A couple told to take their Covid-stricken dog to enjoy her last holiday were left stunned after she made a miracle recovery thanks to the fresh mountain air in the Alps.
Owners Pete, 50, and Mo Murden, 49, were left devastated when their Jack Russell cross Daisy was given just weeks to live after contracting suspected coronavirus.
The eight-year-old pooch was rushed to a vets with typical symptoms including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath where she was given a lung wash.
Vets advised the couple to still take Daisy on a holiday to the French Alps which they had booked as it could be the last one they got to enjoy together.
Adorable photographs show Daisy sitting in her own bicycle pet seat during bike rides through the mountains as well as going skiing with Pete.
Upon returning from their break, the couple took Daisy back to the vets are were left gobsmacked when her lungs were completely clear.
She is now back home after making a full recovery carrying out her remarkable work acting as a diabetic detection dog for Pete.
Pete, of Exeter, said: “Daisy had constant coughing, loss of smell and taste, loss of appetite and a raging temperature, all symptoms of COVID-19.
“She went from being a healthy, active bundle of fun and energy to a sick, lethargic poorly dog in a few hours.
“She used to run and play for hours every day and follow us everywhere, then within 24 hours she hardly had the strength to walk into the garden.”
Daisy was taken to Cave Veterinary Specialists, in Wellington, Somerset, where experts diagnosed Daisy with a consolidated right cranial lung lobe.
Clinical director and internal medicine specialist, Nele Van den Steen said the cause of the condition was unclear – and that Covid-19 could not be ruled out.
Evidence has shown coronavirus can be transmitted to dogs but there is no evidence they can spread it to humans.
Pete added: “Nele initially thought it a very aggressive tumour in her lungs, pneumonia or something equally serious.
“We were devastated and so worried. We’d never felt so helpless.
“She deteriorated further and we took her back for a lung wash.
“Nele had explained the risks but we wanted to do everything to try and save Daisy.”
The Murdens had their holiday booked and Nele suggested they take Daisy and enjoy what could be her last few weeks, armed with a large supply of medication.
But after many long walks in the mountain air, Daisy’s symptoms subsided and she is still full of life.
Pete added: “Daisy is a bundle of joy and travels everywhere with us.
“Cave’s care, dedication, treatments, lung wash, medication, skill and devotion to looking after animals saved Daisy.
“The clean pure mountain air in the Alps also helped to heal her lungs.
“We couldn’t believe the scans when we took Daisy back to Nele for a check after the holiday. Her lungs were clear.
“Nele, her team and everyone at Cave, plus the initial care and referral from primary care vets in Exeter, certainly saved Daisy. They all worked miracles.
“The test results were just inconclusive and there was no infection, so they didn’t really know what it was.
“The only thought were that it was Covid.
“That is what we’d thought all along because we’ve had a friend who died from it and other friends who have died from it and all the symptoms were exactly the same.
“But they don’t test for it in England on dogs or animals.
“When we came out to France our vet took one look at the scans of Daisy’s lungs and said: ‘That’s Covid. I’ve seen a lot like this in both humans and animals.’
“So we believe it was Covid, but we have no conclusive evidence to say it was or it wasn’t.
“We are very high up here at 1,800m above sea level and the air is clean and pollution-free and that with the steroids and medication that Cave gave her we are certain really helped.
“She was soon back to normal, but got tired quickly and still does but she is full of energy on walks and when we carry her on the bike.
“After two weeks away and our quarantine period back in the UK we took Daisy back to Cave’s where they did another scan of her lungs and Nele called us in.
“We left work in a panic and then Nele said: ‘This is a miracle, the lungs are clear.’
“We are sure it was a combination of the steroids, medication and the fresh air up here because the previous visit before the lung wash Nele said that if this doesn’t work your dog could have a maximum of a month to live, which is why she told us to go to France and enjoy her.”
Daisy was adopted by the couple when she was four and immediately showed she was worth her weight in gold to diabetic Pete.
Just three days after being adopted, Daisy started scratching Pete’s leg and wouldn’t stop, leading him to test his blood sugars, which were low.
As soon as he took some glucose, Daisy stopped scratching and went back to playing around the house.
The beloved family pet has been acting as Pete’s early warning system ever since, as she can detect low blood sugars before he can.
Pete added: “Daisy wasn’t trained to pick up my low blood sugars.
“It’s something my diabetes specialist professor is also very interested as Daisy picked it up so quick with absolutely no training.”
Nele said: “This was a really interesting case which we’re delighted had a happy ending.
“It’s great to see Daisy still going strong a year on from when we first treated her.
“While we were able to make a clear diagnosis, I am still not clear regarding the cause of Daisy’s issues.
“Her almost-complete response to steroids would suggest that a bacterial or fungal pneumonia is excluded, and the same would count for a primary lung tumour.
“Temporary improvement with lymphoma would be possible but it would be highly unusual to be this long-lasting.
“Also, although no COVID-19 pneumonia in dogs had been reported previously, we could not rule it out.”