Dexi is normally a very lively and bright young German Shepherd dog. Her owners Liam and Susan were understandably worried when she became quiet and off her food for a couple of days.

She had also vomited a few times. Dexi had been in some stagnant water a few days previously and they were worried she had picked something up.

When vet Helen Collett examined Dexi she found that she was pretty dehydrated and had a high temperature. Dexi had some blood tests and stayed with us for a few days receiving treatment for dehydration and vomiting.

Her blood tests were unremarkable and her temperature returned to normal. Dexi improved rapidly and was able to go home – we thought this was the end of the story.

However, just over a week later Dexi’s owners brought her back to see us. They were worried that she was getting ill again. The vomiting was persisting, she was drinking more and her appetite was still not right.

Vet Cliff Maw suggested they repeat the blood tests to see if anything had changed. The results were very concerning and showed that there was something wrong with Dexi’s liver causing her to become jaundiced (a yellowing of her tissues).

Further tests including X-rays and an ultrasound scan performed by our visiting specialist Helen Renfrew, helped us to diagnose a “gall-stone” blocking the bile system in Dexi’s liver.

The blockage was stopping bile from emptying into the intestine, causing it to ‘back-up’ and make her jaundiced. This is a very serious and painful condition that could result in Dexi becoming critically ill at any time. Dexi would need an operation if she was to have any chance of recovery.

This type of surgery is incredibly delicate and difficult. We suggested that Dexi’s owners should take her to a specialist surgeon for the operation.

This happened the following day and surgeons at Willows Referral Centre in Solihull removed her damaged gall bladder and unblocked the tube successfully.

Dexi has since been lovingly nursed back to health by her dedicated owners and has now made a full recovery. She is back to her old self without any need for medication. She has been back to us for follow up checks which were back to normal again.

“It is amazing to see the change in Dexi only a week or two after her operation.” says Vet Cliff Maw. “She is a really lovely dog and its wonderful to see her feeling great again.”

p.s. In this instance, Dexi was referred to a specialist veterinary hospital. We refer to specialists in situations where we feel the outcome is likely to be better with the equipment and expertise that such an institution has.

Referral costs can understandably be very high and this is one of the main reasons that we recommend pet insurance to owners.