We had a very sick puppy brought to us last week. She had been seen at another practice, and she was under treatment for an upset tummy, but she had become very dehydrated. All seemed fairly routine until we ran her bloods. Shockingly she was in severe kidney failure.
All the other pups in her litter are fine, and her mum and dad are fine too, so there was no history of a genetic illness; but there was always a chance her kidneys hadn’t formed properly; in which case treatment would be futile.
We gave a very guarded prognosis; and there were tears; but we geared up to treat the disease aggressively and intensively with intravenous fluids. We couldn’t make any promises. It’s not easy confining a playful little puppy in a cage on fluids; and the nurses fussed over her for the week; giving her regular playtime and baths.
Each blood test showed signs of improvement, and each visit with her family saw her energy improving. We were thrilled to see the numbers dropping over the week. She should be ok to discharge tomorrow. We’re not sure if she will have long term damage; it’s too early to say; but with a bit of luck she’ll recover completely and never look back.
Cases like these are difficult. It’s easy to look at numbers like those and feel hopeless; but with enough determination and cooperation with owners; we can treat most illnesses. As long as a failed organ can regenerate some function, we can provide all the support necessary for healing to occur. It’s round the clock care; and it involves a lot of flushing drips; replacing blocked catheters; untangling twisted lines, and cleaning up lots of poo!! We don’t mind.. it’s all worth it when our patients get to go home.