05 June 2023

An English Springer Spaniel needed almost three weeks of intensive nursing care here at Willows to survive a life-threatening attack of tetanus.

Two-year-old Rusty was rigid and immobile when he was admitted to us; however, thanks to Specialist-led care and round-the clock-nursing from our amazing team of dedicated veterinary nurses, Rusty was back on his feet and allowed home.

Vicky Maund, Head of Nursing Services at Willows in the West Midlands, explained: “Rusty was referred to our Neurology team suffering from tetanus, which is a life-threatening neurological condition caused by a bacterial infection, which can cause muscle spasms, hyperthermia and limb rigidity.

“He was very stiff, unstable and immobile when he arrived and was hospitalised for a total of 19 days in our dedicated Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where he was treated by our Specialist-led Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) team.

“Throughout this time, he was intensively nursed 24 hours a day by a devoted team of ICU Nurses and Patient Care Assistants.

“So much teamwork and effort went into keeping Rusty comfortable during his hospitalisation. He needed to be fed through a tube, given fluids intravenously, and his vital signs constantly monitored.

“There were also regular blood tests, wound management, frequent care and cleansing of his eyes, mouth and ears, plus he had a urinary catheter fitted.

“As Rusty was a non-ambulatory patient (unable to walk), he also received physiotherapy care from our expert team to help restore his mobility and stability.

“It was pretty much constant care and monitoring around the clock for the whole 19 days but Rusty battled hard and defied all the odds.

“He gradually regained the movement in his legs, started to walk again and was able to get home to his family after almost three weeks in hospital.

“It was a lovely moment and everyone was so pleased. We put a video together of his journey with us and watching it now is a reminder of just how poorly Rusty was and how determined the team were to help pull him through.

“His recovery is a real tribute to our incredible nurses and patient care assistants here at Willows, who continually provide the highest standards of care to all our patients 24/7.

“We are exceptionally proud of them and the way they go above and beyond to ensure our patients receive the best possible care. We are certainly very proud of our nurses’ dedication and commitment and their crucial role in empowering the veterinary profession.”