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Arnold Fights Back

20 November 2016

Arnold, a lovely 6 year old, Border Terrier, presented to the soft tissue service at Willows because he had a gall bladder mucocele. The gall bladder is like a bag filled with bile which connects the liver to the intestines via the bile duct and helps with food digestion. A mucocele of the gall bladder means the bile is so thick that it cannot reach the intestines to digest the food. Due to this problem Arnold was vomiting, very weak and unable to eat.

Arnold’s condition was noticed at the referring practice when he had surgery to open the abdomen to look for a foreign body in the guts. No foreign body was found but the referring veterinary surgeon noticed that the gall bladder was very hard and big. This prompted referral to Specialist surgeon Vincent Guerin at Willows to remove the gall bladder.

Removing the gall bladder is a very risky surgery because it is attached to the liver which can bleed a lot when it is dissected. The risk of anaesthesia is also high during this procedure because the blood pressure often drops during the surgery. A period in intensive care is always required after surgery to keep the blood pressure within a normal limit and to administer strong painkillers. Vincent explained to Arnold’s owners that, unfortunately this procedure doesn’t come without serious risks to Arnold’s life, but surgery was the best treatment.

 

Arnold during his recovery period being fed through the tube to his stomach

Arnold during his recovery period being fed through the tube to his stomach

Arnold during his recovery period being fed through the tube to his stomach

Arnold during his recovery period being fed through the tube to his stomach

Arnold during his recovery period being fed through the tube to his stomach

 

Thanks to a highly trained team including Specialist anaesthetists, surgeons and theatre nurses, the gall bladder was removed successfully without complications. A tube was placed in Arnold’s stomach to allow him to eat after surgery and make him stronger. Arnold had a remarkable recovery and went home after a few days of intensive care. Arnold’s owner took very good care of him, fed him with the tube in the stomach and gave him lots of medication, love and attention to help him through the recovery period. Arnold was back to normal 3 weeks after surgery. 6 months after surgery, Arnold is still doing well and barking at all the dogs, as before…

 

Arnold now he has fully recovered

Arnold now he has fully recovered