This is Polly, a very sick little puppy who was admitted into our hospital yesterday morning. Polly was lethargic, dehydrated and had terrible case of diarrhoea. We tested her for giardia and parvo virus, both of which generated negative results. But when we looked at a faecal sample under the microscope we could see eggs from a nasty intestinal worm; the hookworm. Polly had a significant hookworm burden and, as a result, was anaemic.
Lobke, one of our wonderful Vets, was busy treating Polly when I arrived at work. She had started Polly on IV fluids, had given her antibiotics, medicine to combat nausea/vomiting and an intestinal wormer (to rid her of those horrible hookworms!). But Polly was dangerously anaemic, and Lobke decided that if Polly was to have any chance of survival, then she really needed a blood transfusion.
We needed a blood donor and Nanda, our Shelter Manager, knew of a perfect candidate waiting in our adoption pens and she went for him straight away. Bobby walked into the vet hospital, as calm and as laid back as any dog I had ever met. He is enormous, but a gentle giant with big, brown eyes… a beautiful dog with a wonderful nature.
Lobke checked Bobby over to make sure that he was fit and healthy. Passing with flying colours, Lobke started Bobby on IV fluids then gave him a light anaesthesia. When Bobby was asleep, Lobke collected enough blood to help Polly. Afterwards, Bobby was moved to a warm recovery pen to wake up from his anaesthesia. In no time Bobby was sitting up and later in the afternoon we moved him into a larger hospital pen so that he could stretch his legs.
Look at that waggly tail!!!
Wasting no time, Lobke started Polly’s blood infusion, monitoring her closely for any adverse reactions. Polly’s blood transfusion continued over the course of the afternoon and was finished by early evening. The night Nurse’ continued to monitor Polly overnight and she seemed to be getting better and better…
Today I had to pop into work quickly and, of course, I made a bee line straight to Polly’s pen. I peeped behind the towel and a lively little Polly barked out a “yip-yap” at me. What a difference from yesterday morning! I love that mischievous twinkle that puppies have in their eyes, and Polly definitely had a sparkle!
So as I sit here in the evening with my little Persian cat curled up on my lap, I think of Polly. You might assume that she is asleep in her hospital pen, but you would be mistaken. Dr Anne, our Chief Veterinarian, took Polly home for the weekend! Polly is still on IV fluids and is still a long way from a full recovery, but Dr Anne is giving her the best medicine of all; a home environment… and a warm lap!
Just a few days later, Dr Anne emailed me some photos of Polly playing with her dogs. You won’t believe the difference!
Isn’t she beautiful!?
Rohan Hughes, Vet Nurse