Pet of the Year 2019 winners chosen for Quantock Hospital

19 Mar 2020 | Pet of the month, Practice news

Last week we held our greatly anticipated annual ‘Pet of the Year’ event. At the evening event, attended by owners and staff, our hard working vets ran through the twelve amazing and unique ‘Pet of the Month’ stories and five brave judges voted on the overall winning Pet of the Year! 

In among the 2019 contenders were Flopsy the rabbit with a very complicated and life threatening gastro-intestinal disorder, Carrie the fascinating chameleon suffering from a troublesome eye condition, George the loved and lost tortoise who had a most unfortunate and dangerous discovery by a lawn mower, as well as six wonderful dogs and three adored cats with an impressive range of traumatic and complex conditions and stories. As Dominic Phillips, Clinical Director of Quantock Veterinary hospital stressed, behind each pet were inspiring, dedicated and devoted owners who had been through a roller-coaster of emotions and decisions.

2019’s ‘Pet of the Year’ was eventually awarded to Chase, an adorable, young Labrador-cross.  A deserved winner but a “nightmare choice to make” said last year’s winners’ owner, Ally Rossiter, one of this year’s judges who said that the twelve pets were “all winners”!

Chase first came to Quantock Veterinary Hospital with a lame back leg and was treated appropriately. Some days later Chase’s owners noticed that he was very ‘out-of-sorts’. He had not been eating well and he appeared to be “glazed”. Concerned, they rang Quantock Vet’s out-of-hours service and brought him straight in for examination. Sarah Cole – the vet in this case – found that he had a sore throat and had a lot of saliva at the back of the throat. More worryingly, Chase appeared to have an unusual and very shocked and surprised expression which raised alarm bells in Vet Sarah’s mind – eighteen years previously she had seen a similar look in a dog with tetanus.

Chase was admitted for tests and, indeed, tetanus was confirmed! This is a very rare condition in dogs caused by a bacterium and usually develops after an injury which allows the infection in. The toxins released by the bacteria cause muscle spasms, typically giving the “surprised” expression as the upper eyelids are drawn upwards and the brow becomes furrowed. Dogs struggle to swallow food and severe cases cause complete paralysis which can be fatal.  Fortunately Chase’s tetanus was caught in time and he has recovered well although does still occasionally show slight facial muscle spasms.

Runner up was awarded to Tigger, a very brave little cat. We suspect from his injuries that Tigger had been in a road traffic accident that had caused severe trauma to the head but he’d managed to crawl back to his home. Amongst his horrendous injuries Tigger had an extremely badly fractured jaw, serious skin and tissue damage and severe infection of the tissue.  After emergency stabilisation and then various surgeries to resolve his various injuries he then had the challenge of trying to eat. His rehabilitation was long but Tigger is now happy and well.

Hannah Johnson, our Veterinary Nurse who organised the event was delighted with the turnout despite concerns over the Coronavirus “We were so appreciative of these owners who turned up to attend the event. It is always such a positive evening with everyone being able to share the amazing stories of their pets’ serious conditions and the journey they’ve had to recovery.”

Dominic added “The Pet of the Year Event is a great chance to share these wonderful pet’s stories and thank the owners, the vets and all the other staff involved in their various roller-coasters. These inspiring clients meet the vet in charge of their pet’s case and many of our cases are complicated and require great input from the vet, frequent collaboration with other vets in the team and huge dedication from the owners. But, invisible behind the scenes, our superb administrative team are critical in making it all happen and our wonderful nursing team – the unsung heroes – often work tirelessly around the clock to care for a pet that has found itself in intensive care. We would be nothing without the whole team and their care and compassion.” 

Sincere thanks was also given to the five kind judges – Ally and Zak Rossiter (last year’s winners), Pet Trainer and Behaviourist Catherine Tomlinson, and Chris Moiser and Jane from Somerset based Tropiquaria – who had the extremely hard task of choosing a winner overall. 

Congratulations to all our ‘Pet of the Months’ and especially to Chase our 2019 ‘Pet of the Year’ and his owners for their courage, compassion and determination to help him get through it all.

As well as the prize winners, all twelve Pet of the Months received a wonderful goody bag to take home and enjoy.