A young Sprocker Spaniel has made an amazing recovery from potentially deadly tetanus following intense multidisciplinary treatment at a Cambridgeshire animal hospital. 

Two-year-old Pumpkin was gravely ill after contracting the rare disease when he was referred to Linnaeus-owned DWR Veterinary Specialists in Six Mile Bottom. 

Amongst the lifesaving treatment Pumpkin received at DWR was emergency and critical care, plus specialist care from the neurology, ophthalmology and physiotherapy teams. 

Katherine Gane, resident in emergency and critical care at DWR, said: “Pumpkin was very poorly and needed intensive hospitalisation for almost three weeks. 

“Tetanus in dogs can see the toxin attacking the central nervous system and brain. As well as generalised stiffness, the toxin can cause spasm of the muscles within the throat and diaphragm, making it difficult for patients to breath. 

“Pumpkin himself needed to be intubated and have a tube in his airway to help him breathe.

“Pumpkin slowly showed signs of improvement and was eventually able to go home, much to the delight of his owners. He continued to receive physiotherapy at home and I’m happy to report that he is now back to his usual self.”

Pumpkin’s chance of survival was also helped by the rapid initial response of his owners and local vets, who saw the potential signs of tetanus and quickly made the referral to DWR.  

Owner Michael Cosgrove, from Berden in Essex, said: “We were in shock when the vets told us Pumpkin had tetanus. We thought he just had an upset stomach as we hadn’t heard of tetanus in dogs before. 

“Our animals mean the world to us and it was an extremely distressing time but the team at DWR always made time for us to visit Pumpkin. They realised the moments we spent with him were special to us as we didn’t know if they would be the last. 

“DWR went above and beyond to save Pumpkin and now he’s back to his normal self with bundles of energy. Every day we look at him and thank our lucky stars that he received the best treatment possible. He now gets away with anything and everything!”

Michael also urged fellow dog owners to be aware of possible signs of tetanus in their pets, adding: “Looking back, we realise there had been some small signs such as the rigidity in his limbs and jaw and would urge all dog owners to recognise these signs, although thankfully the infection is rare in dogs.” 

DWR Veterinary Specialists offers specialist-led care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, diagnostic pathology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, interventional radiology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, physiotherapy and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on DWR Veterinary Specialists, visit www.dickwhitereferrals.com or search for DWR Veterinary Specialists on social media. 

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