"Jurong is too far for me, I live in Hougang" the owner asked me whether he could purchase the medication for his vomiting Miniature Schnauzer in October that had been treated by Dr Jason Teo in his Jurong clinic in August 2012. This dog had been X-rayed by Vet 1 at another practice and big urinary stones were seen in the bladder. Vet 1 advised surgery to remove the bladder stones.
As the owner had paid $1,800 to Vet 1 for a similar surgery 10 months ago, the bladder stones had recurred again. He did not want another surgery and so consulted Dr Teo at Toa Payoh Vets on a Saturday. He showed me the X-rays from Vet 1 and the stones were several and big.
"Vomiting has many causes," I said. "Your dog's abdomen is bloated and there is pain in the anterior abdomen as well as in the bladder. I advise an X-ray and blood test."
"I had done the X-ray in August 18, 2012," the gentleman said. "Why don't you prescribe me some medication first?"
I understand that he had spent quite a bit and prescribed him reluctantly. The next 2 days, the dog continued vomiting some time after drinking water. Urine dribbled out whenever she sat down. So, was this a sure case of urinary tract infection involving the kidneys. Infected kidneys cause toxic blood and therefore vomiting. Urinary incontinence due to bladder stones irritating the bladder and infecting it as confirmed by the urine test. Easy diagnosis.
Yet there was this whole swollen abdomen, as firm as a full-blown balloon and causing the dog to wince when I palpated the anterior part as well as the bladder part. So I insisted on an X-ray. Results showed foreign bodies and gas in the intestines.
Tomorrow is Saturday and my day off. I still need to do the surgery to remove the FB as the dog continued vomiting and not eating. The IV drips for the past 2 days sustained her. The blood test showed increased white cell count and neutrophils and reduced platelets. A bacteraemia causing vomiting and possibly death if left untreated. Unfortunately surgery is the only option and highly risky in a sick dog. The man has a 6-year-old daughter.
"Is it possible her toys and possibly necklaces are thrown all over the floor and this dog had swallowed them."
Tomorrow's surgery will provide the evidence. The wife was most furious, he said to me. I am most worried that the dog may die on the operating table. The owner knew the risks of death as the dog had been vomiting for 5 days and was having a blood borne bacterial infection. The rectal temperature was 37.6 on admission but today it was 38.5 C after IV drips and antibiotics. "I will be doing only the intestinal surgery to remove the foreign bodies," I informed the owner. "Removing the struvite stones will prolong the surgery and increase the risk of death on the op table." He understood.
Report written: Friday Oct 19, 2012 7.35 pm