How Often Do Veterinary Patients Recover From Trauma, Heatstroke?

September 22, 2018

Even when survival rates seem grim, veterinary patients will surprise you, says Kendon Kuo, DVM, MS, DACVECC, assistant clinical professor at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Even when survival rates seem grim, veterinary patients will surprise you, says Kendon Kuo, DVM, MS, DACVECC, assistant clinical professor at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.

“For me in my career, you know, looking at cases I think they're certainly those cases where I kind of give up too early on; where I look at the patient and I'm like there's no chance this one's going to make it. And especially for head trauma and heat stroke as well, they can come in and they just look terrible. And sometimes, you know, my own fear of 'OK can I save this one? do I do I have the knowledge and the skills to you know provide care?' make me almost gravitate towards you know maybe euthanasia is the best thing. But I've been proven wrong so many times now. Where you know the worst head trauma case—where we just had one recently where the this dog was just non-ambulatory for 16 days, and then finally one day it was like 'oh I'm going to walk again.' And so, then he just started walking.

And so, dogs are incredible, cats are incredible, as far as their ability to heal and so I would certainly encourage people not to give up too soon. You know, thinking about heatstroke, a lot of those patients they'll die within the first 24 hours. And so, if you can kind of buy time and tell the owners 'hey just give me 24 hours let's see what we can do here,' you know some miraculous turnarounds can always happen.”