Emergency vets come to the rescue of cavapoo during family staycation

Vets are warning dog owners about hidden dangers at the beach after a dog became seriously ill while on a family staycation.

Loveable cavapoo Bailey was left sick and lifeless after dashing in the surf and picking up sticks at Whitby, Yorkshire.

Worried about his health, owner Donna Bruce turned to Vets Now’s new video vet online consultation service.

During the video call with a qualified emergency vet, it became clear Bailey needed urgent treatment at a clinic.

Image of Bailey the cavapoo in the garden for Vets Now article on vets online
Cavapoo Bailey fell ill after a day at the beach

Donna, who lives near Nottingham, rushed the gorgeous 18-month-old to Vets Now in Chesterfield where the team provided him with one-to-one treatment overnight.

Vets believe Bailey became sick due to something he picked up during his forays along the shore.

There are numerous dangerous hazards for dogs on beaches including palm oil, starfish, dried up seaweed, jellyfish and even salt water.

“We’d had him on another beach in Whitby earlier in the week with no problems,” said Donna, who’s a teacher in a special needs school and had taken Bailey to Whitby for a short break with her partner Leigh.

“But towards the end of the holiday we went to a different beach and he was chasing the foam in the sea. And there were more sticks lying around and he was picking some of them up.

“We took them off him and didn’t really think anything of it. The following morning, though, he had a bit of sickness and diarrhoea and, after we’d headed home, it was really bad.

“Within a few hours he was shaky on his legs and then he just laid out, totally lethargic and lifeless.”

Owner Donna needed advice so she booked an appointment through our Video Vet service

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With her own vet closed on the Saturday afternoon, Donna was referred to Vets Now and saw she could make an online appointment for the recently launched video vet service.

It lets pet owners speak to a qualified vet on their mobile, tablet or laptop, wherever they are.

The £30 consultation fee is then refunded if the pet needs to be seen for treatment at one of more than 60 Vets Now pet emergency clinics and hospitals across the country.

“The Vets Now video consultation service worked really well,” said Donna. “We were worried and I just needed to know whether or not I had to take him to be seen at a clinic.

“I got the video call bang on time and the vet was very thorough and ever so helpful.”

Image of Bailey the cavapoo for Vets Now article on vets online
Our video vet advised that Bailey needed emergency treatment and his owners rushed him to our pet emergency clinic in Chesterfield

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Vet surgeon Ashleigh Wilson was on duty on the weekend Donna contacted Vets Now. She said: “With Donna’s help, I examined Bailey thoroughly during the video call and it became clear fairly quickly that he needed to be seen in a clinic.

“Beaches are obviously very popular with dog walkers but they do contain hidden hazards.

“For example, the salt, bacteria and parasites in sea water can make dogs sick and dehydrated.

“Also, if a dog swallows enough sand it can cause a blockage in the intestine, which is called sand impaction.

“We’re not entirely sure what caused Bailey to be sick but his case shows owners should be vigilant when visiting the beach, especially if their dog is a scavenger.”

On arrival at Vets Now in Chesterfield, Bailey was examined before being given intravenous fluids and drugs to help control his vomiting.

His blood results showed what’s called haemoconcentration, which is a decrease in blood flow and lack of oxygen, often caused by dehydration.

He was kept in overnight for one-to-one monitoring before being discharged the following afternoon with instructions on next steps.

Image of cavapoo Bailey on the beach for Vets Now article on vets online
Vets are asking owners to be aware of the hidden hazards on beaches and to be vigilant when walking their dogs

“Bailey is our first dog and we were so worried,” said Donna. “We had been told late in the evening that although he was looking better, it would take time for the treatment to take effect and they had to do a scan to make absolutely sure there were no obstructions.

“We were awake half the night, but we were delighted to get a really early call the next morning to put our minds at rest that he’d come through fine and was looking well.

“You’re stressing and automatically thinking the worst, so it was such a relief when we were able to go and get him home at lunchtime. We were told that dogs can often get quite sick from bugs they pick up at the beach and we’re just happy it turned out okay.

“He was a bit tired and on a limited diet for about a week but thankfully he’s back to his old self now and just fine.”

Our video vet service makes professional veterinary advice more easily available. While life-threatening conditions would not be suitable for the service, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns pet owners might have. If a pet needs to be treated at Vets Now, pet owners are refunded the online consultation fee.