Bob, a gorgeous 3-month-old Patterdale Terrier was referred to us after his local vet noticed abnormalities including elevated kidney and liver parameters, so he was treated with intravenous fluid therapy, anti-nausea medications and pain relief.
When he came to us, he was quiet, showing signs of lethargy and hyporexia and was vomiting with diarrhoea and pink and tacky gums supporting the fact he was dehydrated.
Under the care of Catarina Amorim, one of our Residents in Small Animal Internal Medicine the team undertook thorough diagnostic tests including a complete blood count, biochemistry and abdominal ultrasonography. The blood tests were consistent with the referring vet’s results showing significantly increased kidney and liver parameters. The abdominal ultrasound revealed an abnormal gallbladder consistent with an infection or inflammation.
From these findings, Bob was diagnosed with an Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and suspected Leptospirosis, a serious blood disease that can damage the kidney and liver. AKI occurs when the kidneys stop working properly and blood flow to the kidneys is reduced or obstructed, causing a build-up of toxins and an inability for the dog to balance fluids and electrolytes.
The cause of an Acute Kidney Injury can vary, but alongside Bob’s raised liver enzymes, the likely diagnosis was the leptospirosis, cutaneous renal glomerular vasculopathy (also wasn’t excluded despite the lack of cutaneous lesions), pancreatitis and toxic causes. The results of Bob’s bile was also consistent with an infection of his gallbladder. A clear cause of AKI is often not identified with a patient with all these symptoms and results; however, given the isolation of bacteria on the bile aspirates and the increased liver enzymes we identified, his gallbladder infection was the most likely primary cause of Bob’s illness.
Bob was instantly put on intensive fluid therapy, measuring and matching his bodily fluids and nursed and monitored by our expert teams day and night. He gradually improved and was started on medication to fight his gallbladder infection, and he continued to get better and better.
Bob was a sweet and gentle puppy despite feeling so poorly and the team loved seeing him improve and start to play as he got brighter and brighter! Despite his original worrying prognosis, Bob went home to his happy owners after being hospitalised with us for 11 days.