Zolza the Yorkshire Terrier had Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

Zolza the Yorkshire Terrier had Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

Zolza has had an eventful life so far. She was born in Poland, and was brought to Ireland when she was only six months old. Bartosz and Magda had obtained a pet passport for her, and her arrival here should have been smooth and simple. Unfortunately, there was a mix-up with the transporting company, and her passport ended up in Paris when Zolza landed in Dublin. She had to stay in the quarantine kennels near Dublin Airport for four days while her passport was retrieved. It was a worrying time for her owners, because they didn’t speak much English at that stage. They found it difficult to communicate clearly with the Irish officials about the complexities of the situation, but Zolza was released into their care in due course and everything ended well. Eighteen months later, Bartosz and Magda can now speak English fluently, and even Zolza has become bilingual. She understands “Siad” in Polish, as well as the English translation of the word: “Sit”. Zolza is a typical lap dog, spending most of her time close to her owners, and even sleeping on their bed at night. They watch her carefully, and when she developed a “runny tummy” and went off her food, they were concerned. When she started to pass blood and mucus instead of a normal stool, they brought her straight down to see me. It’s always serious when an animal passes blood instead of normal stools. There are many possible causes, including viral diseases, serious bacterial infections and poisoning. If early treatment isn’t given, animals can die, so it’s a sign that should never be...
Benson the Doberman had a tumour removed

Benson the Doberman had a tumour removed

When she found a small lump at the back of Benson’s right hind leg, Joyce didn’t worry too much at first. She knew that dogs can get warts and cysts from time to time, just like humans, and that these are often harmless. But when the lump started to grow bigger, she realised that it was safer to have it checked out properly by a vet. It’s usually impossible to fully assess lumps by just visually inspecting them, even for experienced vets. When I first examined Benson’s lump, I decided to take a simple biopsy sample, known as a “fine needle aspirate”. This can be done during a consultation, by pushing a needle into the nodule and sending the sample to a laboratory. The diagnosis that came back was worrying: the lump was a type of cancer, known as a “mast cell tumour. The prognosis was good for Benson, but the lump did need to be surgically removed as soon as possible. Benson came in the following day, and the tumour was excised with a wide margin of normal skin around it, to make sure that no cancer cells were left. The wound was around three inches long. One of the biggest challenges with animal’s wounds after surgery is to make sure that they leave them alone. A surgical scar often gets itchy as it heals, and animals can damage themselves by licking, chewing and scratching  at themselves. Benson left the operation site alone at first, but after two or three days, he began to nibble at it. The area around the wound became pink and swollen. To prevent...
Reilly the dog swallowed some human medicine

Reilly the dog swallowed some human medicine

Reilly adores Tanya, and there’s only one problem with their relationship: he gets upset when he’s not with her. His anxiety is expressed in an unusual way – he steals things and chews them to distract himself when she’s not there. He first chewed objects on the ground, like pieces of cardboard and flip-flops. When Tanya made a point of clearing the floor before she went out, Reilly stood up on his back legs, scanning tables and work surfaces for interesting items to play with.  He once ate a whole ginger cake, and on one occasion, he pulled down a whole roll of tin foil, chewing it to shreds and swallowing it. Tanya has learned to keep all surfaces within his reach clear of all clutter, and she leaves Reilly with a range of chew-toys to keep himself entertained when he’s on his own. His thieving habit had stopped being a problem – until last week. Tanya’s son was not quite himself one morning. She felt that he was brewing a temperature, so she gave him a dose of medicine, in the form of Nurofen for children.  Tanya normally keeps all medicines shut away in an out-of-reach cupboard, but on this occasion, she left the bottle at the back of the kitchen sink. She thought James might need a top up later in the day. When she had to go down to the shops for an hour, she left Reilly with his usual food-stuffed chew toy. It didn’t occur to her that he might reach up and over the sink to seize the bottle of medicine. When she returned...
Local business review: Caffe Ragazzi coffee shop, just off Bray Main Street (click this title to see pics)

Local business review: Caffe Ragazzi coffee shop, just off Bray Main Street (click this title to see pics)

It’s been a while since we’ve posted a local business review, and it’s time to revive this idea. There are so many great businesses in Bray and environs, and as locals, we are regular attendees of a number of places. We’re keen to share our positive experiences with folk out there, because we are really passionate about where we live. There are so many small businesses, working hard and providing good service. We should all be supporting them as best we can. Caffe Ragazzi is a good example: this is a new coffee shop, at the top of Bray Main Street on the right as you go up (you turn right at the Bank of Ireland, ad it’s 50m along there). Andrea, pictured above, is from Italy, and he’s been in Ireland for five years. He ran a wine business before, but he could see a niche for excellent coffee and food in Bray, so that’s what he’s doing now. His business partner is the Italian man who runs the Ragazzi restaurant in Dalkey, and if you’ve been there, you’ll be familiar with the genuine Italian vibe: Caffe Ragazzi continues this theme. There’s plenty of floor space in the premises, as you can see above. I was there early on a Saturday morning, so it was quiet, which meant it was a good time to relax there. There’s free wifi, as well as the day’s papers, so you can sit and relax here, with no time pressure. I ordered a caffè macchiato, which  is  an espresso with a tiny bit of milk in it: the strong, Italian-derived coffee was...
Robbie the robin visits every day

Robbie the robin visits every day

Claire lives in an estate on the edge of Bray. The Estate used to have a large apple-producing orchard, and Claire’s father worked there for many years. When the M11 motorway passed through the area in the late 1980’s, many of the trees were pulled up, and the business drew to a close. Many of the apple trees remain, and the area has become a pleasant haven for wildlife. Claire sees some wild mammals, including rabbits, foxes badgers and even occasional deer. But it’s the wild birds that are particularly abundant, and when Claire feeds her dog Max every morning at her back door, a small flock of birds fly down around  her. There are blackbirds, song thrushes, finches and blue tits, but the friendliest species of bird is the robin. Half a dozen robins are usually waiting for her, and over the past four years, Claire has grown to know one particular robin very well – she has even given him a name: Robbie. He must have been a young bird when she first met him. She used to give Max a biscuit, and she noticed that a small robin was especially cheeky, rushing in beside the dog to pick up any crumbs that he dropped. Claire began to throw a few crumbs in his direction, and over weeks and months, he moved closer and closer. It was a pleasant routine every morning. Max would happily crunch his breakfast biscuit, and Robbie fluttered nearby, waiting for his own treats from Claire. He became increasingly tame, and eventually began to land on her hand, pecking the crumbs directly from...
Anuk is a five month old cross bred Husky

Anuk is a five month old cross bred Husky

Anuk is a recent arrival in the family household, bought as company for their eight year old cross-bred Labrador, D-von. The older dog took to the pup immediately, and the two of them have become close friends. They play together, sleep together and in particular, they enjoy exercising together. Kevina takes them out for a coastline walk most mornings, heading along Killiney Beach in the early hours, as the sun is rising. A few weeks ago, it was a particularly clear, crisp frosty morning, ideal for dog-walking. Kevina followed her usual routine, with D-von being allowed to run freely for most of the time, while Anuk was kept on the lead, only allowed off for short stretches. The older dog always comes back when called, but the pup is just in the process of being trained to come back to her name. Kevina only allows her off in areas where she knows there is unlikely to be distractions or dangers. After walking along the beach, Kevina and the dogs headed inland, along a track that took her over a bridge, then along a path that ran along the coastline.  As she walked southwards,  Kevina was aware that there was a 30 foot cliff between her path and the beach below her. There was a secure, high fence between the path and the cliff edge, so she did not feel that there was any undue risk. One of the dogs did their “business”, and as a responsible dog-walker, Kevina stopped to pick up the poop. She allowed Anuk off the lead as she did this; there were no other walkers around,...