Introducing our case report: a heart-wrenching story of a 3-year-old Miniature Poodle who fell victim to methamphetamine intoxication. This article sheds light on the devastating effects of this dangerous substance on our beloved pets. Note that this incident took place at Ai’xin Small Animal Hospital in Cixi, Zhejiang, China.
The Start of a Tragic Episode
Our protagonist, a 3.7 kg intact female Miniature Poodle, was rushed to the Ai’xin Small Animal Hospital with alarming vital signs. The poor pooch displayed a heart rate of 138, respiratory rate of 62, and a rectal temperature dangerously high at 42°C. To make matters worse, she was experiencing intermittent seizures.
The initial history provided by the owners was confusing and conflicting. However, upon further conversation, it was revealed that the dog may have ingested an unknown amount of a crystalline-like substance at a nightclub. The substance was suspected to be methamphetamine, commonly known as ‘ice’. Shockingly, after divulging this information, the owners vanished, leaving their pet behind.
Desperate Measures to Save a Life
Thanks to the efforts of a referral veterinarian, the dog was urgently transferred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Zhejiang University. To combat the dangerous effects of methamphetamine, the animal received external cooling using ice packs. By the time she arrived at the emergency room, approximately 2.5 hours had passed since ingestion.
The referral veterinarian reported concerning symptoms, including flushed skin, extensive petechiae in the abdominal region, and watery bloody diarrhea. Additionally, the dog had already experienced three short seizures during the journey. Upon physical examination, an alarming rectal temperature of 41.5°C, elevated heart rate, and rotational locomotor activity were noted.
Unveiling the Subtle Clues
Various tests were conducted to further understand the extent of the dog’s condition. Blood samples were collected for a complete blood count, biochemical panel, and coagulation tests. These tests revealed abnormalities in white blood cell count, red blood cell count, platelets, lymphocytes, and neutrophils. Furthermore, the biochemical panel indicated elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) concentrations, along with slightly decreased glucose levels.
Blood gas analysis indicated a disturbance in pH levels and base deficit. X-rays of the chest and abdomen highlighted severe distention in the stomach and small intestinal tract, suggesting functional or paralytic ileus. In addition, a urine test was conducted, revealing the presence of methamphetamine. Subsequent quantification tests confirmed the concentration of methamphetamine in both serum and urine.
Combating the Nightmarish Effects
To stabilize the dog’s condition, she was placed in a quiet room with minimal external stimulation. Fluid administration was initiated through a venous catheter, and external cooling was maintained to prevent hypothermia. Intravenous sodium bicarbonate was administered to correct the base deficit, while intermittent injections of glucose solution regulated hypoglycemia. Medications such as amoxicillin, clavulanate potassium, phenobarbital, and acepromazine were given to manage seizures, agitation, and coagulation abnormalities.
The Road to Recovery
Over the span of 24 hours, the dog gradually showed improvement. Her fever subsided, serum glucose returned to normal, and urine output was sufficient. Phenobarbital and acepromazine were effective in reducing seizures, muscle twitching, and repetitive circling behaviors. By the sixth day of hospitalization, the dog displayed no signs of distress, and all laboratory data had returned to normal.
With careful monitoring and the dedicated efforts of veterinary professionals, this brave Miniature Poodle triumphed over the life-threatening effects of methamphetamine intoxication. Remember, our pets rely on us to keep them safe. Let’s be vigilant and protect them from the dangers of substances like methamphetamine.
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