Solihull vets save the life of cocker spaniel puppy who was given 50% chance of survival

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The Solihull surgery’s fight to save Louie has recently featured on Channel 5’s The Dog Hospital

Specialist Solihull vets saved the life of a puppy impaled on a 13 inch stick.

Cocker spaniel Louie, just 10 months old, was discovered by his shocked owner with the stick lodged deep in his throat. The pet was given only a 50 per cent chance of survival by local vets who urged owner Kevin Blythe, from Hereford, to seek specialist help from Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service.

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The Solihull surgery’s fight to save Louie has recently featured on Channel 5’s The Dog Hospital that was hosted by Graeme Hall. Kevin said: “We were out on our evening walk with Louie when there was a howl of agony and I look over and he has impaled himself on a stick which is stuck right down his throat.

“He was frantic trying to get it out. It was my son who got their first and pulled it out. We didn’t know how much damage had been done but his breathing was getting shallower and shallower.”

Willows’ Clinical Director Chris Shales, specialist in small animal surgery, carried out an exploratory op to look for damage to vital organs.

He revealed just how lucky Louie had been: “Stick injuries in dogs are notoriously problematic because when the stick goes in it tends to leave a trail of destruction behind.

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Kevin and Nicky with show presenter Graeme Hall (right) pictured with LouieKevin and Nicky with show presenter Graeme Hall (right) pictured with Louie
Kevin and Nicky with show presenter Graeme Hall (right) pictured with Louie

“Louie was extremely fortunate as the stick had stopped just short of his heart and just millimetres away from some of his larger vessels. If it had punctured one of these, he probably wouldn’t have made it to the first vets.”

He added: “Any tiny bits of stick left behind internally could go on to cause an abscess and serious infections.

“We know that long term cases like that have a much worse outcome so we had to make sure we removed every little piece. In all, we removed 11 fragments ranging from one centimetre in length to just a few millimetres.”

Louie has now made a full recovery. Kevin’s wife Nicky said: “He’s back to being a typical spaniel again. He’s daft as a brush! He’s a real soft, sensitive soul who loves a cuddle and sticks to you like glue.”

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