Our 2008-9 Patient of the Year Award went to nine-month-old cocker spaniel Beau Penfold, who had major heart surgery at Burnham House.
"Beau is a fantastic dog who is lucky to have the owners he has" says vet Jeremy Stattersfield.
Beau started life not far from Dover but when the time came for him to leave his mum he found himself on a boat to the Channel Islands. His new owner was thrilled to get him but when he was taken to a local vet for a check-up it was discovered that he had a heart defect. His new owner felt he could not cope with this and poor Beau was on a boat back a few days later. Then his luck improved and Mr and Mrs Penfold took him on from the breeder. They were delighted with him and saw a big character in a small pup's body.
He was brought to Burnham House in July 2008 at just three months old. After a short trip to the cardiologist, the Penfolds came to terms with the fact that Beau would need major surgery if he was to have the chance to lead a normal, active life. Beau had open chest surgery at Burnham House a few days later when Jeremy closed off a hole connecting the two sides of his heart. Within days he was a brighter, more active pup and his recovery has been smooth.
Veterinary Nurse Kim Pressnell, who was in theatre with Beau, said, "He was a wonderful patient who never complained and was a pleasure to look after."
Patient of the Year is voted for by the entire practice staff. This year they were in no doubt that they wanted not only to recognise this brave pup, but also to acknowledge how his owners were prepared to take on a poorly pup and allow us to perform extensive surgery to give him a good quality of life; which we hope will go on for many years.