Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Lula - Pet of the Month hall of fame

Over 2016 we have treated many lovely pets and sadly some very ill animals too, but we've had some happy endings and one such case is that of 3 year old Lula.

This super little dog has survived the odds after needing two major operations. Lula was diagnosed with a condition called a portosystemic shunt or liver shunt. This is where the normal flow of blood through the liver does not occur due to an abnormal connection between blood vessels. This means that the liver is prevented from doing its normal job of breaking down toxins. The toxins build up in the blood stream making the dog very ill. In Lula's case she was born with this. Medication can be given to support the liver, but the best solution is to surgically tie off the abnormal blood vessel, thus removing the shunt and restoring normal blood flow to the liver.Little Lula had the operation in August back in her owner's home country and was recovering well, but a few weeks later she was brought in to see vet Rachel after she lost her appetite and was very quiet.

Rachel carried out some tests and diagnosed that Lula had a uterus (womb) infection called Pyometra. This is a very serious condition that requires surgery but the risk of anaesthetic complications for Lula were high. Little Lula took a turn for the worse and collapsed. She was showing signs of shock and vet Katie suspected that Lula’s uterus had ruptured and pus was leaking out into her abdomen causing peritonitis.

Katie and the nursing team needed to work quickly and Lula was given a general anaesthetic and prepared for emergency surgery. Supported with intravenous fluids and antibiotics, Lula was taken into theatre. The nurses monitored Lula closely, ensuring that her heart rate, rhythm and breathing remained within a certain range as Katie carried out an ovariohysterectomy (removal of the uterus and ovaries). Katie then flushed Lula’s abdomen with a sterile saline solution in order to remove the infective material. Once out of surgery, the nurses continuously monitored Lula as she began to wake from the anaesthetic. Lula was still seriously ill but she gave us some encouraging signs, not least a little wag of her tail! Over the next few days, Lula continued to improve and was able to take a few steps around the garden. She was quite enjoying all the attention and deservedly-so. The day came for this brave, happy little girl to go home. We were so glad to see Lula back with her owners.