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Acute Hepatopathy and Coagulopathy in the Canine: A Nursing Care Report

02 July 2017
14 mins read
Volume 8 · Issue 6


This nursing care report discusses the treatment and management of acute hepatopathy and secondary coagulopathy in the canine as well as the impact this case had on the development of the author's nursing ability. The patient, a nine-year-old Labrador Retriever, was referred for treatment after an episode of vomiting followed by collapse during a walk with their owner. On presentation the patient was tachycardic, tachypnoeic with absent peripheral pulses. After haematological and biochemical analysis of the patient's blood, the clinical team implemented a medical care plan based on two differential diagnoses; xylitol poisoning or leptospirosis. The nursing team delivered an intensive care regimen including extensive patient monitoring, environmental modification, assisted feeding and blood transfusion with strict adherence to barrier nursing protocols. Fortunately, due to the dedicated efforts of the clinical team, the patient successfully recovered and was returned to their family in good health.

The patient presented to the referring veterinary surgeon (RVet) after vomiting and collapse during a walk with their owner. The owner reported that the patient had struggled to keep up with them and that they turned around to see the patient staggering. Shortly afterwards the patient produced yellow, bile-tinged vomitus and collapsed. In this state the patient was unresponsive to both touch and sound. The patient presented to the RVet with ataxia, pale mucous membrane (MM) colour and a temperature of 39.3°C. There was no known disease prior to hospitalisation.

Species: Canine

Breed: Labrador retriever

Age: 9 years

Sex: Female (neutered)

Weight: 30.5 kg

The RVet conducted thoracic and abdominal radiographs which revealed a fluid build-up around the kidneys and unremarkable thoracic images. Ultrasound was performed and free fluid was identified in the splenic region. The patient received intravenous fluid therapy (IVFT) and a blood sample was taken for haematology and biochemistry tests. Biochemistry revealed mildly elevated creatinine and mild hypoglycaemia, while haematology showed band neutrophils and reticulocytes were present (Table 1). Electrocardiography (ECG) revealed very high T-waves with tachycardia of 148 beats per minute (BPM) (Table 2). On discussion with the owner, the patient was referred to an intensive care unit.

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