Monthly Archives: December 2018

Animals in Need to the rescue

  • Sandy Furina in hospital_resize

Sometimes, unforeseen accidents happen. Unfortunately for Sandy, she went missing one night and returned the next day with a severely broken leg. While we may never know exactly what happened, it is presumed that she was involved in an altercation with a fox, resulting in her leg being caught and twisted at an odd angle.

Radiographs demonstrated that her femur was significantly broken in two places, as well as the front part of her tibia being broken. In addition to this, her pelvis was also broken in one place. While luckily her type of pelvic fracture could heal with pain relief and rest, repair of her leg would have required multiple invasive surgeries. The success of these surgeries would also have been hampered by the risk of infection from the external wounds on her leg. For these reasons, amputation of the broken leg was the most appropriate treatment for Sandy. Sandy’s owners did not anticipate this unexpected, high-cost problem, and as such would struggle to provide Sandy with the care she needed, and euthanasia was the only other alternative. Thankfully, the Sydney University Animals In Need Fund was able to financially assist Sandy’s owners with the costs of her surgery. After surgery and a brief stay in hospital, Sandy made a speedy recovery and was able to return home to her loving family. The Sydney University’s Animals In Need Fund is a trust fund maintained to assist owners experiencing financial hardship. It is accessed on an individual case basis, and is maintained on donations from the public. To contribute to success stories like Sandy, For more information or to donate to Animals In free visit

Snake Bite – Lizzy

Lizzy, a 6yo German Short hair Pointer was brought into Camden Uni Vets recently after she was bitten on the bridge of her nose by a red-bellied black snake. Her family acted quickly and Lizzy arrived at the clinic soon after the incident to receive a dose of lifesaving antivenom.

Red-bellied Black snake venom can cause clotting defects, damage of blood cell and muscle cells, paralysis and cardiovascular failure. Haemoglobin and myoglobin are released from damaged blood cells and muscle cells, these can be toxic to the kidneys. Unfortunately, Lizzy developed red tinged urine which indicated there was high risk of damage to her kidneys. To prevent development of secondary renal (kidney) failure, Lizzy was hospitalised for 5 days and kept on fluids and diuretics to help dilute the urine and protect her kidneys. After her hospital stay at Camden Uni Vets, Lizzy made a full recovery and was happily sent home to hopefully not be playing with any snakes again.

By Rena Shibata, final year veterinary student, University of Sydney


Atopic Dermatitis

Bandit came to Uni Vets Camden with a nasty skin infection, that appeared after he enjoyed one of his favorite pastimes; swimming.

Bandit was seen by Dr Tina Baxter, and he was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis and a secondary bacterial infection. Atopic dermatitis is a type of allergic reaction, common in dogs, usually due to airborne particles like pollens, dust mites or moulds. This reaction can cause itching and a break in the skin barrier, which can lead to secondary infections.

An intradermal allergy test was performed to find out which particular airborne substances trigger Bandits allergy. This is where extracts of pollens, dust mites and moulds are injected into the skin and the reaction is measured. Bandit reacted to the grass he had been rolling in after his swim!

Now that we know what Bandit is allergic to, desensitisation is possible with an 'allergy vaccine'. Over time, this can reduce allergic reaction, itch and infection, so he can still enjoy his swimming.
Thanks Dr Tina!

Written by Rebecca Blanchette, final year veterinary student, University of Sydney