Horsforth – July 2017
This gorgeous girl is Bella, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Bella’s owners rushed her to the surgery on a hot and sunny day, after she had suddenly become unable to breathe while playing in a field. As soon as she came in, we administered oxygen to help with her breathing. She was still struggling to breathe and it was very difficult to hear her heart due to the noise of her respiration. Bella was hot to the touch, and a temperature reading indicated that her body temperature was a staggering 42C. Due to this high temperature, we then began to apply a cool shower to Bella. This was an attempt to cool her down. This traumatic event had left Bella understandably stressed, so we also gave her some sedation to help calm her down.
Within 10 minutes, Bella had begun to calm, and her temperature had dropped to 38.2C. She was now breathing more freely, and colour had started to return to her tongue. Bella’s previous vet had diagnosed her with a cleft palate when she was younger. Our initial assessment was that this, combined with the heat of the day and the exertion of playing, had caused heat exhaustion. Other possibilities were an allergic reaction, or underlying heart or lung problems. To ensure that Bella did not suffer any further issues, we advised that she was taken to our hospital for further monitoring over night.
A stay in hospital
Thankfully, Bella remained stable through the night. She was soon happy and alert and was eating and drinking well. This meant that, after a single night at the hospital, she was ready to go home. We advised her owners that they should monitor her carefully. If there were any indications that her respiratory distress was recurring, they were to bring her straight back in. We also advised that, due to the previously diagnosed cleft palate, it would be wise to avoid strenuous exercise during hot weather. This cleft palate may have been the reason that she was unable to adequately cool herself. If the problem was to recur, we would also recommend further investigation into Bella’s heart.
We’re delighted to say that, so far, Bella has had no further breathing problems. Due to the incredibly stressful events surrounding her visit to Yorkshire Vets, we think Bella is a worthy recipient of the Horsforth surgery Pet of the Month award for July 2017. Well done Bella!