A beloved Golden Retriever in her dotage who collapsed at home amid concerns over her balance is back on all fours and enjoying life again after care at a South London vets.
Fourteen-year-old Cassie was otherwise healthy when she visited Maven Veterinary Care in Sutton, after first being unable to stand and then collapsing when she eventually could.
Cassie had also vomited overnight and showed an unusual lack of interest in breakfast, leading her owners to fear something was seriously amiss.
Vet Hazel Maw performed a full clinical examination which revealed a marked head-tilt and rapid flickering eye movements and confirmed Cassie was unable to keep herself upright.
She was diagnosed with vestibular disease, a sudden onset syndrome which commonly affects older dogs and sometimes has underlying causes such as middle or inner ear infections, trauma, tumours, toxins and thyroid disease.
Happily for Cassie, there was no underlying cause but she still required a six-day spell in hospital for treatment with intravenous fluids, anti-nausea medication and intensive nursing care.
Vet Bethan Mackenzie said: “The potential seriousness of vestibular disease is often under-appreciated in clinical practice.
“However, Cassie’s case highlights the immensity of nursing care needed, the constant worry of a more sinister diagnosis and the huge reward when your patient finally walks unaided back to their owners.
“Cassie was hand-fed as her co-ordination and balance were not adequate for her to feed herself. She developed a fondness for cooked chicken during this time and we couldn’t possibly refuse those sad eyes!
“She also needed to be turned and repositioned frequently to prevent pressure sores developing on her limbs. Her balance and mobility continued to slowly improve and were finally at the stage where she could be discharged home.
“It is a privilege to be involved in ensuring that the close bond between geriatric pets and their owners is preserved.”
Veterinary nurse Jade Prior added: “Cassie was a dream to look after in hospital. Even though she was not feeling great, she always had a waggy tail and a smiling face. It was so lovely to see her improve each day and go home to her lovely owners.”
Maven Veterinary Care is rated outstanding by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and is located on London Road, North Cheam, Sutton.