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26 June 2013
Sid is a 5 year old greyhound who had taken to retirement with no second thoughts. He loved his food and although still very energetic when outdoors he was very happy to relax at home – adapting to life as a couch potato for at least part of the day had really not proved too challenging!
Things started to go very wrong for Sid when he suddenly developed abdominal pain and severe vomiting. When initial treatment for a possible infection didn’t seem to help at all, the local vet’s emergency service felt he needed an additional level of care, and he was referred on to the medicine team at Willows. By that stage Sid was very weak – his owners had carried him down the stairs at home which is not easy with a long legged dog like Sid! Sid had lost a lot of blood and he needed an emergency blood transfusion which we were able to give him, thanks to the heroic dogs who donate blood via the Pet Blood Bank.
Sid had his blood transfusion overnight and he was so grateful that he decided to celebrate with a light breakfast the following day (which coincidentally was Good Friday!). The improvement was literally an overnight sensation. Further investigations once Sid was more stable included an ultrasound scan of his tummy which showed a thickened area in his stomach wall. This can sometimes be a sign of a cancer and stomach cancers can ulcerate and bleed. When Sid was well enough for an anaesthetic, he had an endoscopy (camera) study which confirmed that he had a large and nasty stomach ulcer, but we were relieved when biopsies showed that the ulcer was not associated with any cancerous changes.
Sid has endoscopy and we find a nasty stomach ulcer
Sid had ongoing treatment with anti-ulcer drugs for a couple of months and he also needed some iron tablets to help him replenish his own ability to make blood. He did however make a full recovery and tried not to let his illness come between him and any opportunity for a good meal, including one episode when he helped himself to 11 crumpets and 5 bread rolls! Sid would not have lived to enjoy opportunities such as this without his life saving blood transfusion.
Sid saying “Surely I need feeding up after being so unwell?”
Sid’s owners and the medicine team at Willows Referral Service are very grateful to the dogs (and their owners) who kindly donated blood that enabled us to save Sid’s life.
Willows is running a blood donor session in conjunction with the Pet Blood Bank, a not-for-profit charitable organisation that supplies life-saving blood and blood products for dogs across the UK.