Judy’s Tribute…..

by admin on February 3rd, 2011

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Judy the crossbreed dog holds a very special place in the hearts of the PetCare staff. She came into Mrs Hughes’ life as a rescue dog that had been badly mistreated and had a long list of illnesses and ailments including bronchitis, chronic ear infections and dental disease. Despite all her afflictions, brave Judy always came into the surgery with a wag in her tail and a spring in her step!

When Mrs Hughes sadly had to say goodbye to Judy late last year, it was a sad time for all involved.

Not long after Judy was introduced to us at PetCare, she underwent a dental procedure to clean up her infected mouth, had her ears thoroughly cleaned and had some x-rays taken of her congested chest. It was her chest problems that were to continue to be a problem throughout the rest of her life.  The x-rays showed permanent damage to her lungs; possibly caused by an untreated illness in the past. There was little that could be done to begin with, apart from keeping a close eye on her breathing.

By early 2010, her respiratory problems were beginning to become more obvious. The cold weather was definitely a factor and her lungs sounded bubbly. Mr Horrocks prescribed her some antibiotics to treat for the possibility of a chest infection. A couple of weeks later, and there was still no change. He decided to introduce a drug called Frusemide – a diuretic that would help to shift any fluid accumulating on her lungs.  This did perk Judy up but she was still experiencing bubbly breathing. The next drug to add into the mix was Corvental – a bronchodilator to help open the airways. 

Her weight went up and down throughout the next couple of years, but her owner worked hard to keep her on her Royal Canin Satiety diet – despite Judy’s cheeky attempts to add in her own treats!

By February 2010, Judy’s bubbly breathing still hadn’t made enough of an improvement so she was booked in for some repeat x-rays to see if anything had changed. The pictures showed blurriness on the lungs, which was a possible indication of a mass. This was not what anyone wanted to see, but realistically there was no treatment for this apart from continuing her medication and keeping her comfortable and happy. By the next month, her lungs didn’t sound any clearer but her owner felt that Judy was significantly brighter in herself and her coughing was beginning to sound more throaty than chesty.

By April, Judy was continuing with her Corvental, but the vet decided to add in a drug called Vetmedin – a medication used to treat congestive heart failure. It was possible that it was a cardiac problem causing her cough, and not just a lung condition. Remarkably, this made a significant difference to her quality of life and enabled her to exercise for longer periods of time. She continued to do well until October when she began experiencing intermittent episodes of vomiting and diarrhoea.

At first it seemed to be a case of colitis – an inflammatory condition, but when it continued and Judy lost her appetite it was obvious that something more serious was going on. She was admitted for blood tests and more x-rays. The blood results showed significantly high levels of kidney and liver enzymes, an indication that those organs weren’t functioning well. The x-rays showed that her liver was large and rounded. Mr Horrocks suspected that she had a large tumour, which was why she’d been so poorly. With such a poor prognosis, it was decided that the kindest decision would be to put Judy to sleep.

 She will be sadly missed by the team here at PetCare and by her loving owner. We wish Mrs Hughes health and happiness for the future.

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