An ailing 11-year-old dog called Scrappy was left fighting for his life after an acute attack of pancreatitis and septic peritonitis left him in a perilous state.
The pet needed emergency surgery and four days of intensive nursing care at Linnaeus-owned Cromwell Vets in Huntingdon before pulling through.
Cromwell registered veterinary nurse Katy Peacock has described in detail the intensive nursing care that Scrappy needed to pull through after his emergency surgery and said the case was a perfect illustration of the varied and dedicated role nurses play as we celebrate Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month (VNAM).
Katy explained: “Scrappy required several continuous rate infusions. He had intravenous fluid therapy and multiple intravenous medications including analgesia, antibiotics and gut stimulants.
“Our nurses needed to monitor these infusions and the syringe drivers closely and frequently to ensure pain assessments were conducted and acted upon regularly.
“We also had to ensure catheters remained patent and the correct dosages were being met.
“Throughout it all, we were all trying to tempt Scrappy to eat with various meals but he refused.
“This meant he also required several daily tube feeds, all of which made his hospitalisation quite challenging for the nursing team.”
Katy said even that became problematic, with Scrappy reacting adversely to his tube feeding.
She added: “A naso-oesophageal tube was placed for his tube feeding but he regurgitated several times following some feeds.
“We then tried his feed as a continuous rate infusion but he still regurgitated a little bit, so all feeding was halted until the regurgitation stopped.
“Scrappy finally recovered after four days of hospitalisation and was allowed home, with his owners soon reporting he was eating and doing well.
“It was a real team effort by everyone with the disciplines involved including surgical, anaesthesia, general nursing, emergency critical care nursing and internal medicine.
“Our vets Polly Berks, Charlotte Varley, Katherine Baldwin were at the forefront of Scrappy’s care and recovery, while the vital part played by our nursing team demonstrated how important a role nurses play in the veterinary profession.
“That’s something we should all be conscious of and grateful for and it’s great to be able to highlight such a fabulous effort from the team during VNAM!
“Members of the nursing team involved with Scrappy’s care included Vicki Elliott, Kirsty Connor, Jess Forster, Kim Harvey, Katy Dickson, Megan Keys, Catherine Bruce, Jenna Enver, Jo Denning and Abby Spencer.”
Relieved owner Davina Toofan, from Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, said Scrappy was a happy chappy again after making a remarkable recovery but admitted it was a traumatic experience.
Davina said: “We were absolutely devastated as we understood the severity of the situation and how quickly animals with the condition can deteriorate.
“We were very concerned and constantly on edge, especially in the 48 hours after the surgery.
“It was very touch and go and we were hoping and praying that Scrappy would improve.
“Everyone at Cromwell Vets was incredible. We couldn’t have asked for more knowledgeable and compassionate staff.”
Cromwell Vets has practices in Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots, Ramsey, Cambourne and Sawtry. For more information, visit www.cromwellvets.co.uk or search for them on social media.
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