“Courage is fear holding on a little longer”
Meet “Courage”, an approximately 6 year old Basset mix stray. This loving dog was found on the dumping site close to the R55 by 2 gentlemen from the Scorpion security company. It appeared as if he had been abandoned. He was lying in the sun, possibly for days and was unable to walk.
The two gentlemen, Ricardo and Jadan were very concerned about him and immediately brought him to our hospital. They also made a donation towards his medical treatment.
Dr Megan examined him upon arrival. He was dehydrated but so thankful to have been found that he could not stop wagging his tail. Unfortunately he was unable to fully extend his hind legs or walk at all but he found a way to drag himself by his front legs. This is why we named him Courage.
He spent the night on a drip and was monitored 24/7 throughout the night by our night nurse, Sister Aniceta and after-hours’ veterinarian, Dr Roy on duty. By the following day his appetite increased tremendously and it was clear that he was already feeling much better! His tail still wagged every time we gave him attention.
Radiographs confirmed that his back legs had been fractured some time ago. We suspect that he went through a traumatic incident and did not get the medical attention needed at that time to assist the recovery without complications.
The fractured leg healed with callus formation (bony growths) which led the muscles to contract permanently leading to his hind limbs being in a permantly flexed position. Surgery is not an option because of the chronicity of the damage in the joints.
His quality of life is not sustainable long-term, since trying to move is causing him to get pressure sores and pain and it is not fair to not be able to run or play like other dogs. He developed pressure sores from dragging himself around.
Dr Kristina took him to the well-known physiotherapist, Heather Withfield to establish whether therapy would be an option. They decided to give this doggy a 2nd chance by doing daily physio session on him to see if his muscles could get stronger and more flexible so he can have an acceptable quality of life again. We are treating him for pain and started him on Hill’s j/d joint diet to assist his recovery in every way possible.
We would like to thank Hill’s Pet Nutrition for sponsoring a bag of joint diet as well as Heather and her team at Pawsative Pawsabilities for all the sessions they have put in so far to try and help Courage.
He is touching hearts everywhere he goes. If you would like to contribute towards Courage’s treatment, we have a separate fund for him. You can email email@example.com for banking details and please use the reference “Courage” when making a donation. Every R100 will make a big difference towards his treatment received.
We will be reassessing his mobility after 3 weeks of intensive treatment to decide on the best option for him. We sincerely hope to have a happy ending for this loving dog.
Meet Levi, the 11 year old Labrador retriever and much loved furry member of the Strauss family.
Dr Johan booked him in for a SENIOR WELLNESS PACKAGE at our Clinic. We advise routine yearly check-ups on all pets but even more so for our senior pets as they age quicker. Levi’s age is equivalent to a 70 year old human.
This package includes:
• General examination
• A yearly vaccination
• Tick and flea treatment
• General anaesthesia + Dental scale and polish
• X-rays of the back, hips, knee’s, elbows and chest
• Basic blood screening
• SDMA kidney function test
• Faecal analysis
• Urine analysis
After taking radiographs, we confirmed that he has mild hip dysplasia, which is common in large breed dogs, but because we did a routine SCREENING on him, we discovered this abnormality before it became an untreatable problem. He is on the correct pain medication and diet to support his joints and ensure that he stays pain free.
It warms our hearts to say that this Golden oldie is in such a good condition. His blood tests were normal and his teeth is now clean again. His vaccinations, deworming and parasite control treatments are all up to date and most importantly, the owners know that they are doing their utmost to give Levi the best possible care.
Levi, you are our GOLDEN OLDIE rock star this month! Strauss family, well done on proving why preventative care is vital.
Book your pet for a Senior wellness package at a massive discounted price today. Please phone reception on 012 653 4474 for price queries and bookings
Remember Hope, the rescue kitten who stole the hearts of the whole Bakenkop team and some of our Clients?
In December this kitten was found on the streets. She was terrified and ran away from the community members who tried to pick her up. She ran into a nearby municipal water pump substation which they did not have access too. A community member phoned CERT emergency services for their assistance. They arrived soon after and with the help of a municipal worker, they managed to catch her. She was terrified and she had some very bad wounds on her legs and neck.
The good Samaritans who found her, also clients of ours, rushed her to us for medical attention. On closer inspection and full examination it was found that she had a snare wire stuck around her neck and leg. The wire was removed immediately, she was placed on a drip and received some pain medication, antibiotics and a big bowl of soft food. She ate as if she had not eaten for days.
After spending a night on a drip, Dr Kristina Lutz examined the leg and the wounds around the neck again. Unfortunately the wire had caused too much damage. The blood flow to this limb had completely been cut off by the wire and the leg was infected. There were also large open wounds on both sides of the neck. Despite the severity of her injuries, we knew she deserved a second chance in life.
After careful consideration, it was decided to amputate the leg. Not only because the limb had no more feeling but also to prevent further spread of the infection in the leg.
The operation was done the same day without any complications. The wounds around the neck are also closed with sutures. This little black cat has so much fighting spirit in her! She already stole the hearts of all the Bakenkop personnel. So much so that our stock Manager at the clinic decided to give her a loving home. She was then renamed Tayla, which means strong and beautiful.
After another week in hospital, where she became more like a Bakenkop family member, she went to her new loving home. She got to meet her feline family members too. At first, they were a bit shy of each other but they quickly got used to the “new normal”. They play with each other when no-one else is watching.
Today it is just over a month after the operation and we are happy to report that Tayla has picked up some weight as she still LOVES eating, she has adjusted in her new home and she is coping nicely with only 3 legs.
We would like to give a big shout out to the CERT team for assisting the community by saving this lovely cat from the street and the Uitzingers’ for making a generous donation towards our stray fund, helping us with her medical expenses. We know that she will receive the best love and care from the Herbst family.
Follow up on our Christmas project in support of the Thaba Tshwane Outreach project.
(For those of you who do not know about this project, see some background below: )
Jane James has been running the Thaba Tshwane Project for a few years now. She has an awesome team who volunteers their time to go out to these pet’s homes weekly (sometimes more often) . They feed, wash food bowls, take their blankets home to be washed, give them shelter where possible, treat wounds, help with tick and flea treatment, deworming etc…
Jane believes that in order for you to make a difference you have to lead by example. No point in preaching, so they go out and show these families how to properly care for their pets. The only condition to receive Jane’s help, is that they have to sign a consent form allowing the team to take their pets to be sterilized.
|Above are examples of their ACTS OF KINDNESS. These ladies can only do what they do with the assistance of the community.|
We would like to thank each and every person who donated towards this ongoing project in December. We were not sure if we would be able to gather a 100 meals by the end of the project. To our suprise…
Number of Christmas meals gathered in total : 232
There were also many other donations such as blankets, deworming tablets, tick and flea treatments, tinned food, pouches, toys, food bowls and also cash donations towards their vet account with us.
Message from Jane James:
” I can not express my gratitute enough. Thank you to every person who made a donation towards our Thaba dogs. At the end of November we were so nervous, not knowing if we will have food to feed these pets by January. The donations of all the generous people helped us so much. We were blessed with a total of 487 lunch boxes over December and almost half of them came from Bakenkop alone. That is amazing. Thank you! “
One morning one of our lovely clients, Mrs Alta du Plessis phoned us in total distress. She had just rescued 5 puppies that she found in a garbage bag in other people’s garden. They were supposedly unwanted and thrown over the wall. Mrs du Plessis saw a message on a community WhatsApp group to which she responded.
When she got these poor puppies were lying in the sun dehydrated, covered in hundreds of ticks and 2 of them barely moved because they were so dehydrated.
All Mrs du Plessis wanted to do is to save these poor puppies and decided hand rear them. She just did not know where to start and what to look out for. She came to our Clinic where she spoke to Sister Cindy for advice. She left our Clinic with some puppy milk, feeding bottles, tick and flea treatment and loads of advice on what to look out for and when to be worried. She also knew that she could phone us at any time.
These pups definitely had the will to survive. Even the weaker puppies latched onto the bottle and consumed milk like little champions. Only after their first feeding and spending some time with them, Mrs du Plessis realised just how many ticks these puppies had on them. She found over 160 small little ticks on them. It is always very difficult to treat puppies with some parasite control as you have to be very careful with the amounts and route of application when it comes to especially such tiny and young patients.
We want to specially thank Trudie Coetzee from the Merial customer Care line for her telephonic assistance to Mrs du Plessis to give her the best advice on how to treat these puppies whilst keeping them as safe as possible.
On the other very serious note. The SPCA went out to deal with the situation where the pups were found and Mrs du Plessis got full custody of the pups as she could prove that she literally saved them and gave them a safe haven.
Every time Mrs du Plessis and family came to buy more milk, deworming or just came for advice, we could not believe how well these puppies were growing. It was obvious that the du Plessis household had hearts of gold and their eyes sparked when they spoke about these pups, who each had a unique little nickname.
After 6 weeks of waking up repeatedly during the night having to feed, stimulated urination and defecation in them and planning their whole schedule around these pups’ and their routine it was time to start looking for loving homes. We are very pleased to say that they managed to find all 5 puppies loving homes!
Although they were very sad to say goodbye, they know they are in good hands and will receive the love and care they deserve. And they will still be able to follow up on these pups. We cannot wait to see what they look like in a few months’ time.
Mrs Alta du Plessis we take our hats off to you and your family. Thank you for responding to that community WhatsApp message and most importantly thank you for becoming a part of the solution in a society full of problems. It takes a special type person to be willing to spend money, time and effort on a problem that was not yours. Rescues and vets are being flooded with pleads for help and already overflowing. Although you did not know exactly what to expect, you went out of your comfort zone, asked for advice and made serious sacrifices. You managed to save ALL 5 puppies. These 5 pups’ footprints will forever be embedded in our hearts just as they are in yours.
Meet Dasha, a 5 year old Russian terrier and much loved furry family member of the Calitz family.
In June this year, Dasha was on heat. Herman and Sumarie made the decision to have her mated with and allow her to have at least one litter before sterilizing her. They were excited to experience puppy birth and whatever challenges goes hand in hand with it. After all, it is said that motherhood comes naturally. And who does not love puppies?
On the 17th of August, Dasha starting with nesting behaviour. It was obvious that the birthing process was about to happen. Dasha started getting contractions in the morning hours, with Herman and Sumare close by her side the entire time. Dasha struggled for a long time but could not get any puppies out and there was a green discharge visible.
Mr Calitz phoned our Clinic during the early hours of morning to speak to Sister Ann, who was on night duty with Dr Yolande, thus assisting with any emergencies. It was advised that Dasha be brought to the Clinic for an examination and radiographs to see how many pups she still had in utero and if they were in the correct position to be born naturally.
The radiographs confirmed that she still had 10 puppies inside of her. Dr Yolande did a vaginal exam and found one puppy already in the birth canal. The option of a C-section was discussed with the owners but it was decided to give Dasha some more time to try and give birth naturally. Dr Yolande gave an injection to further assist with contractions and sent Dasha home where she will be most comfortable to continue with the birthing process. The Calitz couple then knew exactly what to look out for and when to phone us again. They understood that if Dasha did not manage to get the puppies out soon, it would become an emergency and the puppies will need to be removed by a C-section. We regularly perform C-sections on especially small breed dogs.
Dasha went home with her owners, who still have not slept at all the entire night. In the next 3 hours, 3 puppies were born. At 7am Sunday morning, they brought Dasha back after one of the pups had unfortunately passed away. By this time Dasha had been in labour for hours already and the Calitz family did not want to risk any of the other babies’ lives. Dr Yolande advised that we surgically remove the pups by C-section. The owners also agreed to have her sterilized at the same time.
Dr Yolande, with the assistance of Dr Johan and Sister Marietjie who monitored the anaesthesia, went into theatre immediately whilst the other puppies were being bottle fed by Sister Cindy. Unfortunately another puppy was found dead in the birth canal.
After the C-section and recovery period, Dasha, her exhausted owners and the rest of the puppies went home with a tin of puppy milk as back-up. Dasha struggled as a new mom in the beginning. It took her some time to know how to lie so that her pups can suckle. She also didn’t seem to know how big she was and accidentally lay on one of her puppies, which also passed away. Another puppy was diagnosed with a serious birth defect and unfortunately had to be put to sleep. Sadly only 6 out of the 10 puppies were left.
With this experience, the Calitz couple shed many tears of sadness but also tears of joy. They can easily now warn other pet owners of the big responsibility that comes with allowing your pets to have a litter. It is also not always as easy or natural as people might think. Sometimes surgical invention and medical treatment is needed. Mrs Calitz also added that she did not realise how emotionally attached you get to these pups, even if they are only a part of the household for a few weeks. If you cannot deal with this heartache, lack of sleep or financially support the medical expenses that go hand in hand with breeding, we advise pet owners to sterilize their pets as soon as they are matured enough. It should also be kept in mind that there are cases where pet owners will be left with the responsibility of feeding and stimulating pups every 2-3 hours.
With this being said, we want to thank the Calitz family for their dedication towards Dasha. They stood by her side the entire time, asked for medical advice and intervention when needed and still give the puppies the best start in life. A house filled with love and care.
A week back, the 6 puppies came for their first vaccinations and deworming. What a heart-warming site it was to see these beautiful pups back at our Clinic. Strong, happy and healthy. Calitz family, we salute you for all that you have been through this past 2 months.
Pet star of the month September 2019 – Freddy
Meet Freddy, a very brave Afrikanus x Collie boy that is about 4 years old. Freddy deserves our Pet Star of the month title for all that he has been through.
In July, in the middle of the Winter one of our clients, Ms Cindy van Aswegen found Freddy, next to the road at the airport in Port Elizabeth. She was on her way back to Pretoria when she spotted him lying in the rain outside, barely moving. She ran towards him and could not believe that he was alive. He was in a terrible condition. He was severely emaciated, full of ticks, he had mange and a fractured leg.
Cindy has always had a soft spot for animals and could not leave the dog and get on her plane. So she missed her flight and took him to the nearest vet in the area where they treated him and kept him for 4 days. Luckily the fractured leg was stable and did not need surgical intervention.
Cindy did some networking and managed to find him a foster home in PE for time being. He started picking up some weight and got used to human contact.
After a month, Cindy managed to get Freddy to Pretoria where he came to our Clinic for a full clinical examination. We diagnosed him with a TVT (transmissible venereal tumour). This is a tumour of the external genitalia that gets transmitted during mating. Freddy is currently on a weekly Chemotherapy program at our Clinic. During this time, Freddy also found a loving forever home with Adre.
Despite the horrible side effects Freddy has to endure with his weekly chemotherapy and his saddening street life, Freddy still wags his tail when he enters our Clinic and his eyes now sparkle with new life.
Thank you Cindy and team for giving Freddy a second chance in life. We salute you!
Meet Levi, a 7 month old boerboel puppy and a much loved member of the D’Archy family. This sweet pup has faced some life-threatening and exhausting challenges in his short little life. Yet, he still has a happy and sparkly personality and loves coming to our Clinic. For this reason, we chose him to be a Bakenkop Pet Star.
Here is Levi’s story:
Levi’s owners bought him from a breeder in April this year. He fitted right in and immediately felt like he had been a part of the household for years. A few days after arriving at his new home, Levi got sick. He was lethargic, didn’t want to eat and started with diarrhoea. That was the first time he came to our Clinic. Levi was diagnosed with the dreaded Parvo Virus (Katgriep) and had to be admitted for intensive treatment.
Levi spent almost 2 weeks in hospital with us. He was very weak, but with 24 hour medical care from our team and daily visits from his new loving family, he managed to pull through and he became a Parvo survivor! He was happy and healthy and could go home.
We love seeing our patients for follow up’s. We saw Levi when he came back to be vaccinated and microchipped. What happy visits those were.
But sadly, the 3rd visit after being discharged was not a happy one. Levi got hurt and needed to be admitted, again. The family suspected that Levi’s “brother” (Great Dane) accidentally fell on him. He was admitted for X-rays and pain management. It was confirmed that Levi had a broken left hind femur and multiple hernia’s that needed to be fixed urgently.
Levi spent another 5 days in hospital where he got operated twice by our Specialist surgeon, Dr Bruce with the assistance of Dr Kristina. The hernias had to be repaired and his leg needed special external pins to repair the fracture. Levi had to be kept still and come in weekly for bandage changes and check-ups over a period of 2 months. He also had to wear a buster collar around his neck during this time to prevent him from fiddling with the pins sticking out of the leg.
On the 10th of July 2019, Levi came for his final leg follow up. The X-rays revealed that his femur had fully healed and the pins could be removed. He was put under anaesthesia and the pins were removed.
Today, Levi can run and play normally again and without a plastic collar around his neck.
M’arcy family, we salute you for doing all you can to give Levi the best possible life even when it started with so many challenges. You strictly followed our advice and still take such good care of him. Levi is one of the luckiest dogs out there to have found a family that loves and cares for him as much as you do. In the course of the last 5 months, Levi also become a big part of the Bakenkop family. There is no staff member that is not excited to see Levi when he visits.
Last Friday afternoon, we received a phone call from a very worried client, Mr Green. His sheep went into labour and the little lamb had been stuck for a few hours already. Mr Green phoned around and struggled to find a clinic in the area able to assist.
Although we are a Small Animal Clinic and we do not have all the medicine and equipment to work with production animals, we told Mr Green that we are willing to try and assist him as it was his last resort. We knew that if the little lamb was stuck for too long, it becomes dangerous for the lamb and the mother as the risk for complications gets more as time passes.
Mr Green was desperate for veterinary assistance and brought her in straight away, where two of our very capable animal handlers assisted him to take the ewe to our examination room.
Dr Johan Jordaan, who has some experience with production animals, immediately evaluated the distressed ewe. Dr Orsilla gave the ewe an epidural and an injection to facilitate further contractions whilst Dr Johan assisted her with the birthing process. He correctly positioned the lambs’ legs and by applying enough lubrication, he was able to pull the lamb from the mother’s womb. After a few intense minutes of sweating and stressing, the lamb was out and alive. It was a moment of pure joy in the Clinic. Dr Orsilla quickly examined the little lamb and tied off the umbilical cord. Other than some swelling around the neck from being stuck for a few hours, the lamb sustained no serious injuries and was already standing and looking for her mother.
Sister Cindy put the mother on a drip (to help her cope with the shock she had been through) and the nurses assisted the little lamb with nursing from the mother.
Initially, the lamb struggled to latch as the mother could not stand up immediately after the birth. Her legs were still numb from lying down for a while and the epidural she received moments earlier. Sister Lizel milked the ewe and we were able to get the lamb to drink the much needed colostrum from a bottle.
As soon as she could stand, we took them outside where the mother and baby were able to bond and we witnessed the most heart-warming and beautiful moment where the lamb properly latched onto the mother’s teat and was able to nurse for the first time with a fast paced wagging tail.
We are so relieved that the little lamb made it out alive. We spoke to Mr Green yesterday and he confirmed that the little lamb is healthy and doing very well.
Ps: Please note that we are strictly a small animal clinic and advise consulting a production animal veterinarian for any related queries.
Meet Leroy, the 3 month old Great Dane puppy and much loved furry family member of the Krige household.
Leroy was brought for a consultation with Dr Soné last Thursday. His owners were very worried after they found him chewing on a box of staples. They suspected that he had swallowed quite a big portion of the staples as some of them were missing.
Dr Soné suggested that radiographs be taken and there it was; A whole lot of staples all bundled together could clearly be seen in the stomach.
Dr Kristina Lutz, our head surgeon got called out and an emergency Gastrotomy had to be performed to remove all the staples. Leroy was in theatre for about 45 minutes. A repeat radiograph was taken after the surgery to confirm that all the foreign objects had been removed. Dr Kristina even found a small piece of a PC board together with food particles inside of Leroy’s stomach.
Luckily Leroy’s owners were very observant and brought him in as soon as they realised he had swallowed the staples as it could have caused damage to his intestinal or stomach walls. It could easily have perforated the stomach or intestines and caused seepage of intestinal fluid into his peritoneum. This could lead to Peritonitis (inflammation of the inner lining of the abdomen) and even death.
Leroy was kept in our hospital for 48 hours post-surgery for observation. He was monitored throughout the night by Sister Molly that was on night shift and during the day Dr Kristina and the day nurses kept a close eye on him. He fully recovered from the anaesthesia within a few hours. The next day he was back to a playful busy puppy again. We started feeding him small meals frequently to give his gut a chance to heal. Leroy did not vomit, had no pain or discomfort.
Leroy was sent home on Saturday morning with some medication and an intestinal support diet. On Monday his owners confirmed that he was doing well. He was full of energy, eating well and already sniffing around to find something new to chew on.
With Leroy’s story we would like to warn all pet owners that pets can be very curious at times. Pets explore with their feet and mouths. Chewing and swallowing objects is their way of exploring. If possible try to keep ALL things that they can swallow out of reach. Especially when they are young.
Accidents happen quickly so if your pet presents with any of the following symptoms:
- Not eating
- Vomiting & pale gums
- Painful abdomen
we advise you to bring them in immediately.