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Braveheart Award


Time for another Braveheart Award and this time it’s Finlays story.

So Finlay’s story is actually quite complicated and stems back to a problem he had in 2020 when he had to have surgery to remove a pinecone which he had swallowed as it had become lodged in his intestines!

Finlay represented showing signs of lethargy, being off food and he vomited in reception on arrival – we were instantly concerned that he may have another blockage, so we took some x-rays and performed a barium meal (barium shows up on x-rays so we can follow its transit through the guts) the x-rays showed some gas, but the barium was moving through and there was no obvious obstruction visible, he was given some pain relief and gut medications and by that night he was picking at food, the following day he was eating well and was sent home, with a suspected gastroenteritis.

Finlay represented the following day as he was urinating a lot and seemed uncomfortable – he was examined and all his parameters were normal and his urine sample was clear, so he was sent home for monitoring……from there things took a fairly dramatic turn, very quickly. His owner reported that he was trembling and shaking a lot and could not settle so we readmitted him to the surgery – where once again his temperature, heart rate, blood pressure etc were normal, we gave him some pain killers and he was eating that night. By the early hours of the following morning Finlay had started to vomit, not just a little vomit huge amounts of vomit, which include bundles of grass. After a discussion with his owner, he was taken to surgery to open his abdomen and have a look what was going on inside………

Well, what we found shocked us all – he had adhesions from the previous surgery (these are where tissues stick to each other, a common side effect of surgery) and one of those adhesions had formed a small band of tissue which his small intestines had become looped through, the tissue band was so tight that it had effectively started to “cheese wire” through his intestines. So the vet removed the affected section of intestine, and he was sent to recovery, although initially the next day he seemed a bit bright, by the afternoon of the next day he was not looking as well and an abdominal ultrasound revealed fluid in his abdominal cavity, which when we examined some under the microscope showed sepsis in his abdominal cavity – so poor Finlay had to go back to theatre, once opened it was clear that a further section of his intestine had started to decline and he had to have further intestines removed and then his abdominal cavity was flushed with 2 litres of warm saline to try to lower the bacterial load in the abdomen.

It was then touch and go for 48hrs as Finlay refused any food, being an older boy, we were all a little concerned that this may have been too much for his body to cope with. But then we found the food item to tempt him…….hot dog sausages!!!! From then on in, there was steady progress and 7 days from his first admission he was allowed home. He came back the other day for removal of his sutures and he is doing well and was happy and waggy tailed in the surgery and pleased to receive some treats and a fuss!