Case of the Month
Jasper Grimm - March 2017
Jasper Grimm, a male Newfoundland, routinely showed lameness in his pelvic limbs after exercise throughout his young life. At 6 months of age, he went to his veterinarian for bilateral stifle (knee) joint effusion and the start of femoral deformities making it difficult for Jasper Grimm to get up and walk normally. Shortly thereafter, in August 2016, his owner decided to have him evaluated by orthopedic surgeons at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Read Jasper Grimm's full story
Bella - February 2017
Bella, a 5-year-old female pit bull terrier, was acting lethargic a few months ago and then produced dark urine and was icteric (jaundice-like). Her owner Carol, a veterinarian and UC Davis alum, knew something was wrong and ran blood tests on Bella. The tests indicated extremely low red blood cell (RBC) counts, and Carol suspected a case of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). IMHA can be a fatal disease, as it causes a dog’s immune system to destroy its own RBCs (which carry oxygen to the cells and pick up carbon dioxide).
Read Bella's full story
Gray - January 2017
Gray, a 9-month-old male cat, was found as a stray in Hawaii and taken in by his new owner. Shortly after settling in with his new family, Gray’s posture became abnormal and his hind limbs splayed outward, severely affecting his ability to walk. He was painful to the touch, and over the next few days, became increasingly immobile. Radiographs taken by a local veterinarian indicated a vertebral disc space narrowing in Gray’s lower back. Within a few days, he was no longer able to walk at all, so his owner researched where to get the best help for Gray. They were soon on their way to California to see neurologists at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Read Gray's full story
Roses - December 2016
Roses, an American Quarter Horse yearling filly, was in need of surgical intervention to remove a retropharyngeal mass. The mass, known as a branchial remnant cyst, was a congenital abnormality arising from an embryonic structure called the third branchial arch. By the time Roses was 1 year old, the cyst had grown to the size of a softball and protruded from the right side of her throatlatch. It began to impede her movement, and she was unable to fully bend her neck and head to the right. The cyst was also compressing her trachea.
Read Roses' full story
Fred - November 2016
Fred, a 6-year-old male shepherd cross, was diagnosed by his referring veterinarian with cancer in his left forelimb in April 2016. Due to preexisting orthopedic issues, he was not a candidate for the traditional amputation and chemotherapy treatment. Faced with only being offered palliative care for Fred, his dedicated owners, Rob and Linda, continued to hope and sought out other options. They discovered a new clinical trial at the UC Davis veterinary hospital that offered a cutting-edge approach to treating dogs with osteosarcoma.
Read Fred's full story
Tilly - October 2016
Tilly, an 8-month-old female Australian cattle dog, loves to help her owners care for their Arabian horse ranch. She enjoys being around the horses, and especially likes her daily dips in the pond and riding with her family members on their utility vehicle. Recently while accompanying them on a feed, she attempted to jump off the vehicle and got her right leg stuck in the loop of the hand rail and fell to the ground. She immediately yelped loudly and started favoring her leg. Knowing she was hurt, the family rushed her to the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Read Tilly's full story
Bald Eagle - September 2016
In early May 2016, a Good Samaritan in Northern California found a wounded 3.1 kg. (6.8 lbs.) male bald eagle on the side of a rural highway in Modoc County, about 75 miles east of Mount Shasta. The bird was taken to a local California Department of Fish and Wildlife game warden, who delivered him to Shasta Wildlife Rescue (SWR). Knowing the eagle needed more care than SWR could provide, he was transferred to the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Read Bald Eagle's full story
Sundance - August 2016
In May, Sundance, a 5-year-old female golden retriever, was experiencing intermittent vomiting and a continually decreasing appetite. Her dedicated owner, Landon, took her to the veterinarian, who suspected Sundance to have an acute kidney disease of unknown origin. After some research, Landon discovered that the UC Veterinary Medical Center – San Diego (UCVMC-SD)—a satellite facility of the UC Davis veterinary hospital—had a tremendous amount of experience in renal medicine, and was one of very few places on the west coast that offers hemodialysis treatments for animals. So Landon and Sundance made the drive to San Diego from their home in Los Angeles.
Read Sundance's full story
Brownie - July 2016
Brownie, a 6-month-old Jersey heifer calf, was stricken with a severe case of bloody diarrhea, lethargy and anorexia. She was diagnosed by her referring veterinarian with coccidiosis, an infection of the intestinal tract caused by an ingestion of parasites (coccidian protozoa). By the third day of treatment, she still had not responded, and stopped eating and drinking. It was clear she needed more emergent care so Brownie’s owners brought her to the UC Davis veterinary hospital where she was seen by the Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service.
Read Brownie's full story
Ceilki and Helios - June 2016
Ceilki, an 8-year-old grey Arabian mare, had been pregnant three times before coming to the UC Davis veterinary hospital last year. In 2012, Ceilki (pronounced “silky”) miscarried early in her second pregnancy. In 2014, she had a dystocia in her third pregnancy and delivered a dead foal after a difficult delivery. After the dystocia, a mass was found on the floor of Ceilki’s pelvic canal, which was believed to cause the dystocia.
Read Ceilki and Helios' full story
Leah - May 2016
Leah, a 4-year-old female border collie, got loose from her owner and went missing for the night. When a local veterinary facility found her the next day, they immediately called her owner and informed her of Leah’s injury – a facial laceration that they suspected was the result of a deer kick. Otherwise, she was alert, ambulatory and normal. Her wound was repaired, and Leah was on her way home. Two days later, however, Leah became acutely non-ambulatory. She had minimal motor function in all four limbs, and was unable to sit up on her own.
Read Leah's full story
Joey - April 2016
Joey, a 4-year-old male German shepherd mix, was brought to the UC Davis veterinary hospital after a wound on his hip wouldn't heal following multiple treatments over several months. UC Davis' Diagnostic Imaging Service located a foxtail that was burrowing dangerously close to Joey's aorta. Based on their findings, surgeons were able to remove the foreign body before it potentially caused internal bleeding.
Read Joey's full story
Googgie - March 2016
Googgie, a 17-week-old spayed female Sphynx, was brought to the UC Davis veterinary hospital following a three-day bout of inappetence, lethargy and vomiting. Originally seen by the Emergency and Critical Care Service, she was noted to have an enlarged, painful left kidney.With ultrasound, it was discovered that an obstruction of the left ureter was preventing flow of urine to the bladder. It could not be determined through imaging what was causing the blockage, and surgery was needed to discover, then alleviate, the obstruction.
Read Googgie's full story
Ziba - February 2016
Ziba, an 8-month-old female Rottweiler, was accidentally hit by a car and suffered extensive injuries to her head four months ago. Her skull and jawbones were fractured in several areas, and brain damage was feared. Thanks to surgeons at the UC Davis veterinary hospital, however, she is on the road to recovery, and her outlook is promising.
Read Ziba's full story
Kinako - January 2016
Kinako, an 8-year-old female domestic shorthair cat, was continually troubled with build-up of tears in her left eye, sometimes resulting in infections. Her owner took her to see their veterinarian, who attempted to flush the tear duct of that eye several times, but to no avail. While the situation was not life threatening, Kinako’s owner did not want her to suffer needlessly for the rest of her life. Kinako’s veterinarian suggested taking her to see the specialists in the Ophthalmology Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital.
Read Kinako's full story
Chatwin - December 2015
After an all night drive returning from the March Copper Meadows event, rider and owner Frankie Thieriot turned out her champion three-day eventer horse Chatwin so he could stretch his legs after the long drive. Checking on him a few hours later, she noticed Chatwin had injured his eye, most likely by grazing a tree branch. Having dealt with eye injuries in a previous horse, Thieriot knew the severity of the injury and knew her 7-year-old gelding needed immediate care.
Read Chatwin's full story
Lorelai - November 2015
Lorelai, a 3-year-old French bulldog, is still young but has already endured a lifetime of medical treatments. At just six months old, she was brought to the emergency room at the UC Davis veterinary hospital after vomiting and having difficulty breathing. The specialists in the Emergency and Critical Care Service diagnosed her with a noncardiogenic pulmonary edema (fluid build-up in the lungs) and aspiration pneumonia, a lung infection caused by stomach fluid being inhaled into the lungs. Lorelai was struggling so much to breathe that mechanical ventilation was started immediately. This required Lorelai to be kept anesthetized while a machine breathed for her. She received around-the-clock, one-to-one nursing care in the intensive care unit.
Read Lorelai's full story
Stella - October 2015
When Stella, a 1-year-old Welsh terrier, began showing frequent and severe aggression toward her companion Guinness, another Welsh terrier, her owners brought her to see the behavior specialists at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Stella was brought into the house when she was a puppy and Guinness was 2. Things went well between the two terriers for the first year, but soon after, especially during times of high arousal (such as when their family returned home, or around a favored toy), Stella would suddenly attack Guinness.
Read Stella's full story
Rocket - September 2015
Rocket, a 10-year-old Boston terrier, was taken to his veterinarian after he appeared to hurt himself jumping on the bed. His veterinarian did notice some tightness in his neck, but, more importantly, noticed something else that was much more serious for Rocket. A dog’s normal heart rate is generally around 100, but Rocket’s had dipped to less than half of that. He was eventually referred to the heart specialists in the Cardiology Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for further evaluation of his extremely slow heart rate.
Read Rocket's full story
Graysing Cattle Company - August 2015
When the Graysing Cattle Company needs to diagnose pregnancies in their cows and determine the fetal sex of the unborn calves, they call on the Livestock Herd Health and Reproduction Service from the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Their small operation (about 20 head) raises beef cattle, specifically club calves, and has used the Service for more than ten years. Fetal sex determination offers Graysing valuable information that can be used for herd management. By knowing whether the calf will be male or female, especially in smaller herds, they can plan for the next year of replacement animals and animals to be sold.
Read Graysing Cattle Company's full story
Corvus - July 2015
Corvus, a 10-year-old male Labrador retriever, is a typical dog. He likes to run and play…and he likes to chew on things. One particular evening a few months ago, Corvus’ owners came home to find a rug destroyed. Since Corvus has a 4-legged companion, his owners weren’t sure which dog did it, or if either of the dogs had ingested any of the rug. When Corvus started defecating pieces of rug two days later, however, it was obvious he was the guilty party. For the next three days, Corvus continued to pass bits of the rug, until he then became lethargic, started vomiting and had a decreased appetite.
Read Corvus' full story
Bossy's Cookies - June 2015
Bossy’s Cookies, a newborn pony/Paint cross filly, was brought to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at 10 days of age for a progressive neurological disorder. Following three days of normal activity since birth, she was down for prolonged periods in her stall, staggering around, and unable to rise on her own. Her owners initially suspected a neck injury, as she was not able to raise her head or neck, and seemed to have abnormal range of motion through her cervical spine.
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Billie - May 2015
Billie, a 9-month-old female domestic shorthair cat, was brought to the Ophthalmology Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for further evaluation of a congenital defect that caused her to be born without part of her upper eyelids. The condition, known as eyelid agenesis, caused Billie to be unable to close either of her eyes completely, and also caused hair in that area to rub on her cornea, constantly irritating and inflaming her eyes.
Read Billie's full story
Tiny Tim - April 2015
Tiny Tim, an approximately 40-year-old desert tortoise, was brought to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital because of a decreased appetite. The owners had acquired the tortoise in 1980 and never knew the sex, so it was given a masculine name. Once at UC Davis, though, it was quickly discovered that Tiny Tim was a female. The hospital’s Companion Exotic Animal Medicine & Surgery Service began evaluating Tiny Tim by conducting multiple diagnostic tests, which included radiographs that easily identified her as a female. The x-ray images from the radiographs revealed six eggs in the main area of her body cavity. The shells of the eggs appeared heavily calcified and were abnormally thick.
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Maizie - March 2015
Maizie, a 2-year-old border terrier, was recently treated by the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s Theriogenology Service for breeding management. Maizie’s owner, Elizabeth, is a nationally recognized border terrier breeder with more than 40 years of experience with the breed. She has had great influence on the quality of this English breed’s presence in the United States. Border terriers are not common in the U.S., but make wonderful family companions.
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Sasha, Minka, Cinco - February 2015
Having a pet diagnosed with cancer is hard enough. Now, imagine if three of your pets were diagnosed with cancer. That’s exactly what Tricia and Mark Dewey of Suisun City, California faced with their cats recently. Luckily for the Deweys and their cats Sasha, Minka, and Cinco, one of the best veterinary oncology treatment centers in the country was only 25 miles from their home. Over the past year, the Deweys and their cats have become very familiar with the Oncology Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
Read Sasha, Minka, and Cinco's full story
Sandy - January 2015
Sandy, a 6-month-old female Labrador retriever, presented to UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for evaluation and treatment of an intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (IHPSS). An IHPSS is a birth defect of the blood vessels that bring blood to the liver for purification. Sandy was previously diagnosed with the IHPSS by her referring veterinarian, and Sandy’s vet suggested her owners bring her to UC Davis to see Dr. Bill Culp with the Soft Tissue Surgery Service. Sandy’s family made the 500 mile journey from their home near San Diego to see Dr. Culp, who has performed many shunt procedures.
Read Sandy's full story
Mudpie - December 2014
When Mudpie, a 17-year-old mustang mare, presented to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, her owner and veterinarians weren’t exactly sure what was wrong with her. She suffered a shoulder injury three years prior, as well as what appeared to be a hip injury or suspected broken pelvis. After several months rest, she seemed to be on the mend. Although Mudpie was able to be ridden again, she had intermittent relapses of lameness of the left hind limb. Just a few weeks before coming to UC Davis, though, Mudpie re-injured that limb and was also kicked in the same area. Her lameness worsened, so her owners decided it was time to have Mudpie examined by the specialists at the VMTH. Once at UC Davis, Mudpie was given physical, lameness and neurologic examinations. Veterinarians in the Equine Medicine Service noticed swelling in her hind limbs and some minor lameness.
Read Mudpie's full story
Ragan - November 2014
Ragan, an 8-year-old Irish terrier, was suffering from immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) when she was brought to the emergency room at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. ITP caused Ragan’s immune system to destroy the platelets in her blood, which meant her blood was unable to clot. Something as simple as a bump or a bruise could cause Ragan to internally bleed to death. First diagnosed with ITP five years earlier, Ragan had been hospitalized a few times before when her platelet count went down to zero. Thankfully, her condition had been managed with medication until this relapse.
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Angel - October 2014
Angel, a 3-year-old female Akita, had been getting progressively inappetant for about a week. She was also experiencing vomiting and diarrhea when her owner brought her to her primary care veterinarian. The vet prescribed medications, including an antidiarrheal and an antibiotic, as well as an adjusted diet. Angel initially improved with the medication, but she continued to not eat. She was lethargic and still not her normal self, so she was brought to the Community Medicine Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
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Buffy - September 2014
In the spring of 2014, a small herd of nine sheep in Northern California were attacked by an escaped dog. Six of the sheep were killed, two were euthanized at the scene, and one female sheep of unknown age managed to survive. Animal control authorities could not locate the owner so they brought the sheep to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where she was stabilized until the owner could be found. Unfortunately, the owner chose not to continue care for the lone remaining sheep, and relinquished her to animal control. The Livestock Medicine and Surgery Service was eager to find a way to continue care for the sheep, as they were hopeful her injuries were survivable.
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Minnie - August 2014
When Minnie, an 8-year-old female shepherd/foxhound mix, presented to the Behavior Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, her fearful response to noises and unfamiliar surroundings was so severe she refused to get out of the car. UC Davis veterinarians had to perform their initial examination of her in the parking lot.
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Atlas - July 2014
Atlas, a 3-year-old male mastiff, was experiencing a decreased energy level and his respiratory rate was increasing more than normal, even on the easiest of walks. His owners were concerned enough to bring him to their veterinarian, who diagnosed him to have a build-up of a milky white fluid called chyle (which leaks from the thoracic duct) in his chest, a condition known as chylothorax. As this can be deadly if not treated properly, Atlas’ veterinarian referred him to the specialists at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
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Prophet - June 2014
Prophet the goose (along with 12 other geese) was abandoned in 1998 at a Northern California county fairground following a 4-H sale and fair. The geese were left to fend for themselves against dogs, weather, and traffic. Four of the geese didn’t survive the elements, but Prophet and the others were rescued by Farm Sanctuary and taken to their ranch in Orland, California. For the past 16 years, Prophet has enjoyed the “good life” at Farm Sanctuary. Recently, though, there were concerns with her health. On a visit to Farm Sanctuary, faculty and resident veterinarians with UC Davis’ Companion Exotic Animal Medicine & Surgery Service could feel firm structures in Prophet’s coelomic cavity (similar to the abdomen in mammals).
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Apache - May 2014
Apache, a 21-year-old gelding, was not enjoying his most recent visit to the farrier for a hoof trimming. That was the first sign to his owner that something was wrong. “Apache generally never behaves badly in these situations,” said his owner Kellie. “I was very surprised when the farrier told me he was kicking at his belly.” His signs progressed throughout the day. Apache immediately laid down upon exiting the trailer after the farrier visit, and had diarrhea and a fast heart rate. He also seemed colicky and hadn’t been eating much recently. Apache’s veterinarian thought the best course of action was to get him to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital right away.
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Blink - April 2014
One of the many advantages for pet owners going to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis is the vast number of specialists available, regardless of an animal’s condition. Thankfully for Blink, a 1-year-old male domestic long-haired cat, that collaborative approach to care saved his life.
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Rosie - March 2014
Being a Vizsla, 4-year-old Rosie is a very active dog that enjoys the outdoors. More than a year ago, she got a foxtail—a barley-type wild grass—caught in her ear. Covered with microscopic projections, foxtails can pose severe health risks to dogs, as they migrate into tissue causing allergic-like reactions and infections. The foxtail in Rosie’s ear had to be removed under anesthesia, and what followed required her to be brought to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
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Oki - February 2014
Oki, an 8-year-old Burmese cat, whose usual personality focused on cuddling up to her owners—especially on their shoulders—and interacting regularly with house guests, was not acting like herself. She was having difficulty passing urine. Her owners, both UC Davis veterinarians, brought her to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Service, where she was diagnosed with kidney failure and an obstruction in her right ureter (the tube that takes urine from the kidney to the bladder) from a birth defect.
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Zoe - January 2014
Zoe, 4-month-old female Mastiff, had a tough row to hoe from the very beginning of her life. Born the runt of a 15-pup litter, she experienced health problems at an early age. She was born with an ophthalmia neonatorum (an eye infection contracted by newborns at birth) causing blindness in her left eye, and within her first week, she had difficulty maintaining her temperature in the normal range. When she was adopted at about 10 weeks of age, her owner noticed Zoe’s inability to fully open her mouth, although she was able to eat soft food.
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Caddy - December 2013
Caddy (Spook DeVille), an 11-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, was at the top of his game in 2012. He captured several racing titles, including the Western Classic Grand Champion barrel race title, and set a new Western Classic arena record for the fastest time. A tragic accident befell Caddy, though, in the spring of 2013. He escaped from his box stall during the night, and when his owner found him in the morning, she noticed extensive injuries to his chest, head and legs. An inspection of the property revealed a large amount of blood in the arena and on a tractor drag. Caddy must have fallen on the drag during the night. His owner brought Caddy to the Equine Surgical Emergency & Critical Care Service at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital’s Large Animal Clinic, where he was immediately evaluated and treated for multiple lacerations on his face, chest and legs.
Read Caddy's full story
Bob - November 2013
Bob, a male domestic shorthair cat, was 14-years-old when he came to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in October 2012. Bob had been suffering from painful feline chronic gingivostomatitis (FCGS) for about one year. FCGS is a severe oral inflammatory disease that affects the gums and back of the mouth. Bob’s owner tried several treatment options with his veterinarian, including extraction of several teeth and medication to manage the inflammation and pain. Even with those treatments, Bob continued to suffer from oral inflammation to the point he would paw at his mouth and cry out in pain.
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Barkley - October 2013
Things were not looking good for Barkley in March 2012. This 9-year-old male chocolate Labrador retriever was diagnosed with nasal adenocarcinoma, a cancer inside his nasal cavity. After a year of treatment with chemotherapy by his referring veterinarian, Barkley’s clinical signs were progressing and he was brought to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for a novel treatment offered by Dr. Michele Steffey, a leading cancer surgeon in the hospital’s Soft Tissue Surgery Service.
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Bryggen - September 2013
Bryggen, a 112-pound, 1.5-year-old female Bernese mountain dog, was brought to the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital because she was having trouble breathing. Her owners reported that she was lip-smacking, wheezing, coughing, vomiting, and regurgitating. Her condition had been persisting for the past six months, much to the dismay of her local veterinarian, whom she had seen on several occasions for these episodes, but no abnormalities were ever found on examination. Multiple blood tests and x-rays had been performed without a diagnosis, and there had been no resolution of signs with medication for infection and gastrointestinal reflux disease.
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Hank - August 2013
It’s said that break-ups are hardest on the kids, or in this case, the dog. In late 2012, Hank, a 5-year-old German shorthaired pointer (GSP), lost his home due to a break-up. The NorCal GSP Rescue in Menlo Park, California took him in and quickly got him some much-needed help. That initial help, though, wasn’t a new home. It was a new perspective of the world. With the exception of seeing some lights and shadows, Hank was almost completely blind due to cataracts in both eyes.
Read Hank's full story