POTM November, 2018
Carmen is a four-year-old Labrador Retriever who presented one evening after probably ingesting Spectracide. She was lethargic and had vomited. She had very foul gas. Her blood screen was good, except her white cell count was on the low end of normal. We treated her for nausea and gave her fluids to see how she would respond overnight. The next morning she was worse. Abdominal ultrasound indicated intestines that have developed ileus (no motility). This is never good, as bacteria can migrate across the intestines into the blood stream and cause sepsis. On top of this, her white blood cell count continued to drop making her more prone to infection. We were unsure of her primary cause but Salmonella became major concern. Carmen was hospitalized and started on IV fluids to keep her hydrated and IV antibiotics to fight her possible infection while we waited on her culture. Her treatment lasted several days with very little response and her white blood cell count remained frighteningly low. Our breakthrough came thanks to Poison Control. The owners had opened up a case with them after her Spectracide ingestion. These cases remain open until they are officially closed. While we did not feel the Spectracide could cause these symptoms, poison control gave us another differential that can cause ileus and low white blood cell count - Efudex ingestion. Efudex is a topical cream for humans used to treat precancerous growths. On speaking with the owners, they had been using this product for a long time on their arms and the dog often licked the owners’ arms during the day. While there is no definite treatment for this toxicity, at least we had a lead. As we continued to treat Carmen over several days, her white cell count slowly came up and she started eating. She was released to her owners and continued slow, steady improvement until her white blood cell count was normal and her appetite back to normal, as well. Carmen’s case was unusual but also rewarding. It was also a great example of how seemingly innocuous behaviors can cause catastrophic results. Because of her amazing recovery from her near death experience, Carmen is AHS’s canine Pet of the Month.
Feline Pet of the Month for November, 2018
Leo is a young cat that presented on emergency to the Animal Hospital after being attacked by a dog. Leo was laying on his side unable to stand and in shock. Leo also had some neurologic deficits in his tail and rear legs on initial assessment. No punctures or external wounds were found. Leo’s owners consented to treating the shock with intravenous fluids and pain management and radiographic assessment of internal injuries once stable enough to be moved and manipulated. After Leo’s pain was managed, radiographs were taken. Leo had air around his lungs or a pneumothorax and lung bruising. No fractures or dislocations were noted. The lung damage was likely caused by the crushing injury from the dog biting the chest or thorax. The lung likely received a small puncture and leaked air into the chest cavity. If progressive, the pet cannot breathe as the lungs cannot expand and the condition becomes life-threatening. Many times the lung and chest will heal very quickly. Leo was closely monitored and his breathing continued to be regular and not labored. His pneumothorax did not appear to be progressive. Over the next 24 hours, Leos’s neurologic signs resolved and Leo was walking and purring. Leo was discharged and continued to improve at home. Leo was a fortunate and special kitty. That is why he is AHS’s feline Pet of the Month.