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Veronica : Hugo

Published on December 15, 2023.

Story from Veronica : Hugo

Hugo is the main character in our house and family. He is an absolute star who can only see the wonder of the world. Always happy to see his family and friends and constantly bringing joy to everyone around him even on his daily walks.

But recently his daily walk turned sour very quickly. On a regular walk around our neighbourhood, after walking down one of Adelaide’s best Christmas Light Streets, Hugo was not himself. He stopped on the nearest front lawn and vomited up a very viscous, yellow vomit. Now I guess this on its own is not all that abnormal, but what he did next was definitely a red flag. He then tried to take a step but couldn’t and then laid down in his own vomit. He didn’t have any strength left in him. He rested a minute but was still not able to get up. Now being a labradoodle, we thought a treat should do the trick, that’ll get him back on his feet but he did not respond to it, it was like he couldn’t even smell it. To say we were starting to get worried, was a big understatement.

We then noticed that his tongue was discoloured and not as bright pink/red as usual. We then went to check him gums as we knew that this was often the best indicator for a dog’s health and wellbeing. His gums were very white/pink in colour. So straight away we went into emergency mode, we picked him up and quickly walked the rest of the way home. He was almost limp in our arms, unable to hold his head up.

We called SASH who were immediately helpful. The staff spoke calmly and clearly to us, listened to our concerns and gave us prompt and useful advice. We drove straight there and as soon as we walked in the door, we were asked if this was Hugo. Incredible service from the start. They started by getting his weight and immediately one of the triage nurses came out and took us into a consultation room. She started to assess Hugo whilst asking us for further details about the situation, but as soon as she noticed his gum colour she politely interrupted us and advised us that she would like to take him to the treatment area to start a more thorough assessment. We were more than happy with this as they were prioritising essential care. They advised us that they would come back and get further details from us once they were confident in his condition.

Within a few minutes the nurse was back with us gathering and clarifying information about what had happened. They explained that they had suspected an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting but couldn’t see any swelling, so he could have possibly eaten one. The recommended treatment was antihistamine medication which we were consulted about and asked for consent for treatment. This was administered by the vet in the treatment area and then he was monitored by nursing staff for a while. After an hour or so he was brought back out to the waiting area with us for continued monitoring by us. After an additional half and hour, he did another nasty thick, yellow vomit. We told the reception staff immediately and they then got the triage nurse back to consult with us. Our concerns were put at ease after speaking with her, as it is quite normal for this to happen. She did answer our questions as best as she could but she advised us that the vet would be over to discuss Hugo’s care as soon as possible. They were quite busy with some critical care patients requiring CPR, which we absolutely understood and wanted those patients to remain the priority. We were happy to wait with Hugo being in a stable condition, unlike those poor other patients.

We happily waited with Hugo in a private consultation room until the vet came in. Dr Chris took care of us and gave us his full attention asking for our run through of the events. He then explained the diagnosis clearly and thoroughly to us and gave us three treatment options. We very much appreciated the clear communication and detailed discussion of each treatment option with also a necessary discussion of finances. We were given time to ourselves to discuss the treatment options without feeling pressured to go for any particular one. When Dr Chris returned we discussed our treatment choice of keeping Hugo at SASH overnight for monitoring, blood testing and IV fluids. We said goodbye to our fluffy boy with big cuddles, knowing he would be under the best care with the team at SASH. We were updated the next morning via text reassuring us that Hugo was stable and that we should expect a phone call from the vet with an update on his condition within the next 2hrs. The call was with Dr Caitlin who was very calm and clear in explaining Hugo’s condition and care. She was very reassuring and very much included us in the decisions for his further care. It was decided that we could come and pick up our baby boy that afternoon and continue to monitor his condition for the next 24hrs at home.

When we arrived to pick him up, we were taken to a private consultation room with Dr Caitlin who then further explained Hugo’s treatment and condition. And then our Hugo was brought into the room. He ran and slid straight into our arms at full steam ahead. We knew our Hugo was back! He was beyond excited to be back and reunited with his family. And we were beyond thrilled to see our boy back to his usual energetic and happy self.

Once home, Hugo rested and we continue to monitor him. We received another text the following day from SASH to check in with us about Hugo’s health and recovery. The service from initial phone call to even follow up message was next to none and we now could never ever consider going to any other emergency vet service. And believe me we have tried others in the past, but at those surgeries our concerns were dismissed. At SASH, they genuinely care about our animals; our animals are family, not just pets, and that is very much the ethos and priority they share.

We are proud to be part of the SASH family and are so grateful for the incredible staff and service that they have provided for our family. Thank you with all our heart!

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