Irresponsible Owner

Imagine this: someone you know has been diagnosed with a tumor. Imagine that the patient was then denied medical treatment, his condition ignored and allowed to fester for almost half a year. As horrifying as it may sound, this is what happened to a patient named Kristy. However, Kristy isn't a person. Kristy is a dog, but the agony of what she has gone through remains very real indeed.

Kristy had a mammary tumor. Her owner, Shantee, contacted us in a panic and asked us for help. She asked for a loan and promised to pay us back in installments. Kristy arrived at the vet listless, running a temperature caused by the infection of a lump on her chest that had just ruptured. The owner claimed that the rupture happened 'a couple of days ago', but the vet's observation was prolonged mistreatment.

The huge tumour on the poor small dog

Imagine the foul, rotting smell from this ruptured tumour 

Our volunteers who met Shantee and Kristy at the vet reported a vile stench that lingered in the clinic even after Kristy had left: the result of a horrific infection. Due to the instability of Kristy's condition, the vet had her warded and placed on a drip, advising two days of treatment and cleansing of her infection. They operated on Kristy on the third day, and the lump was finally removed and sent for cancer tests in UK laboratories.

Shantee had used her sari as a bandage for her dog!
There was milk from one of the dog's nipples
Kristy, who is estimated to be about about 8 years old, was also sterilised during the same surgery. According to the vet, dogs who are not sterilised are prone to developing cancer cells that form tumors. While operations are possible, they are costly and painful. Also, tumors often reoccur in spite of repeated removal, eventually spreading to vital organs such as the lungs, resulting in death.

Chemotherapy is available for dogs, but its treatment is completely different from that of humans. Each session can be highly uncomfortable and stressful for dogs and treatments are scheduled on a weekly basis, with each session costing approximately S$200. Unfortunately, chemotherapy as a treatment has a low success rate.

It is unfortunate that not many dog owners are educated about the importance of sterilisation and that spaying at an early age considerably reduces the risk of mammary tumors in female dogs. Ideally, dogs should be sterilised between the age of 6 months to a year old.

Shantee and her husband carrying Kristy outside the vet


In the case of Kristy, the damage has been done. We can only educate the owner, but the rest is up to her. Kristy was discharged after 10 days at the vet and her whopping bill of $1700 was left unpaid by Shantee who claimed they did not have sufficient funds to pay. They offered to repay us $50 per month but to date we have not received any payment and don't think we ever will, but how could we have let Kristy suffer because of her irresponsible owner?

Written by Michelle Chan