Pumpkin’s Emergency Care


Gorgeous 2-year-old Sprocker Spaniel Pumpkin was rushed into our Emergency and Critical Care team as he was diagnosed with tetanus.

Tetanus is caused by a toxin released by the bacteria Clostridium tetani. This toxin binds to nerve endings leading to stiffness and muscle spasms. The toxin then travels along the nerves to the central nervous system and brain. As well as generalised stiffness, the toxin can cause spasm of the muscles within the throat and the diaphragm, making it difficult for patients to breathe. As a result, Pumpkin required to be intubated and have a tube in his airway to help him breathe.

Binding of the toxin to nerve endings is irreversible and recovery requires the growth of new nerve endings, therefore tetanus patients often require long and intensive hospitalisation. Pumpkin received intensive hospitalisation for 18 days.

Pumpkin was in a critical condition for over a week, and received treatment from many services within the hospital, including Neurology, Ophthalmology and Physiotherapy. Our Intensive Care Unit nursing team played a key role in Pumpkin’s care and recovery.

Pumpkin slowly showed signs of improvement and was eventually able to go home, much to the delight of his owners. Pumpkin continued to receive physiotherapy at home and is now back to his usual lively self.

Pumpkin was very happy to see the nursing team when he came back for his recheck and visited all departments in the hospital!

Pumpkin also recently celebrated his 2nd birthday. Happy birthday Pumpkin!

His owners said “The care at DWR was excellent for both Pumpkin and for us. Our animals mean the world to us and it was an extremely distressing period but the ICU Team always made time for us to visit Pumpkin despite being busy themselves caring for all of their patients. They realised that the moments we spent with Pumpkin were special to us as for a while as we didn’t know if they would be the last. DWR exceeded all our expectations and went above and beyond to save Pumpkin. Every day we look at him and thank our lucky stars that DWR were able to give him the best treatment possible. He now gets away with anything and everything!”