Puppy recovers from debilitating illness after eating cattle bolus

Here at Paragon, we treated Bella who suffered from severe muscle and kidney damage after eating cattle bolus.

Here’s her story:

Eight-month-old Bella, a springer spaniel, was presented with weakness and salivation to Linnaeus-owned Paragon Veterinary Referrals emergency service following ingestion of monensin, a slow-release cattle bolus, causing rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown).

Her clinical signs included weakness on all four limbs, muscle pain, panting and anxiousness.

Initial treatment at the referring vet included treatments to try to prevent ongoing absorption of the toxin and counteract its effects.

However, despite this her signs worsened over the following few days and so she was referred Paragon’s intensive care unit (ICU).

Here she received 24-hour monitoring and care together with careful monitoring of her kidney function and gentle physiotherapy.  Bella showed gradual recovery and was able to be discharged a week later.

Jennie Good, critical care specialist at Paragon, who led Bella’s treatment together with Adam Bell, internal medic and cardiologist, and Sophie Adamantos, clinical director and specialist in emergency and critical care, said: “The degree of signs seen was extremely severe and usually it is fatal when it is so bad. We have never seen such severe evidence of muscle damage.

“Increases in muscle enzyme indicate muscle damage. Usually, it is under 350 but Bella’s was more than 1,000,000, which is extraordinary.”

Sophie added: “Bella received 24-hour care in our ICU and, as she started to recover, gentle physiotherapy was introduced to help repair the muscle damage she had suffered. She made an incredible recovery and, once home, the owner struggled to keep her rested.”

Owner Robert Stephenson from Carnforth said: “Bella’s an inquisitive puppy and she found what I thought was an empty, regurgitated cow bolus, when I fact it still had slight traces of the product left in it, which she chewed on.

“I was in complete shock as to how poorly she was. She was very close to losing her life, but was expertly diagnosed by our local vets and then subsequently had exceptional treatment by the team at Paragon.”

Paragon provides expert care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.