Joan Hessell, Dianne and PoppyPoppy, a three-year-old Miniature Collie-Pomeranian cross, was on her own section when a neighbourhood dog attacked her. Owner Dianne Pivach was bitten getting her pet away from the other dog, but she rushed Poppy straight to the vet clinic.

‘Poppy is a really special dog – she is my entire family, and I thought I had lost her,’ remembers Dianne. ‘The other dog had Poppy in its mouth and was shaking her. When I rescued her she was limp and breathing very heavily.’ Staff at Carevets Mt Wellington in Auckland began immediate treatment on Poppy. She was covered in teeth marks, and some of the wounds were very deep and hard to assess. She was put onto an intravenous drip to treat shock, as well receiving antibiotics and pain relief medication.

‘It was also a very hot day, and some of her symptoms were probably attributed to heat stress,’ says veterinarian Joan Hessell. ‘Poppy’s breathing was very exaggerated.’ The decision was made to anaesthetise Poppy to x-ray her chest to ensure this had not been punctured, and to check there were no wounds penetrating into other body cavities. Luckily this had not occurred, but many of the bites required cleaning and some stitching. Poppy spent the night at the Manukau Afterhours Clinic, and after another day under care at Carevets she was able to return home with Dianne.

We first heard about Poppy when we were contacted by the New Zealand Veterinary Association. Dianne rang them wanting to know if there was an award for excellent veterinary service. Not only did Carevets give Poppy the best care and save her life, but they were kind and considerate of Dianne’s deep concern for her pet.
Now some weeks on, Poppy still has some deep scars on her skin, but a few battle wounds don’t worry Poppy or Dianne. We are really pleased to hear that Dianne has her special dog still, and we join her in thanking Carevets Mt Wellington for providing an excellent service. They are a reminder that veterinary care involves not just good medical and surgical care for the pets, but also listening to and looking after the concerns of their owners.


Well done Carevets Mt Wellington!

What is shock?

Shock is a condition resulting from a depressed state of many vital body functions caused by a lack of effective blood circulation. The most common cause of shock in our pets is trauma: eg fights with other animals, or being hit by a car. Other causes include blood loss, poisoning, insect stings, fluid loss from vomiting and/or diarrhoea, infections, burns, and lack of oxygen caused by heart failure. Regardless of the cause, shock is life-threatening, making early detection crucial.

Early Signs of Shock:
The pet may be excited or subdued.
Rapid heart rate.

Late Signs of Shock:
Gums extremely pale.
Pet feels cold to the touch.
Respiration shallow.

If signs of shock are recognised, or a serious injury has taken place, supportive care, such as intravenous fluids, oxygen and other measures can reverse the effects.

The key to successful treatment is prompt professional care.