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Success Stories




Below are just a few of the veterinary success stories we've had at CAVES and VRCNH.



lizzyLizzie is a 2 yr old yellow Labrador that was treated at CAVES for rat poison ingestion toxicity. We are happy to say that Lizzie made a full recovery from a very life threatening condition. She was admitted to CAVES two days after having ingested rat poison. She ingested the anticoagulant form of rat poison which caused massive internal hemorrhage into her chest cavity. Lizzie became very weak and debilitated. She received three blood transfusions and multiple injections of Vitamin K1 which is one of the treatments needed to stop the internal hemorrhage. After four days of intensive treatment, Lizzie was on the road to a full recovery and was discharged to continue recuperating at home. Lizzie is a sweet dog with a strong will to survive.


Rodenticide poisoning in dogs is unfortunately fairly common. Most pet owners do not even know their dog has ingested the poison. There are different forms of rat poison that can cause internal bleeding (anticoagulant) or central nervous system signs (seizures, coma). For the anticoagulant form of rat poison, the clinical signs usually do not develop for 2-4 days after ingestion. The signs are: lethargy, weakness, collapse, difficulty breathing, pale mucous membranes. The bleeding is usually internal into the chest cavity, joints, abdominal cavity, or gastrointestinal tract. Immediate aggressive treatment involves blood transfusions, plasma transfusions, and Vitamin K1 injections. If caught with in a few hours after ingestion, it is best to induce vomiting as soon as possible and call your veterinarian immediately for further instructions. If caught early, often your pet can be treated with Vitamin K1 only.

Do not hesitate to call us if you think your pet may have ingested rat poison or is acting ill.



chloeChloe is a 9 month old spayed female Newfoundland crossbred dog who jumped out of the window of her owners car, and broke her leg. When she got up, she was unable to walk on her right rear leg. Fortunately, she wasn’t injured otherwise. She was brought to CAVES for care, and x-rays showed that she had broken her tibia (shinbone) in several places. Surgery was recommended to treat her fractures for fastest healing and best outcome for a comfortable leg.


At surgery, an external fixator was used to re-align her broken bones and provide stability during healing. With this type of repair, pins are drilled into the bone above and below the fracture, then connected on the outside of the skin with metal bars. This acts as scaffolding for support while the bone heals. In Chloe’s case, cerclage wires were also placed around the bone to help pull the fractured bone fragments together. During surgery, Chloe was given IV fluids and antibiotics, to keep her stable and to help prevent infection. She was also given pain medication before and after surgery, to keep her as comfortable as possible. She was able to go home the day after surgery. She had to be kept quiet at home until her bone had healed.

Chloe had a recheck 3 ½ weeks after surgery, and she was doing well. When she came back for her next recheck 7 weeks after breaking her leg, she was walking well on her leg, and x-rays showed the bone had healed. Her external fixator was removed, and two weeks later, she was able to return to normal activity.



brindleBrindle is a 6 year old female mixed breed dog who came to CAVES because she had been lethargic, seemed painful and stopped eating for a day. At first her bloodwork and xrays were normal, but 24 hours later her kidney and liver values started to rise, and over the next 48 hours she developed kidney and liver failure.


One of the few causes of simultaneous liver and kidney failure in otherwise healthy dogs is leptospirosis, which is an infection with Leptospira bacteria. Brindle was treated with antibiotics for this infection during her hospitalization, in addition to intravenous fluids, blood pressure and anti-nausea medications to support her while her kidneys and liver recovered from the infection.

For several days she also required a feeding tube for nutritional support. Ten days later, Brindle’s kidney and liver function had finally started to improve, she was eating small amounts of food on her own, and she was able to go home. Her blood tested strongly positive for antibodies to one type of Leptospira bacteria, which confirmed our suspicions. Brindle and her mom have since returned for check ups, and we are happy to report that her kidney and liver function have completely recovered and she is back to her former happy, active self!


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