Vet Tails Excerpt – Tyson’s Terribly Traumatic Time

Another lovable patient was Tyson, a gorgeous six month old American Bulldog who came in to see me first thing on a Saturday morning. He had been vomiting and salivating overnight, wasn’t interested in eating and was a little lethargic, which was totally different to his exuberant and joyous personality. I examined him and suspected a gastro-intestinal upset – a common occurrence at that time of the year. I treated him with a few injections to help him feel better and I expected that he would improve steadily if this was a minor tummy upset.


He went home to be monitored closely by his loving owner but by the afternoon Tyson was deteriorating rapidly. I did a home visit to see him and found he was vomiting up blood, lying on his side unresponsive and was beginning to go into shock.


I rushed him to the clinic where we quickly put him onto a drip and started him on some intravenous vitamin C, which can be an incredibly valuable aid in helping the body to fight off infection and assist tissue healing, especially in my experience when there is bleeding in the gastro-intestinal tract. Within a few minutes, he started to stabilize but we were nowhere near “out of the woods”. With his internal bleeding and collapsed state I was very worried about him and knew that unless we had some kind of miracle happen, his life was in great danger.


Thankfully, we are very lucky to have a hyperbaric oxygen chamber which can facilitate profound healing effects as it delivers high concentrations of oxygen to all the tissues of the body which accelerates healing, kills bugs and promotes vitality. I treated Tyson in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber as soon as he was stable enough and an hour after his treatment he was standing up!


That night I slept with him at the clinic to monitor him and ensure he was getting all the medications he needed. He was still very weak but would wag his tail when I went to check on him. Through the night he continued to vomit up large amounts of browny red fluid with bloody globules and meaty looking bits meaning that he was still bleeding inside, in fact so severely that his gut lining was sloughing off.


By the Sunday morning he was again very lethargic and could hardly move. His caring owner came into visit him and was distraught. We had a long way to go if he was to pull through. She reported that there was a lot of ant poison near her house where Tyson spent a lot of time and this helped to explain his symptoms… small amounts of ant poison can lead to tummy upsets but larger amounts cause the gut to bleed and can be deadly.


We repeated his treatment in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which helped to perk him up and he sat up and again wagged his tail. Through the day he slowly looked brighter and even wanted to drink some water but because of the severe damage to his gut he just vomited it all up again despite all the anti-vomiting medication he was getting. We kept him on his drip and that night we treated him again with HBOT. He then started to have very watery diarrhoea but at least there was no blood coming through which meant that at last his internal bleeding had stopped and his gut was beginning to heal.


By the Monday morning he was looking stronger and could even go for short walks outside but he still continued to vomit and was losing a lot of weight with his ribs starting to really show after two and a half days with no food and severe illness. In the afternoon he received an acupuncture treatment from my colleague Karen and by the next morning he hadn’t vomited at all during the night!


Tyson continued to make a steady recovery and by the Wednesday he was able to eat some food and keep it down, which was remarkable given the severity of the damage to his gut. He went on to make a full recovery and grew into a fit and healthy young dog with no sign of any problems. Thanks to the incredible love and devotion of his owner as well as the fabulous therapies of HBOT and acupuncture, Tyson survived severe ant poisoning and will hopefully never be that sick again.




To read more about my adventures, read Vet Tails available as a book or e-book from