Friday, June 24, 2011

Float like a butterfly....

Last night, a 2 year old poodle was rushed into the hospital.  The client reported that "Peanut" was out on a walk, limped for only two steps, and then collapsed.  Peanut was limp, not responsive, and her client was understandably hysterical.

On physical exam, Peanut's situation was grim.  She was comatose and therefore, not responsive to external stimuli.  She was unable to move any part of her body; her heart rate was extremely low and her breaths were shallow and slow.  Her mucous membranes were gray, with a pallor that is usually only seen on a deceased patient.

We jumped in to action.  The most likely explanation for a sudden collapse in a young dog was anaphylaxis, in our area, most likely from a bee sting or insect bite.

An IV catheter was placed; I started to bolus IV fluids in attempt to restore circulation; oxygen was provided. We administered epinephrine to halt the reaction as well as improve the heart rate and blood pressure, a steroid to combat the immune response, as well as benadryl and GI protectant medications.  Over about 40 minutes, Peanut steadily improved to sit up.  When another client came to the front door, she surprised us all and started to bark!  It was an amazing change, and she was on the right track.

Over the evening, Peanut improved steadily, and was remarkably eating and drinking within 4 hours.

Despite the overwhelming positive progress, one single concern emerged.  Peanut was oozing blood from any place on her body where blood had been taken, despite adequate pressure wraps.  Clotting times were evaluated, and Peanut was suffering from a coagulopathy secondary to her near-death experience.  Fortunately, her owner allowed a plasma transfusion, and 3 hours later, Peanut appeared as normal as ever.  Her mom came to pick her up this morning, and Peanut jumped, squealed and wagged her tail in joy of seeing her.  The client was equally as happy; she thanked us for saving her precious dogs' life.

Truly, a heartwarming case!


  1. did anyone catch the saying, float like a butterfly, sting like a bee?? C'mon, that was clever! :)

  2. Such a happy story to read, after the previous one (the July 5 one). Good job! (And great that the client had the resources and willingness to make this all happen.) This is why you keep doing what you do, despite the crazy ones, yes?