Ellie the cocker spaniel was brought to Vet4life, for a second opinion. She had been given a hopeless prognosis, one that was not even worth treating…
On assessment, Ellie was a little quiet and had a distended abdomen containing fluid. A previous blood test had suggested she had low protein levels and her liver was not working properly. Ian performed an ultrasound scan and confirmed she had Cirrhosis (scarring of liver and poor liver function as a result of long standing liver inflammation). This was a dreadful and heart-breaking diagnosis for a dog of only four years old. Although the initial prognosis was very guarded, both Ellie’s owners and Ian felt it was wrong to give up on her without even trying.
Ellie was given anti-inflammatory medications and other tablets to improve her liver function, as well as antibiotics and colchicine. At first it seemed as though the medication wasn’t working and we were all getting very concerned. Her abdomen continued to become more and more distended and it was starting to put pressure on her internal organs. A blood test however, suggested that things were improving and in herself, she was generally bright and happy. Ian drained several litres of fluid whilst she happily sat, wagged her tail and asked for treats! One week later, she turned a corner, the liver recovered sufficiently to make enough albumin (a protein found in the blood) and her abdominal fluid started to disappear! Every week Ellie came back with a smaller tummy, more energetic and lively, and back to her ‘old self’.
As expected however, the improvement was only temporary. Last week the fluid returned and we all said goodbye to her. She was given a fantastic quality of life and really enjoyed her last summer often running in the New Forest. Ellie was always happy to come into the clinic for a treat and never complained. She was so brave and will be missed by all. Thank you for helping to make our job so special.