Finn’s Frightening Journey

Lovely 4 year old Labrador Finn was referred to us as an emergency case as he was stiff while walking and rapidly progressed to him being unable to stand or open his mouth within 48 hours of arrival with tetanus.

It started from a nail bed infection in his dew claw, it had progressed to the point that he could not stand due to his rigid muscles and muscle spasms he required immediate intensive care and dedicated nursing. He was so ill that he couldn’t even swallow or urinate by himself.

Eliana Doyle, one of our Residents in Internal Medicine said: “When Finn arrived late at night, he had the typical presentation of tetanus with a stiff walk and tightened facial muscles. He was an emergency case and needed feeding via a tube and regular physiotherapy to avoid muscle wastage. Finn started to make a very slow and gradual improvement during the first two weeks and required intensive care from our amazing nursing team.”

After 16 days of hospitalisation, Finn was able to stand on his feet and he then made rapid improvements and was able to go home and take food via his mouth within two days.

“It’s a great outcome for Finn and his owners, and he continues to recover well at home.”

Finn’s loving owner explained how his pet’s health had initially deteriorated, “We were on holiday with Finn when his symptoms started and we were shocked and worried as to whether he would recover. Vets who have seen tetanus are very few and far between. However, the vet in Devon who made the diagnosis arranged everything for us. She got him booked into Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists and started him on antibiotics while we packed up the holiday cottage we were staying in.”

He added: “Since Finn has been home, Eliana has contacted us to see how he’s doing and said it would be nice to see him again, so we took him back for a visit where he received lots of fuss and treats from everyone. I’m happy to now say Finn’s life is as it was before tetanus and to see him now you wouldn’t know he had been so ill. We have done gundog training with him since he was a puppy and he is now back joining in his class, still loving to run.”