An adored family pet cheated death after a high impact collision with a cyclist left him with near fatal internal injuries.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Shadow, initially walked away from the accident but, after collapsing at home, he was rushed to PDSA’s Gillingham Pet Hospital for an emergency operation.
Almost a pint of blood had to be drained from Shadow’s abdomen after his liver was severely damaged by the impact. Vets fought desperately for five days to save his life as his distraught family waited for him to pull through.
Three-year-old Shadow’s injuries were so severe that PDSA vets warned owner Sian Berry (30) that the odds were stacked against him surviving. An ultrasound scan revealed a lacerated liver and severe internal bleeding. He had lost around one quarter of his blood.
“I couldn’t believe what had happened,” said Sian, from Maidstone, Kent. “I was taking Shadow for his usual walk in the local park when a cyclist suddenly appeared and ran over him.
“He didn’t seem too bad at first, just in a bit of shock, but by the time I got him home I realised something was badly wrong. He seemed in pain so I took him straight to PDSA. When they told me how poorly he was it was just heart-breaking.”
Aoife McCormack, PDSA vet, said nearly a pint of blood had to be drained from his abdomen before vets could stem the flow and operate to repair his liver.
She said: “We were faced with the nightmare situation of bleeding from two areas – both from the vessels to his spleen and the tear in his liver. The trauma to the liver was the most worrying for us as it’s much harder to stem the flow.
“Shadow had some very serious injuries and it was touch and go whether he would pull through surgery. Thankfully, the operation was a success and he made a good recovery. But without swift treatment there was a very real chance he would have bled to death.”
Sian said the period Shadow was in hospital was like a ‘living hell’ and that her 10-year-old daughter Alisha was devastated at the thought of losing him:
“We were all on tenterhooks. Alisha thinks the world of him so it was a very worrying time. But thankfully he pulled through and the care he received from PDSA was amazing. If we had lost him, it would be like losing a family member. I can’t thank the vets and nurses enough for everything they’ve done.”
Shadow’s treatment cost vet charity PDSA nearly £700 in terms of supplies and vet time. The cost to the owner at a private vet practice could have been higher still.
For pet owners who aren’t eligible for PDSA’s help, Shadow’s story highlights just how important pet insurance is, to help when unexpected vet bills land. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk/petsurance