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Star of the Month!

December 6, 2018 | by verity.ramus@hooknortonvets.co.uk | Pets

‘Ralph’ the golden retriever puppy was admitted to Hook Norton Hospital this month. He was incredibly sick with a viral disease that caused significant loss of fluid from his gastrointestinal tract. Ralph was so sick he required intensive barrier nursing in our isolation facility 24/7 over the space of a week.

Barrier nursing involves isolating the patient from the main hospital ward and following specific protocols to avoid any external contamination. Ralphs immunity was so poor during his time of illness, we had to ensure he wasn’t exposed to the external environment.
Ralph was vomiting and had severe diarrhoea which meant he was losing a significant volume of fluid and valuable proteins and electrolytes from his body, this was life threatening. As a result, a Plasma transfusion was performed by the team to aid his stabilisation as well as aggressive intravenous fluid therapy. Ralph was so sick he couldn’t eat any food by himself or even lift his head, we had to surgically place an oesophageal feeding tube so the nursing team could provide him with food. He was fed multiple times a day via the feeding tube, in an attempt to replace lost fluid and also build up much needed energy.

After 6 days we were still intensively caring for Ralph, he was making very slow improvements but we knew he needed time. Then on day 7 a miracle happened and we could hear Ralph barking!!! To everyone’s amazement Ralph had gotten himself up and was barking away wagging his tail to greet us. He took his first bite of food in over a week! There wasn’t a dry eye in the ward and we were absolutely delighted to see Ralph on his feet. After a very hard week, Ralph had defied the odds and made it. It had been a tough week for Ralph’s owners and the staff involved is his case, but seeing him leave with his owners made it all worthwhile.

This is why Ralph is our Star patient of the month!

Written by verity.ramus@hooknortonvets.co.uk

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