A Suffolk dog owner has thanked "incredible" vets after they saved her dog from a life-threatening illness.

Brian, a one-and-a-half-year-old English springer spaniel who lives with his owner in Hadleigh, was left battling to breathe and unable to walk, eat, drink or urinate after suffering a severe tetanus scare.

The beloved dog had to be referred to Dick White Referrals in Cambridgeshire, where vet Ines de Freitas and Chrispohe Dupont cared for him.

Ms De Freitas, a clinical fellow in neurology and neurosurgery, said: “Tetanus is a toxin produced by bacteria that finds its way into the body through an open wound.

“He was even struggling to expand his chest to breathe so we admitted him straight into our intensive care unit.

“His heart rate, oxygenation, ventilation and fluid intake were also carefully monitored and he had a urinary catheter placed to monitor urine production.

“He was fed via a tube to keep him healthy and strong to fight this life-threatening disease.”

Further tests and examinations revealed that Brian was also suffering from aspiration pneumonia which not only further compromised his ability to breathe, but presented a risk of infection spreading to his other vital body organs.

As there is no medication that can treat tetanus directly, the aim of the vets was to keep Brian alive and to try and give his body time to heal.

After two weeks in hospital he was able to return home to rest and recover and continue his physiotherapy sessions under the watchful eye of his family

Brian’s owner and breeder, Susan Musselwhite, from Hadleigh, is delighted with his recovery.

East Anglian Daily Times: Susan Musselwhite with her beloved BrianSusan Musselwhite with her beloved Brian (Image: Dick White Referrals)

She said: “It’s incredible. He was at death’s door and I honestly feared I’d never see him again alive but now you wouldn’t know there had ever been anything wrong with him.

“I’m so grateful. When you breed dogs, you can’t help but get personally involved with them and he’s such a lovely, kind-natured dog so I really wanted to give him every chance.

“There didn’t seem much hope when I saw him before he was taken off for treatment. Brian was as stiff as a board, like he’d just been taken out of a freezer.

“It was really upsetting and I was totally distraught so it was such a relief to see him again and know he’d come through."