Everyday, the staff at Coventry Animal Hospital is blessed with the opportunity to help animals in need. During the course of treatments, we are continuously amazed at how well cats and dogs fare against what may initially seem like tremendous odds. In order to share some of these great stories with you, we built a 'Case of the Month' page where, once monthly, we will post a veterinary success story.
Teddy is a very sweet 3 year old Morkie who presented to the hospital on August 28th in a very sad state: he was lethargic, and was suffering from severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Bloodwork run just two weeks prior during a similar episode of GI upset revealed no major organ problems. In light of this, Dr. Gardner diagnosed Teddy with Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE). HGE is a serious acute condition with no known cause, but Teddy's signs were prototypical for the disease. Patients with HGE are typified by urgent bloody diarrhea and vomiting that is usually associated with major lethargy. There is no specific test for HGE, but an in-house blood test can check Blood Packed Cell Volume (PCV) which is an important indicator in diagnosing the condition. In HGE, the hematocrit (another term for PCV) is increased due to the fluid loss associated with extreme vomiting and diarrhea. Teddy's PCV was twice that of a normal dog, which indicated a serious need for hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
Teddy was given IV fluids as well as injections for vomiting and diarrhea. We withheld food and water for 24 hours while continuing therapy, but we were pleased to see that after only a few hours Teddy began to perk up. Given his state, Dr. Gardner elected to send Teddy home overnight just in case his condition deteriorated. By morning, the owners informed us that there had been no vomiting in almost 18 hours, and that he had only a small amount of diarrhea overnight. During the second day of treatment, we began feeding small amounts of bland diet. After over 36 hours without food, Teddy had developed quite an appetite! However, it was important that we introduce food very slowly in order to prevent further GI upset ; we were only able to feed teaspoon sized amounts of canned food every hour or so to begin with. By the end of the day though, Teddy was barking for food, and ready to go home! We discharged him from the hospital after only two days of treatment with stomach protective drugs as well as anti-emetic and anti-diarrheal medications... The rest is history!
Its heartwarming to see animals turn around so quickly after presenting to the hospital in such poor condition. We strive every day to help as many animals as we can, but cases like this really make us feel great about the way we make a living. Teddy is such a sweet dog, and although we love every minute we are able to spend with him, we still hope that he doesn't visit us again anytime soon!