Casey, a 6 year old Kelpie, is thankful for the team at Animal Emergency Service Noosaville for saving her life. She was visiting family and friends on the Sunshine Coast when she was struck by a car leaving her wounded and terrified.

Casey and her family travelled from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast for a weekend with family and friends. They had a relaxing weekend planned on a beautiful family property. However, upon returning from an outing, Casey’s family found her hiding under a bed and breathing abnormally. Their instincts kicked in that something wasn’t right and they rushed her straight to Animal Emergency Service to be seen by an after-hours veterinarian.

Upon presentation, Casey was collapsed and in severe respiratory distress. She was immediately prioritised and rushed straight to the emergency team who stabilised her and prepared her for x-rays. The results showed evidence of a diaphragmatic hernia (contents of her abdomen had slid into her chest) and she also had 5 broken ribs.

Dr Huston discussed the findings with Casey’s family and recommended emergency surgery to save her life while the AES critical care team prepared her for surgery.

“When we rushed Casey to surgery we detected severe bruising to the kidney, pancreas and half of her liver had shifted to her chest,” Dr Huston recalls. “Half of her intestine was also in her chest because of the 15cm tear in her diaphragm. As a result of her injuries Casey had to be ventilated from the moment she presented and then throughout her surgery, which meant we needed as many hands on deck as possible to manage her vital signs while we completed the surgical procedure. Time was not on our side so we had to be fast and accurate to ensure we saved this gorgeous girl’s life.”

Once the surgery was complete, Casey was transferred to Pet Intensive Care where she was monitored closely by Dr Huston and the critical care nursing team. The next day, Monday morning, she was transferred by AES Sunshine Coast’s Director and Head Veterinarian, Dr Matt Rosen, to the specialists at Tanawha. By this stage, Casey was on supportive oxygen and had chest drains. She remained in the care of North Coast Veterinary Specialists while she recovered from the intensive surgery.

When she was deemed safe to travel, her owners transported her back to her general practitioners on the Gold Coast, Greencross Southport, until she was strong enough to return home.

Casey and her family can’t thank the Animal Emergency Service team enough for their quick response and professional approach that saved her life. She is now fully recovered and running around her Gold Coast backyard without a care in the world and with no symptoms of the horrific ordeal she has been through.

If you suspect your pet isn’t quite right, it’s important you seek immediate veterinary attention. Casey’s family had no idea she had experienced any kind of trauma but their quick thinking, and the expertise of Dr Huston, Dr Rosen and the critical care team at Animal Emergency Service most certainly saved her life.

If you’re concerned about your pet and your pet’s general practitioner is not available, the emergency and critical care team at the Animal Emergency Service are on hand to help every night, weekend and public holiday.

Written by Solange Newton, Dr Danielle Huston & Kim Anderson

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