September 2018: Barney

September 2018: Barney

Reason for Nomination: For being the perfect patient

This brave boy came to us through our night team, Vets Now, having had a very high fever and severe abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. He had had exploratory surgery at another practice several days previous which found a retained testicle, but nothing was identified which explained his signs and he was deteriorating.

We took bloods which showed that his white blood cell count was dangerously low. This can occur when there is such severe inflammation or infection that the body cannot keep the supply of infection-fighting white blood cells up with the demand. In some cases, it can be caused by damage to the bone marrow which stops the body from making white blood cells altogether. With such a low white blood cell count Barney was at high risk of acquiring other infections, and it was essential that we found out what was causing this.

Barney was started on intravenous fluids, antibiotics and strong pain relief. In our hospitalised patients we can give constant infusions of pain relief to our patients so they can be as comfortable as possible, and we often will use several different drugs to give the best possible pain relief. Barney was so sore he needed 3 different types of pain relief to make him comfortable!

We performed an abdominal ultrasound scan which showed that poor Barney’s prostate was enlarged with a nasty abscess, which was causing the pain and fever. Prostate disease is more common in older dogs who have not been castrated, but it is uncommon for it to be this severe.  We started Barney on three different antibiotics to hit the infection as hard as we could, but we were very concerned that he would not pull through.

Amazingly within 24 hours of starting treatment Barney started to eat for himself and was brighter and wagging his tail! He was the perfect patient throughout his stay; he is such a gentle soul and never made a fuss for any of his treatments. After 4 days his white blood cell count had returned to normal and he was ready to continue his recovery at home.  After several long weeks of oral antibiotics, the abscess resolved and Barney is now back to his usual tricks at home!

It was a pleasure to have Barney in the hospital with us but we are thrilled he is now back with his family and enjoying life to the full.