Friday, July 11, 2014

July Patient of the Month- Magic!!!

July’s patient of the month could arguable be a story of real magic. This 6year old, 19 pound, Miniature Poodle spent 17 days in our hospital under the primary care of Dr. Carlos. This determined little guy inspired our team of doctors and technicians that worked day and night with emergency, critical and ultimately supportive care to ensure he returned home.

“Magic”, as he is so appropriately named, was referred by his regular veterinarian to our hospital after 3 days inappetance, lethargy, no bowel movements and a severe case of anemia of unknown origin.

Anemia is defined as a decreased number of red cells (RBCs) in the blood, due to loss of, destruction of or lack of production of the RBCs.  Future diagnostics would tell us that the cause of Magic’s anemia was a bleeding mass in his stomach.  But the challenge here was that the mass was not obvious on radiographs due to the presence of foreign material that Magic had ingested. Therefore the first two days of hospitalization were dedicated to stabilization and treatment of the anemia.  This treatment included fluids, immune suppressive medications and two separate blood transfusions from our in-house blood bank. By the beginning of his second day of treatment Magic was feeling better. Radiographs were repeated and the source of all his problems became clear. When the foreign material had passed through his stomach a sizable mass was clearly visible. 

Surgery was performed by Dr. Carlos and Dr. Bibevski that afternoon. In surgery they found the mass originating from the wall of the stomach.  The mass and a large portion of the stomach were removed.  While recovery from surgery was uneventful however, he was not out of the woods yet.

In the days that followed surgery, Magic developed symptoms expected from the removal of such a large portion of his stomach. These symptoms included vomiting, inappetance and lethargy which would wax and wane throughout his recovery. A Nasal Gastric tube was placed to help remove the buildup of bile in his stomach and alleviate his chronic vomiting. Intravenous fluids were administered to maintain hydration.

Warming up after a bath- getting ready to go home!!
Once food was reintroduced to Magic’s diet he acquired a severe case of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is the inflammation and swelling of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be caused by many things but is characterized by the abrupt onset of vomiting and severe pain in the abdomen. It is confirmed by blood tests showing elevated pancreatic enzymes- i.e.-amylase and/or lipase levels. Treatments involve gastric acid reducers, anti-emetics and complete rest of the pancreas by administering nothing by mouth for several days.

Magic started to show signs of improvement. He began to keep small amount of food down and maintain his energy.  Then, Magic again through us a curve ball. In a matter of 24 hours Magic went from nearly going home to critical condition. He was placed in our oxygen chamber and given a plasma transfusion to help his body recover from all the changes occurring in his body.  Each day, each hour even, Dr. Carlos evaluated and adjusted Magic’s care.

Is my Dad here?
The following week was full of ups and downs for our team and for Magic’s family. However, no one gave up. His family visited and discussed all options with Dr. Carlos. This was a trying time for everyone but Magic was a fighter.

On his final day of hospitalization, Magic was able to eat small amounts of food in a slurry and keep it down. His disposition was brighter and he was sent home with strict instruction about his dietary care. His prognosis was optimistic. Today, Magic is well. His entire family participates in his care and he is on his way to returning to his normal diet.

Stories like this and families like this that make the job we get to do every day a joy. Dr. Carlos and the HAH team used all their resources to help Magic return to his life of rest, relaxation and love and we are so pleased to have been a part of his medical team and recognize him as our July Patient of the Month!

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