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Vets remove ‘mermaid’s tail’ from six-legged dog
Ariel underwent a CT scan at Langford Vets.
The cocker spaniel underwent surgery after being born with multiple birth defects.

A rescue dog with six legs has undergone specialist surgery to remove her two additional limbs.

Ariel, a five-month-old cocker spaniel, was found in September 2023 abandoned in a B&M car park in Pembrokeshire.

After bring taken to Greenacres Rescue, a local animal rescue centre, she was assessed by the veterinary team at a nearby practice. They found that she also had an additional vulva and gave her the name Ariel as her two extra limbs were fused together in a way that resembled a mermaid’s tail.

In November, Ariel was referred to Langford Vets Small Animal Hospital, part of the University of Bristol.

A CT scan and retrograde fluroscopy revealed that she had two right hemipelvises, creating an additional large acetabulum. Her right hindleg was found to be relatively normal, although missing several muscles. Each limb had a separate arterial supply and venous drainage.

It was also found that Ariel had a blind right uterine horn, was missing her right kidney, and her second vulva was not connected to any internal reproductive organs. Her condition was considered analogous to Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich syndrome in humans.

In early January, she underwent surgery to remove her ovaries. After she had recovered, she was then operated on by specialist surgeon Ed Friend and resident Aaron Lutchman to remove her additional limbs, with care taken not to damage the blood vessels or nerves of the other hindleg on her right side.

The surgery was a success and Ariel is now recovering at her foster home. Before she is ready to be adopted, she will undergo a period of physiotherapy to build up the muscles on her remaining right hindlimb.

Vicki Black, hospital director at Langford Vets, said: “Ariel was a complicated little dog whose care required close collaboration across several of our specialist led teams including Orthopaedics, Soft Tissue Surgery, Anaesthesia and Radiology.

“We are delighted such a lovely dog has recovered from her surgery well.”

Image © Langford Vets

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.