Dr Rob was called at 1am because Sally had become very ill. She was normally a very active dog but she had become very lethargic and her owners did not know why and they had become very worried.
Down the hill from Collie they came and met Dr Rob at Treendale Pet medical at 2am. Sally was very weak and was having trouble breathing. Dr Rob knew it was some kind of poison but he had to run some tests to try and figure out what was wrong.
At Treendale Pet Medical we can run full blood tests at 2am in the morning because we have an IDEXX blood laboratory on site. This is critical in pet emergencies as we can make an accurate and rapid diagnosis within minutes rather than sending bloods to a human lab the next morning. Fast accurate results lead to fast accurate treatments and better outcomes.
Sally was anaemic because she was bleeding but she also had azotaemia from renal shut down and her ALT was very high because she was going into DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation) which was causing the bleeding. Her CK was also very high. This multiorgan failure and coagulopathy combined with paresis and respiratory distress fitted with snake envenomation.
Sally was treated immediately after Dr Rob had consent from her worried and loving owners. Sally rapidly improved following administration of antivenom and over a few hours she had seemingly made a full recovery. Sally was back to her normal self by 6am and seemingly had made a full recovery. Over a few days however her kidneys deteriorated due to the snake venom as well as muscle damage from the envenomation. After the initial jubilation we became very worried as her kidneys continued to deteriorate in the following days.
Sally was just such a sweet dog there was no way we were giving up on her and neither were her owners despite the very guarded prognosis. After a few days in intensive care, we started to see a small improvement in her kidney function and after a week her kidneys were starting to concentrate urine again even if it was just a very small bit.
We started to feel like there may be hope for Sally after we had all become very depressed over the previous week with her deteriorating condition. The supportive care, fluids and medication was starting to take effect and her loving family wasn’t giving up. Sally would stay with us for another 10 days in intensive care on an IV with her life in the balance.
Sally is a much loved dog and daily family visits and a special Maori prayer session with friends and family seemed to be the turning point in her recovery. We’re never too proud to have a little help from the spirits and the Karakia (Maori prayer for healing) gave her the will to live we needed to get her back from the brink. Sally went from strength to strength and was able to go home with her loving family. It was a miracle she survived the envenomation and another miracle that she survived the DIC and renal failure. This dog is the most beautiful soul and we all fell in love with her. We were so pleased she made it. Check out her smile at discharge………
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