Pablo, the tiniest dog with the biggest fight

Bow Wow Meow Hero Dog PabloPablo the 3-year-old Chihuahua and our first Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet, is finally back home and slowly recovering after the sudden onset of severe liver failure.

As Pablo’s mum Nicole explained, over the course of a day or two, the usually happy and healthy little pooch became lethargic, lost his appetite and appeared to have abdominal discomfort.

A visit to the vet resulted in a preliminary diagnosis of pancreatitis, but overnight Pablo’s condition deteriorated, and his family rushed him to the Sydney Veterinary Emergency & Specialists. There he was diagnosed with acute liver failure with unknown cause.


One of Pablo’s bad days while in the hospital.


Little Pablo remained in hospital for four weeks, literally fighting for his life with his frantically worried family constantly by his side. Unwilling to leave him on his own overnight, Nicole slept on the floor beside him.


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Pablo & Nicole
Nicole sleeping on the floor alongside Pablo.


The unknown cause of Pablo’s liver failure made it difficult to determine the correct treatment. He was given antibiotics and supportive therapy and had biopsies taken of his liver and gallbladder. Medication was administered intravenously, and Pablo was fed via a tube in his oesophagus. Tissue samples were sent to the USA for pathological investigation.

Pablo then underwent surgery to remove his gall bladder.  After the surgery and a change in medication, Pablo’s condition slowly started to improve. Weighing just 2.7 kg prior to his illness, the tiny chihuahua lost 900g – a third of his body weight – during his ordeal.


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Pablo in hospital
Pablo’s tenacity and fighting spirit endeared him to the nursing staff.


Nicole says “He’s made a wonderful recovery, although he’s still on medications to support his liver. We are so grateful for the care he received from the vet hospital and so relieved that we had an insurance policy with Bow Wow Meow, as the bill for his treatment was understandably enormous! We never expected this to happen to such a young dog. He seemed in such good health, and then this happened out of the blue.”


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Pablo sleeping in blanket
Pablo had an oesophageal feeding tube and a central line for intravenous medications.


Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance paid out $15,000 for Pablo’s veterinary costs and the claim was processed at the hospital via GapOnly®, which came as a huge relief to the family.

The cause of Pablo’s liver failure remains unknown, and although his liver function testing is now normal, his long term prognosis is uncertain.


Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet Pablo on the mend
After his ordeal, Pablo is happy and playful again!



Now that Pablo is finally back home, Nicole says that they cherish every day with him and don’t take anything for granted when it comes to his health.


We are so impressed with little Pablo’s fighting spirit through his challenging ordeal that we have chosen him as our inaugural Bow Wow Meow Hero Pet. We wish him a speedy recovery back to full health and a long, happy and healthy life  ♥


This article is written by

Nicky Klugman

Nicky is our Marketing Communications and Content Specialist. She is an animal-lover who is particularly interested in animal behaviour and the relationships between humans and their pets. While growing up, dogs were always an integral part of the family. Nicky is mum to three human sons and a rescue pup called Dobby.

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*Please note, any pet insurance advice provided is general only. Refer to the applicable Product Disclosure Statement for details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover.