Before Eve came in to see vet Rai this November, we had only seen her a couple of times for routine things...
She had previously had an upset stomach but not for a while and her owners were very concerned because, for the last couple of days, even though she was in fine spirits, Eve had been vomiting and passing bright yellow diarrhoea. Obviously these symptoms can indicate all manner of things, so vet Rai set about finding out the cause, by sending a sample of faeces off to the external laboratory for analysis. Eve’s appetite was reduced, she had a sore abdomen and weirdly enough... she was burping!
Rai started Eve on some different treatments which he was sure would help her. Antibiotics to fight any infection, antispasmolytics to help with the stomach cramps, antiprotozoal agents to deal with any offending bugs that may have caused her a problem and probiotics to aid her digestion. Unfortunately nothing helped. Eve was still as bright as a button but with diarrhoea!
We were worried about fluid loss and her owners were also very concerned, so Eve was admitted into the hospital. At this point, none of us had any clue that she would have to stay in for over 2 weeks! Diarrhoea had been her main symptom but now her vomiting had started to get more frequent. Eve was placed onto a drip for support and the testing began.
- Ultrasound scans—slightly thickened gut but otherwise normal
- Blood tests—nothing we weren't expecting
- Faecal results—normal
- Malabsorbsion tests—normal
- Maldigestion tests—normal
All the time Eve had been in, we were getting normal results for the common things that could cause her problems, so Rai started to look for uncommon things...
Eve was now starting to lose some weight and her appetite had gone downhill. She was only eating chicken but she was bright and lively and trotting out to the garden with the nurses, so the decision to actually perform surgery to take a biopsy of her bowel was not taken lightly.
After much discussion with all 5 veterinary surgeons and Eve’s owners, she went into theatre for us to look inside to see what was going on.
During the operation Rai felt that the small intestine looked a little strange but there were no obvious masses or tumours, no blockages, nothing that really stood out as a cause for Eve’s diarrhoea. He took numerous samples of the bowel, which were sent away for histopathology for help to make a diagnosis.
All through her recovery from the surgery, she was nursed and supported by the team with intravenous fluids, painkillers, drugs to support her intestines and antibiotics. She really was getting the ‘full works’.
When the results finally came in, we were all surprised to learn that Eve had a condition very similar to Crohn’s disease or, Irritable Bowel Syndrome in humans. The good news was, that this often improves with treatment, which has certainly been the case for Eve!
After just 2 days of steroid therapy, Eve was ‘bombing about the place’ and her appetite was huge. We were so happy that we had been able to find the answer to a very complex problem and that the treatment was obviously helping her.
Steroids are something that we often use as a last resort in veterinary practice but for some cases they are the answer and they have certainly been the
answer for Eve. She was finally fit enough to go home almost 2 weeks after she came in and latest reports say that she is back to her normal sef.
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