Spinney team works magic to save TV star’s beloved pet dog

TV magician David Penn with Blammo and, left, Spinney Vets clinical director Iain Fletcher

TV magician David Penn with Blammo and, left, Spinney Vets clinical director Iain Fletcher


The team of experts here at Spinney Vets performed their very own death-defying act by saving the life of a leading magician’s pedigree dog.

Top TV entertainer David Penn was in Las Vegas for a show when he received a transatlantic call from his dog-sitter Michelle Wilson saying she had rushed his beloved Samoyed pet, Blammo, to our Kettering Road hospital’s emergency service.

Our surgical team later confirmed eight-year-old Blammo had suffered a life-threatening, double rupture of the bladder and was in dire danger.

David, who is from Brixworth in Northampton, recalled the drama, saying: “It was a truly traumatic time and there were lots of transatlantic phone calls and staying up at night just sitting by the phone waiting for news.

“The vets at Spinney were fantastic. They gave me so much information and kept me fully informed throughout; what they were doing and how Blammo was coping, what the plan was and what was happening next.

“My overriding concern was that I did not want him to suffer and we did actually have a conversation about whether it was better to put him down.

“The vets said they’d never seen such damage to a bladder. They said they could operate and try to repair the damage, although they made it clear the operation was a big risk in itself.

“So, yes, absolutely I knew the danger was very real, but I wanted to give Blammo every chance to survive and recover.

“Thanks to the brilliance of the Spinney Vets team he has pulled through and I can’t thank them enough. They were magic.”

Our clinical director Iain Fletcher confirmed just how serious an emergency Blammo’s case was.

He said: “Our X-rays showed numerous urinary stones in his urethra which were preventing Blammo from urinating and leading to massive pressure in his bladder.

“This caused his bladder to effectively burst inside, which must have been very painful for Blammo.

 “We couldn’t operate to remove the stones from the urethra, so we positioned a catheter there to flush the wedged stones back into his bladder.

“We then began surgery and found two tears in his bladder with all the surrounding tissue very sore and inflamed because of the leaking urine.

“We found and removed a total of 54 stones before stitching all the holes in his bladder very carefully to reconstruct a water tight seal and tested it to ensure no leaks.

“Finally, to minimise contamination to the rest of his abdomen from the escaped urine, we flushed through lots of sterile fluid (saline).”

Happily, Blammo made a rapid recovery from the operation and was soon eating and drinking normally, although regaining full control of his bladder understandably took a little while longer.

Iain said: “Blammo is a real fighter and with the help of the rapid intervention of his dog-sitter, he recovered incredibly well considering what had happened to his bladder.”

David said: “There’s no doubt that Michelle at Teddy’s Dog Care in Overstone saved Blammo’s life by taking him to Spinney Vets, so our whole family is indebted to her.”

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