Happy Birthday Belle!

One friend's experience with Critical Care

SASH is privileged to treat some amazing patients and Belle is certainly one of these.

A real fighter, it took a team approach and multiple departments working together to help this beautiful girl.

Belle’s journey started off at her local vet, where they surgically removed a diseased and ruptured gall bladder. This was due to a mucocele – an abnormal amount of mucus – in the gall bladder, which can occur in older small breed dogs. It’s particularly common if the dogs are suffering from hormonal problems such as Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism.

The surgery went well and Belle received excellent post-operative care, but unfortunately still did not do well post-surgery. She suffered some serious respiratory issues, persistent vomiting, poor appetite and a very elevated white blood cell count.

When she was referred to SASH, she was initially seen by Dr Erin Mooney, one of our Emergency and Critical Care specialists. Erin and the internal medicine specialists Dr Justin Wimpole and Dr Bing Zhu worked together to diagnose Belle with serious blood clots that were obstructing blood flow to the spleen, acute pancreatitis with an extrahepatic bile duct obstruction. This lead to liver problems and the build up of a yellow pigment called bilirubin making Belle very jaundiced.

One thing was clear – this was a very, very unwell dog.

SASH considered surgery to remove the diseased spleen, but were concerned about Belle’s incredibly fragile state.

Nutrition was a key issue. To help this, SASH used a feeding tube, until Belle was eventually well enough to start eating her favourite: cooked chicken.

Belle was in intensive care for ten days. After that, thanks to a large team of dedicated caregivers at SASH, some serious fight from little Belle and lots of love from her parents, she was able to be discharged.

Belle was managed as an out-patient under the care of her regular local veterinarian and we are thrilled to report that she has made excellent progress.

She is eating well, gaining weight, the jaundice has resolved and blood supply is returning to her spleen. And she is unlikely to need surgery to remove it anymore.

Belle recently celebrated her 12th birthday and had a great time as did her proud mum Rosie, who has been integral to Belle’s recovery. We are certainly hoping for many more birthdays from this fighter.

“The team at SASH is privileged to treat some amazing patients and Belle is certainly one of these. She is a real fighter and her case is an example on where the team approach at SASH has come into its own with multiple specialties working together to get the best outcome for the patient.”

Dr Justin Wimpole

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