CiCi, a 10-year-old small female crossbreed dog was rushed to Davies Veterinary Specialists, near Luton, when her local vet spotted general stiffness a couple of days after CiCi had cut her paw.
Although the cut was small and hadn’t caused CiCi much pain, she had gone off her food and her owner had become very concerned.
Neurology specialist, Emilie Royaux, together with a team of veterinary nurses provided treatment and round the clock care for CiCi.
Emilie said: On the initial assessment, CiCi had risus sardonicus, muscle twitches and a very stiff gait. CiCi also had a swelling of the toe of her right thoracic leg. The combination of these signs made tetanus the most likely diagnosis.”
CiCi was immediately given intranvenous tetanus antitoxin and hospitalised to receive supportive treatment.
“We examined her paw and found a grass seed from the swollen toe which we removed together with some purulent discharge,” added Emilie. “Unfortunately, though, despite our quick work, CiCi deteriorated severely.”
The stiffness, tremors and muscle spasms got much worse and CiCi was no longer able to walk. A stomach tube and urinary catheter were placed and the muscle spasms, stiffness and tremors were managed with medication.
“CiCi remained in our intensive care unit,” said wards head nurse Laura Barham. “But unfortunately, her muscle spasms were not completely under control and she developed severe episodes of hyperthermia.”
After two weeks in the ICU unit, the dose of sedation and muscle relaxants was slowly tapered. After three weeks CiCi was finally well enough to return home.
“It was very uplifting to see CiC’s improvement,” said Laura. “Once she was able to walk and eat unaided, we were able to discharge her. CiCi regained her personality and she and her owner were very happy to be reunited.
“CiCi was a sweetheart and a true fighter. Cici managed to pull through with the amazing hard work of Emilie Royaux, the wards nurses and intern team.”
CiCi’s owner, Michelle Nixon, said: “Emilie worked tirelessly for CiCi through the three weeks she was at the hospital and her knowledge and skills were absolutely outstanding. She really went above and beyond and worked so hard to adapt the treatment when CiCi wasn’t doing as well as everyone hoped, and I had complete trust in her.
“Another huge part of CiCi’s recovery was the care she received from the wonderful team of nurses who watched over her 24 hours a day. Each one of them played a vital part in CiCi’s survival. Quite frankly she would not be here without their amazing care and attention.
“After three weeks she came home and quickly recovered, so much so that just two months later we took her to the Norfolk coast for a week where she swam in the sea every day, was full of energy and back to her usual happy self.
“It was clear from the start that everyone involved in CiCi’s care was rooting for her and it’s wonderful that with the right treatment and care, a dog can not only overcome tetanus but live a happy, health life afterwards.”
To find out more about Davies visit https://vetspecialists.co.uk/