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Cochise Canine Rescue: Emergency Medical Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Mini, a dog with stage-four mammary cancer, was taken in from the Tucson pound on June 22, 2018. She has been getting medical care from our local veterinarian at All Creatures in Benson, AZ, and from Integrative Veterinary Onocology in Phoenix. Funds were used for medical care, chemotherapy, blood work and other medications needed to keep Mini comfortable and reasonably healthy.

This week is eight months since we acquired Mini. During the first weeks we had her, she almost passed away twice. No one expected her to live as long as she has and do as well as she is doing. Mini is seen by one of her vets at least once a month for blood workups. Mini is currently on these medications: Gabepentin and tramadol for discomfort, prednisone as an antiinflamatory and to slow tumor growth, and her chemo drug every other day. Mini also takes ondansetron and metronidazol to help her gut cope with the chemo. She gets a round of antibiotics (Clavamox) for 10 days every 6-8 weeks to keep from getting infections. Mini also gets a selection of important vitamin and mineral supplements daily to boost her immune system. She is doing remarkably well and we are all hoping Mini has many more months of comfortable life ahead of her!

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CCR picked Mini up from Pima on Friday, the 22nd of June. When putting her in the crate in the van to take her home, Mini rolled onto her side and I was horrified by the wound on her chest and under her left arm. There was a large, gaping and necrotic hole that appeared to have eaten into her underlying muscle. It was constantly oozing and draining and so large you could easily stick an entire finger into it. Several of her mammary glands were large and hard. While Pima’s medical staff did blood work and X-rays on this very sick little girl, the antibiotics they gave her had not stopped the infection raging through her body. I drove back to Tucson the next day after speaking to one of Pima’s vets and discovering Mini had not been sent home with the correct medications. After viewing the photos of her wound, surgery was moved up to Thursday morning.

Shortly before noon on Thursday, I received a call: Mini’s surgery was stopped after the removal of the major mass and lymph nodes on the left side and they had closed her up. Mini had almost died! Her temperature had dropped from a normal range of 101-102 to 92.6 degrees. She was in shock. We all feared that she was dying.

Mini was placed on a heating pad and covered with a blanket. A vet tech sat with her for the next few hours. At around 98 degrees, she woke up. Slowly her temperature crept back up to 100.8. They took her off the heating pad. Within a few hours she was up on her feet and by 4 p.m. she was drinking a little water on her own.

The next day, Friday, she began to eat. Pima kept her on strong pain medications and IV fluids. I picked up Mini noon Saturday. She was so happy to see me! Mini has been on a rocky road since surgery. On July 2, we received the pathology report: The cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. She will require more surgery, followed by treatments by an oncologist. Right now her lungs sound clear and her liver and kidney functions (as per her blood work) are doing well too. Mini is a spunky little fighter so I can only hope for the best!

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