Amelia is a 9-month-old Maltese puppy who presented to Village Vet Hampstead collapsed and very unwell at the end of December. She was unresponsive, passing haemorrhagic diarrhoea, and as she is a small breed and young, she had less ability to cope with fluid losses and regulate blood glucose. On presentation to us, she had severe dehydration, shock from fluid loss, and low blood glucose. Toy breeds like Maltese are particularly predisposed to hypoglycaemia like this, particularly when critically unwell. They require intensive support to correct it and nurse them through the crisis.
Dr Simon Cook, BVSc DACVECC MRCVS, was on hand to provide the critical care she required to support her through fluid resuscitation and extremely high glucose administration. He placed a central line into her jugular vein to facilitate this in a safe manner, as can be seen in the first photograph, a skilled procedure in a 1.2kg dog which markedly improves patient comfort during hospitalisation and allows regular blood monitoring.
She required 5 days hospitalisation before she was well enough to go home to her family and recuperate.
Extensive testing did not find a cause of her severe haemorrhagic diarrhoea, as is often the case. More often than not they are termed “idiopathic” meaning that there is not a specific treatment other than intensive resuscitation, supportive care and gut protectants while it heals itself.
She was an absolute pleasure to look after and the second photo of her shows her as a much happier Amelia at her recheck examination.
Any small breed pets may be more susceptible this and it is important to call for advice if you notice bloody stool or worsening lethargy with lack of appetite.
Please call 02077 944948 for emergency advice and round the clock veterinary care.