Chubb’s Story: Our First ICU Patient

Riverview Animal Hospital has recently undergone a lot of changes! Renovations have turned our hospital into a completely new one! Not only have we doubled in size, but we have added new departments within the treatment areas of the hospital.

One of our new departments is an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Our new ICU is equipped with everything that we will need for our critical patients who need extra close monitoring and medical attention.

Chubbs the dog at Riverview Animal Hospital Intensive Care Unit

Our ICU received its very first patient on December 3rd. Chubbs is a very sweet 6-month-old Husky/Lab mix that was transferred to us after being hit by a car. The accident caused a lot of trauma to Chubbs’ chest causing air to collect in the space outside of his lungs. The air causes a lot of pressure on the lungs and it makes it difficult to take deep breaths. We were able to perform a procedure to remove the air and help Chubbs breathe better. This procedure had to be performed multiple times during his stay with us until his body was able to heal and prevent the air from becoming trapped outside of his lungs. Chubbs spent a lot of time in our oxygen chamber and was even fitted with a special nasal cannula. Unfortunately, Chubbs was accumulating air faster than we could remove it so a chest tube was placed for easier access/drainage without having to transport him through the hospital to remove it all under ultrasound- we could do it from the comfort of his kennel.

Chubbs the dog lying down with his eyes closed and a tube in his nose

On December 4th, Chubbs finally greeted his ICU technicians with a wag of his tail and a kiss on the cheek! While air still seemed to be accumulating rapidly, Chubbs was finally comfortable enough to have his first meal and periodically take naps. We try to let owners visit as often as possible and while Chubbs’s people may live about 2 hours away, they made the trek down to see their boy, and he was sure happy to see them!

Chubbs the dog lying down awake with a tube in his nose

As the days progressed, Chubbs made huge improvements! He was taken off oxygen therapy and did extremely well without it. On December 6th, Chubbs’ chest tube was removed as no more air was accumulating outside of his lungs. When he first arrived we were removing up to 2 litres of air off of his chest! By the time his chest tube was removed, the last amount of air removed was only 55 mLs. 

On December 7th Chubbs went home! He was a completely different dog compared to when he first arrived. When his parents arrived to take him home, he had quite a pep in his step all the way to the front door. We loved having Chubbs in hospital with us as he was such a sweet boy, but we were over the moon that he was able to go home so quickly. We wish him all the best for the rest of his recovery and can’t wait to see him for his recheck in a few weeks. You’re a trooper Chubbs!

*Shared with permission from Chubbs’ amazing family.