Chesterfield couple almost loose beloved pooch to rare disease

A Chesterfield couple nearly lost their treasured flat-coated retriever puppy to an extremely rare disease which brings on drooling and chronic vomiting.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 4:25 pm

Matt Shaw and Lydia Edwards rushed five-month-old Enzo to their vet after a traumatic two days which saw the poorly pooch go rapidly downhill.

The dog-lovers then raced to an animal hospital in Wakefield when nothing could be done at their local vets - fearing “weak and unresponsive” Enzo would not survive the trip.

Paragon Referral Centre’s specialist-led internal medicine team started work on the pup straight away - thinking he must have eaten something toxic.

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Enzo with Paragon’s internal medic Ben Safrany

However when no improvement was seen the following day after receiving intravenous fluids staff suspected the cause might be the extremely rare phenobarbital-responsive


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The condition is thought to be a rare form of limbic epilepsy and can lead to vomiting, anorexia, dramatic weight loss and in some cases euthanasia if not diagnosed.

flatcoated retriever puppy Enzo

Enzo was given seizure-control drug phenobarbital and thankfully came back to life after just two doses - with reduced salivating.

Relieved owner Matt said: “We were in tears.

“It was heart-breaking to see him like that and I spoke to Lydia and we agreed that if we lost Enzo at just five months old we could never have another pet ever again.”

Ben Safrany, from Paragon’s specialist-led internal medicine team, said: “Fortunately the outlook for Enzo is very good as most dogs remain well controlled with treatment

and in some cases medication can be stopped completely after a few months.”

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