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Dogs With Jobs – Police Dog Bandit’s Surgery

Published on March 3, 2023.
Last Updated March 3, 2023.
Police Dog Bandit was in a critical condition, from a migrating grass seed

Bandit presented at SASH Adelaide Emergency, lethargic and in a severely critical condition. Bandit was diagnosed with septic peritonitis (infection in the abdomen) and was in septic shock; Bandit’s organs were starting to fail due to the infection. He was stabilised and prepped for emergency surgery.

Specialist Surgeon, Dr Ryan Taggart and his surgery team performed an emergency procedure where they drained 4 litres of purulent fluid from his abdomen. They found and removed the remains of a grass seed, which was likely the cause of his infection. Bandit remained in a critical condition in the SASH ICU, and he had his first blood transfusion in recovery.

Bandit the police dog
Bandit in the SASH ICU

Two days later, Bandit underwent a second surgery as he had developed a haemoabdomen.

Following surgery, under the care of Critical Care Specialist, Dr Nicole Kalnins, Bandit was closely monitored 24/7 by the Critical Care vets and nursing team. He needed continuous intensive monitoring, cardiovascular support, feeding support, oxygen therapy and further blood transfusions. The Critical Care entire Adelaide team fell in love with Bandit, who at only 4-years-old, had been through so much and was proving to be quite the fighter.

What makes Bandit so special, is that he’s a working service dog who has served for 4 years with the South Australian Police Force, in the Dog Operations Unit.

Over the course of 2 weeks in the ICU, Bandit stabilised, responded well to his treatment, and was reunited with his handler. The South Australia Police Force gifted the team with a special plaque, to honour the care provided for Bandit at SASH Adelaide.

Bandit remains well and will return to his duty of serving the South Australian Police, very soon. We love you Bandit!

The SASH team with South Australia Police – Dog Operations Unit

About the Author

Natasha Rizk

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SASH is home to some of Australia’s leading specialists and veterinary experts. If you have any concerns about your pet, please get in touch with us.

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