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Julia’s column for The Middy

Have you ever noticed how some rugby players have a ‘cauliflower ear’?

I see this a great deal in pets too. Tarquin was just such a case. He was a fabulous Weimeraner, due to attend his owner’s wedding in just 2 weeks, and he had an ear infection. He used his big back paw to give it a really good scratch, and ended up breaking a blood vessel inside the ear flap. He was going to look ridiculous in the wedding photos with a wonky ear – a disaster as he was Best Man, or is that Best Dog?

A new procedure for dealing with situations like this has evolved since then, but in those days my preferred choice for a nice fresh aural haematoma like Tarquin’s was to drain the blood from between the 2 layers of skin that made up his gorgeous expressive ears, and then prevent them refilling with more blood by sewing in a series of pairs of buttons.

When I first saw this done, as a student, the Vet snipped the buttons off his own shirt and had the nurse sterilise them for his patient! At The Mewes, we keep buttons pre-sterilised as with so much other equipment, and they are blue to match with our uniforms.

When Tarquin’s owner understood what was required, she was fairly philosophical, but on the day she had a surprise for us. She brought in some pink and white buttons, and asked us to use them instead! Then Tarquin would match her outfit on the Big Day.

He looked great, and she was grateful not to have the wedding photos ruined. Most important of all, after his buttons were removed and his ear infection cured, his two ears remained matching, flat and expressive into his old age.

All the staff at the Mewes Vets would like to invite you to our Christmas Party on Saturday 12th December at 11am. We will be serving mince pies and warm mulled wine or cocoa, and announcing the winner of our Calendar competition, who will receive £100 worth of pet food. Come along to meet the team, and support the Medical Detection Dogs Charity.

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