Internal Medicine - Pet of the Month
The Internal Medicine team has the pleasure to work with many pets and their loving families. We have created this page to highlight those that are a part of our daily lives and to celebrate the human animal bond.
Pet of the Month
Sophie is a 5 ½ year old Bulldog who was adopted by Carolyn from a neighbor about 3 years ago. Sophie was quickly initiated to Carolyn’s household by Jewlz, a Lab mix, who showed Sophie the ropes and continues to keep her in line. Unfortunately, Jewlz was unable to help Sophie one day last summer when they were out in their yard and Sophie started to cough. Sophie’s coughing got progressively worse and soon she was coughing up blood.
Carolyn was very concerned for her companion and quickly took Sophie to VRCC where our emergency department evaluated Sophie. After a physical exam and chest x-rays it could not be determined what the cause was for Sophie’s cough. She seemed to improve after she was given steroids and an antihistamine only to return to our emergency department a few days later with the same symptoms and now running a fever. Dr.Teresa Dye with our Internal Medicine department evaluated Sophie and determined that she had aspiration pneumonia. There was a discussion of the possibility that Sophie inhaled a foreign object but her infection must be treated immediately. Sophie was admitted to VRCC’s CCU where she was treated for several days with IV antibiotics. Sophie’s condition improved and she was discharged on antibiotics and the possibility of return for further workup to investigate the cause of her cough if she continued to have problems.
Sophie was treated by her family veterinarian on and off for several months with antibiotics as her cough came and went. Unfortunately her cough returned with a vengeance in February of this year and she returned to VRCC for more intensive treatment and diagnostics. Dr. Jenna Ashton performed a bronchoscopy, which involves inserting a small sterile fiberoptic scope in to Sophie’s trachea and down to the inlet of her lungs where Dr. Ashton obtained samples for bacterial cultures. It was determined that with Sophie’s chronic infections, she must have a portion of her lung removed to remove the source of her infection. Sophie had a portion of her lung removed by one of our VRCC surgeons a few weeks later where the cause for her mysterious, chronic infection was quickly identified. While outside last summer, Sophie had inhaled some grass like material that had lodged deep in her lung causing her chronic cough and infections! Sophie recovered uneventfully from her surgery and has been doing well following surgery.
Sophie is enjoying her cough free life and is back to chasing and playing with her now deflated soccer ball and her best friend Pickles, a 1 year old St. Bernard. Homer, the family cat, just tries to stay out of their way. Jewlz has her paws full keeping this wild bunch in line!
Carolyn is a fantastic pet parent and never gave up the hope of getting Sophie back to her old self. While cases like Sophie’s can be difficult to diagnose it is clear that without the commitment and dedication of Carolyn and VRCC’s partnership with Sophie’s family veterinarian, Sophie’s story may not have turned out so well. Go chase those squirrels Sophie and keep Jewlz on her toes!