Puppy recovering from rare life threatening tetanus

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Frank, a four-month-old German shorthaired pointer puppy, is recovering at home after a two-week hospitalization in the intensive care unit at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, due to a rare infection called tetanus toxemia.

Frank’s owner, Alan Bowman, first noticed something wrong with his beloved pet earlier this month when Frank’s appetite suddenly disappeared and he began displaying signs of stiffness with his head. After a visit to his primary care veterinarian, Frank was referred to LVS on Apr. 5.  

“Upon arrival, the patient was displaying symptoms of severe muscle tension throughout his head and limbs,” said Dr. Lynel J. Tocci, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care. “Canines typically have a high resistance to clostridium tetani bacteria, which emits toxins that cause tetanus, making it extremely rare. The disease can cause long-term muscular issues and even death if not properly treated.”

To treat Frank’s worsening infection, doctors from LVS administered a special equine anti-toxin, daily doses of muscle relaxants and provided him with around-the-clock nursing care to treat his symptoms.

“Frank would have died if his general practitioner hadn’t suspected the disease and recommended immediate emergency care,” said Tocci. “This just goes to show how important it is for pet owners to schedule regular checkups with their primary care veterinarian and notify them if they believe their pet has any sign of illness.”

As part of the recovery process Frank will undergo an additional three weeks of physical therapy sessions and is on a special diet. Fortunately, Frank will be able to receive his rehab treatment at LVS’s state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility for pets.  

“Frank is feeling much better and I am so thankful to have him home,” said Bowman. “Everybody at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is knowledgeable and very kind. It is amazing resource if you have a sick dog or sick animal.”

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists
Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.

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