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Fantastic Miss Floss!

Floss, a delightful 3-year-old Cocker Spaniel, stayed with us for twelve days during which time she stole many a heart!

Floss visited our Emergency and Critical Care Service to see what was causing her pain, vomiting and lack of appetite. When Floss arrived, we found her abdomen (belly) was very painful. A physical exam of Floss showed she had lost weight and was suffering from dehydration. When examining the abdomen (belly), we were suspicious of the presence of a foreign object. X-rays were taken which confirmed our suspicions. Floss underwent surgery the following day to remove the foreign object from her intestines. Sadly, Floss wasn’t quite out of the woods just yet.

Following her surgery Floss’ abdomen was regularly assessed with ultrasound scans. These showed evidence of an excess collection of fluid in the abdominal cavity (free peritoneal effusion). When we sampled this fluid, it was found to contain bacteria and Floss was diagnosed with septic bacterial peritonitis (an inflammatory condition of the lining of the abdomen caused by bacterial infection).

Two days after her initial surgery, Floss underwent further surgery to remove a portion of her guts to address the septic peritonitis. She returned to the ICU for monitoring as she started her recovery.

Initially, Floss was doing really well. However, despite being eager to eat, she then started to regurgitate and feel nauseated. Her stomach and intestines were refusing to move normally (they were hypomotile). To help combat this Floss was prescribed multiple prokinetic medications (they promote gut movement) as well as anti-vomiting medications. She had controlled feeding via a feeding tube and we restarted small volumes of solid foods by mouth a few days later. It was touch and go for a while but Floss eventually developed good gut sounds as her stomach and intestines started to move again. Some regurgitation remained but she seemed very well within herself becoming bright and playful (as demonstrated in this photo of her having fun in our waiting room!).

Feeling it would be more comfortable and kinder for Floss to finish her recovery at home, she was discharged a couple of days later.

Soon after Floss was discharged her carer (who works in veterinary practice) called us with an update to say:

“I just wanted to give you a little update on how Flossie is doing. She hasn’t been sick or regurgitated since yesterday and she’s been toileting normally. Since I’ve had her home she’s put on 500g!  As you can see from the attached photos she’s loving being back at work and despite having the run of the upstairs she still chooses to take herself off to her favourite kennel! 

Once again thank you so much for getting my trouble maker home to me!”

Floss at work

Floss at home


We are overjoyed to hear Floss is back to her normal self and is recovering from the weight loss. She was a real delight to have at the hospital.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Floss’ story. If you would like to find out more about our Emergency and Critical Care Service or our Soft-Tissue Surgery Service please click on the links.

Stay tuned for more tales from Team Ralph!

Take care,

Team Ralph

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