Unfortunately, as he was no longer as
quick as he once was, he had been caught and brutally savaged
by 2 dogs. It was clear that his injuries were very extensive
and he was in a great deal of shock and pain. The decision
to attempt to save his life was made by his owner on the
agreed basis with myself that if at any stage of treatment
we felt that we were wasting Rupert's time we would "put
him to sleep." Treatment was only initiated on the
basis that we had a realistic chance, albeit slender, of
"Rupert" returning to good health.
Firstly we tested his 17 year old organs
(liver and kidneys) to ensure that his body had a fighting
chance of success. Then, after connecting him to a drip
and starting medication, he underwent a 2 hour operation,
with Ingrid and myself, in an attempt to repair his broken
ribs, collapsed lungs and tears in his chest and diaphragm.
Drains were inserted into his chest
to avoid fluid accumulation and help to control infection.
Additionally, on his recovery from his anaesthetic an additional
tube had to be placed in his stomach through his nose to
feed him whilst he was so debilitated.
Almost a week later a second operation
was required to close three large muscle tears in his abdomen.
The day following his second procedure Rupert began to eat
for himself a most gratifying sight indeed to all the staff
who had cared for him throughout.
Eleven days after his original injuries
Rupert was discharged. Whilst it is likely Rupert's recuperation
will take a little longer yet as some of his skin injuries
will require further treatment he has essentially survived
his ordeal is eating well and starting to enjoy life again.
Was it worth it?
To the staff at Fairfield most certainly yes, having the
opportunity to successfully treat a patient like Rupert
is the reason we turn up to work in the morning. Was it
worth it to his owners? Unfortunately, not being insured
has meant they have had to spend a considerable sum of money
but since "Rupert" has otherwise been healthy
for his 17 years it doesn't seem quite so bad when you stretch
it over that time span. Was it worth it for "Rupert?".........well
you'll have to ask him!!!!!!!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
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