Ellie’s Story

ellieEllie 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.

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4 Responses to “Ellie’s Story”

  1. Fabiola

    We are facing the same thing with my daughter’s pug. He is anorexic and now has ascites. How can we go about trying the same treatment, even if it is just to improve his outlook for a short while?

    • Ian Stroud

      Hello, I am sorry to hear about your pug. Where do you live? Have you spoken to your vet about treatment options? Best of luck with him I hope he is comfortable and in good spirits. Ian

  2. Cheryl Hurley

    We are going through much the same thing right now. 6 yr old deaf, white boxer, female. 10 months ago blood work was good. She started drinking more water and refuses to eat, which isn’t like her. She is in a Veterinary Specialist hospital as I write this getting ready for a liver biopsy. Had a ct scan yesterday. ALT is 2200, everything else is going up too. Not a shunt. Just as long as she is not in pain, we will let them keep looking. Should have results next week from biopsy, bringing her home tomorrow. Was told she has an abnormally small liver, smaller than the gall bladder.
    Just wasn’t expecting this to happen to a healthy looking, happy boxer.


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