Sausage dog blows up like a balloon

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A sausage dog ‘blew up like a balloon’ when an injury to his windpipe caused his body to fill with air.

Vets from Willows Veterinary Group were amazed when four-year-old dachshund, Trevor, was rushed in to the group’s Beech House surgery in Warrington – three times his normal size.

After careful examination they discovered a hole in his windpipe which had to be stitched up before the handsome dog could be “deflated.”

His owner, Fran Jennings said it remains a mystery as to how the injury occurred which allowed air to leak out under his skin over his whole body and even caused his heart to lift off his sternum.

Mum-of-three Fran, who runs Pets Animal Hotel in Lymm, said: “Basically, we came down one day and found Trevor in a bad state, he literally looked like he’d blown up like a balloon and we had no idea what had happened.

“He was three times the size he should’ve been.

“We put him straight in the car and took him to the 24-hour emergency vets and they had never seen anything quite like it.

“Whatever it was, it affected his breathing so we had to leave him there while they tried to find out what was wrong.”

Trevor was kept in while tests were carried out and he was diagnosed with sub-cutaneous emphysema – an abnormal collection of air under the skin in the lowest level of the skin’s tissues and muscles known as the subcutis or hyperdermis.

Vet Michelle Coward of Willows Veterinary Group helped treat him and said she’d never seen anything like it.

Willows Veterinary Group offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise through a network of 25 small animal practices, a referral veterinary hospital, two equine centres and a seven-office farm practice, located across Cheshire and into Greater Manchester, North Wales, the Wirral and Staffordshire. Willows is accredited by The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Michelle said: “Trevor was presented to us with signs of severe air ingress under the skin,” she said.

“There were no external injuries that would explain how air had got under the skin, so we suspected that an internal injury to the airway or oesophagus could have been allowing the air to leak into the body.

“Every time he took a breath, some of the inhaled air escaped through a hole in his windpipe around the muscles and fatty tissue under the skin, and X-rays showed the emphysema was worsening.

“Surgery was the only way to repair the injury but due to its location, there was a significant risk of complications.

“I have never seen a case like this before and it was a new surgery for me.”

Michelle added: “Trevor’s surgery went well, he made a quick recovery and was monitored in the hospital. When he came back for his check-ups following the surgery he was very bouncy and happy. He’s a great character and everybody loves him. He was a pleasure to nurse.

“It was certainly an interesting case and one that is unusual as far as I understand.

“There should not be any long term impact to Trevor’s health.

Rachel Dean, who regularly takes care of the family’s dogs at Lymm Veterinary Surgery, which is also part of Willows Veterinary Group, knows Trevor well and her team have also been helping Trevor to recover from his ordeal.

She said: “Trevor is a gentle and lovely dog, getting excited when given a fuss.

“We know Trevor and his family very well and we are all thrilled to see him looking back to his normal self and recovering so well.”

Fran’s daughter, Jessica, who shows sausage dogs at Crufts and helps run the family business said: “When I saw Trevor, he looked like a big fat seal, his whole body was like a blob and you couldn’t tell his face from his neck.

“It was horrible seeing him like that, we had to deflate the air out of him, it was weird.

“He’s a little sweetie, he’s always running about happy, he looks like he has a big smile on his face, he’s very cheeky.

“He’s also quite mischievous and often gets up to trouble – that’s why we’ve nicknamed him Tricky Trevor.

“You know straight away whenever there’s anything wrong with him.

“But now he’s back to his normal self, chasing the chickens and we wouldn’t have him any other way.”

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