A Dog’s Udderly Amazing Recovery
Wednesday - March 16, 2011
Proper nutrition is the backbone of good health for our pets. To achieve this goal, some pet owners turn to nutritional supplements. Vitamins are a good example, but people have turned to herbs, fruit extracts and other exotic enhancers.
The following is a true account of a pet owner who helped her dog by incorporating a very unique ingredient into her dog’s food.
Intrigued? Get ready to be floored.
Mrs. Ito rushed into our hospital one day with her little dog Sam. His fluffy white coat was matted with a copious amount of fresh blood. Although he was stable, Sam did seem a bit shaken up from his encounter with a dog five times his size. While the staff quickly rushed Sam to the back to clean his wounds and assess the damage, Mrs. Ito recanted the gory events at the park.
Sam was minding his own business when out of nowhere a large dog attacked him. The angry creature bit Sam repeatedly and proceeded to shake him like a rag doll. Shouting and flailing her handbag, Mrs. Ito was able to distract the mongrel long enough to grab hold of Sam and rush him to the car. Minutes later, they arrived at our hospital.
A thorough physical exam revealed multiple puncture wounds and two areas where Sam’s skin was torn and dangled in a disturbing way. The puncture wounds were cleaned and flushed, but the lacerations needed to be repaired.
After the surgery, I informed Mrs. Ito that even though the repair looked good, the bacteria introduced by the dog bites may prove difficult to treat. Strong antibiotics were prescribed and a recheck appointment scheduled for the following week.
At the recheck appointment, I noticed areas where Sam’s skin had turned black and shriveled. This was not a good sign. I trimmed the dead tissue and placed new stitches to close the gap. Although it looked bleak, I tried to reassure Mrs. Ito that it was still early and we needed to keep our hopes up.
The following week Sam returned, and this time the wound looked great. In fact, it was almost completely healed. It was then that Mrs. Ito revealed the secret to Sam’s miraculous turnaround.
“Doc, I asked a family member to donate some of her breast milk to help Sam’s immune system. She didn’t mind, Sam liked the taste and I think it really accelerated the healing,” shared Mrs. Ito.
I’m rarely speechless, but I stood there for a few seconds not knowing what to say. I knew that breast milk contains antibodies that help babies ward off illness, but feeding it to your dog seems a bit odd. That being said, Sam’s wound looked much improved since the previous visit. I actually believe that the breast milk helped his injury.
Two weeks later, you could barely tell that Sam had been attacked at all. There was minimal scarring and his fur was growing back nicely.
Since then I’ve often debated about sharing Sam’s story with other clients whose pet had a serious infection. I just haven’t figured out how to bring up the subject. Should I say, “Have you ever thought of giving your cat some breast milk for her eye infection?” or “Do you have a lactating relative because breast milk might do the trick?”
Why does it seem so “udderly” preposterous? I guess The Wild Side may be ready for this type of therapy, but I’m not sure the rest of the world is.
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