Swish came in on emergency for weakness, lethargy, and pale gums. She was a tiny girl (about half the size of her bigger brother, Brody!), and her gum color was as white as paper. We ran some blood work to confirm that she was indeed anemic. Significantly! A blood transfusion would be needed to save her life.
Swish had some fleas and showed positive on fecal check for hookworm eggs. Both fleas and hookworms can easily cause life threatening anemia in a small puppy. Hookworms are microscopic worms (you wouldn’t even see them in the puppy’s stool!) that feed blood off the intestinal lining and cause blood loss. Fleas feed on blood from the skin causing blood loss in that way as well.
Without a transfusion, Swish had no hope. Thankfully, we had a blood donor dog already in the hospital willing and ready to give a unit of blood for Swish’s survival! By the end of the day, Swish already had more color to her gums and was perkier, but she was not out of the woods just yet. Swish’s blood transfusion would buy her some time, but she would need to get the fleas and hookworms under control and make her own blood cells to survive.
In addition to the blood transfusion, Swish got multiple dewormers and flea control products as well as a vitamin/iron supplement to help her body make more red blood cells of its own. Swish continued to show positive for hookworms at follow-up visits as it took some time to fully clear the infection. In the meantime, Swish initially had a drop in her blood count before she started to recover on her own and make enough blood cells.
Swish has continued to grow stronger and stronger. While she still has a large gap between her size and her brother’s, she is giving him a run for his money catching up! Swish is now able to play and keep up with her brother and family without getting run down from anemia. We are happy to pronounce Swish back to a normal red count and parasite free! With Swish’s wonderful recovery, we are happy to have her as AHS’s canine Pet of the Month and bring awareness about how important flea and intestinal worm control is for our pets!
Win-D-Go is a sixteen-month old neutered male kitten who was adopted from the local shelter. Win-D-Go presented one morning for vomiting, distended abdomen and salivating. His owner noted that he had been perfectly normal the night before.
On physical exam Win-D-Go has excessive saliva down his face and neck and was very resistant to oral exam and would only give us a quick glance. Once we were able to open his mouth it became apparent as to why. Win-D-Go’s tongue was extremely swollen and discolored. His abdomen palpated normally so we took him directly to the treatment area for sedation and a more through sedated examination.
Once Win-D-Go was sedated we were able to appreciate a piece of thread that was encircling the base of the tongue and making its way down the esophagus and into the stomach and beyond. We quickly cut the encircling band of thread and slowly pulled the thread from the stomach without much resistance. X-ray of the abdomen was normal as these type lesions can also affect the intestines, so Win-D-Go’s tongue was treated with the K-laser to decrease inflammation and help with pain. Injectable and topical pain management was also instituted. The swelling of the tongue improved through the day, so he was released with the owner overnight. He was rechecked the next morning and another treatment was performed with the K-laser. Win-D-Go continue to improve over the next few days and recovered without issue.
Oral string foreign bodies in cats, while unusual, are not unheard of. The tourniquet effect that this one had on the tongue was. If this would have gone on much longer, Win-D-Go would have likely lost his tongue. Cats are very dependent on the tongue for eating and drinking so this situation could have easily cost Win-D-Go his life. Because his owner was aware of the situation and identified the problem early, Win-D-Go made a full recovery. For this reason, he is AHS’s feline Pet of the Month.