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Star Patient – Molly


This scrummy spaniel is Molly, she is our star patient after being seriously ill and needing intensive veterinary care.

Molly was bought in by her owners one evening as she was having difficulty breathing, on her arrival it was clear something was seriously wrong with Molly. Her temperature was massively elevated and her breathing was rapid and heavy. She was admitted to the surgery for further investigation, this included blood profiles, x-rays and ultrasound scans.


Unfortunately, we discovered that Molly has a pleural effusion – this means fluid of some description in her chest – this in turn was making it very difficult for her lungs to expand, hence the rapid breathing.

Molly was anaesthetised and a chest drain was inserted into the left side of her chest, this revealed the fluid in her chest was pus, so she basically had a massive infection inside her chest cavity. We then placed large chest drains in both sides of her chest to drain the pus, she was then started on an intensive course of intravenous antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and regular draining of her chest.

After a couple of days her breathing had settled and the fluid from her chest was stopping, however Molly was really miserable and it soon became apparent why………over the next 12 hours she started to develop a temperature again and a swelling began to develop under the skin on her sternum, a scan revealed there was fluid present here as well. We inserted a needle into the area and again we were faced with copious amounts of pus, we made a little incision through the skin and placed a drain to allow constant removal of the infected liquid.

Molly remained with us for a week, receiving intensive nursing and veterinary care, she was discharged but had to return daily for a week to have her dressings changed and drains checked.

I am pleased to say Molly is obviously a fighter and she has made a remarkable recovery and when she was seen the other day she was signed off of any further treatment, unless things deteriorated.

We still don’t know 100% what caused the infection, but we are highly suspicious given the history and signs that Molly may have inhaled a grass seed up her nose into her airways, grass seeds have a remarkable ability to move around the body and we think this made its way into her chest cavity and possibly out under the skin. We may never know for sure, but the main thing is that darling Molly is back fighting fit and happy!