Ace The Labrador
CAUTION GRAPHIC IMAGES
In the Northern communities of Labrador and Quebec there are a large number of stray and feral dogs. This means there are a large number of puppies wondering the streets of these communities. In the border community of Sheffield is where this story begins.
Beverly Piccott, a veterinary assistant and long time employee of WestCoast Veterinary
Services of Stephenville and Maidstone, was contacted by her friend who works in the
border town regarding these puppies. On January 26, 2013, this 11-12 wk old pup was
rescued along with his sister from the Quebec-Labrador border. On adoption, Beverly
noted he did not seemed to be a normal behaving pup. The rescuer had mentioned
some vomiting and he had not been eating well for a couple days before he made the
flight to the island but being feral it was hard to know if it was medical or behaviorial.
Saturday evening Dr. McGregor evaluated him and noted he
had significant abdominal pain did not want to walk much and
was dehydrated. Lab tests did not reveal the cause of the
problem so we hooked him up to intravenous fluids,
administered some pain medications and monitored him.
On Sunday he was a bit better not as painful and hydration
improved would eat a bit but for a young pup his appetite
should be better. Radiographs were suggestive of a foreign
body so surgery was planned for the next day.
On Monday Ace developed a sudden high fever and
suspecting an intestinal tear had developed, emergency
surgery was performed.Under full anesthesia and hooked up to all the monitoring
equipment Dr. McGregor performed a laparotomy and
found a nipple from a baby bottle had torn through Ace’s
intestine and was found floating in is abdomen.
There were 2 large holes in his intestine requiring Dr.
McGregor to remove a large section of the damaged intestine
and carefully preposition slightly a portion of Ace’s pancreas. The intestines in the region
was severely inflamed but due to the position of the damaged section Dr. McGregor
was limited in the amount of intestine she could remove as it could cause permanent
damage to the pancreatic duct and the bile ducts that are essential. Closure was completed but the tissues were very inflamed so it was difficult to know if all the damage intestine was removed but it was sealed so we were hoping for the best.
Peritonitis is an inflammation and infection of the lining of the abdomen and Ace had
severe peritonitis. This is a life threatening infection that is one of the complications
patients can develop when foreign bodies and things like bones are swallowed. We knew Ace
would need intensive care and he had only a 50:50 chance, if that, to make it
through this illness. We opted to be very aggressive with his treatment and this included open drainage of his belly, flushing his abdomen with sterile saline,
high doses of antibiotics, pain and fluid management. After recovery from the anesthesia, Ace seemed to do o.k. He became fast friends with our clinic cat Sancho.
Tuesday morning he was brighter, we flushed his belly, the fluid looked better and he
was more comfortable, he would eat small amounts and his fever was controlled. Still
getting IV fluids and IV antibiotics, he seemed to be improving hourly even after such a
serious problem. Beverly continued his intensive care at home and we would have him in the hospital during the day for his treatments.
Wednesday morning Ace was getting his bandage changed when we noticed he had
developed a complication. The complication was herniation through his drain hole but he also seemed more depressed then he had been so we decided to proceed to a second surgery. In such a young pup anesthesia must be handled very carefully and can be very risky. With the peritonitis Ace’s healing abilities may be compromised but this is one tough little pup so we did not want to give up on him.
Dr. McGregor opened up his incision and immediately knew there was a problem. Along with the hernia the intestines where the damaged portion had been removed showed
further necrosis (dying tissue) and was leaking again. This was a
double whammy for the little man. We removed even more dead
intestines and assessed the rest of the intestines again for
damage and found none. After cleaning his abdomen thoroughly,
flushing and checking the new repair site for further leaks, poor
circulation and damage, we closed his abdomen re-sutured the drain tube and then closed the abdomen in a pattern to allow the drainage he needed. We placed an abdominal bandage and
allowed him to recover.Ace is just that, a wonder pup that will not
give up. He woke up and remained in intensive care for 2 days then
that was it. He never looked back. He healed amazingly. He
remained on antibiotics for 5 weeks and was then anesthesia to
fix the drain hole and neuter/castrate him. During that surgery a swab was collected for culture and sent for testing. The results came back clean and he was taken off the
antibiotics. He still has a mild anemia we are monitoring but you would not know it. Ace and his
best bud Bella have a grand time together and you
would never think that he had ever been sick.
Aside from a few scars he is a bouncing baby boy that has stolen more than a few hearts.
Just an Update for those of you that followed our Wonder Pup's Story Ace is doing great. He now seems to be your typical pup from playing around with Beverly Piccott's other animals to destroying stuff around the house. He has done amazing since his rough beginning and we love to watch as this amazing boy grows