Tag Archives: Intussusception

Patient Spotlight – Odie’s Life Saving Surgery post Intussusception

Within days of Odie arriving to his new home, his owner knew something wasn’t right. Odie was very skinny compared to the other pups in his litter, he wasn’t passing solid stool and wasn’t bright and bouncy like a puppy his age should be.

Little Odie captured the hearts of our whole team, here is his story!

Odie was booked in to come and see Dr Lesa for a check up. On physical exam, Dr Lesa could feel that a section of his intestine was enlarged and very firm, which was a red flag that warranted further diagnostics. After being admitted into hospital Lesa took an x-ray of his abdomen which further substantiated her suspicions of intussusception.

Intussusception is a very dangerous condition that occurs when a portion of the intestine loops back into itself like a telescope does. This can cause extreme discomfort, gastrointestinal blockages and loss of blood supply to the affected intestine. This lack of blood supply can cause the portion of intestine to ‘die’ which then becomes a large risk for infection and sepsis, in an already unwell patient.

Intussusception can stem from anything that causes inflammation to the intestine, such as intestinal parasites (e.g. roundworms, hookworms & whipworms), ongoing diarrhoea, dietary indiscretion/changes, foreign bodies, tumors/masses and trauma such as being hit by a car. Unfortunately this means that this condition also carries a risk of recurrence after corrective surgery, even at the hands of the most skilled veterinarians.

X-ray and ultrasound can be useful tools to aid in diagnosis, but the most reliable way to confirm intussusception is via exploratory surgery. Surgical correction (surgically removing the affected portion of intestine) is required in almost all cases. Early detection and treatment is essential and once surgically corrected most animals experience a full recovery.

Odie post op, with a pain relief patch on his front right leg and IV fluids attached to his front left leg. Feeling very sleeping and sorry for himself.

Dr Lesa knew that Odie needed treatment right away, so emergency Saturday afternoon surgery it was for the poor little guy. Dr Lesa’s suspicions of intussusception were confirmed in surgery and she got right to work in resecting the affected intestine. Once stable post-op, Odie was transferred to CVES for ongoing monitoring and care over the weekend.

Odie returned to us on Monday morning and we were so happy to see him again. But even though he looked ever so slightly brighter than his previous visit, this little guy was not out of the woods yet. Unfortunately, Odie’s intussusception had reoccurred during his stay at CVES over the weekend. Dr Vickie performed an ultrasound on arrival and confirmed that this poor sick boy would require a second life saving surgery just days after his first. Thankfully, Odie’s second surgery went well and after days of hospitalization and supportive care, he was well enough to head back home to his owner who was eagerly awaiting his return!

Fast forward 2 months, Odie is now 5 months old, gaining weight and is happy and active just like a normal pup! On a recent visit for a weigh in, his lovely owner surprised us with a cake with a little Odie sculpture on top!

Odie, now over three times the weigh of first visit, having a cuddle with Nurse Mikaela who cared for him throughout both his surgeries.

Patient Spotlight: Harriet’s Story

Harriet the Australian Cattle Dog was just 11 weeks old when she first visited Hall Veterinary Surgery.  Australian Cattle Dogs are known for being highly active, independent and brave but its safe to say that when Harriet came through our doors she was not feeling like any of the above.

Harriet’s attentive owners first noticed vomiting, and a lack of energy and appetite. They immediately knew that something wasn’t right and phoned to book an appointment with Dr Jenny.

When Dr Jenny examined Harriet she found that she was extremely uncomfortable in her tummy and that she was very dehydrated.  She was admitted to hospital where we started her on IV fluids and strong pain relief to keep her comfortable whilst we investigated further.

Harriet feeling less than 100% when first admitted to hospital at Hall Veterinary Surgery.

We then ran some diagnostic tests to find a cause for her symptoms.  These tests revealed that Harriet had a painful condition called an ‘intussusception’. This is where part of her intestine was telescoping inside itself.  Her ultrasound images (below) showed multiple loops of intestine inside each other.

Harriet’s ultrasound images showing multiple loops of intestine inside each other.

Harriet’s ultrasound images showing multiple loops of intestine inside each other.

Unfortunately this meant that little Harriet had to have a surgical procedure to correct the intussusception. Dr Jenny had to remove a small portion of her intestine that was dying. Harriet recovered well from her General Anaesthesia and was kept on her IV fluids and pain relief throughout the afternoon.

Harriet was taken to Canberra Veterinary Emergency Services via the Pet Ambulance for overnight monitoring and was discharged home to her loving owners the next day.

Just 2 weeks later we had another visit from Harriet and her family but thankfully this time it was just for her Puppy Vaccinations. We were all so pleased to see a gorgeous, energetic and bouncy puppy, a completely different dog to the one we had seen just 2 weeks earlier.

Harriet was a completely different dog when she visited Dr Candice just 2 weeks post surgery for her puppy vaccinations.

We were so pleased to see Harriet back to her normal, energetic and bouncy self.

If it wasn’t for Harriet’s dedicated and loving owners she may not be here with us today.

If your pet is ever vomiting, off their food or simply just not themselves, please phone us on (02) 6230 2223.