Timber survives tick fever.
On the 12th November, Timber was presented to our Tai Po clinic. Timber was off colour and had diarrhoea for a few days.
The owners agreed to do a blood test which showed that he was anaemic, with a PCV of 25%; down from a normal of 45%.
Even though Timber was getting a monthly spot on against ticks and was wearing a tick collar, the owners agreed to send the blood away for a specific tick fever, PCR test.
Oral treatment was started for tick fever, whilst we were waiting for the blood result to come back.
Timber came back for a recheck 2 days later, on a Saturday. He was weaker with dark urine. A blood test showed that his red blood cells had dropped to 17%.
Because of the weekend, we could not get the tick fever PCR result for another two days.
It was clear that the oral medicines were not working quickly enough and Timber needed the strong injection. If his red blood cells continued to be destroyed at the same rate, he would require a blood transfusion, or die, within 24 hours.
However we did not have the proof that it was indeed tick fever that was causing the red blood cell destruction.
The owners had a difficult decision to make: whether to wait for the PCR result and risk Timber dying from blood loss, or to take the gamble and give a strong injection, which can have severe side effects.
The owners realised that they did not have much choice and Timber was given an injection of Berenil.
The next day, Timber came for a check up and was already much brighter. His PCV had risen to 20%.
2 days later the lab report came back confirming that Timber had Babesia gibsoni. By then his PCV had risen to 31%.
Timber continued to make a full recovery.
Luckily for him, his owners did not delay when we recommended to take blood samples and they agreed to give the most powerful drug when the safer drugs were not working quickly enough.
Three important things are brought up with this case.
1) Most cases of tick fever that we see, occur in dogs whose owners are using good tick prevention products.
2) Most owners never saw a tick on their dog.
3) Tick fever still occurs in the winter time.
Greedy Billy Bob swallows bones too quickly.
On 23/10/2020 a lady presented Billy Bob, a ten year old, male, poodle, to our Mid Levels hospital, who was vomiting, not eating and was very weak.
The dog had eaten some pork soup bones, 2 days previously and the owner was worried that they were blocking the intestines.
Usually, dogs can eat bones and they just get digested in the dog's stomach. However sometimes they can get stuck and cause problems.
We elected to sedate the dog immediately and to take some X-rays.
When the dog was relaxed, we made sure that there was nothing stuck in the oesophagus. Then, we could feel that there were some hard lumps in the intestines. These were revealed to be bones, on the X-rays.
More importantly, whilst we were feeling the abdomen, the dog vomited out some diarrhoea.
This is a very serious sign and we informed the owner that the dog would need surgery as soon as possible.
The owner took the dog to our Mong Kok 24-hour hospital and Dr. Anthony immediately performed the surgery.
When he opened the dog's abdomen he could see a large section of intestine that was dying and starting to leak, into the abdomen. He had to cut out the dying section and join the healthy bits back together. Then he had to thoroughly wash out the contamination from Billy Bob's belly.
In the end Billy Bob had more than half of his small intestine resected!
Billy Bob took a few days to improve enough to go home, but is now back to normal.
This case is very unusual because most times, dogs can eat bones and digest them. However, this time Billy Bob did not chew the bones properly and the pieces remained too big and got stuck in his intestines. Then for some unknown reason, some bacteria started rotting the intestine wall very quickly, where the bones were stuck, necessitating a large section to be cut out.
Luckily the owner brought the dog in as soon as they realised that there was a problem. They agreed to urgent surgery and that surgery went well. The outcome has been successful. One more day and Billy Bob would not have been so fortunate.
Grey's broken foot.
On 28/10/20 Grey was brought into our Mid Levels hospital.
Grey is a 14 year old male cat.
Grey had disappeared from the third story roof the day before.
The owner was able to find Grey walking around on the ground, the next day, but Grey was only walking on 3 legs.
An examination showed that Grey had a lucky escape, he had fallen three stories but had only broken 2 toes, in the injured leg.
Grey has been constantly bullied by Soloman, a big black cat. The owner believes that Soloman quite likely pushed Grey off the roof during one of his bullying attacks!
The broken bones might have healed, after some time, with a splint. But because Grey is an old aged cat and is bullied by Soloman, it was decided to fix the broken bones using steel pins. This would allow the bones to heal much faster.
Grey duly had the surgery performed by Dr. Richard and so far, is doing very well.
The biggest problem now, is asking Grey to carry a parachute whilst he is on the roof.
Siu Yo Swallowed String