Matthieu Needs A Home (5th Update)

It has been about 9 months since Matthieu was discharged and found a temporary home at Bee Yan's. In these 9 months, Matthieu has learnt what it is like to be loved and taken care of and not to have to worry about going hungry or finding shelter when it rains.

Matthieu and his wheelchair, which he dreads!

Few of us at HOPE visit Matthieu regularly to help exercise him and bathe him weekly. While he is still apprehensive about the water hose, Matthieu loves the lathering and massaging. He also enjoys basking in the sun after his bath and will doze off while we chatter away. HOPE volunteers also take turns to prepare home-cooked meals for this dear boy. A while back, Matthieu developed a system with Bee Yan's helper, Sharon, when it comes to his toilet habits. He will 'howl-talk' after he has peed or poo-ed and when Sharon asks him (through the window) what is wrong, he will 'howl-talk' more, and Sharon will know that he has relieved himself and come clear the mess. Matthieu lives in the front porch. Matthieu has made friends with Kiwi, Bee Yan's lovely 3-legged dog and will sometimes spend time by the front gate together, watching the world go past. He has also been verbalizing his excitement when we come visit, always greeting us with howls and 
big grin on his face:)

Matthieu and his merry women! One to fan away the flies and the other to scratch his head!

Two kind animal lovers, Ethan and Emily, read about Matthieu’s plight on HOPE's blog and contacted us to ask what they could do to help. As Matthieu needs help with supporting his lower torso / hind legs while being encouraged to walk, Emily ordered a walkabout belly from the States for us to help support him while exercising, while Ethan read about a canine wheelchair company in Thailand and decided to sponsor Matthieu's customized wheelchair. He went down to take Matthieu’s measurements, ordered the wheelchair and with the help of his sister, brought the wheelchair to Singapore from Thailand. Matthieu is still getting used to the wheelchair and needs to be encouraged to move with us using a water hose to spray the floor near him, making him move away from the water.

Since his rescue till now, everyone has been working hard to help Matthieu regain muscle tone in his hind legs. Matthieu requires many hydrotherapy sessions to build up his muscles and 
as of last week, has undergone more than 40 sessions on a twice weekly basis at Canine Wellness and Rehab Centre. With the aid of a life jacket and neck float, and under the guidance of Lynn, the hydro therapist, Matthieu swims for a good 45 minutes with breaks in between. It was so lovely and heartening for us to see Matthieu paddling hard with his front legs while Lynn exercised his hind legs at the same time. He definitely enjoyed the weightless feeling and could stand on all fours easily when in the water. We hope with regular hydrotherapy, Matthieu will regain more use of his hind legs. In fact, he has been using his right hind leg a lot more in recent months.

Lynn and Matthieu

These sessions don’t come cheap but we refuse to give up on Matthieu and we’re determined to have him walk one day! On the average, each hydro therapy session costs us $110, inclusive of two way transport.

Matthieu waiting for his hydro therapy session to start
While Matthieu is doing well emotionally, we have concerns about his health. It has been more than two months since Matthieu’s treatments but his urine still contains blood, sometimes seemingly fresh blood. Since the last update, we have brought Matthieu to the vet a few times, during which he has had an x-ray, biopsy and ultrasound done. The ultrasound results showed irregular bladder lining which can indicate possible clots, formation of crystals or even a tumour as the bladder wall is thicker than normal. The other organs look fine. The vet was concerned as the clots in his urine were not typical in Urinary Tract Infection (which he was initially treated for) patients. For a more conclusive result, we decided to have a biopsy done where the vet would explore his bladder, check for stones, flush and take a tissue sample to check if it's cancerous or the thickening of the wall is due to inflammation of the bladder. Urine culture and sensitivity tests will also be performed.

This is what Matthieu is peeing out

Matthieu recently had his biopsy stitches removed and the wound has healed beautifully. His biopsy results just came in from Australia. While the pathologist cannot see the presence of cancer cells, he did notice a large amount of bacteria embedded in the tissues. There are a lot of dead tissue cells possibly caused from inflammation and infection of the bladder. The vet suspected that Matthieu had scars in his bladder. During the biopsy operation, the vet noticed the surface of the bladder was filled with yellow pus as a result of the tissues of the bladder wall getting destroyed. 

Please pray for our dear old Matthieu who has already gone through so much, that the bacteria in his bladder can be treated without causing any negative side effects, that he will regain use of his hind legs and that he will find a forever home soon.

Special thanks to Bee Yan and family, and Sharon who have been so patient, kind and loving to Matthieu, offering him a temporary home and taking time to help with exercising him and cleaning him.

Irresistibly handsome

All the volunteers who continue to visit Matthieu and cook for him since his stay at the vet till today, and everyone who has helped or contributed in one way or another.

Matthieu needs help with :
1)   Diapers (Mamy Poko children’s brand, XXXL) as it is cheaper than pet diapers
2)   Lots of pee pads
3)   Lots of old towels and newspapers as we use this to line the floor
4)   Sponsor his hydrotherapy session (each session is $110 which includes therapy and 2 way transport with one volunteer going along to accompany Matthieu)
5)   His upcoming vet visit and he is still peeing blood after 7 mths, despite all the tests and biopsies done

Most of all, Matthieu needs someone to adopt him in his finals years. Perhaps with a home to call his own, all his worries and health issues would disappear like magic.

To help Matthieu in any way, please email alicia@hopedogrescue.org