A dog that was left for dead by a hit and run driver has made a “miraculous” recovery from her life-threatening injuries
Even the one-year-old Cocker Spaniel’s owner Liam Burns admits that he thought that his precious pet Honey had no chance of surviving.
However, thanks to the expert care from the team at Cave, Honey was given a new lease of life and left Liam stunned.
Liam, from Kingsbridge in Devon, said: “I’m not normally one for going over the top but it’s miraculous – in fact it’s so amazing that miraculous doesn’t even cut it!”
His astonishment is understandable when you hear the dramatic and traumatic events that left Honey clinging on to life despite horrific injuries.
Liam said: “We were out for a walk along a public footpath when Honey clocked a couple of birds just ahead. She raced after them and veered off down a track that led to the main road.
“I chased after her and I remember hearing a bang but I didn’t realise what it was until I reached the road.
“Honey was just lying there lifeless like a stuffed toy. There was blood pouring out of her mouth, her tongue was hanging out, her eyes were glazed, she was smothered in blood and her pulse was very faint.
“I honestly thought it was all over but I still scooped her up off the road, ran 500 yards to my van and went straight to the local Seaworthy Vets in Kingsbridge.
“I was very emotional when I got there. When I went into the consultation room I just burst into tears. I just thought there was no coming back from those injuries.”
Selworthy vet Angela Tweedie acted decisively and quickly to assess Honey’s condition and worked swiftly and successfully to stabilise her.
Liam now knows Angela’s intervention was critical to her survival but she also played a vital part in Honey’s successful recovery.
He added: “Angela’s initial care was so important and without a doubt saved Honey’s life but she admitted they hadn’t got the facilities or technology to analyse the extent of her injuries and the full nature of all the damage.
“She said it was best to refer her to Cave Veterinary Specialists in Somerset and we followed her advice, even if Cave was a 1hr 20min drive away.
“I spoke with their neurology specialist Tom Cardy, who was unreal in the way he looked after Honey and us.
“He’s clearly a great chap who’s totally invested in his job of caring for animals.”
Tom said: “Honey was barely conscious and strapped to a spinal board when she arrived and showing obvious evidence of head trauma.
“Our clinical anaesthetist Pippa Tucker continued to stabilise Honey who then underwent a whole-body CT which confirmed head trauma, severe pulmonary contusions, rib fractures and a comminuted pelvic fracture.
“She was a classic polytrauma case with multiple body systems affected and needed rapid and accurate assessment to determine her neurological status and the need for medical and/or surgical intervention.
“Honey remained stabilised overnight with treatment to minimise the swelling on her brain and provide time for her lungs and brain to recover.
“She responded brilliantly within 36 to 48 hours, allowing our head of surgery, Malcolm Jack, to perform a complex plating operation to repair her pelvis.
“It was a multidisciplinary collaboration between orthopaedics, neurology, anaesthesia and our superb nurses, but not forgetting the excellent primary care vet Angela.
“She had done an amazing job which almost certainly helped contribute to our eventual, excellent outcome.
“Honey recovered in hospital within 72 hours and went home strongly ambulatory and comfortable which was a terrific result.”
Veterinary nurse Alice Mills added: “That first night Honey came in we were so concerned about her because of her initial head injury. She wasn’t behaving normally and it was very uncertain as to how the night would be.
“The next few days we were on tenterhooks with concerns that she may deteriorate due to the terrible lung contusions she had suffered, but again she fought on through
and we never would have known. Once she was clear of the most life-threatening issues attention turned to her fractured pelvis and surgery was arranged to fix this.
“Throughout all of this, Honey was such a trooper. We never heard a peep of complaint from her and to see her walking you would never have known how badly her pelvis was fractured.
“The hardest part was keeping her well rested. As soon as food appeared she would be up at the front of the kennel waiting for it. Food was such a motivator for her – she was the sweetest, loveliest patient.”
Liam, his wife Rachel and young children Alfie and Millie are delighted Honey’s home and full or praise for the vets who saved the day.
Liam said: “It’s just brilliant. To look at her now you wouldn’t believe it had ever happened. I can’t believe there was such an incredible turnaround in just four days.
“We are so thankful to Tom, Malcolm and Pippa at Cave and to Angela at Selworthy Vets for ensuring we can now have a very happy Christmas together.”