When Barry, a three-month-old French bulldog, began vomiting, passing blood in his urine and suffering from a high fever, his owners knew something was very wrong and took him to Cave Veterinary Specialists, near West Buckland in Somerset.
Barry responsed well to initial treatment by medicine clinician Lucy Barker and internal medicine resident Sara Cermeno Fernandez, but relapsed upon his return home.
Lucy said, “Barry was hospitalised straightaway and responded well when given antibiotics and supportive care.
“His fever cleared, he was a lot brighter and he was eating well again so he was able to go home to his owners in Plymouth.”
“However, as soon as his treatment was completed, he started to decline again, losing his appetite and energy, struggling to breathe and was laid low again by fever.”
Barry returned to Cave for more tests and analysis which revealed an accelerated heartbeat and an enlarged spleen and liver. Further investigations confirmed “a positive blood culture consistent with a marked and systemic bacterial infection”.
“An abdominal ultrasound scan revealed the spleen was enlarged and there were multiple, irregular, solid nodules throughout the organ’s tissue,” Lucy said. “The liver appeared enlarged, the stomach and colon were distended and several loops of bowel appeared distended with fluid.
“These findings were consistent with severe splenitis – an enlargement and inflammation of the spleen caused by a mixed and extremely reactive bacterial infection such as salmonella.”
After the diagnosis of salmonella, vets were surprised by the unusual case – but they knew what to do.
“We needed to operate to remove the spleen and so Barry underwent surgery with one of our surgical specialists Malcolm Jack,” Lucy said.
“The operation went very well and Barry made a good recovery. He was discharged soon afterwards and has been doing very well at home.
“He is eating well, is very bright and his owners now have no concerns at all.”
Images by Cave Veterinary Specialists