I Know I’m Dying (Wang Wang)

Strays often have a tough life. They live life day by day and all they look forward to, is their next meal, which may come the next day . . . .or many days later. Food and survival is very important to them and they have a very strong instinct to survive.

Wang Wang, a stray dog that lives in a car workshop area, had this growth on his penile region apparently since May. Sadly, the workers were not well versed in the dog’s welfare and didn’t bother. It was only a few weeks ago that we found out about  Bradley’s plight  and heard from workers that both Bradley and Wang Wang’s penile region were sore, bleeding and severely infected because the dogs fought amongst themselves for the same female dog and had their private regions bitten off. Well, the workers were right about the fact that they had fought for the same female dog, who may have since died as she no longer appears for food.

Wang Wang at the factory
What Bradley and WW (Wang Wang) have are significantly different. Although on appearance, we had thought that Bradley’s TVT was a lot worse,  but after seeing the vet, Bradley’s tumour is limited to the penis area and once amputated, and after 4 rounds of chemo jab, he would most likely be given the all clear. So Bradley’s issue remains largely a sexually transmitted disease.

Mr Mohan checking Wang Wang

Poor WW, his is too complicated to be saved. . .  . .His is worse than Bradley’s or Bobby’s.

With the help of a feeder, she had managed to trap him and put a leash over his head. Workers had termed him fierce and aggressive and didn’t want to play a part in helping to trap him. We had initially taken him to a vet on Friday afternoon but after waiting an hour, they told us they could not ward him as they had no space. So we spent the next few hours desperately trying to find another vet that would admit him. By then, it was nightfall. Poor WW had been in a tiny carrier for hours but yet he waited patiently, thinking that we would be able to save him.

At the vet, I met a longtime friend and an inspiration to many of us in the dog rescue world, Mr Mohan (from Animal Lovers League), who helped us with WW. The vet looked at WW and shook her head . . . all she could say was . . . .why didn’t you bring him in earlier . . . . This made me feel terrible. I wish I did too, because now, it’s too late to save him. WW is dying. The Vet ordered an ultrasound and some blood samples taken. They muzzled him, as was the norm with all new rescues, but they really didn’t need to. WW was too weak and too sweet to even do anything, all he really wanted was a pat on his head, some love and someone to tell him everything’s gonna be alright. As he stood up, blood dripped from his penis. As the vet tech held on to his front leg to draw blood, WW’s body started leaning sideways. He was too weak to stand on three legs. The vet tech had to hold him up by his scruff to keep him upright.

A huge tumour on his penis

WW was tested Negative for Parvo virus and distemper. He was also negative for heartworm and tick fever. Vet estimated him to be about 7 years old. She then recommended we do an ultrasound to find out more. Sadly, the ultrasound results showed a mass that might indicate suspected cancer tissues or cells, which had spread to his spleen, pelvis and liver. Then the vet recommended we put him down because she didn’t think he would have very long to live and felt there wasn’t very much we could do for him. That wasn’t what we wanted to hear, so we asked that they let him stay a night and while we created Plan B.

The following day, we transferred WW to another vet, his 3rd vet in two days. We told the vet that we wanted to help him as best as we could without him being in too much pain and discomfort. Here, we did a chest X-ray to see if the suspected cancer cells had spread to his lungs. Fortunately it hadn’t.

This 3rd vet then agreed to ward WW for just the night, and to administer his very first Vincristine jab. Vincristine is used to treat cancer and dogs with TVT. Poor WW, luck didn’t seem to be on his side, again he had to be transferred to another vet who was willing to house him for at least a month, while he received all 4 chemo jabs, once a week. If what he has is TVT, the growth will regress by the 2nd jab. If there is no regression, then it is not TVT. So we just have to wait with bated breath in the next two weeks.

According to the vet, they can’t be very sure what WW has but he had a mass in his spleen, 10cm big! Did it originate from TVT, a sexually transmitted disease, that developed into cancer cells because it was left untreated and eventually spread to other parts of his body, or did he have skin cancer or sarcoma. We will never know for sure until a biopsy is done but at this point of time, we don’t think we should subject poor WW to anymore pain or GA as he may not pull through.

And so this morning, for the fourth time, poor WW had to be transferred to the fourth vet and here is where we hope he will remain till we find a foster for him to live out his days with love, care, food and some happiness.

Having been a volunteer for the past 9 years or so, often I feel I have seen it all. I don’t profess that I know a lot about dogs or their illnesses but with strays, it’s usually quite the same; accidents, broken bones, sterilization, TVT, dog fights, maggots wounds etc. It’s never easy to make a hard decision and besides, who are we to make such calls. When a dog comes to us, it is simply because they know they will be saved. How then can we tell them sorry, it’s not your day today, we don’t have enough money to help you because we need it for Bradley. We have been blessed many times with fellow animal lovers’ kindness and generosity, allowing us to save and help many dogs we never thought possible.

Look at how swollen his stomach / spleen is 

When I opened WW’s cage to take him out, I expected him to growl and bare his teeth like how the workers had warned us. Instead, he came to me, head bowed down, for a little pat on his head and some assurance. In his heart, he knows he is dying. He is just hoping against all hope, just like us, that a miracle will happen.

To foster or help with Wang Wang's vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg