Roman the Doberman needed emergency surgery at Vets Now after developing intussusception

A Doberman puppy had to undergo life-saving surgery when his intestine started folding in on itself.

Thirteen-week-old Roman had six inches of the vital organ, which helps the body digest food, removed in the operation after suffering a condition known as intussusception.

His owner Collette Roberts, of Hebburn near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was horrified when what seemed like a harmless sickness and diarrhoea bug spiralled into the need for major surgery, but is glad that Roman has now recovered from the ordeal.

“The problem started on a Thursday afternoon when Roman had a bit of diarrhoea and when it continued the next day I took him down to our local vet who gave me some medication,” Collette recalled, adding: “But by the Saturday morning he was vomiting violently so I took him straight him back again.

Image of Roman, Dog diagnosed with Intussusception
Thirteen-week-old Roman was rushed to Vets Now after developing Intussusception

“The vet did a scan and said Roman had a blockage so he was referred to Vets Now in Gateshead, which cares for pets at weekends and overnight.

“At that point, I’d no idea what had caused the blockage and it was only when the vet opened Roman up that she realised the problem was his intestine had started going back in on itself.”

Jacqui Seymour, the emergency vet who operated on Roman, told Collette her puppy’s problems were likely to have been caused by something that had irritated his insides as it passed through.

Despite undergoing major surgery Roman was up and about the next day, but Collette, a mental health support worker, is still keeping a close watch over him.

“It was a massive operation for him at only 13 weeks old, but his stitches healed quite quickly. We’ve had a problem with bowels flaring up every now and again and have Roman on a special diet.

“He’s a lovely family pet and is as soft as anything with my two children Charlie and Joel,” she said.

Dogs diagnosed with intussusception face a race against time to survive. Rapid diagnosis and surgical intervention are essential and owners are urged to seek veterinary help straight away if they’re worried their dog has developed the condition.

Emergency vet Jacqui added: “Diarrhoea is a common problem in dogs, largely because they will put almost anything in their mouths, but it is important to consult a vet if it’s persistent or contains blood, as it can cause secondary issues like dehydration and can be a sign of more serious problems such as intussusception, especially if they are also vomiting or lethargic.

“We’re glad we could help Roman and it was great to see him so happy to be with Collette again after his operation.”

Image of dog diagnosed with intussusception running in park for Vets Now
Roman had six inches of his intestine removed after developing intussusception

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The Vets Now clinic in Gateshead — where Roman received treatment — was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It’s one of 55 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.