An owner from East Leake and the vet who treated him have spoken of their relief at the recovery of a dog from a rare neurological condition. Tizer is a ten-year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, owned by Mrs Michelle Cripps. She was away on holiday when, on Sunday 17 July, he collapsed and seemed unable to get himself up. Michelle’s sister, Sarah Kennedy, took him immediately to Pinfold Vets in East Leake where Vet Lorna Clark examined him.
Once she heard what had happened, Michelle Cripps was distraught and feared that nothing could be done but, following the initial consultation, Lorna Clark felt that Tizer’s condition required further investigation. Pinfold Vets is a Clinical Associate of Nottingham Veterinary School and teaches undergraduate veterinary students which gives it access to the expertise of the professional teaching staff. Associate Professor of Neurology Mike Targett agreed to examine Tizer and diagnosed him with Myaesthenia Gravis, a rare condition in which the nerves stop transmitting messages effectively to the muscles.
Commenting, Lorna Clark said: “Myaesthenia Gravis is rarely diagnosed in first opinion practice. In fact, in the 12 years I’ve been in practice, it’s the first case I’ve seen. We realised what it was when we saw Tizer trying to stand and just getting weaker and weaker. The messages just weren’t getting through to his muscles”.
“I had to X-ray him to check he didn’t have a tumour in his chest as this can cause Myaesthenia Gravis but, fortunately, his chest was clear so I started the treatment that I hoped would help him to recover. It’s a serious condition and we were still not sure that he would get better as I’d talked to colleagues who have treated this condition and they’d explained how frustrating it can be, and that very few dogs with the condition seem to do well.”
She continued: “It was such a relief when the treatment seemed to start working. I was then due to go on holiday for a fortnight so, knowing that Tizer was improving, l left Michelle with a detailed treatment plan and was chuffed to bits when I saw him on my first day back at work. He was doing so well! Because of the Myaesthenia Gravis, he now has a condition called ‘megaoesophagus’ which means his oesophagus doesn’t work properly, so he has to be fed sitting upright to help food travel straight to his stomach. Michelle is committed to doing this and to monitoring his progress and relaying information to me so that I can adjust his treatment accordingly.”
Michelle Cripps said: “To be away on holiday when this happened was devastating and I cried for two days. I’ve had Tizer since he was a puppy and couldn’t bear not to be there when he needed me. Lorna was so thorough in her investigation but I was still afraid I would lose him or that, even if he survived, he would not be able to enjoy life as he had before. His recovery has been nothing short of amazing and I’ve gone from fearing the absolute worst to feeling so happy. He’s almost back to normal and can even jump up on to his favourite chair. We’re getting used to feeding him sitting up. He’s not keen but he’s managing and it will soon be part of the normal routine. It’s well worth it to have him back. I’m very grateful to Lorna and the team at Pinfold Vets for helping him in his hour of need.”
Lorna Clark added: “He is a fantastic patient and a joy to treat. He’s not quite 100% yet but he’s doing so well and has definitely defied the odds. I’m absolutely thrilled for him and his family who are showing great dedication in caring for him. He’s a little miracle!”