A relieved Yorkshire dog owner has praised surgeons at a leading small animal hospital who carried out potentially lifesaving abdominal surgery on his treasured rescue dog. 

Barry Cook, from Kirkbymoorside, admitted he was very distressed when he discovered that 10-year-old Fred’s gallbladder was enlarged and his bile duct was blocked and swollen. 

Now, he is full of gratitude to the team at Linnaeus-owned Wear Referrals, in County Durham, as the family pet has made a remarkable recovery from the serious condition. 

Barry said: “This was all extremely distressing for us as Fred’s condition was very serious, so I would like to pass my sincere thanks to the whole team at Wear Referrals. 

“I honestly cannot thank them enough for everything they did for us and the first-class treatment Fred received. 

“He is now well recovered and back to his old self but I know that without the team at Wear he wouldn’t be with us now.” 

Barry singled out Joe Higgins, a surgery resident at Wear, for particular praise, saying: “We arrived out of hours and were called in to see Joe who explained Fred’s condition. 

“He had an excellent manner and even drew a little diagram to show in detail what the problem was and set out his plan to operate on Fred the following morning. 

“The following morning Joe rang me to inform me Fred was ready for his operation and following surgery Joe rang me again to explain it had gone well and that Fred was recovering. 

“The nursing team then kept me well informed of his progress and it was such a relief to know he was in such good, safe and caring hands.” 

Fred’s surgery was the first time that Joe had removed a gall bladder, but supervising specialist Mark Gosling said the resident did a superb job. 

Mark said: “Fred presented to us after he had started being repeatedly sick throughout the day and had become very lethargic. 

“His local vets had diagnosed an issue with his gall bladder, a sac that stores bile in the liver, and he was referred to us here at Wear. 

“An abdominal ultrasound confirmed there was a gallbladder mucocele present, which is an accumulation of thick, jelly-like bile. 

“This gelatinous material had passed down into the plumbing that leaves the gall bladder, causing an obstruction of the flow of bile to the bowel. When this plumbing becomes blocked, this can result in abdominal pain, jaundice and vomiting.” 

Joe operated to remove Fred’s gallbladder and unblock his bile duct, under Mark’s direct supervision.

“It is a very intricate procedure as the bile duct can be very fragile and, if it’s damaged during surgery, it can lead to life-threatening complications. 

“Fred made an excellent recovery, bouncing back almost immediately. He was up and eating the very next day and is now doing well back at home with his family.” 

Wear specialises in providing expert multidisciplinary care, including anaesthesia, cardiology, diagnostic imaging, intensive care, internal medicine, neurology, OOH emergency and critical care, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.  

For more information of Wear Referrals, visit https://www.wear-referrals.co.uk or search for them on social media. 

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