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Stuart : Bernie

Published on December 29, 2023.

Story from Stuart : Bernie

Bernie is a seven year old Maltese Shih Tzu and he went to bed on a Sunday night as normal. Next day he couldn’t walk properly or walking in circles and when doing his business outside he would nearly fall over.

I called my local vet and they thought it may have been a nerve issue or a neurological issue – he had an anti inflammatory and I took him home. He wasn’t improving and wouldn’t eat so on Tuesday I rang the vet again – they then organised for me to take Bernie to SASH Adelaide straight away.  At the hospital he had an MRI and blood tests and was diagnosed with encephalitis and was started on a course of medication along with course of antimetabolic injections. His neurologist was Dr Dillion Devathasan and nurse was Catherine (Cat) and they were wonderful to me at a very difficult time. They explained it all to me and what was to be expected over next few days – both good and bad. Bernie stayed in hospital Tuesday to Thursday and was improving but not eating on Thursday I took every food he likes but while he checked it out he still didn’t want it. I left on Thursday thinking that he wasn’t going to make it. The staff on the front counter were fantastic as I was upset at that time. When home I even tidied up his toys and beds thinking he wasn’t coming home. On Friday I had my morning chat with Dillion or Catherine and they said he was comfortable but not eating. I explained he can be fussy so was decided to bring him home and see if his normal environment would change that. On Friday night he didn’t want his chicken and rice but did eat his Dentastix. Next day I reheated the chicken and rice and he ate the lot. I was pleased with that obviously.

He is back to his normal cheeky self in my opinion and is on a reducing tablet daily regime plus have injections every four weeks or so – I expect this to continue for next few month. One side effect of his medication is increased appetite which I imagine will calm down as the dose is reduced. He gets a bit of cucumber as an extra to his meal as fills him up plus its low calorie and in moderation is good for him.

Dillion and Catherine have been great and I thank them for the care they have given Bernie.


Stuart Bee

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