Veterinary

Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Sky, narrowly escapes ‘silent killer’ disease

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Sky, is said to be ‘lucky to be alive’ after she developed a potentially fatal womb infection.

The pooch, from Swinton in Manchester, was rushed to PDSA in need of urgent life-saving surgery after the charity’s vets found her infected womb weighed 2.5kg (5.5lb), equivalent to nearly three bags of sugar.

Known as pyometra, the ‘creeping killer’ can strike without warning in unneutered female dogs and unfortunately many pet owners are completely unaware of the danger. But it can easily be prevented by a routine neutering operation.

Sky’s owner, security guard Kirsty Stafford (26), said: “She started showing strange signs and wasn’t acting herself. Within a day her stomach had swollen like I’ve never seen. There was liquid all over the sofa and sitting room so I knew something was seriously wrong.”

In fact, Sky had developed a pyometra, which if left untreated, would have killed her.

With Sky deteriorating quickly, Kirsty rushed her to her closest out-of-hours vet who stabilised her. She was then transferred to Manchester PDSA Pet Hospital where vets carried out emergency surgery to save her life.

PDSA vet nurse, Claire Allen, said: “Sky’s critical condition meant we had to act fast. Her womb had ballooned in size and we knew time was of the essence. Even some of our most experienced vets hadn’t seen an infection of this size in such a little dog.

“It was touch-and-go for a while. Her heart rate dropped dangerously low twice during surgery and she required adrenaline to keep her alive. There was a real threat she wasn’t going to make it.”

After intricate surgery and very close monitoring from the charity’s dedicated vets and vet nurses, Sky was stable enough to recover at home.

Kirsty added: “The team at PDSA were absolutely fantastic and I cannot thank them enough for saving Sky’s life. If it wasn’t for them, I dread to think what the outcome would have been.

“When this happened I’d only had Sky for a few months, after taking her on from an elderly person who wasn’t able to look after her anymore. I had planned on getting her neutered but then this happened. I would urge anyone with a dog to get them neutered as soon as you can so they don’t have to go through this. There really is no point putting them at risk.”

Claire added: “Sadly, this is something we see all too often. Every week we treat dogs for deadly womb infections at our Manchester Pet Hospital. It’s gut-wrenching to see so many suffering from this easily preventable disease which can be avoided simply by getting your pet neutered. If owners have any questions, I’d always recommend speaking to your vet or vet nurse.”

The Manchester PDSA Pet Hospital, located in Old Trafford is currently seeking support from the people of Manchester to help with its plans to build a £2.4m ‘Wellbeing Centre’. For more information about the new PDSA Pet Wellbeing Centre and how to get involved visit www.pdsa.org.uk/Manchester or call 0808 1645004.

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