Toby or Not To Be – Puppy’s Fight For Life After Swallowing Deadly Toxin

A young puppy left fighting for life after swallowing a deadly toxin has made a miracle recovery after expert care here at Wear, one of the UK’s top small animal hospitals.

Toby, a Labrador/border collie cross, was just six months old when he was rushed to us, where he was treated in intensive care for three days after a breed-specific reaction.

Wear’s head of internal medicine Chiara Giannasi took charge of the case and admits it was a race against time to save the beloved puppy’s life.
Chiara, an ECVIM-recognised specialist in small animal internal medicine, explained: “Toby had ingested a toxin and had immediately become very wobbly and started vomiting.

“Toby had licked the drug, which is used as a spot-on treatment. While this drug is usually very safe in all dogs as a spot-on treatment, collies and dogs with collie breeding can have a gene mutation (MDR) which prevents them from handling certain drugs. As Toby is a collie-cross, ingesting the drug orally was a very serious problem.

“His symptoms started to progress very quickly and, if he had not been treated swiftly, they could have led to seizures, coma and death.

“He was immediately hospitalised in our intensive care unit (ICU) where he was given intravenous intralipid transfusions to bind the toxin and help eliminate the danger.

“Toby also received other supportive medications and was constantly monitored and cared for over the weekend. Happily, he responded remarkably well and has made a complete recovery.”

Toby’s relieved owner Alex Crooks, from Middlesbrough, says she feared the worst and is full of praise for the excellent care given by Chiara and Wear’s ICU team.

Alex said: “We first noticed a problem around midday and by 3pm Toby had deteriorated quite badly.

“The problem was ingestion of a flea control which, had Toby been full Labrador, may not have caused the same reaction.

“Our own vets referred Toby to Wear the same evening, where we were advised this could be fatal.

“As you can imagine it was horrible for all of us as he was still only a puppy. Toby was clearly in trouble. He was struggling to walk, nervy and jumpy as if seeing ghosts.

“We were extremely concerned, however, as he was young and otherwise fit, we kept positive.”

That positivity was rewarded as Toby fought bravely to pull through, helped by the excellent care from the highly qualified Wear team.

Alex added: “Wear took exceptional care of Toby. He went straight into intensive care and had nurses with him 24 hours a day.

“Chiara rang us morning and evening to explain the treatment and how he was doing. We were so appreciative.

“I would definitely recommend Wear to any pet owner, because the care they gave Toby was incredible. We’re so grateful.

“Toby has made a miracle recovery and amazingly was back to his old self within a couple of weeks.”

Wear Referrals has a dedicated ICU staffed every minute of the year by a highly skilled team. As well as large, comfortable walk-in kennels and observation bays, the ICU is equipped with multiple oxygen kennels, a cot for critically ill patients needing one-on-one care, a state-of-the-art crash trolley and defibrillator, patient-side oxygen and the facility to ventilate multiple patients.

Wear specialises in providing expert multidisciplinary care, including oncology, neurology, orthopaedics, soft tissue, internal medicine, cardiology, intensive care and diagnostic imaging.