Bravery Award April 2024 – Simba the Labrador

by | Apr 30, 2024

Simba, the nearly four-year-old golden Labrador nearly didn’t make it to Christmas last year after having to receive TWO exploratory laparotomies in the space of a week.  The first was to remove the sock he decided was a very tasty snack, the second was required as he was suffering from peritonitis (an inflammation of the abdominal lining, often resulting from bacterial infection due to conditions like intestinal perforation) requiring 70% of his small intestine to be resected.  Simba the Labrador

After doing remarkably well for some months with seemingly no complications from his ordeal, he represented this month to emergency for vomiting and lethargy, concerningly very similar symptoms to last time.  After radiographs and an ultrasound were performed, it appeared that there was a dilated loop of small intestine and a small volume of free fluid in his abdomen, raising concerns for intestinal perforation once again.  Intestinal perforation in dogs refers to a condition where there is a hole or tear in the wall of the intestine. This can be caused by various factors such as trauma, foreign objects ingested by the dog, infections, previous surgeries or underlying gastrointestinal diseases. When the intestine is perforated, it can lead to leakage of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity, causing severe inflammation, infection, and potentially life-threatening complications. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and in severe cases, shock.

Simba’s prior anastomosis (a surgical procedure where two sections of the intestine are joined together, typically after removing a diseased portion, to restore intestinal continuity and function), appeared to have broken down and perforated at this site, with him requiring a further 15cm of his small intestine to be removed!  Simba arrived with the team at Berwick Vet the next morning, who were devastated to learn that one of their favourite patients had been through so much once again.  And this time, he hadn’t even got to eat something naughty!  After extensive treatment over several days, Simba managed to receive the all-clear to finally return home.  Unfortunately, Simba will be affected permanently from these life-saving procedures, leaving him at risk of things like persistent diarrhoea and something referred to as short gut syndrome.  Short gut syndrome in dogs, also known as short bowel syndrome, occurs when a significant portion of the small intestine is missing or non-functional, leading to difficulties in absorbing nutrients and water from food, resulting in diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition.  For his family, it means monitoring his diet closely whilst also removing any kind of foreign objects from his environment that he could ingest, ensuring that they do everything they can to avoid any future surgeries.

Simba is the poster dog for resilience and bravery, providing tail wags and love throughout each of his ordeals.  We hope that despite all his setbacks in such a short space of time, that with the love and care from his wonderful family and ongoing veterinary treatment from the team at Berwick Vets, he will live a long and happy life for years to come.  We love you so much Simba!

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Bravery Award April 2024 – Simba the Labrador

Simba, the nearly four-year-old golden Labrador nearly didn’t make it to Christmas last year after having to receive TWO exploratory laparotomies in the space of a week.  The first was to remove the sock he decided was a very tasty snack, the second was required as he...

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