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Shelby had a life-threatening bacterial infection but is acting like a puppy again thanks to Northwest Veterinary Specialists.

Shelby had a life-threatening bacterial infection but is acting like a puppy again thanks to Northwest Veterinary Specialists.

Life-threatening Bacterial Infection Ends With A Happy Tail

4 weeks ago

21st May, 2024 13h23

Linnaeus Group

A puppy bitten on the tail causing a potentially lethal bacterial infection is back with her loving owners thanks to a Cheshire animal hospital.

Young Shelby, a Wolfhound, was very poorly when she arrived at Linnaeus-owned Northwest Veterinary Specialists (NWVS) in Runcorn, not even able to stand or walk.

She was immediately taken to the neurology department for investigation of suspected bacterial meningitis after being bitten on the tail, possibly by some form of rodent.

Shelby’s health was rapidly deteriorating with imaging and clinical signs suggesting the presence of severe sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to an infection, impacting multiple organs.

Vets at NWVS quickly started Shelby on intensive critical care, administering a broad spectrum of antibiotics to combat the dangerous infection, and it was also necessary to perform a high tail amputation to give her the best chance of pulling through.

Luca Motta, head of neurology at NWVS, said: “It was touch and go for Shelby when she arrived at NWVS.

“However, following intensive care treatment, surgery and a multidisciplinary approach to save her, Shelby started showing an improvement in her demeanour, appetite and mobility.

“She’s a lovely puppy and despite her medical emergency she is now growing well and is enjoying life with her caring owners.”

Shelby’s owners, Andrea and Chris Dayson from Adlington near Macclesfield, said: “Luca was there when we arrived with Shelby, by which time she was in agony.

“Luca explained that the tail bite had caused the infection to go up Shelby’s spinal cord and the risk now was it reaching her brain. They took her away and we were told that she was very, very poorly.”

Andrea and Chris didn’t expect Shelby to survive the night but Luca kept in contact and by the morning was able to report that Shelby was a strong dog and that they were continuing to treat the infection and her condition aggressively.

Andrea added: “Day by day l think the whole team were amazed by her slow and very steady progress.

“We honestly did not expect that she would come home as she was so very sick but she is now six months old. She rules the house and Bobby, our other older Wolfhound, absolutely adores her. She is back to being a fun-loving, mischievous puppy who is loving life again.

“While she has had to learn to walk again, and we suspect she will always have a wobbly bottom walk due to the loss of her tail and weakness of her back legs, she continues to improve week on week.” 

NWVS is one of the UK’s leading specialist-led animal hospitals. It offers care in anaesthesia and analgesia, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on Northwest Veterinary Specialists, visit or search for Northwest Veterinary Specialists on social media.

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