Honey's story

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27/08/2015
Honey is an absolutely beautiful 9 month old Dogue De Bordeaux cross female puppy dog, who was referred to our neurology specialist Paul Freeman.  She is now owned by us at Millennium Vets and has been under our care for 4 months ...
Honey was a very sad case.   She came to the practice parlaysed from the neck down and had lost all bladder and bowel control.

The cause for Honeys condition is still unknown, she has had many tests including an MRI scan but remains a puzzling case.   As part of her blood analysis we tested her for the parasitic worm Angiostrongylus Vasorum otherwise known as lungworm.  Honey did test positive for lungworm and was treated for it.  We suspect the parasite may have caused multiple spinal cord bleeds, which damaged her spine... confirmation of this damage is difficult and to what extent is still unknown.

Lungworm can affect all dogs. As an adult worm it lives in the heart and blood vessels that supply the lungs in dogs and foxes. The symptoms dog show are related to the area where the worm chooses to live its adult life.   The young lungworm complete their life stage in ordinary garden slugs and snails.   Dogs ingesting these, can become infected with the lungworm.  For some this is fatal. Early treatment aids recovery but regular worming with a veterinary strength wormer licensed to kill lungworm can be used.

Honey has progressed from not being able to stand or lay upright on her chest, having no bladder or bowel control, and not being able to move her legs or tail....

... to a dog that can now pass urine and faeces voluntarily, wags her tail when she’s excited to see us, and supports herself on her chest to eat, drink & gnaw at bones.

Honey can now support her front end, and takes big steps with her front legs which are getting stronger every day! She still needs support around her waist for walking, and has started taking the odd step with her back legs, but in the last couple of weeks she has been able to stand and support herself for around 10 seconds at a time, which is a huge improvement.

We are continuing with intensive physiotherapy for her, and want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to Paul and Maddie at Dogs Body Canine Hydrotherapy Centre in Earls Colne, who are very kindly providing Honey’s hydrotherapy twice a week free of charge.   This a great financial help to her treatment. We also want to thank Royal Canin for sponsoring Honey's food throughout her recovery!

Honey has found a place in all our hearts.  She loves other dogs and has met many of our own staff dogs, big and small.   Honey is still very young and needs to be kept busy as she spends a lot of time in the ward.  She loves cuddles, feeding times, her one to one physiotherapy time by our ward nurses, toys and of course her bones.  The time in the ward is being reduced as two of our nurses, Hannah Bourn and Steff Gowers, are sharing her at the end of there shifts and at weekends and taking her home.  She enjoys the home comforts the girls shower her with and this all helps with the progression she is continuing to make bit by bit!   Intensive nursing has been the key to her progress so far, she is a big dog to manoeuvre as she relies on us to get her to her feet. 

Honey is regularly examined by our vets and her progress is being monitored very closely.   Week by week she is showing signs of improvement and though it is too early to get our hopes up, all of us are keeping our fingers crossed for a full recovery!

We are putting regular updates, including photos and videos, on our Facebook page (Millennium Veterinary Practice - Official), follow us and you can see how she is doing!

We wanted to share some of these pictures and show you Honey's journey so far.  From riding in our cars to get to hydrotherapy, sunshine on her face while enjoying some rest bite care at some of our nurses homes and seeing her swimming in the hydrotherapy pool!

For more information on the hydrotherapy centre, the Dogs Body Canine Hydrotherapy Centre in Earls Colne click here.

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