PDSA saves dog following near-death experience

Staffordshire bull terrier, Shadow, came close to death after a collision with a cyclist left him with internal injuries. After collapsing at home, his owners rushed him to PDSA’s Gillingham Pet Hospital for an emergency operation.

Almost a pint of blood had to be drained from Shadow’s abdomen after veterinary professionals discovered his liver was severely damaged.

PDSA vets warned owner Sian Berry (30) that the odds were against Shadow’s survival. An ultrasound scan revealed a lacerated liver and severe internal bleeding. He had lost around one quarter of his blood.

“I couldn’t believe what had happened,” said Sian, from Maidstone, Kent. “I was taking Shadow for his usual walk in the local park when a cyclist suddenly appeared and ran over him.


“He didn’t seem too bad at first, just in a bit of shock, but by the time I got him home I realised something was badly wrong. He seemed in pain so I took him straight to PDSA. When they told me how poorly he was it was just heart-breaking.”

Aoife McCormack, PDSA vet, said nearly a pint of blood had to be drained from his abdomen before vets could stem the flow and operate to repair his liver.

She said: “We were faced with the nightmare situation of bleeding from two areas – both from the vessels to his spleen and the tear in his liver. The trauma to the liver was the most worrying for us as it’s much harder to stem the flow.

“Shadow had some very serious injuries and it was touch and go whether he would pull through surgery. Thankfully, the operation was a success and he made a good recovery. But without swift treatment there was a very real chance he would have bled to death.”

Shadow’s treatment cost vet charity PDSA nearly £700 in terms of supplies and vet time. The cost to the owner at a private vet practice could have been higher still. PDSA is urging owners to protect their animals through pet insurance. For more information visit

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