Bentley is an Old English Sheepdog, aged 6 years, who has been coming to Noah's Ark Animal Hospital since his first puppy shots in 2004. Bentley has a sorted medical history of generally common ailments, including ear and skin infections, both of which can be related to allergies. To read more about allergies in dogs, click here. Also, ear infections are not uncommon in breeds with ears that flop down over the opening of the ear canal, as moisture gets trapped and contributes to yeast and bacterial infection. Lastly, Old English Sheepdogs (and other breeds like the Shih-tzu or Maltese) can have hair that grows in the ear canal, further contributing to ear infections. This ear hair should be plucked regularly as a preventative measure.
As happens to the best of us, Bentley began to gain weight as he got older - reaching 142 pounds. Bentley was able to shed some of his excess weight over the course of about 2 years through limitation of food quantity and a special diet made by Hills called R/D.
Bentley was never enthusiastic about coming to see Dr. Jones, sometimes he even had to wear a muzzle during his medical treatments to ensure staff safety. Bentley never wanted to hurt anyone - he just did not feel good and simply did not want to be poked and prodded!
In March, Bentley came to seen Dr. Jones with the general complaint that he just was not himself. His specific symptoms were polydipsia (excessive thirst), his abdomen was distended, and his ears and skin all over were bright pink and warm to the touch. Dr. Jones suspected gastric torsion (commonly known as "bloat"). A blood chemistry, CBC (complete blood count), and radiographs were completed but no definitive diagnosis was evident. Bentley's owner and Dr. Jones agreed that the next step was exploratory abdominal surgery. During this procedure, Dr. Jones found that Bentley's spleen was looped around itself and was approximately three times larger than normal size. Dr. Jones performed a splenectomy, or removal of Bentley's spleen. Bentley's recovery has gone very well and he had no post-surgical complications. In fact, according to Bentley's owner, Bentley is "like a different dog" since his spleen was removed. His skin allergies seem to have subsided, he has continued to drop weight, and his temperament has turned from generally grumpy to happy-go-lucky. We at Noah's Ark have seen the difference in temperament too - when Bentley last visited the clinic for his post-surgical recheck, no muzzle was necessary and Bentley even took it upon himself to thank the staff with kisses - a first! You are welcome, Bentley!