Critically-ill Inca's wagging tail convinced owner not to give up hope

Lynda Grandison feared the time had come to say goodbye to her 11-year-old Collie-cross after she endured two major operations.

She had sat with her dog Inca as she lay in a coma and even signed the paperwork for her to be put to sleep, but then the collie wagged her tail at Linda and she knew that she could not give up on her “little fighter”.

Retired Lynda, 66, said: “I don’t know how she has battled through this. At one point we were thinking of euthanasia because I thought how long do you put a little dog through something like this because she’s 11 and not a youngster.

“But then one day they brought her in and she actually wagged her tail and that was the first sign of recognition we’d had for days so I saw that as a sign that she was fighting.”

More on this topic:

Inca’s ordeal had begun when she was taken to Lynda’s local vet after being off her food for a few days. An ultrasound scan revealed that she had swallowed a peach stone which was lodged in her intestine.

After an operation to remove the stone she was transferred to Vets Now’s pet emergency hospital in Manchester so she could be cared for through the night. But things took a dramatic turn for the worse when her wound came open, leaking the intestine’s contents into her abdomen causing peritonitis, which led to sepsis.

Hospital staff warned Lynda that Inca only had a 50/50 chance of surviving and operated on her again to remove a 20cm section of her intestine.

Lynda said: “After the second operation it really was touch and go. I would sit with Inca in intensive care and she was hooked up to the monitors with wires everywhere. She was unresponsive and in a coma some of the time. It was heartbreaking so you can imagine how emotional I felt when she wagged her tail at me.

“We’re over it now, but it could have so easily turned the other way. Inca is obviously a little fighter.”

Lynda added that she had no qualms about the cost of the treatment as she had cared for Inca since she was a puppy. She was a rescue dog and arrived at her new home with a broken bone in her paw.

Since then Lynda has also helped Inca with epilepsy. She described Inca as a “smashing dog” and said she “would have paid the earth to help her”.

Referral clinician Emma Donnelly and lead emergency and critical care veterinary surgeon David Owen were part of the team at Vets Now in Manchester who helped save Inca.

David said: “We all fell in love with Inca while she was here. Things had looked pretty bleak, but when she was taken through to her owners to be put to sleep she brightened up and gave her mum an excited greeting then started to eat for them.

“She continued to improve over the next couple of days and appears to be making a full recovery which shows there is always hope.”

“We're over it now, but it could have so easily turned the other way. Inca is obviously a little fighter.”

Lynda Grandison Inca's owner

The Vets Now pet emergency hospital in Manchester – where Inca received treatment – is regarded as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the UK. It’s one of three Vets Now hospitals across the UK that are open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.