longer used in human surgery according to B Braun sales rep Alex.

Monday, December 29, 2014

1158. Left perineal hernia and right hip dislocation

This old Pom had a right hip dislocation and a big swollen left perineal hernia. The dog can pee and poop "normally" but cannot walk normally.

"The vet said that since the dog could pee and poop normally, I did not need to do any surgery on the perineal hernia. I had some financial considerations.  But it has got much bigger in size!  Now my Pom hops on 3 legs! What to do?"

"Perineal hernia repair is more important as it can be life-threatening when the herniated intestines or bladder get twisted."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Perineal hernia repair surgery - queries



I brought XXX to your clinic yesterday. He is the 8 year old mini Maltese with a hernia on the right. It was recommended that we send him for surgery.
We love him very much and are concerned that he should not go through any suffering.
May we please know the following:

1. What are the risks of surgery and the likelihood of these risks occurring?
2. What will happen if we do not go for the surgery now? Is there an option to go for surgery later?

Thank you for your time.

Kind Regards



I am Dr Sing from Toa Payoh Vets.

1. The risks are mainly anaesthetic deaths on the operating table as the dog is old (more than 7 years in small breeds is considered old).
It is hard to predict the chances of survival as each dog is an individual with different outcomes.  Generally, if the dog has a normal heart and lungs, is active and eating and drinking normally, with normal stools and urine, the blood tests show normal values, then the risks are less than 1%. Such dogs survive anaesthesia and perineal hernia repair. in my experience over the last 30 years.

2. The hernia gets bigger if you wait another year. The intestinal blood vessels may get twisted when the herniated intestines in the hernia turns and twists. This results in death or emergency surgery for painful obstruction of urine flow or intestinal gangrene. In such situations, the risks are much higher.

Presently, the dog has "no problems" passing urine and stools and show "no pain" although the hernia is much larger. Therefore, you have to make an informed decision as to whether you want surgery to repair the hernia.  

Hernia now is the size of an orange. When it was small, a vet had advised that there was no need to operate as the dog could pee and poop. Over time, it mushroomed to the present size. I could feel a full bladder and the intestines could be pushed inwards, reducing the size temporarily. There was only slight pain on reduction of the hernia.


Dear Dr Sing
Thanks for the reply. It is really appreciated. We just have a few follow up questions - What sort of care will Pickles require post surgery? Will he require special attention? Also, will he be able to pass urine and stools immediately after the surgery?

Post-op care include wound cleaning and confined to a cage for at least 14 days so that the backside and inner stitches will not break down by jumping. A diet that does not cause hard stools to form. Can pee and poop after surgery in most cases if the intestines and bladder have not suffered inflammation and infection before surgery. Stools may be passed 2-3 days later. Pain-killers will be given for at least 4 days. Antibiotics given for 14 days generally. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday Dec 27, 2014 interesting cases - perineal hernias x 2, testicular neoplasia, facial swelling of a cat

This Saturday was unusual for me. Just non-stop consultation cases today. No time for intern Goh too.

3 most interesting cases will be made into a video by Ms Goh. They can be classified under tumours (neoplasia), inflammation and others.

1. Facial swelling in a cat is an example of inflammation.
2. Two perineal hernias in two dogs on one day are lucky for Intern Goh as this is rarely encountered. They are classified under "others."
3. Testicular neoplasia in a Japanese Spitz is an example of tumours. So Intern Goh gets to see 3 types of very interesting clinical conditions..


What is the treatment for this cat? Vet 1 extracted the tooth without anaesthesia as the cat is old. Vet 2 prescribed antibiotics and steroids but now the cat is not eating. The swelling had gone down.
The owner had done his internet research and consulted me on oro-nasal fistulas or carnaissal tooth abscess which he believed his cat had suffered from. Cats do get carnaissal tooth abscesses just like dogs.

I thought this was a case of nasal carcinoma or malginant nose tumours. Yet on examination and X-rays, there were no obvious signs of tumour. Based on the history of sudden yanking out of the left upper cheek tooth by the first vet, there could be traumatic damage to the area and residual remnants of the roots. X-ray of the maxillary sinus swelling (X) indicated inflammation and a possible fracture fragment (Y) of the maxillary sinus.  

What is the solution?  Which cheek tooth was extracted by Vet 1 the owner did not know. It was an upper left cheek tooth.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

2-month-old guinea pig screams sometimes

The owner bought a pair of 2-month-old guinea pigs and housed them together. One was screaming now and then but both were eating.

"Do you have Revolution? Are they having skin mites?" the mum asked. I put the guinea pig onto a piece of white paper and rustled the body hair. No hair dropped off and 2 or 3 black specks. The black specks were not mites as seen under the microscope.

"No mites in the body," I put a thin cotton bud into Alice's ears. "Black dirty wax was seen and the guinea pig squealed."  When I did this on the other pig, there was no pain response. Both were bought from different sellers.  

"Do they use their hind legs to scratch the sides of the body?" I asked.
"Yes, Yes," mum said.
"This is due to ear pain or infections," I explained that cats and dogs with ear infections do it consistently.

I advised ear cleaning 3X/week with the ear ointment containing insectide  and separation of the two for one month with a grated barrier such that they can smell and see each other, to prevent bullying.

Overall the guinea pigs look thin and so should be alone to put on weight


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Email from Cairo. Cat with FLUTD? Part 2

Email dated Dec 25, 2014 from cat owner in Cairo

Hello Dr Sing Kong Yuen,

Sorry for the late response, I was waiting for all test results to come in.

We live in Egypt, where vet care is really really bad, you will notice in the x-rays that they use inferior equipment, I had to take photos with my mobile.

Please help us, please, we are losing our boy and are devastated.

Our Persian boy is 7 and a half years old..

About two weeks ago he started squatting for urine but nothing would come out, he had shown some signs of excess visiting to the litter box around last March but with no blockage and the blood tests came out normal then, so the vet said it was an infection and after a 3 day antibiotic course he was ok, this time he vomited on Sunday and sneezed so we thought it was cold , then on Monday symptoms was clear , he spent the whole day in the litter box squatting with no urination at all, by evening we took him to the vet who emptied his bladder (and clear urine came out then) and told us not to worry , and prescribed him meloxicam and enrofloxacin , we returned home he kept staying in the litter box the whole night with nothing came out, and finally he woke us up at 8am on Sunday morning screaming of pain !!

We rushed to the only vet clinic we could find open this early, they had difficulty inserting a cannula and catheter tube up the penis, but eventually they relieved him off a huge amount of very bloody urine.

Later that day his vet catheterized him and put him on meloxicam and enrophloxacin again for 6 days and IV fluids to flush his body of the urine. and said the catheter would come off in 4 days and he would be able to urinate on his own as by then the swelling that blocked him would be gone, then he went on vacation, and his substitute insists on surgery (PU) with no promise that he will have control over his urination, provided that he makes it through surgery, that is if the catheter doesn't work. Until we made our minds, he was put on epicephine for another 3 days

4 days later the catheter came off, and by then his urine was clear... after 4 hours he was squatting again.. We had to spend the night trying to express his bladder but he kept squatting.. In the morning he was catheterized, bloody urine again, and later that day drew blood and urine samples...

His BUN was very high (93 out of 30), his creatinine (3.4 out of 2) not very high yet not normal though, his white cell count is gigantic, the urine contained few crystals of magnesium, and some blood. The xray showed no big stones but turbid urine, he has crystals, he was put on Vitamin C , Cystone, Synolux antibiotic for 6 days , Azodyl , while continuing the IV fluids.

To us surgery is out of the question because of his age and kidneys, and seeing how much the procedure is not sure-fire. He is on Royal Canin Renal S/O renal wet food now and still catheterized after almost 10 days.
Now we gotta get the catheter removed but we are too scared to get to square one , after all medications and antibiotics , we really don't know what to do?, will another catheter help? Or what?

He removed the second catheter today, the penis is very swollen and I don't suspect he will be able to urinate on his own again.

/UPDATE/ he went to the litter box, squatted, and urinated a fair amount, and left the box on his own, now he is roaming the house purring looking for a place to cuddle, he is very intent on licking himself all over, not just the penis. We still fear for the next time he has to go. It is 9.15AM Cairo local time

Thanks in advance Dr.


I am Dr Sing Kong Yuen. 

1.  X-ray shows bladder packed with stones (attached).
2.  My recommendation is surgery to open up the bladder to remove the stones.
Cystotomy to open up the bladder and removed all stones, including those from the urethra. Your vet will know what to do. Then put the cat on a prescription diet which acidifies the urine, antibiotics and pain-killers. The urine must be analysed monthly for at least the next 3 months. This will be my recommendation to clients.
3.  Your vet advised PU (perineal urethrostomy) which is another surgical option. 

4.  Coincidentally, I have a similar case in the dog and operated on Dec 23, 2014. The 9-year-old dog is OK at home now. See:
5. There is no other option for you and the risks of anaesthesia are always there. Best wishes.



Hello Dr Sing Kong Yuen,

Thanks a lot for taking time to review the case.

We have a number of questions here
1- Are you sure the bladder shown in the x-ray is full of stones? the local vet said it was just inflamed and otherwise invisible and had to inject saline fluid through catheter in order to increase it's size enough to see in the x-ray, furthermore, when he's just been to the litter box, his bladder feels very deflated, like an empty sac. We are unable to properly monitor his urine but when we can, it appears clear, not turbid or bloody.

2- Can these stones be dissolved by medication? He is taking Vitamin C and Cystone daily, I am asking because vets in Egypt are unable to perform the surgery, they say it is too risky because urine might escape and infect him, they are afraid to do it.

3- He is now urinating on his own without a catheter, on average once every 2 hours, eating and drinking well for about 24 hours now, and appears overall happy, there was inflammation in the penis and urethra when the catheter was removed, so the vet prescribed Dexa to reduce the inflammation, he said all we needed to do now was monitor him for blockages. We researched Dexa and are reluctant to continue with it considering his renal condition.

4- I saw the case you performed on (the 9-yr old terrier), the X-Ray does show a very large number of stones, and I do thank you for saving his life.

We appreciate any help you might be able to provide in prolonging his life, and Merry Christmas :)


One other thing, I have inspected the physical film I have here for the x-ray, in the photos, it does appear to have granules because the whole photo is somehow pixelated, but in the physical film it appears smooth and opaque.

Just a thought that might help. and sorry for disturbing you.
Pl send the actual X-ray rather than the handphone x-ray. Stones are small and the vet might have syringed them out now.  If cat is OK, then no need surgery. If urine pH is alkaline, given acidifiers and antiibiotics and follow up with Hills' prescription C/D food or equivalent from Royal Canin etc. . 

A 7-year-old rabbit passed away on Christmas

The thin 7-year-old black and white rabbit was a present for the older boy. The rabbit was lethargic yesterday and today. Behaved abnormally by being hyperexcited and squeezed through the bars of the fencing.

I asked the caller to come before 12 noon. The family came at 11.40 am. The rabbit's tongue turned cyanotic as he stretched and wanted to spring forward. He passed away after this behaviour was exhibited. The tongue had turned pale. The eyelids were pale. There could be internal haemoorrhage as he squeezed in between the fences.

Reddish brown urine passed out, indicating a urinary tract infection. The rabbit was cremated. A sad Christmas for 2 pre-teen brothers as they felt the loss badly esp. the elder one.

The rabbit was thin and could have suffered an infection some weeks ago.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The old Jack Russell had more black and red skin spots - to follow up

Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014

The busy working lady owner of this 11-year-old male neutered Jack Russell complained that the dog's skin disease was not cured despite 2 consultations with my associate vet. "The Z/D is ineffective," she said. I asked her to show me the images of the skin diseases in her handphone.

"The red circular spots and more black circular spots are suggestive of ringworm infections," I said.
"You are in human resources and will know the diversity of human personalities," I explained. "Vets have their own findings and conclusions about skin diseases which can be due to many causes. Environmental cause such as food allergies, contact with chemicals are some causes."

"Does ringworm affect people?" she asked.
"Yes," I said. "Some people develop red rashes on their hands and lap and even chest where the dog had contact after being hugged or carried."
"I had itchy rashes on my right wrist and had to consult the doctor," she said. "It took some time to heal with antibiotics and other drugs."
"It was probably ringworm," I said. "Did you have rashes on your lap too?"
"Yes! yes!" she said.
"On your chest area?"
"No, I don't hug my dog."

"Ringworm is hard to confirm sometimes. Negative findings of hairs may not mean there is no ringworm. I need to review the dog this Sunday morning."

"Can the black spots disappear?" she asked.
"They are due to hyperpigmentation as a result of you applying some cream  for many weeks," I said.
"I didn't do it," she replied.
"Some long-time licking by the dog or lotion or wash," I said. "Black skin pigments migrate to the infected areas."

"Does the dog go to the groomer?" I asked as sometimes ringworm is contacted by grooming with infected blades and scissors.
"Yes, just last month," she said.

I need to follow up this case to determine whether it is ringworm.  

1151. A strange dog owner. Calcium oxalate crystals in the urine

This man brought in his dog's urine sample for analysis of bladder stones as a follow up.  I had advised earlier but he did not come.

Before I could say further about the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in the urine, he said: "I will go to this vet practice. They have all equipment to check my dog for calcium oxalate.  The practice's staff phoned me about "calcium oxalate." 

I told her to get her vet to X-ray for urinary stones and to test the dog with all the equipment as that was what he wanted. A strange dog owner who had not wanted to hear any advices on the urine test. 

The practice with all the equipment will definitely be more attractive to dog owners.

Monday, December 22, 2014

1150. Recurrent struvite urolithiasis: A Westie X had a fully packed bladder full of stones again

In May 2013, the Westie was operated by Dr Daniel and a few thousand small stones were removed. Stone analysis showed struvite stones.  However, the owner did not come back for review. She bought some S/D from her source and then fed Hills' Ideal Balance Natural Lamb and Brown Rice Adult age 1-6 years dry dog food.

Recently the dog passes blood in the urine. The bladder X-ray from another vet yesterday showed it was packed to the gills with bladder stones. The other vet sampled the urine and stated the pH was 8.0 but did not check for urinary crystals. The vet proposed surgery and feeding of S/D cans.

handphone image from owner. Vet had given him a CD. This image does not show the kidneys which may have stones.
The dog had excellent appetite (stools in intestines). Loves to eat.  Image below is from the handphone. Appearance of stones after surgery quite likely struvites. 

  The stones were in more than 1000 pieces and weighed 87 grams. 


I share my surgical experiences with this dog
The owner brought in the dog in the morning and was operated in the afternoon at 4 pm. The other vet had said urine pH was 8.0 and lots of white blood cells, but had not done urinary crystal tests.

The surgery took 92 minutes as the dog did not accept IV drip or injection without hard struggles. She peed and pooped in the process. I decided to give the sedation by IM using domitor 0.2 ml + ketamine 0.25 ml in one syringe. The dog struggled again after intubation and I had to switch to the gas mask and stabilise her.  This took up a lot of time. I injected atropine 0.5 ml and fursemide 1.0 ml IM after sedation.  

She was an old dog and a high anaesthetic risk.  She had survived one bladder stone removal operation 1.5 years ago and now, another similar one with the bladder packed with stones.  I could see the bladder wall thickened to 5 mm from the X-ray and this meant that the dog had chronic cystitis. Surprisingly this dog was still active and eating.

I flushed out any smaller stones. Usually I do two layers of sutures for bladder closure. I did 3 layers for this thickened wall. The dog was given drip SC post-op and peed a lot of urine after that. This showed that the bladder was not leaking.

As at Dec 24, 2014, some 18 hours after surgery, the dog is OK. This type of fully packed bladder is rare from over 100 cases operated at Toa Payoh Vets in my past 30 years of practice.

From sedation to the last stitch, the surgery took 92 minutes (E-A).  The first skin incision to last stitch (E-D) took 69 minutes. Isoflurane gas was given for 77 minutes (C-B). 

Visualise what you need. Get all equipment ready e.g. 20-ml syringes to flush out the small bladder stones, so as to minimise anaesthetic and operating time.

The owner wanted the dog home on the 2nd day. Advices to prevent recurrences are:
1. S/D for 2-3 months
2. Change to C/D
3. Urine test monthly for 3 months at least with your vet
4. X-rays bladder and kidneys 6 monthly
5. No other food and treats 

Dec 27, 2014  2 pm. Tel owner.
Dog crated to prevent running around apartment. Active, ate 1/2 can S/D and wanted more. Had pooped. Very thirsty and peed a lot. No vomiting. Licks wound which is wet (but wears E-collar) and vulval area.
Had medication and tolfedine 60mg (1/2 tab/day).
Advised not too much water intake as bladder is affected. Ration to 1/2 bowl of water 3x/day. Previously drinks around 1 bowl of water per day.
Keep wound clean. 1/2 can S/D 2x/day. To call me when necessary.




MAP (Magnesium Ammonium Phosphate). However, the owner did not come back once for review or consulation.  One and a half years went by.......The dog was active and had an excellent appetite. Drinking was normal. But she passed blood in the urine and vomited once yesterday (Dec 22, 2014). Another vet took an X-ray and it showed a bladder full of stones.

She  quoted around $1,800 for surgery. The parents wanted Toa Payoh Vets to operate. To reduce medical costs, no stone analysis would be done. Blood test and urine tests were declined.

An old male Miniature Schnauzer cannot control his bladder

Dec 18, 2014

The not neutered 10-year-old Schnauzer could not control his bladder for the past 1 week.
"Very smelly urine," the husband said. "He has bad breath for a long time."
I palpated the lower mid abdomen. The dog winced in pain. "Schnauzers are famous for urinary stones," I advised x-rays, blood and urine tests. The client permitted x-rays and urine tests only.

No urinary stones seen but the urine had occasional triple phosphate crystals and bacteria. Diagnosis was urinary tract infection.The dog recovered his bladder control after antibiotics. I post a urine test reminder card one month after the first test but much depends on the owner as some ignore such veterinary advices. Usually vets don't have time to send such reminders too.

COMPARE TO THE 7-YEAR-OLD SHIH TZU WITH BLADDER TUMOUR AND URINARY STONES. The dog was operated by Dr Daniel on Dec 21, 2014 yesterday. Today at 6pm, he barked when the owners came to visit. The owners did not want surgery 2 years ago in mid 2012, when X-rays showed small stones, opting for dietary dissolution.

"6 cans of prescription diet S/D will not dissolve the stones," I explained. "The dog ought to have 3 months of S/D for 2012 and urine tests and monitoring with X-rays."  It is difficult to convince owners that they have to comply with vet instructions as they find that the dog's urine was OK with feeding of S/D 6 cans.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

1148. Not cured but did not come for monthly review

Poodle 6 years   muzzle, neck, ears v. itchy and bleeding. UVL +ve ringworm. Did not come back after Aug treatment. Just go to groomer and buy shampoo and anti-allergic Z/D diet from another vet nearby.

Generalised ringworm and other bacterial infections are not easy to cure. It needs daily washes and compliance with medication. Owners need to be educated as they assume medication will cure the disease. There is the environmental contamination, the towels, bedding, flooring and dog shirts which may be contaminated with ringworm spores. The dog must be clipped bald. Ear problems may involve ringworm too.

I hope this poodle will get proper home treatment and get cured.

1147. The friend saved the English Cocker Spaniel's life - tick fever anaemia

"How do you know that your friend's English Cocker Spaniel has such a big medical file?" I asked the lady who brought in a cat with 10 ingrown toe nails.

"Dr Daniel remarked that Amber's medical records are like an encyclopedia!" she replied.

1146. A 7-year-old Shih Tzu has bladder tumour and many stones.

Sunday Dec 21, 2014

This 7-year-old male, not neutered Shih Tzu, born Feb 19, 2007 got his three vaccinations from me as a puppy. On Jun 29, 2012,  he passed blood in the urine for 2-3 weeks and lost appetite. The owners said was fed only rice and wet food and did not want surgery when X-ray showed bladder stones and urine showed triple phosphate crystals +, bacteria 3+ and blood 4+ , protein 2+. pH was 7.0. SG 1.015.

Dr Daniel advised surgery. The owner wanted conservative treatment using a special diet to dissolve the stones. She bought 6 cans of prescription diet S/D for the next 12 months. This is not the correct way to dissolve the stones. The S/D diet must be fed solely for 3 months and urine tests (monthly) and X-rays (3-6 monthly) need to be done.  The owner did not comply.

BLOOD TEST  22.12.14
Urea 8.5 (4.2-6.3). Creatinine  79 (89-177).  Haematology was normal and this was a good sign for surgery as there was little or no bacterial infections or septicaemia. 

pH 7.0  SG 1.01. Nitrite +, Blood 4+, Bacteria 2+, no crystals.

Today, Sunday, Dec 21, 2014, the owner consented to the surgery as the dog was peeing blood in the urine for several weeks.

Now the catheter cannot pass into the bladder as urethral stones at the bend of the urethra obstructed the passage of the catheter. I palpated the bladder. It was still solid as a golf ball but not fully obstructed. The dog surprisingly had an appetite.  An IV drip with antibiotics, pain-killers and Vit Bs is given now and surgery was by Dr Daniel in the afternoon.

A globular submucosal bladder tumour 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 2 cm was surprisingly found. Many small stones with some sticking in clumps,  looking like calcium oxalate uroliths were taken out. 

Many Singapore owners are not aware that medical dissolution of triple phosphate stones need to be monitored regularly with urine tests and X-rays.  In this case, the owner bought 6 cans of prescription S/D in 2012 when the stones were found in the bladder and assumed all stones will be dissolved since they fed rice and wet food.

S/D must be fed 3 months followed by C/D and there must be regular urine tests and X-rays.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

1145. Images for perineal abscess, ear abscess etc

The maid came with the dog as he was scratching both ears and shaking his head.
  1. Painful ear infections and head shaking for over 10 years with hair loss on neck skin and pigmentation in ear pinnae. The owner did not want sedation and ear irrigation and the husband wanted the dog back and sent to another vet.
  1. Intense perineal pain of 2 days. "Looks like a perineal hernia," I said as the dog wanted to bite. "Right anal sac area intensely inflamed."

    Creatinine 33 (89-177) not significant.
    Total WCC 23.2 (6-17), N 96% (60-70), Absolute 22 (3-11).
    Hb 11.4 (12-18). RBC 4.7 (5.5-8.5).
Given IV drip + baytril + dexa on Day 1.
Went home. Came back on Day 2 for X-rays. A skin hole appeared near the right anal sac area now. Over 100 ml of reddish brown blood with yellow materials shot out. So, this is a perineal abscess. Based on blood test, there was lots of bleeding.