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Jane Bostock – Dowie

Dowie was 8 years old when he contracted MRSA. He was admitted into the Veterinary Hospital due to a persistent problem with his ear. I’m not sure what you call it, but basically blood collects in-between the flaps of skin and can be drained off. If this doesn’t work, a small operation is carried out to remove all the blood and then stitch the two flats of skin down.

The op went well and Dowie soon was back to his old self. However, about five days later, his ear was very inflamed and sore and causing him great distress.

I returned him to the Vets who gave him more antibiotics and sent him home, only for me to have to return with him again the following evening because it was much worse. They then booked him in as an in-patient and put him on a drip of antibiotics.

Two days later all seemed to be well and home he came.

Sadly after a few more days the ear was a dreadful mess and this time “something” was spreading onto his face.

They admitted him once again and he was in the Vets for a total of 12 days on three different antibiotic drips at once. For 10 of those days, I didn’t think he would return home to me, but finally the corner was turned and he did, although he still had to have the ear cleaned three times a day and more antibiotics.

At no time was I told that Dowie was suffering from MRSA, only a “particularly resistent bug”. It was only after Dowie was given the all clear, that one of the Vets actually said, “not many dogs recover from MRSA, he certainly is made of strong stuff”. You can imagine my horror at being told this.

None of the Vets in the practice ever explained to me how he had caught MRSA, merely asking whether or not I was a nurse – I’m not, I work in the legal profession.

Poor Dowie suffered horrendous pain and discomfort during the time as an in-patient and when he got hom. He was a very brave dog (he had 13 malignant tumours removed in his life) but seeing the distress he suffered with the MRSA was nearly too much to stand.

Last year, Dowie died suddenly after suffering seizures in the middle of the night. He had never had seizures before and I have to wonder if it had something to do with the MRSA in his ear – perhaps spreading into his brain – unknown to me or the Vets. The only way they could know for sure would to have been to carry out a post-mortem and I wasn’t going to have him put through that.

The Vets never admitted liability, but it seems very strange to me that their procedures have since changed at the Hospital.

I never knew that animals could become infected with MRSA so I hope that this story and the other stories on your website help others to realise that their beloved pets can be in great danger of infection when undergoing “routine” operations so that the pain that Dowie suffered and the subsequent loss that I suffered won’t be felt by others.

Jane Bostock

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