Lola had always been a lively young boxer, enjoying nothing more than a romp along the beach in her hometown of Lowestoft. On one such occasion recently, she suffered a wound on her left forelimb and visited the local veterinary practice where she was treated with antibiotics and bandaged.
When she returned to the practice to have her bandage changed the vet noticed that she was very rigid, had an abnormal facial expression and appeared distressed. These signs can be a manifestation of tetanus, or ‘Lockjaw, and she was referred to us immediately.
Her symptoms, together with the results of a thorough neurological examination, suggested that Lola was indeed suffering from tetanus and she was transferred immediately to the Neurology Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The wound was cleaned of dead tissue, a urinary catheter inserted and a feeding tube placed into the stomach because many tetanus cases lose the ability to open the mouth sufficiently to eat. Pain relief was administered and she was treated with muscle relaxants and antibiotics. Lola was kept under sedation, avoiding all visual and auditory stimuli. She spent almost a month with us, receiving 24-hour intensive care, physiotherapy and wound management. Thankfully, she recovered well and when she was able to walk, play, eat and drink without pain, Lola was discharged.
Her owners, Steven and Alison Wylds were overjoyed to have her home again. “We were so very worried about her” they said. “She is a young dog and we had to give her every possible chance. We are so fortunate to have the Specialist Neurology Service at Dick White Referrals in our region.”