A dog is fighting for his life after being poisoned by a deadly bite while playing at the park.
English Bulldog Breezy, 1, had emergency surgery after vets believe he was bitten by either a deadly snake or spider.
Owner Millie Batten, 23, was walking him on July 16 in their local park in Surrey, England, as she does most days, when Breezy was bitten, she believes.
The next day, the pooch developed heavy swelling on his neck and she rushed him to her vet to be looked over. The vet said it was nothing serious and discharged Breezy after prescribing him a course of antibiotics to combat any infection.
But, two days later, Breezy’s condition worsened and the swelling spread from his neck and chin to his lower body and chest.
Batten took him back to the vet, who said that his infection had indeed spread and that he would have to make multiple incisions to drain the purulent fluid from his wounds.
“Everything happened so fast, we didn’t even have time to process it,” Batten, a nurse, said.
Millie Batten, SWNS/Zenger
“One minute he was happy and playing as normal after the vet originally saw him – but then a few days later he was ill again.
“Breezy was sleepy, lethargic, continually panting and his swelling had ballooned up to triple the size.
“The vet identified a build-up of purulent fluid in and around his wound which needed to be removed through a number of incisions.
“But he was becoming critically ill by the day and the infection was rapidly spreading – turning his skin a scabby purple color.
“After three incisions Breezy had to be referred to the emergency vet for a life-saving operation.”
Breezy was transferred to the Fitzpatrick Oncology Veterinary Center in Guildford last week where the emergency surgeon gave him a fresh frozen plasma transfusion.
The purpose of the transfusion was to help the blood clot so he could drain the pus effectively without Breezy losing too much blood.
The surgeon also removed the dead skin, cleaned and bandaged Breezy’s wounds and inserted a feeding tube to keep him alive through the surgery.
Prior to the operation, the surgeon suggested putting him down may have been the kindest option – but Batten refused.
It has now been two days since he went under the knife and, thankfully, he is in a stable condition.
Batten says the main focus now is wound management, although she’s confident he’s survived the worst of it.
“I had to sign a consent form before he had the emergency surgery as there was a high chance he wouldn’t make it,” she said.
“But Breezy is a fighter and he seems to have come out the other side.
“He is currently being administered methadone and ketamine to help with his pain, and the focus is now on tending to his wounds and supervising his eating and drinking.
“And, the vets at Fitzpatrick have concluded they believe he has contracted a flesh-eating bacterial infection, likely from a spider or snake bite.”
Breezy is not completely out of the woods yet, and still has a long road to recovery ahead.
He will require inpatient care for at least another few weeks followed by intense aftercare – which will not come cheap.
So far Batten has forked out 7,000 British pounds ($8,500) in total for his treatment, although she says she’ll have to pay around 10,000 pounds ($12,200) more when the bill comes for his inpatient care.
Aftercare and rehabilitation for Breezy will also be in the thousands, and Batten’s pet insurance only covers the first 15,000 pounds ($18,300) of medical expenses.
Batten has therefore started a GoFundMe for the pooch to fund the remainder of his treatment.
“We still don’t know what the future holds for Breezy but we are doing everything we can to ensure he is nursed back to health as quickly as possible,” Batten said.
“By sharing our story with the world, we want to make other dog owners aware of the dangers dogs can be exposed to, even in the UK
“Putting him down was never an option, and we’ll continue to fight for him for as long as required – he’s very special to us.”
Produced in association with SWNS.
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.