Miracle recovery for ‘Covid hit’ diabetic detection dog
A diabetic detection dog who became seriously ill as a result of suspected Covid 19 had beaten the odds to make a full recovery.
Eight-year-old Daisy had constant coughing, loss of smell and taste, loss of appetite and a raging temperature when she was referred to Cave Veterinary Specialists in Wellington.
Once admitted, clinical director and internal medicine specialist Nele Van den Steen diagnosed the Jack Russell terrier with a consolidated right cranial lung lobe, with Covid-19 a possible cause.
Owner Peter Murden, whose low blood sugar Daisy first noticed just three days after being adopted, said: “Daisy had constant coughing, loss of smell and taste, loss of appetite and a raging temperature, all symptoms of Covid-19. She went from being a healthy, active bundle of fun and energy to a sick, lethargic poorly dog in a few hours.
“She used to run and play for hours every day and follow us everywhere, then within 24 hours she hardly had the strength to walk into the garden.
“Nele initially thought it a very aggressive tumour in her lungs, pneumonia or something equally serious. We were devastated and so worried. We’d never felt so helpless.
‘Last few weeks’
“She deteriorated further and we took her back for a lung wash. Nele had explained the risks but we wanted to do everything to try and save Daisy.”
Pet and his wife Mo had a holiday to the French Alps booked and Nele suggested they take Daisy and enjoy what could have been her last few weeks, armed with a large supply of medication. But after many long walks in the mountain air, Daisy’s symptoms subsided and she is still loving life 12 months later.
Nele Van den Steen said: “This was a really interesting case, which we’re delighted had a happy ending. It’s great to see Daisy still going strong a year on from when we first treated her.
“While we were able to make a clear diagnosis, I am still not clear regarding the cause of Daisy’s issues.
“Her almost-complete response to steroids would suggest that a bacterial or fungal pneumonia is excluded, and the same would count for a primary lung tumour. Temporary improvement with lymphoma would be possible but it would be highly unusual to be this long-lasting.
“Also, although no COVID-19 pneumonia in dogs had been reported previously, we could not rule it out.”
Pete added: “Daisy is a bundle of joy and travels everywhere with us.
Cave’s care, dedication, treatments, lung wash, medication, skill and devotion to looking after animals saved Daisy.
“The clean pure mountain air in the Alps also helped to heal her lungs. We couldn’t believe the scans when we took Daisy back to Nele for a check after the holiday. Her lungs were clear!
“Nele, her team and everyone at Cave, plus the initial care and referral from primary care vets in Exeter, certainly saved Daisy. They all worked miracles.”
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