Couple weep with joy when reunited with dog after he was struck down with rare disease | TeamDogs
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Couple weep with joy when reunited with dog after he was struck down with rare disease

Copper the Lurcher’s chance of survival was less than 50 per cent

Chloe Bowen

Posted 3 months ago

By Jack Evans  

This is the heart-warming moment a couple weep with joy as they are finally reunited with their dog Copper, who battled an extremely rare and horrific disease which left his body “like a statue”.  

Robert Tyack, 43, and fiancee Cassie Fisher, 42, feared the worst when their beloved one-year-old Lurcher was unable to get up from his blanket. He was “stiff and rigid as a rocking horse” so the couple rushed him to the vets. 

The dog was taken to Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull, West Mids., where he was diagnosed with extremely rare canine tetanus. 

Vets said Copper probably contracted the disease through a cut on his paw and gave him a less than 50 per cent chance of survival. 

Copper spent a month in intensive care at the vet’s as the deadly toxins caused his organs to shut down, leaving him unable to walk, eat or urinate. 

But remarkably, the dog made a full recovery and was back on his paws a month after being struck down with the disease last December. 

Heart-warming video shows the moment Copper was reunited with Robert and Cassie for the first time since his brush with death. 

Copper with vets (Image: Steve Chatterley NWNS)

Robert, from Banbury, Oxon., said: “We honestly thought he was going to die. 

“He was as stiff and rigid as a rocking horse – his chin was stuck up in the air, his tail was stuck up in the air. He couldn’t move and looked like a statue. 

“The vet said it was extremely rare for dogs to get tetanus and stressed how serious the situation was but added that all was not lost. 

“He said the following 24 hours would be vital and immediately sent Copper to Willows’ intensive care unit, saying if Copper was strong enough to fight the toxins overnight, there was no reason why he couldn’t go on to eventually make a full recovery.” 

Cassie said: "Copper had a tiny cut on his paw that had only showed by a tender paw for one day then he was fine. We were unable to see a wound so thought nothing of it. It was just so awful that it came from something so small. There’s no test and he had no temperature and his blood tests were fine. It’s only by spotting symptoms early that they can have a good chance at recovery. 

“When we first went to the vet’s it was a very sad occasion with us fearing the worst but the mood was totally different when we went to pick up Copper a month later. That was a very happy moment indeed. They really had worked a miracle.” 

Vet Poppy Grant, who treated Copper, said the disease had left the poor pooch completely paralysed. She said: “Tetanus is quite a rare condition in dogs and cats – they are much more resistant to infection compared to people. 

“In Copper’s case, the entry point of infection could not be confirmed, however it usually occurs from puncture wounds to an animal’s feet. 

“It is a very serious condition and Copper’s symptoms were so severe he could not walk, eat or urinate. Therefore, he required intensive nursing, including feeding by a special stomach tube, plus a urinary catheter and regular physiotherapy. 

“Tetanus muscle spasms are also very painful and exacerbated by touch and noise, so he required continuous infusions of sedative and pain relief medications.” 


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