It’s easy to tell when our furry friends are acting unusual, but figuring out what the problem is can but tricky. In most cases, vets can discover issues that families can’t, but even professionals get stumped sometimes.
Amanda Coleman knew something was wrong with her three-year-old Labrador named Poppy for several weeks before vets determined the cause. Somehow, a stick lodged inside her neck had gone undetected by x-rays. So, when a vet found the root of Poppy’s symptoms, it seemed like a miracle that the pup had survived so long.
Severe Symptoms with No Explanation
Coleman first realized something was wrong with Poppy when she started gagging during her nighttime walks. At one point, blood came out of her mouth as she coughed, so Coleman suspected something was stuck in her throat. She rushed Poppy to an emergency vet, where they treated the bleeding but didn’t notice anything in her throat. Yet, Poppy continued to show discomfort.
Despite several vet visits and treatments, no one noticed a four-inch stick lodged in Poppy’s neck for over six weeks. Someone recommended small animal specialist Erika Villedieu at Willows Veterinary Centre. Coleman was willing to do anything to help Poppy, so she scheduled an appointment there. Villedieu was the first vet to spot the stick and recommend emergency surgery.
“At first, we were stunned that Poppy had been walking around with this stick still inside without anyone realizing. I was so relieved something had been found, though, and Poppy could have the surgery straight away,” said Coleman.
Villedieu removed the stick from Poppy’s neck, but that didn’t solve the problem entirely. The Lab no longer had swelling in her neck, but she had other symptoms, such as lethargy and heavy drooling.
Vet Saves Poppy’s Life
Villedieu examined Poppy again and noticed that her salivary glands were larger than usual. So, she was diagnosed with sialadenosis, which is the swelling of the salivary glands. The vet prescribed a medication to treat the condition, and Poppy soon returned to her normal self.
It only took two days of medication for Poppy to act lively again, but it had taken four months to discover and solve the problem. Coleman spent weeks not knowing what was wrong with her dog and feeling helpless. But thanks to Willows Veterinary Centre, Poppy survived and is healthy.
“Throughout the entire four months, we worried constantly. Poppy was never left alone – she even came to work with me – and we had numerous visits to our local vets in between the ones to Willows,” said Coleman. “We honestly thought we would lose Poppy after all she had been through.”
Coleman says that Villedieu performed a miracle that saved Poppy’s life. Luckily, Poppy’s case was rare, but it reminds pet parents of the importance of being cautious. If Coleman hadn’t noticed Poppy’s symptoms right away, the diagnosis could’ve taken even longer and cost the dog’s life. So, if you’re worried about your dog, a vet visit is always a good idea.
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