Dog saved by Glasgow vets using new trailblazing treatment

Dog saved by Glasgow vets using new trailblazing treatment <i>(Image: Sourced)</i>
Dog saved by Glasgow vets using new trailblazing treatment (Image: Sourced)

A dog has been saved by quick-thinking vets in Glasgow who used a new trailblazing treatment.

One-year-old Riley almost died after being struck down with immune mediated haemolytic anaemia.

The springer spaniel and border collie-cross suddenly ​became lethargic, began shaking and his temperature soared before spending eight days in intensive care, including his first birthday.

The serious condition caused his immune system to mistakenly destroy his healthy blood cells rather than protecting him from infection.

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Riley’s owners Lisa and Phil Gregory and their children Katie and Harry were losing all hope but vowed not to give up on their beloved pet.

He was transferred from vets in Perth and Edinburgh before being rushed to Glasgow’s Vets Now in a last chance to save his life.

It was there he underwent a pioneering procedure called therapeutic plasma exchange which sees blood extracted and then piped through a purification machine before being pumped back into a patient.

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Lisa said: “For Riley’s sake we decided we had to give it a try. We’ve had him since he was tiny, he instantly became part of our family and we just couldn’t imagine life without him.”

Critical care specialist vet Neus Elias said: “This technique has only been used twice before in Scotland for this disease, and once before for a different disease.

“Over the course of six hours, we slowly processed three pints of Riley’s blood.

“The watery portion of the blood was discarded, and Riley was then transfused with an equal volume of plasma products to replace this from healthy dog donors. The washed-out cells were then transfused back to him.”

Just five days later Riley was trotting out of hospital on his own four paws and into the car to head home.

Lisa said: “Poor Riley had been so ill for so long that it seemed almost impossible to have him back to any kind of health. So to see him walking out on his lead was a really emotional moment.”

Now, after six months of constant medication to tackle his immune system and having to avoid other dogs because he was so at risk of severe infection, Riley has made a full recovery.