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Pelle travels from Norway for life-saving treatment

Friday, August 21, 2015

Have you ever wondered how far you’d go for your pet? For Pelle’s owners, Cathrine Sørlie and Nils Christian Nordahl, it was a 2,400 mile round trip, through eight different countries to save their precious pup. 

One year old Golden Retriever, Pelle, from Oslo, Norway was diagnosed with an intrahepatic portosystemic liver shunt when he was just three months old. Cathrine and Nils Christian were devastated at the news, because for Pelle, this was potentially a death sentence. Their vet had informed them that no veterinary surgeons in Norway could perform the type of surgery required to save Pelle’s life; their only option was to medically manage the condition before eventually putting him to sleep. 

Cathrine Sørlie explains: “We were distraught by the news. Pelle is part of our family and we weren’t willing to give up on him just yet. I shared the situation with a childhood friend in England and they immediately started researching on our behalf. They called lots of different veterinary surgeries but the answers they were given still weren’t good. They then called Highcroft Veterinary Referrals and spoke to Kieran Borgeat, who was by far the best option for us. I contacted Kieran myself and set a surgery date for Pelle. We were so relieved and happy that we finally had a solution.” 

In July 2015, they embarked on their 22 hour long drive from Oslo to Bristol for Pelle’s surgery at Highcroft. Veterinary specialist, Kieran Borgeat explains : “Liver shunts are often a result of a birth defect. Pelle had an intrahepatic portosystemic shunt which is where a blood vessel within the liver diverts the blood flow incorrectly. The surgery to correct it is a very complicated one but still minimally invasive. There aren’t many veterinary practices even in the UK that perform the procedure due to the intricate equipment required. Thankfully, Pelle’s surgery went smoothly and the end result was a success.” 

After a four day stay at the hospital and a long journey back to Norway, Pelle is now back at home and feeling much better. Cathrine continues: “Not only did Pelle get the best treatment possible, but so did we. The information we were given, the follow-up (phone calls twice every day) was so comforting and I really felt that everyone at Highcroft genuinely cared about us and Pelle. Even after our return to Norway, Kieran has followed up with both us and our vet. 

Had we not found Kieran and Highcroft, Pelle would not have survived. Now we look forward to many happy and healthy years with our lovely, happy dog! A big thank you to Kieran and the staff at Highcroft for taking such good care of Pelle. We are eternally grateful.” 

At Highcroft, we are proud to have our own referral centre within the group. This allows us to offer our local clients (and the not so local!) access to specialist facilities and procedures, just like Pelle needed. Find out more about Highcroft Veterinary Referrals now.


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