my name is Samantha and I would like to tell you about my terrific little dog, Kiewa.
Kiewa is a 2 year old Jack Russell which we purchased up in Darwin in the Northern Territory in Australia.
In her short life so far she has moved to Mt Isa, a mining town in Central Queensland,
and now to Jindabyne, in New South Wales.
In total, over 5000km of being a back seat driver.
Moving from 40deg heat to -8deg nights was a little bit of a shock for our little dog,
but she soon found her favourite place in front of the heater.
Shawn and I manage holiday parks but unfortunately this park did not come with a yard,
so I enrolled her into a dog obedience class.
When we first arrived, she was so excited to see other dogs that it took me over half an hour to catch her again.
After weeks of training, Kiewa was the top of the class at sitting, staying, and, most of all, coming when called.
I could not be prouder.
Once the 6 week course ended, we went to the next level, Agility.
It was like she was born to do this.
Again, within two weeks, Kiewa was running up ramps, jumping through hoops and climbing 6 foot ladders.
"Wow, what a dog!" I thought to myself.
At the end of every session, all of the dogs were let free to play and run around like crazy.
Zoom here, Zoom there.
Kiewa raced around like a rabbit chasing grasshoppers.
Another dog - about 30kg - saw Kiewa having fun and decided to join her in the chase.
He ran up behind her and then ran over the top of her when I heard the "SNAP"!!!!!
Kiewa had been bowled over by the other dog, and now she lay lifeless on the ground.
As I approached, she looked up at me with pain in her eyes.
"Oh My God; Call The Vet......"
Being a Saturday afternoon, all of the vet practices were closed,
so we had no choice but to drive 50 mins. to Cooma where an after hours vet surgery was open.
The news was not good; Kiewa had broken her leg, right at the elbow joint.
"Do whatever you have to do; we just want our dog."
The vet proceeded with an operation and implanted a steel bar to secure the leg
and then wrapped the whole leg in a hard cast.
Over the next 2 months, we could see our little dog hop around and every time she bumped her leg
she would shriek with pain.
I was looking forward to the day when the cast was to be removed, along with the pin.
We took her home and just stared at this leg that had been wrapped up for months
and it was lifeless; dead, no movement at all.
I know the vet did his best, but I could not leave my little trooper like this,
dragging around a leg that wasn't being used.
5 days passed and there was no improvement, so we again went back to the vet
where I asked if removing her leg was an option.
We both looked at her and she was still in pain, so yes; that afternoon, we did it.
After driving home alone, I could not help but wonder if I had done the right thing or not.
I was pleased to hear the next day she was fine to pick up, and that she was running around.
"What? Running around?
That can't be my dog!"
Sure enough, when I saw her, she was jumping, wagging her tail, and even smiling!
What a dog!
2 weeks later, the stitches were removed and I decided to go back out to the dog school.
No one had seen us for 3 months and they all thought after the freak accident that we would stay away,
so you could imagine their reaction when they saw us return, and then to see Kiewa with 3 legs.
I didn't want pity or sympathy; I just wanted to see my dog have fun.
Kiewa, although a little nervous, went through the routine of sit, stay, etc.
and even completed the agility course.
At the end, everyone clapped and I nearly cried as I thought I would never see her enjoy life again.
Nowadays, Kiewa is the star, in my eyes, and every time I need a little inspiration, I look at her.
I love my little dog...............................
Wednesday February 20, 2008
Good morning, Cassie!
English is only a second language for me,
so please forgive some mistakes I will surely have in my writing and syntax.
My name is Paolo Parducci, I live in Quito - Ecuador,
I am Ecuadorian and Italian, I am 43 and my wife Viviana is 36, she is Ecuadorian.
My wife and I do not have children, but 3 beautiful dogs,
and as you can understand we have given much love to our dogs,
Nino (a big 50 kg yellow lab retriever), Fox (German Shepherd)
and Lucas (Schnauzer), lucky guys, I always say.
Labrador - Nino - Osteosarcoma - amputation - Surgery Day
Directly to the point, I thank you for your page,
it helped me cry one more time this day,
when I read your lines saying ..." you have been courageous... ",
the first time I cried today was after visiting and seeing my dog Nino
in recovery a few hours after the amputation of his back leg,
due to an osteosarcoma in the Femur we detected just 2 weeks ago.
It was a tough decision, and I still need to hear I did right;
or maybe not.
I think I must have done right when I gave him the chance to be
free of a bone cancer that could take his life... in a sad and painful way.
Great humans like you give my tears a returning path to my soul.
I am afraid and I do not have enough knowledge to help my dog
overcome his recovery process, .... So please help me to understand
if I am being instructed correctly...
Doctor says the procedure went as planned and that the ( small ) upper part
of his femur is still there, and in the vets clinic they wanted me to take him today,
just a few hours after the surgery ...
I did not understand how such a delicate operation
can send my dog back today, he was still sleeping,
of course with all the pain killers and sedatives, he said...
at the end he decided to make him sleep over in his small clinic .
Day 1 at home
Last night when I started writing, Nino slept at the vet's office
in a small room where he would not be disturbed;
today, my wife and I went to pick him up and bring him home,
he was awake and happy to see me, even though he seemed confused.
He tried standing up, so I had to lay down next to him so he would relax.
He is a 50 kg lab! Pure muscle, but now I think he weighs less, without a limb.
It is shocking !!!!
But incredibly, the doctors said he ate this morning, which is not so common.
We brought him home at approx 3 pm,
We fixed a thin mattress and blankets for him,
first in our room, but then we had to move him into a small room
where he can relax and not try to stand,
because he tried again in our room but failed,
I think because he did not know he was missing the leg still then.......
now he knows..........
He got up and we helped him with a large towel under his belly
and holding it from the top as a swing would allow him to stand
while letting him use the good back leg, until it went weak...
we went to the front yard so he could urinate (go pee),
once there after a long pee, he moved a few steps away
and sat down in the grass just looking into the emptiness and looking sad.
I am sure he realized he couldn't walk anymore and had something real serious
that he could not beat, this time.
I had to put all my strength and carry him back in the house, it demanded all my energy..
He saw the other dog through the glass door
(his best friend, the German Shepherd).
They both seemed concerned.
Around 5 in the afternoon, he rested and drank plenty of water
and had a few bites of his dog food with a little of the dogs pate to flavor them up....
He ate maybe a handful, but that was all.
8pm - He is back in the small room in a full size mattress,
where I visit him every 1 hour to check on him.
I give him love and talk to him positively, lay next to him,
pad him, but I also ask him for forgiveness..
When I see him mutilated I feel bad - very, very bad.
I don't know what I have done.
I gave him his pill (Ciprofloxacine) twice a day
and a topical white hard cream I can't recall the name;
similar to the surfers' white nose protectors
(doctor said it is for drying and stop itching),
also I have to spray an antiseptic (Clorhexidrine?)
in the wound 2 or 3 times a day and wipe softly just a little with clean gauze pads.
10 pm - I just came back from the last visit
and his breathing was more agitated and he seemed very depressed
just lying on his side, he did not want water or food..........
I am worried; his joyful, sporty, innocent Labrador spirit is broken,
you see this dog did not know how strong he was; he grew up in 2 acres of surrounding yards.
11 pm - Just now I went back in and he is totally asleep,
hardly no reaction, I think he is just tired and his body is fighting;
he did lift his head to check on me, I laid down next to him, face to face.
Midnight - We were having a coffee in the kitchen
and the dog pushed the door open.
I had left it the half way closed in case he needed something.
Indeed, he needed to go out.
It is so hard with a large dog, but he walked almost all the way to the door
that exits to the front yard. I helped him out and he went directly to the yard
to do his necessities. It was a relief to see him evacuate, but sad
to see him try to, without his leg. He lost power in his only back leg
and evacuated with loose stomach sitting down. After he tried to go
into the fountain we have, he was thirsty.
My wife brought him water in his plate, he drank quite a bit,
then moved a few yards and threw up.
He threw up big parts of a plastic ball??
One of his sqeaking toys!!
He must have chewed on it prior to the operation...
who knows; it's good he did not digest it further down into the intestines.
After this, he just lost all his strength and laid down
without intentions of moving anymore.
The grass was still wet of the earlier rain we had;
I needed to bring him back to the dry and clean room...
I had no strength left, either;
we were both exhausted.
I have a back problem after I fell from over 6 feet high on my back in hard cement,
it was never the same for me in lifting weights strength,
and my wife is so tiny and thin...to even move a heavy chair...
I sat down next to Nino and tried to encourage him a little,
explaining that we needed to go back in, it was chilly and humid outside.
I tried to pick him up, but just couldn't lift him 5 inches anymore.
I thought for a moment and decided to lay him on the large towel
and drag him carefully a few yards at a time until we reached the front door 3 steps.
Long story short, I brought a small mattress I bought
and together with Viviana, we were able to turn him over on his good side
and bring him back in to the room, dragging him.
Once there, he made an effort and moved a few steps to the large mattress
where he is actually sleeping.
We gave him a little more water and he ate one of his favorite vanilla cookies,
the same that he refused earlier...
what can I say, this whole thing is a strong experience,
and I wonder what will I see in the next 7 to 15 first days.
Do you know any case of a back limb amputation in a large dog like Nino?
He is soooo sad, that I feel guilty .........please give me some advice,
what I have to expect, recovery wise?
and any recommendations? I know you say this decision is the correct one....
please, I need to hear it so much, but mostly, I want the whole truth
from your experiences in this area.
Everybody is asleep now; my wife, and the dogs....
I will also try to rest ...Thank you for being there.
God bless you,
Sunday February 24, 2008
You are totally right, the ointment and the plastic ball he ate before
surgery + the medicines!! All hurting the stomach.
Doctor also said the white ointment should not be there anymore,
it was intended only as a line in the edges, but not for all around
like one of the clinic assistants did the first time, and we learned
incorrectly from that example. The doctor just said clean it up
with a wet fresh towel and heal him with aloe vera (natural)
that we have in Ecuador and is commonly used to heal burnings.
It's an excellent natural healer for burnings and many other things.
Also he said to use a little corm oil in his food
to help his stomach and intestines digest better...
Nino was happy and relieved when all was done ...
The vet gave him a diuretic and an anti-inflammatory shot..
Today after the vet left I saw vomit again in the front yard with plastic
pieces!! he must have had this inside; the vet knew about the previous
ball pieces, but not that he still had some more inside. I want to mention
these new pieces to the doctor. I wonder if he still has more inside,
and that is creating a problem?
In a few minutes it will be time for a walk outside, and I will make new
pictures... : ))
Thank you many times!!
So Cynthia, if we allow him to lick his wound, what will happen to the
stitches, they could break and became a new problem? What is the
experience about licking and stitches?
Tuesday February 26, 2008
Good evening, Cynthia
Hello, my invisible friend; let me update you.
No chemo has been done yet and the vet is thinking about it, as he thinks it
is maybe not necessary for what he saw.. but I personally don't know what to
think about it, as I would not like to take any chances. We will keep watching it
over the next 15 days to determine if further action is necessary, he said.
Apparently his loss of appetite is a moody thing,
combined with an upset stomach, maybe due to the antibiotics
and pain killers that are oral, even though he has eaten better today
and also last night we made him the chicken broth with nice clean chicken pieces
with a little fat free stewed creamy rice that he likes,
he had that early today, also later in the day he had a large steak
in small pieces also with soft overcooked to a soft point rice,
he likes carbohydrates...but only for recovery, 'cause they are weight gainers..
in between, he had just a few vanilla cookies, as treats..
He has been going in and out today, but only with his nanny (me)
at least 8 or 10 times and with Viviana a couple of times
when I was busy or asleep. You should have seen him chase his ball;
slow, but direct to it! He seemed happy, to a point,
until he knows it is harder, now; so he stands still next to the ball
or brings it slowly but doesn't ask for more...
just a few feet distance chase, no more, no less,
little by little seems logical...
I think he has a little cystitis (interrupted urine stream and frequent urgency)
I think or it's cystitis, or perhaps it's just the quantity of water he is drinking.
I asked the doctor if a stomach acidity reliever for humans
could help him (Ranitidine, generic name, 150 mg.) (Zantac commercial),
he said it was no problem, so it worked fine; you could feel it in his eyes and mood,
that helped him to eat....even though he has not gone poo today all day...
he is still recovering , but making progress..........
I think I am noticing that he is getting spoiled a little, and he likes it...
today he went to the fence to visit his brother Fox
and they started licking each others' noses, I did not let Fox come
to the other side, he wanted to play and probably would have knocked Nino down
as he always used to try when he was 4 legged...I think that was Fox's dream...
to knock down the "Panzer Tank"!
He has his toy and he has been with us all day, because I own my business
and I am able to run it from my home office also without going to the city
where the main office is, I am lucky to have a good assistant and a good
team, well trained...lucky me, lucky Nino; Viviana also works from home
programming music for her family's Fm radio station; she is good at it, and
she used to be director and one of the first and few girl Dj`s in town.
...so our boy has Mom and Dad next to him.... I tell you, he is getting
spoiled, but I have followed your guide and I let him make that little
effort when he looks at me with a "I can't" face ...
I say as if nothing had happened, "come on boy, let's go.."
in a normal soft call...so he likes to walk a little (5 - 7 minutes)
and come back tired.
The vet (doctor) will make him a home visit tomorrow at 11 am
to check on him, I will let you know, also...
today, I found out that he is a Christian pastor and that he operates
always asking God for his help.. so what can I say; the best doctor
of the universe guided his hands, what else can I ask for?
Have a nice day, dear Cynthia.
Tuesday February 26, 2008
Hello Cynthia, my dearest and already loved friend
I hope you like the pictures of your Nino's recovery process.
After the diuretic and something else the vet gave him,
he has not been feeling well; he scared me for a minute tonight at 10 pm,
he did not even move, drink, or anything; he seemed like a statue,
so I had to think and deducted...dehydration and possible inflammatory pain.
I started giving him oral electrolytes and he reacted a little
and we went outside to pee and I fixed his mattress in the front door;
he wanted to have fresh air and sleep outside, tonight.
I am concerned for a huge edema he has between the penis and the stitches,
the vet did not say much except that he would give him the diuretic shot
and anti-inflammation product, as well...I hope he knows what he is doing...
my dog was down today, all afternoon and evening,
even though Viviana said he did eat a little of his chicken and rice stew....
Wednesday February 27, 2008
Good morning, Cynthia
Our Nino is doing great, today!!
I rehydrated him with pedialyte (electrolites) and that worked wonderful,
also the cream you suggested to take out (we did 48 hours ago) gave him a relief
and the Aloe Vera plant + a special Amazon tree savia that heals many things
and closes wounds (Indian secret from a tree, the savia is called Sangre de Drago )
together all worked super, like God's nature likes!
plus lots of love!
Of course, with a strict discipline of the Ciprofloxacine (antibiotic).
This guy has been eating all day and begging for more food, I AM SO HAPPY!!
He has been moving around all day, wagging his tail,
and even played with Fox for a few minutes in the back yard, under my supervision.
He is a wonderful dog, just as you are a wonderful lady!
The only thing now is that his licking did break two stitches
and the wound opened up 2 cm in one part and 0.5 cm in another part...
I am trying to control him and keeping that part clean,
I tried to attach the sides together with microspore strips,
but they don't stick for more than a few minutes...
right now, he is sleeping in the front door with the "Elizabethan collar" (bucket, really)
because he has been a bad boy and he knows it..
He's accepted it, but gave me the long manipulative look, while I was placing it...
he is awful; these Labs are hypnotists...and heartbreakers..
Viviana found printed pictures of Nino`s early years, as well as youngster years.
Would you like to see them? Yeah, he was cute !! (and still is!)
A little something is missing in his looks and still in his shine,
but I am sure he will recover that physical shine and movement
when he starts feeling more secure and confident and when his hair grows back to normal.
But today, his eyes were giving me the old look again;
the look in his eyes shows he is beginning to be his old same self, again...
bless you all ...
Have a wonderful day, Cynthia!
Thursday February 28, 2008