Shadow, the injured dog who fell from a cliff, missing for 45 days & survived!

Meet our lovely patient Shadow, the injured dog that went missing for 45 days, after falling from a cliff. Read his amazing story & watch him with vet Jenny on BBC Spotlight news tonight!

Those in the local area have probably already heard about Shadow’s story but to our clients and followers, this is Shadow’s legend. This 18 month old Shar-Pei unfortunately slipped his harness whilst walking at Eype with his family at the beginning of May. Hours of searching turned into days and weeks as the family desperately tried to locate him. The coastguard and drones also helped with the search but it was feared that Shadow had died or had been stolen. An incredible 45 days passed and on Sunday 23rd June, Shadow was found where he was lost at Eype! Emaciated and barely recognisable, a member of the public quickly contacted the RSPCA & they brought him to Bredy Vets, where he was seen by our vet on-call, Jenny Ross. He was assessed and given pain-relief. His microchip was scanned & his owners were able to be contacted. After re-uniting Shadow with his owners that evening, his treatments and long road to recovery began. Shadow weighed almost half the weight he used to be at 13kg. It is incredible that he managed to survive this long.
He was fortunate enough to receive gold star care & treatment from our vet team, in particular from Jenny Ross, along with the help of our veterinary nursing team. He was in a critical condition and needed immediate medical attention and surgery to remove sticks, stones and seaweed that were stuck in his stomach. He’d eaten these to survive. A feeding tube was also placed, in case he wasn’t able to eat, to enable special liquid food to be given & help him through his recovery. We were over the first hurdle when he recovered from his general anaesthetic & surgery (exploratory laparotomy), but knew he still had a long way to go.
Jenny spent time preparing a feeding schedule for Shadow with help from a nutritionist. He had a very small amount of food every 2hrs which increased from 1 day to the next. It was important that we controlled his feeding to prevent Shadow getting refeeding syndrome. At first, it was difficult for Shadow to keep his food down and unfortunately he would regurgitate what he was given. We would have to wait to start the whole feeding process again, starting with only 16g of food at a time. Shadow has been very tolerant of our care and has shown great strength, never giving up. He has now been taken off is intravenous fluids this morning after 7 days and, at this time, eating a regular amount of food every 2 hours. He’s put on over 0.5kg bodyweight already.
Shadow had also suffered a broken hind leg whilst missing. We, along with the owners, suspect he may have taken a fall over the cliff during the time he was missing. The bone has attempted to heal, but it needs specialist repair when Shadow is strong enough. Below are 2 X-ray images showing his stomach contents (bones/sticks) & fractured leg.
We know this is the first step for Shadow and he still has a long way to go but we are hoping to continue to see improvement and look forward to seeing him back home with his family in the next day or two.
You can also read this news article from Fri 28th June 2019 about Shadow.

We will post updates on Shadow’s progress over the next few days and weeks.

The first photo shows Shadow on the day he was found, the 2nd photo of him, a week later.