Duke - A Big Boy with a Brave Heart

Duke is a gorgeous Mastiff cross who was adopted from the RSPCA as a puppy by his wonderful fur mother Ceri.

We first met Duke at Vetwest Whitfords as a small pup with MASSIVE paws, which he quickly grew into. Duke is now 2.5 years old and weighs in at 52kgs!

The reason Duke is so special to us is he is a problem child who has left us, and the specialists baffled on numerous occasions. Within the first 6 months of Ceri owning Duke, he had visited us at least 15 times for various reasons, including eating frangipanis, garlic ingestion, multiple ear infections and various skin lesions.

The icing on the cake was after about a year of visiting us on a regular basis, Duke presented at Whitfords with a loss of appetite and he was extremely flat. He also had symptoms of tachycardia, a sudden onset of swelling on his chest and severe left forelimb lameness. Everyone was concerned for our special boy. Duke had had no access to toxins and the only thing that Ceri could think of was a possible insect bite. After a thorough workup, Duke was referred to Murdoch specialists for an ECG and possible halter monitoring. Duke presented as normal by the time he arrived at Murdoch and both his Tfast scan and ECG showed no obvious findings. A few days later Duke relapsed and ended up at Perth Vet Emergency (PVE) with a concern that he may have Lymphoma.  At PVE Duke had more workups including x-rays and further ECG monitoring but once again there were no abnormal findings. He spent several days in hospital for continued monitoring and fluids and was later referred to a medicine specialist for a CT scan. Everyone expected the worst as no other reason for Duke’s condition could be found.

During his time at PVE, it was discovered that the swelling over Duke’s chest was filled with pus and it was presumed that the cause was an abscess which had formed due to a foreign body. Surgery was performed and a drain was placed. No foreign body was found, but Duke was improving. To add to the never-ending story of Duke; after the active drain was placed, Duke, unfortunately, developed a resistant pseudomonas infection within the drain. He was then put on an extensive course of antibiotics and finally made a full recovery.

A year later Duke is a happy and healthy boy, although one of dermatology’s best clients. He attends Vetwest Whitfords weekly for his regular malaseb medicated bath and customary cuddles from all the staff who love him dearly. Duke is a reminder to all of us how important pet insurance is. In his first year with Ceri, he drummed up $21,000 in Vet bills! Thank goodness for pet insurance and for the Vetwest Total Wellness Plan which also provides extra peace of mind for Ceri and Duke!

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