Braveheart Awards

November's Braveheart Award goes to….Missy


November’s Braveheart is in loving memory of Missy, a wonderful 2 year old German Shepherd who was rescued from Romania at the beginning of the year.

Within no time Missy had become her owners’ pride and joy and swiftly settled into her new life in Tavistock. She particularly loved long walks and swimming along the canal, where she won the hearts of many dogs and owners with her exuberant personality.

It was a terrible shock when Missy was rushed into Westmoor after being involved in a road traffic accident.  The severity of her condition was clear straight away as she couldn’t use her back legs and had suffered a very nasty wound to her face. With the help of the whole team, we were able to quickly treat Missy for shock by giving fluids and strong pain relief.  She was incredibly brave while we tended to her wounds and assessed her neurological function. 

As we were very concerned about spinal damage, we urgently referred Missy to Bristol University for a CT scan. Tragically CT showed that, amongst other severe injuries, her spinal cord was damaged beyond repair. The devastating decision was made to end Missy’s suffering and have her put to sleep.

Missy will be very much missed by everyone at Westmoor and our thoughts are with her family.


Octobers Braveheart Award goes to….Reggie

Reggie SteadReggie wins this months Braveheart award for bravery after coming to see the ophthalmology team at Westmoor having gone suddenly blind in his right eye.

Going blind in one eye is bad enough, but what really marks Reggie out for bravery is that he had already lost his sight in the left eye, and so was now completely blind.

The vision loss in the right eye had been sudden, allowing Reggie little time to adapt to being a blind dog, and when we met him, his mum said that he had become quite withdrawn and lost his confidence when going out for walks.

Reggies check-up showed him to have developed a cataract in the lens of his right eye, causing the eye to become blind.  Surgery to remove cataracts is a specialist procedure, and even in the hands of experienced veterinary ophthalmologists the surgery is challenging to say the least.

Reggie’s surgery was successful however, and the cataract was completely removed from his right eye, so much so that he has now recovered his confidence and once again is enjoying his walks.

So well done to Chris the veterinary ophthalmologist for helping Reggie see again, and especially well done to Reggie and his mum for their bravery throughout.


September’s Braveheart award goes to… Mr Tom

Mr TomsThis is Mr Tom, he normally has lots of energy and likes going on walks. However earlier this month he suddenly went down with a really nasty stomach bug and didn’t feel at all himself. Poor Mr Tom was so unwell he didn’t eat for several days and was passing large amounts of watery diarrhoea. His owner brought him to Westmoor only a day after he started feeling unwell but by this point he had already lost so much fluid he was hardly able to stand and had a very high temperature. We put him on a drip and gave him intravenous antibiotics. Gradually with treatment Mr Tom started to improve. Eventually we sent him home and he is now well on his way to making a full recovery! We would like to give him our Braveheart award for being such a fighter and making it through. Despite his illness he had a lovely nature throughout his time with us. Well done Mr Tom!


August’s Braveheart Award goes to… Alvin the well travelled cat!

Alvin and his journeyAlvin came in to us by a very worried member of the public. They had found him in the wheel arch of their car after a journey across Plymouth. Understandably they were rather concerned about this poor ginger cat that was now sporting a new colour of grey soot. After the panicked journey from Plymouth to the hospital the cat arrived.

Once admitted the cat was checked over for any burns, cuts or further injuries. He was lucky to come out with only scuffed pads and a graze on his chin. After confirming he was in no immediate danger, we scanned him for a microchip. We were in luck, he had a chip and better still the details were up to date and we were able to contact the owner. To our surprise the owner informed us that they lived in the depths of Cornwall, Redruth in fact.

After a night at the hospital the owners came to collect him. He is now safe and sound reunited with his best friend and enjoying cuddles on the sofa again. But if it wasn’t for Alvin having a microchip this cuddly little cat would have probably never made it home!


July's Braveheart Award goes to…. Wispa

whisper before and after

The Braveheart for this month is a lovely little cat called Wispa. She is an older girl who started having problems with her breathing. She developed a nasty cough and discharge from her nose. She stopped eating and any effort moving around meant that she struggled to breathe. Wispa came into the hospital and spent time in a special oxygen tent to help her. An ultrasound scan of her chest didn’t show any problems with her heart or with a build up of fluid on her lungs and x-rays of her chest showed signs of a chest infection. Wispa was treated with antibiotics and oxygen therapy and nebulisation to clear her blocked airways. She slowly started to become less breathless, started to eat smelly foods like fish and enjoyed a lot of affection. Wispa has been well enough to go home but she has had to come in and see us every evening for antibiotic injections as the little minx won’t take her tablets!  For such a little cat Wispa is a real fighter with a big personality, everybody at Westmoor hopes that you continue on your road to recovery.


Junes Braveheart Award goes to….Bella

Bella Livings

Imagine the scene if you will:

‘Good evening fight fans….!’

‘Welcome to this evenings entertainment brought to you live from almost any suburban household in this glorious county of Devon.’

‘In the red corner we have a really cute boisterous 8 week old puppy…‘

‘…and in the blue corner we have a grumpy old cat who just wants to be left to himself’

Well we all know how this one ends don’t we?

That’s how we came to meet this month’s recipient of the Braveheart award – Bella, the 8 week old really cute boisterous Cockapoo puppy.

Bella had come out worse for wear from her encounter with a feline version of Victor Meldrew, sustaining a cat claw injury to her eyeball for her troubles.

On first arriving at Westmoor, Bella’s cornea (the normally clear front part of the eye) was blue and cloudy because of the cat claw injury.  There was every chance at this stage that the eye could be lost.

However after several days of round-the clock nursing care the wound started healing, and Bella was safe to discharge back to the care of her relieved Mum, with post-op instructions to let sleeping cats lie.

So far so good!

Well done Bella for your bravery – and for winning the hearts of all the nurses, if not the fight with your feline housemate!


May's Braveheart Award goes to … Miffy

Miffy Finnegan

Meet Miffy, a very handsome 3 year old Domestic Short Hair who is the much deserved winner of this month’s Braveheart Award!

A few days after being in a fierce cat fight, Miffy’s owners noticed that he wasn’t his usual lively self and that he was having difficulty breathing.  When he was examined by one of our vets, it was clear that his chest was moving abnormally and his lung sounds were quieter than usual.  We were concerned that  Miffy may have ruptured his diaphragm, causing the organs in his abdomen to move into his chest and obstruct his breathing.

Miffy had x-rays of his chest taken, which confirmed he had a diaphragmatic hernia. He underwent a high risk surgery to replace his abdominal organs and repair the hernia. Thankfully Miffy remained stable during his operation, and stayed in hospital for a couple of days to have his breathing monitored. Since being home he has made a full recovery and has been staying out of trouble! Well done Miffy!


April's Braveheart Award goes to … Leo