New Lease of Life for Lucky Luca

Read how Medivet Wokingham 24 Hour gave a new lease of life to a police puppy suffering with a life-threatening lungworm infection.

Luca is a beautiful 7-month-old Spaniel puppy, training to become a police sniffer dog.

His career, however, was in real jeopardy when he started collapsing and having breathing difficulties.  He was immediately rushed to Wokingham 24 Hour and seen by Diana, who quickly diagnosed him with a severe lungworm infection. Read about signs, symptoms, and treatments of lungworm here.

He was then assessed the next day by our resident cardiologist Adam, who found an infection so severe his heart was failing.

We realised at this point Luca was facing a battle to survive and he may not make it. His body couldn’t utilise the oxygen we were giving him, he was suffering bleeds due to a clotting problem and he was very weak. He had oxygen tubes in his nose, ECG leads on his skin, intravenous catheters in his leg for fluid therapy and needed sedation to relax his breathing.

For a few days there was a real worry that Luca wasn’t going to win this battle but then, one morning, as if someone had flicked a switch, he was up, bright and wagging his tail, pleased to see everyone. What a strong little dog he was!

Although there was still a long way to go, we couldn’t help but celebrate, and we all knew at that point he might pull through. Happily, our suspicions were correct, and after a few more days, little Luca was able to go home to continue his recovery.

He still remains on medication to help his heart repair itself and there is still hope he can continue on his path to becoming a police sniffer dog.

Thanks to the quick action of our team of vets and nurses, Luca’s life was saved.

Lungworm is a life threatening disease that unfortunately is all around us. Dogs that scavenge, eat slugs, snails and grass are at higher risk and need more regular worming with certain wormers. Please ensure you have lungworm protection for your dog, and if you are unsure please contact us. Many Medivet practices also offer a Medivet Health Plan, which covers ongoing care for worming, flea, and tick treatments. Talk to your vet to find out more.

A big thank you to the vets who promptly diagnosed and provided his treatment, and all the incredible dedicated nurses who sat with him for their entire shifts, not even leaving him to take lunch breaks, ensuring he was given the best care possible, and gave him a higher chance of survival. Thank you also to the Police for their support and allowing us to provide him this level of care. 

Fingers crossed Luca still has the chance to live his life to the full and have a successful career in the Police force. You can do it Luca!