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Blind kitten's sight restored through liver operation
Purdy recovered well and after two months she was off her medication and all of her clinical signs had resolved.

Veterinary team successful treats a portosystemic shunt

A blind kitten has had it's sight restored after an intricate operation was carried out on it's liver at an animal hospital in Yorkshire.

The kitten, called Purdy, was diagnosed with a congenital portosystemic shunt after blood tests and a CT scan at Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Mickey Tivers, an RCVS specialist in small animal surgery and head of surgery at Paragon, said:“[A congenital portosystemic shunt] is a defect which causes the blood to bypass the liver making it unable to absorb essential nutrients or remove dangerous toxins.

“This causes a number of problems. Affected animals are often small, and underdeveloped and suffering from problems in the nervous system because of the toxins.

In severely affected cases this defect can cause tremors, seizures and, as in Purdy’s case, blindness.

In an effort to reduce the toxins in her system, Purdy was given lactulose and antibiotics and put on a special diet. However, surgery was required to stop the blood from bypassing the liver.

“First we injected dye into a blood vessel in Purdy’s intestine,” explains Dr Tivers, “and tracked its flow using fluoroscopy in a bid to properly identify the shunting vessel and assess the development of her liver.

“It confirmed the presence of a portosystemic shunt, as expected, but also revealed that Purdy’s liver was not very well developed, meaning she could not have the shunt fully closed straight away.

“We placed an ameroid constrictor around the shunt, a special device that slowly closes the shunt over a period of weeks, allowing the liver to gradually grow and develop so it can cope with the blood flow.”

Purdy recovered well and after two months she was off her medication and all of her clinical signs had resolved. Follow-up blood tests showed that her liver was working normally, with normal bile acids, suggesting that the surgery has been successful.

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New series shares recipes for pet-safe festive treats

News Story 1
 Battersea has launched a new Christmas baking series across all it's social media channels, to teach owners how to make pet-safe treats for dogs and cats.

The two-part series will show dog owners how to make Christmas dog treats using xylitol-free peanut butter and banana. Meanwhile, cat owners will be taught how to use rolled oats and turkey to make a festive snack for their pet.

Battersea also reminds pet owners of the importance of insuring that animals maintain a healthy balanced diet and adds that these food items should only be given as a treat.

To view the series, please visit Battersea's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Image (c) Battersea. 

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APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk