Louie the Maltese Terrier – A Case Study


Louie was a tiny 1.6kg Maltese Terrier that was brought in to the Out of Hours clinic (transferred from a local clinic) after he was attacked by a fox. He was shaken and bitten several times around the chest & abdomen.


Louie had collapsed and in shock after being attacked by a fox. He had laboured breathing and abdominal palpation not possible as he was showed to be in pain around thorax and cranial abdomen. His temperature was 35C and he had a week pulse.

There was a large superficial wound on the left thoracic wall and several smaller puncture wounds (it was difficult to say if these were deep or not.)


Plan / therapy: Louie was placed on oxygen (in an oxygen chamber) soon after admission. IV from referring vets, flushed and re-bandaged. He was in shock & was hypothermic (dangerously low body temperature) so was gradually warmed up & given intravenous fluid therapy (to help support his circulating blood volume & treat the hypo-volaemic shock). Pain relief was given with methadone and Louis seemed very sensitive when the thorax was gently palpated.
We performed Chest & Abdominal X-rays which revealed that the pneumothorax was affecting the right pleural cavity, his right lung was completely collapsed but left lung fully expanding.

Louie had emphysema across the chest wall (air trapped outside of the chest cavity sitting underneath the skin) & severe bruising of his entire chest & abdomen.

The multiple puncture wounds were inspected and cleaned (to prevent further risk of infection).

After giving oxygen, fluid bolus and methadone, patient seemed to stabilise, was looking brighter and more comfortable. The breathing seemed less laboured.

Louie was in intensive care for 48 hours and remained in hospital for a total of 5 days- after which he was discharged home to recuperate fully.

The OOH Team were very pleased with the outcome and his recovery after such a traumatic event.


Keely Breen