Patient Condition and History

Miguel, an 11 month old, 9 lb., male Chihuahua mixed dog, suffered severe bite wounds after getting into a fight with a much larger dog. The injuries included deep bite wounds to his neck and to his left elbow. He would also knuckle over from an inability to put weight on his left fore-leg, which raised the concern of a nerve injury in this area.

These wounds were the results of what is referred to in veterinary jargon as BDLD, which stands for Big-Dog-Little-Dog. Unlike fights between dogs of similar sizes, a fight between a small and a large dog often results in severe and even life-threatening injuries to the smaller animal. The smaller dog typically suffers not only painful and infected puncture wounds and lacerations, but also internal injuries from being shaken vigorously by the larger dog.

Miguel was hospitalized for three days in intensive care to assess the extent of his injuries, treat his wounds and ease his considerable pain. He also returned to the hospital for further treatments, including a second surgery to his injured left leg. As part of the overall care plan, a PetPace smart collar was placed on Miguel to help monitor his vital signs and pain level.

Monitoring Data

Close, minute-by-minute monitoring of vital signs, activity, positions and HRV (Heart Rate Variability) was delivered in real time to Miguel’s caretakers through the specialized PetPace professional web application. The data was collected automatically and remotely without the need to handle or restrain the patient.

Miguel’s condition remained stable throughout the three days, after which he was released from the hospital. With repeated follow-up examinations on his condition, Miguel slowly, gradually improved, eventually achieving full healing and a complete recovery. Improvement in his pain level and the recovery of his left leg are documented in the following chart produced by the PetPace position detection algorithm. Initially, Miguel would spend very little time lying on his left side. One week after the event, however, the collar recorded him resting on his left side for more than four hours.

 

* Chart showing the total amount of time spent lying on the left (injured) side in a dog with bite wounds to his left elbow. Only one week after the injury, following healing and recovery, the dog extensively resumes the lying left position.

* Chart showing the total amount of time spent lying on the left (injured) side in
a dog with bite wounds to his left elbow. Only one week after the injury, following healing and recovery, the dog extensively resumes the lying left position.

 

Discussion

It is not uncommon in veterinary medicine to be faced with a dilemma – how often to measure vitals in a patient. If the patient is in pain, anxious or fractious, collecting measurements can be a very stressful situation for both the medical staff and the patient. Such stress, especially if accompanied by struggling, may place the patient at risk and lead to a worsening of the condition. On the other hand, examining the patient and measuring vitals is an essential part of good medical and nursing care.

In the case of Miguel, the use of the PetPace collar allowed caretakers to achieve both of these previously conflicting goals – intensive monitoring and minimal handling of the patient. Unlike existing telemetry monitors, PetPace collars are inexpensive, easy to use and involve no wires or clips that attach to the patient. The collars also provide a wide range of health indications, including temperature, pulse, respiration, activity, positions, calories burned, heart rate variability, and more. A big additional advantage is that the data can be accessed from any mobile device anytime, anywhere.

“This case demonstrates one aspect of the revolution that PetPace is bringing to the veterinary world,” said Dr. Asaf Dagan, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Canine and Feline practice), and PetPace’s Chief Veterinarian. “For the first time in veterinary medicine it is possible to receive streaming health data on patients without subjecting them to excessive handling. Even better, this can be accomplished while simultaneously freeing up medical staff for other tasks.”

Conclusions

Intensive monitoring of hospitalized pets no longer requires frequent unpleasant physical measurements and invasive handling by staff. The gathering of vital information on a patient’s condition can now be accomplished through the patented, smart PetPace collar. A range of health-related data and alerts is collected and transferred to caretakers in real time, providing a higher level of care by significantly reducing the need for stressful manual measurements conducted by veterinary staff. This eliminates considerable risk and stress to patients while optimizing the use of medical staff.

“Using the PetPace collar on Miguel was a great relief for the dog, his owner and us,” said Dr. Sue-Ann Gentry of Paw Creek, NC, Miguel’s veterinarian. “Like many BDLD cases, this poor young dog suffered serious painful injuries and had to undergo more than one surgery. The collar enabled us to keep a close eye on his condition but, at the same time, allowed him to rest and avoid the frequent handling that typically comes with intensive monitoring.”