Cool Case Murray

For a couple of days, Murray was drinking more than normal. Later that week, he started throwing up. Stacy and Chris have loved and cared for Murray for the past eight years, so Chris took him to see the family veterinarian the next morning where they took some blood for testing. It turned out Murray had early-stage diabetes, and the conversation turned to Insulin injections. A few days after returning home, Murray was not himself again and didn’t want to get up. At their second visit to the veterinarian, they discovered Murray also had a bad case of Pancreatitis and was referred to NorthStar VETS.

Murray1At their first visit to NorthStar VETS, Murray was treated for his Pancreatitis by Dr. Stacy Wylie of the NorthStar VETS Internal Medicine team. Dr. Wylie described the case. “Murray is an 8-year-old dog who presented to NorthStar VETS initially for vomiting, inappetence, and increased drinking and urination. He was diagnosed with pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is a life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus.”

Dr. Wylie continued, “Murray was hospitalized and received IV fluids, anti-nausea medications, acid reducers, insulin therapy, and pain medications. Initially, Murray seemed to have responded well and even went home with continued care.” Back at home, Stacy found him hiding under a workbench and shortly after that he stopped eating. That’s when they decided to bring him back to NorthStar VETS through the Emergency service.

When Dr. Wylie put an ultrasound probe to Murray’s belly, she found an abscess. Dr. Wylie recounted Murray’s second visit. “During this period of hospitalization, Murray’s pancreatitis was more severe. Given the severity of his condition at this point, Murray was kept under close supervision in the Intensive Care Unit under the supervision of Dr. Steven Berkowitz.” This led to a conversation between doctor and pet parent about what to do next. It was upsetting for Stacy and Chris to see Murray so sick. He was only turning nine and they wanted to fight for Murray’s health, so Dr. Wylie offered a surgical option. That’s when they were introduced to Dr. Daniel Stobie of the Surgery team.

“Murray not only had removal of the pancreatic abscess, but also had to have a splenectomy (removal of the spleen) and placement of a biliary stent (a device placed to hold open the bile duct which was blocked), as well as biopsies,” said Dr. Stobie about Murray’s experience in the operating room. Murray’s Pancreatitis was worse than anyone thought. The biliary stent Dr. Stobie placed allowed Murray to drain bile normally once again. When Stacy received the call and a text message photo of Murray in recovery from Dr. Stobie, they were happy. Murray made it through surgery, but Dr. Stobie took a cautiously optimistic approach. “We needed to see that photo, and appreciated Dr. Stobie’s straightforward but gentle tone,” said Stacy.

After making it through the first 24 hours in the ICU under the care of Dr. Steven Berkowitz of the Emergency and Critical Care team, Murray then crossed the 48-hour mark and was continuing to do well. It was a slow recovery, but he got better every day. “Dr. Berkowitz is our family’s hero. He called me every day and never rushed me, even when I had a list of questions for him,” said Stacy. “He was beyond fantastic and cared for Murray as his own during the long stay.” Murray finally reached a point where he was strong enough to go home with medications.

Murray2“Our trip to NorthStar VETS with Murray was totally worth it,” said Stacy. “We are so grateful to Dr. Wylie, Dr. Stobie and Dr. Berkowitz for how they worked together to care for our dog. Murray is like our first kid, even though we have children of our own now. They really get that.” Murray is back to normal and back at home. “It’s unbelievable,” said Stacy, “he goes for walks, he’s playful, and you’d never know he was so sick. He’s a fighter, but where his health is now is amazing!” Dr. Wylie echoed the excitement about Murray’s progress, “Murray is doing well thus far and has even been able to come off of just about all medications. He will need continued close bloodwork monitoring, lifelong insulin for his diabetes, and a low-fat diet to help prevent recurrence of pancreatitis.”

Stacy wrote a nice letter to the doctors who helped Murray and had this to say. “Not only did you save our Murray, but you did so with such sensitivity to our family and our own needs. You knew we needed frequent calls throughout the day with updates on Murray. You showed us patience and love, answering every and any question we had. You not only healed our Murray, but you loved him like your own. Murray now has a second chance at life and we have a whole new appreciation for him. Everything he does, from a kiss on the nose to a morning cuddle, is even more special. Two words that certainly do not encompass all we feel, but for lack of the proper words we will say it forever, THANK YOU.”

The team at NorthStar VETS as well as Murray’s family are hopeful that he will continue to do well at home. Murray is a tough cookie and still has a lot of love to give, and we are so glad that he has done so well on his road to recovery!

Learn more about the Internal Medicine service at NorthStar VETS.

Stacey Wylie, DVM, DACVIM
Dr. Stacey Wylie is a Pennsylvania native who received her undergraduate degree from Millersville University in 2009. She earned her veterinary degree from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. After graduation, she completed a small animal rotating internship at Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ. She then returned to Michigan State University and completed a 3-year residency in small animal internal medicine in 2017, receiving Resident of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. Dr. Wylie is excited to be part of the NorthStar VETS team. She loves all things medicine, but her special interests include renal, hepatobiliary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory diseases as well as endoscopy and feline medicine.

She currently resides with her husband, their 3 cats (Aeris, Yuffie, and Leon) and adorable pittie mix (Arya). Outside of work, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, playing ice hockey and volleyball, reading, and playing video games. She is also a passionate MSU Spartan and Philadelphia Flyers fan.

Learn more about the Surgery service at NorthStar VETS along with more about the Surgery team.

Daniel Stobie, DVM, MS, DACVS – Chief of Staff
A New Jersey native, Dr. Stobie completed his undergraduate work at Cook College/Rutgers University and is a 1990 cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed an internship in small-animal medicine and surgery at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, then went on to complete a three-year surgical residency at the University of Minnesota and earn a Master’s Degree in Veterinary Surgery, Radiology, and Anesthesia in 1994. Dr. Stobie became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1995. In 2007, he completed the mini-MBA certificate program at the Rutgers School of Business. Learn more about Dr. Daniel Stobie.

Learn more about the Emergency and Critical Care service at NorthStar VETS.

Steven Berkowitz, DVM (practice limited to emergency and critical care)
Dr. Steven Berkowitz attended St. Georges University and did his clinical year at the University of Illinois. Berkowitz joined NorthStar VETS after serving as the Chief of Emergency and Critical Care at another specialty hospital. Prior to that, he completed a three-year residency in Emergency and Critical Care medicine at the Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ. His residency was completed at one of only a few recognized veterinary trauma centers in the United States. Prior to his residency, he was a staff Emergency Veterinarian at Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, NY as well as serving as an emergency doctor at Animal Emergency and Referral Associates in Fairfield, NJ for 3 years. Dr. Berkowitz can be seen on seasons 5 and 6 of “Animal Precinct” on Animal Planet, which was filmed during his internship at The Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital of the ASPCA in New York City.
Dr. Berkowitz has special interest in the management of metabolic and endocrine derangements, trauma, as well as management of the septic patient.

This entry was posted in Pets, Pets, Veterinary Medicine and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *