Lola the family pet survives after being savaged on afternoon walk

Thursday, 3 September 2015

By Philip Irwin

STAFF at a Bridgend vets have been praised for saving the life of little Lola, a 15-month-old Bichon Frise, after her heart stopped three times on the operating table as she was treated after being savaged while out for an afternoon walk.

Thankfully, she has made a complete recovery and is now back home with Rebecca and David Carrington in Porthcawl, and the grim day in May when she was attacked seems a long way away.

David told The GEM: “I took Lola for a walk and we were heading towards Pink Bay when we met a man with three bull terriers who chased her.

“Lola has always been a bit timid, and she adopted a submissive pose – lying on her back and exposing her belly – but one of the dogs sank its teeth into her stomach.

“The owner was as shocked as I, but he was able to prise the jaws apart so I could free Lola. Her injuries looked really bad, so I dashed home, phoning Rebecca as I did.

“She and our daughter, Tabitha, jumped in the car and they met me on the way home, and we headed straight for Shepherds Vets in Brackla, Bridgend.”

There was a lot of blood on David’s coat and, when they arrived at the vets, Lola was put on a drip immediately.

Rebecca said: “It was upsetting for all of us, and especially for our daughter, as Tabitha was studying for her A-Levels”.

Zephanie Woodward of Shepherds Vets told The GEM that it was decided to operate on Lola that evening.

After a while, it was felt that it would be best for the family to go home while Lola was being treated. However, it wasn’t long before they received a call saying that Lola’s heart had stopped. Although it had restarted, it seemed that it would be best if the family came in to say goodbye.

Zephanie Woodward said:?“There were a couple of times when we didn’t think she would make it.

“Over the next two days, there two further problems. The hole in Lola’s belly was about the size of a 50 pence piece and the mesh was struggling to hold her internal organs in place, and on top of that she had picked up an ecoli infection.

“We had to operate a second time, and this time her heart stopped twice more. When we revived her and finished the surgery, she was put on the strongest anti-biotics we have, and also on morphine to deal with the pain.

“All in all, she was in our hospital for almost a month.”

The drugs, together with Lola’s fighting spirit, led to a steady improvement, and after some time, the hole in her belly was clear of infection and it could be closed with stitches.

She is home now, full of life, and the only problem she has is scar tissue close to a muscle which gives her a limp. This is being treated with laser surgery.

The Carringtons feel that the incident raises the issue of just when it is safe to let dogs off the lead.

What they both feel strongly about, however, is the need to get insurance for your pet.

Happily, they had taken out insurance just two weeks before the attack! The bill for the treatment stands at around £2,300!

So, Lola is home now with the family in Porthcawl and full of life, with a new puppy, Toby, to keep her company, and the family is very grateful for the medical expertise and dedication of their vets.

Halfway through August there was more good news, as Tabitha received the news that she had three As at A-Level, and is off to Warwick University to study English and creative writing!

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