Friends Newsletter Spring 2017

World-class Collaboration for Oncology & Soft Tissue team

Associate Professor in CompanionAnimal Clinical Studies and Head of the CompanionAnimal Group at Massey University, New Zealand, Professor Jonathan Bray is collaborating and sharing expertise during a 4 month sabbatical with our Oncology and Soft Tissue hospital in hope to enhance veterinary knowledge and improve animal health and welfare. Jonathan told theVet Times: “My clinical passion is oncology and soft tissue surgery, andwhat Professor Nick Bacon and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick are trying to create here sounds really exciting. I firmly believe optimal treatment of both advanced and uncommon companion animal oncological

CLIENT COLUMN Our Stewie By Mike & DonnaWheeler

conditions is best achievedwithin a dedicated multidisciplinary unit,as is the case in human medicine.”

Stewie is our first dog, and was a typical bouncing bundle of fur when he arrived with us at 8 weeks old.At only 11 weeks we noticed something was wrong - and we were devastated to be told by a specialist that he had a hemivertebrae and that there was nothing that could be done until he was almost fully grown, when it would probably be too late. We were told that physiotherapy could help and were referred to Fitzpatrick Referrals. Here we met physiotherapist SamanthaWells (Stewie’s fairy godmother!) who suggested that it might be worth having Dr Colin Driver, Senior Surgeon in Neurology, to look at him.We didn’t want to get our hopes up, or put Stewie through anything unnecessary but after much deliberation we took Stewie to get a second opinion. Colin calmly examined Stewie, and was very honest. If we did

World Cancer Day

On Saturday 4th February, Fitzpatrick Referrals markedWorld Cancer Day with a series of helpful tips, stories and advice in order to demystify cancer in animals.The series involved four initiatives including… 1. Sharing the 5 early signs to look out for in order to identify cancer. 2. The 12 most commonly asked questions about animal cancer answered. 3. Barry’s diary following his journey at Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue for chemotherapy treatment. 4.The Little Book of Cancer which is the first in the series of ‘Little Books’ by Fitzpatrick Referrals. To read ourWorld Cancer Day series, please visit

nothing, Stewie would most likely deteriorate further, yet even with surgery the odds weren’t great – we should prepare for him to stabilise but not really

improve. Stewie was in a custom wheel cart and was incontinent, but the concept of our permanently happy, loveable pug getting

any worse made the decision for us. Leaving Stewie for his operation was

Dr Kelvin Kow,Emily Ryder and Sarah Holliday with patient Barry.

awful. He was scared, as were we - but the regular phone calls from the staff to keep us updated, as well as visiting him, made it more bearable.

On Sunday 5th February, the FORWARD Symposium brought together over 250 delegates and 6 thought-leaders in the veterinary profession for one unique learning event in the agility, working and recreational dog calendar. Dr Chris Zink and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick presented to a community of veterinary professionals, dog trainers and handlers alike at the symposium held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey. Other speakers included Metropolitan Police Dog Instructor PC Ray Haggett, Founder of Vancouver Animal Massage Nicola Way, Clinical Director of Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology & Soft Tissue ProfessorNickBacon,andalsoFitzpatrickReferralsRehabilitation. Speaking after the event, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick said: “Whether your canine friend is aworking,agility,or service dog or a much loved family pet, understanding how to take them to and Integrity and transparency was at the core of the FORWARD Symposium 2017

In the 9 months following his surgery, Stewie has had physiotherapy and hydrotherapy every week. Much to everyone’s surprise, he is now walking on all four legs and has not used his wheels in 2 months.

Colin, Sam,Amie and the team of hydrotherapists, and everyone else at Fitzpatrick Referrals are simply incredible. Sam deserves a special mention – were it not for her, Stewie probably wouldn’t be with us and instead he has been given a second chance to show what a wonderful, perfect dog he is. “Unfortunatelywe are being referred an increasing number of patients with Stewie’s condition and other developmental spinal conditions.This is because brachycephalic dogs with cork-screw tails such as Pugs,French Bulldogs and BostonTerriers are increasingly popular pets.Poor Stewie is one of theworst cases I have seen, in that he was virtually paraplegic by the time I sawhimat 5months of age.We tend to treat his condition by removing some bone over the compressed spinal cord before stabilising the vertebral column,as excessive bending/torsional forces appear to occur in the region of kyphosis.It has taken several months,but Stewie has against all the odds regained the ability towalk.It has been a real pleasure to see his recovery progressing under Sam’s care.” Dr Colin Driver

keep them in top condition is vital to their performance, welfare and healthful span of life. Today the Fitzpatrick Referrals’FORWARDSymposiumhas returned to help dedicated dog handlers,trainers and families to do just that with the support of world-class speakers, includingDr Chris Zink fromtheUSA. Huge thanks to everyonewho has joined us today to help us unite in our collective desire tomove the science and compassion of rehabilitation and training conditioning forward.”

IN AN EMERGENCY To discuss a case or for any urgent or emergency referrals, please call us

For Oncological and Soft Tissue emergencies TEL 01483 668100 For Orthopaedic and Neurological emergencies TEL 01483 423761 For opening times and more information visit

Fitzpatrick Referrals Orthopaedics & Neurology Halfway Lane, Eashing, Surrey GU7 2QQ Tel: 01483 423761 | Fax: 01483 527590

Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology & Soft Tissue 70 Priestley Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7AJ Tel: 01483 668100 | Fax: 01483 668101

Company Registration: Fitzpatrick Referrals Limited 5287667 - Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue Limited 08627448

World-Class Veterinary Medicine, Hope and Healing

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