Emergency vets save the life of EastEnders star! Vets Now, the UKs leading provider of out of hours emergency care for animals, was recently called on to perform life saving emergency treatment on a larger than life star patient.
Gumbo, (real name Shamus), character Bradley Branning’s 200lb St Bernard in the soap, was rushed to the Vets Now clinic in Thamesmead after becoming ill in the evening with severe bloating. After examination by the Vets Now team, Shamus was found to be suffering from a Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), also known as ‘bloat’, or ‘twisted stomach’, a life threatening condition which can commonly affect larger breeds of dogs.
The condition causes the stomach to fill up with air, putting pressure on the other organs and diaphragm and even with treatment, as many as 25- 33% of dogs with GDV die. Shamus’ owner, Mrs Jean Minnican of Abbeywood in London was quick to spot the signs of GDV as sadly, the condition had caused the death of one of her previous dogs, so she was aware of how critical it was for Shamus to receive emergency treatment immediately.
Shamus was rushed to the Vets Now clinic where it took five members of the clinic team to attach the drip and transport the giant dog from x-ray, to prep room and then into theatre where Senior Veterinary Surgeon, David Sciannimanico, performed the life saving emergency surgery.
Commenting on the case, Davide Sciannimanico said; “We treat a higher than average number of GDV cases as the condition often occurs out of hours, usually when a large dog has taken exercise too soon after its evening meal, so we know how critical it is that the dog receives treatment as quickly as possible and we were therefore fully prepared for Shamus’ arrival. Obviously Shamus’s sheer size presented us with a few challenges; however, we were able to move him swiftly into theatre where I performed an incisional gastropexy, a fast and simple procedure which fixed the GDV. Shamus stayed with us overnight and he recovered extremely well and was discharged the next morning.”
Vets Now works in partnership with Mrs Minnican’s daytime vet, Rod Henney and Associates in Woolwich to provide an Out Of Hours emergency service to their clients.
Mrs Minnican commented; “This was a truly terrifying situation as I’ve been here before with my other dog and I’m aware of what the outcome can be. The signs of a GDV are not always that drastic but in this case, I just knew my own dog and felt that something was seriously wrong. I was dreadfully shaken by the whole experience but the vet at Vets Now was just wonderful and what he did for Shamus was just incredible. We’re delighted to have Shamus back to his old self and he’s enjoying life in ‘Albert Square’ again!