A dog is fighting for his life after being poisoned by a fatal bite while playing in the park.
English bulldog Breezy, 1, had emergency surgery after vets believed he had been bitten by a deadly snake or spider.
Owner Millie Batten, 23, was walking him on July 16 in their local park in Surrey, England, as she does most of the time when Breezy was bitten, she believes.
The next day, the dog developed severe swelling in his neck and she took him to his vet to be checked out. The vet said it was nothing serious and sent Breezy away after prescribing a course of antibiotics to combat any infection.
But, two days later, Breezy’s condition worsened and the swelling spread from his neck and chin to his lower body and chest.
Batten took him back to the vet, who said his infection had indeed spread and he would have to make multiple incisions to drain the purulent fluid from his wounds.
“It all happened so fast, we didn’t even have time to process it,” said Batten, a nurse.
Millie Batten, SWNS/Zenger
“One minute he was happy and playing normally after the vet first saw him – but a few days later he was sick again.
“Breezy was drowsy, lethargic, panting continuously and his swelling had tripled in size.
“The vet identified an accumulation of purulent fluid in and around his wound which needed to be removed through a number of incisions.
“But he was getting seriously ill day by day and the infection was spreading rapidly – giving his skin a crusty purple color.
“After three incisions, Breezy had to be sent back to the emergency vet for life-saving surgery.”
Breezy was transferred to Fitzpatrick Oncology Veterinary Center in Guildford last week where the emergency surgeon gave him a transfusion of fresh frozen plasma.
The purpose of the transfusion was to help the blood clot so it could effectively drain the pus without Breezy losing too much blood.
The surgeon also removed dead skin, cleaned and dressed Breezy’s wounds, and inserted a feeding tube to keep him alive during the operation.
Before the operation, the surgeon suggested that having him down might be the nicer option – but Batten refused.
It has now been two days since he went under the knife and, thankfully, he is in stable condition.
Batten says the main focus now is injury management, although she is confident he has survived the worst.
“I had to sign a consent form before he had the emergency surgery because there was a good chance he wouldn’t make it,” she said.
“But Breezy is a fighter and he seems to have come out the other side.
“He is currently receiving methadone and ketamine for pain relief, and the focus is now on caring for his injuries and monitoring his diet and drink.
“And Fitzpatrick’s vets have concluded that they believe he contracted a flesh-eating bacterial infection, likely from a spider or snake bite.”
Breezy isn’t completely out of the woods yet and still has a long way to go to recover.
He will need hospital care for at least a few more weeks, followed by intensive follow-up – which won’t come cheap.
So far Batten has paid £7,000 ($8,500) in total for her treatment, although she says she will have to pay around £10,000 ($12,200) more when the bill comes for her treatment hospitable.
Aftercare and rehabilitation for Breezy will also be in the thousands, and Batten’s pet insurance only covers the first 15,000 pounds ($18,300) of medical expenses.
So Batten started a GoFundMe for the pooch to finance the rest of his treatment.
“We still don’t know what the future holds for Breezy, but we are doing everything we can to get him back to health as quickly as possible,” Batten said.
“By sharing our story with the world, we want to make other dog owners aware of the dangers dogs can be exposed to, even in the UK.
“Putting him down was never an option, and we will continue to fight for him for as long as necessary – he is very special to us.”
Produced in association with SWNS.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.