Killing Her Softly

We received a call last night at 9pm asking for help and advice with regards to a senior abandoned Chihuahua, found roaming the streets in Jurong last year. When Mark found her, she was dirty, smelly, terribly hungry and thirsty. It seemed as if she had been wandering the streets for a while. Mark took her home and noticed she had a lump on one of her nipples. He took her to the vet and found out she had breast cancer. He paid for her surgery to remove the lump and also spent the next 3 months looking for her owner by putting up posters, but to no avail. She was not sterilized and not microchipped.

When he first found her, she would only eat plain bread. Was it because that was all she was fed on? He named her Na Na as he later realized she loved bananas. Na Na looks to be about 8 to 10 years old.

Few days ago Na Na stopped eating, became listless and leaked pee. She also started drinking a lot, her stomach looked swollen and she started vomiting. Mark took her to a vet where she was given antibiotics and sent home. But her condition did not improve. In fact, she looked more listless and so Mark took her to another vet where blood tests and an x-ray was done. It showed that she had closed pyometra. But Na Na also had water in her lungs, pretty bad heart murmur and an enlarged heart. The vet did not dare to operate on her as it was too risky. So Mark took her out of the vet and sat in the car with the drip still on Na Na, desperately calling friends for help and advice. Finally he called HOPE but by then, it was 9pm and most of the vets were either closed or closing. Na Na was in critical condition. She was on a drip, in their car, with nowhere to go. Her breathing was laboured and it was unlikely she would make it through the night.

We were put in a critical situation; it was a matter of life and death. There was no time to ponder on whether we wanted to take on this case, or if we could even afford to help.

We called our regular vet but as it was closing time, there was only one vet on duty and she was attending to another emergency case. We pleaded with them to see Na Na but the receptionist said she had no idea what time the vet would be done with her emergency. In the meantime, our volunteers were frantically calling other vets to ask if they could see Na Na. After an hour, we finally found a vet that would see Na Na and as Mark was on the way, we received a call from our regular vet saying that the Dr was done with her emergency and had kindly agreed to see us, even though it was way past closing time. We were truly grateful. We detoured and headed down.

The vet examined Na Na, who was still on drip and lying in a plastic tub. She looked as if she would go anytime. Her abdomen was swollen and painful, she was leaking pee and running a slight temperature. The vet told us that it was unlikely that Na Na would make it through the night. An emergency surgery was needed. It was a high risk surgery as Na Na’s heart may not be able to take it but it was between the devil and the deep blue sea. If we didn’t go ahead with the surgery, Na Na would die soon. So we agreed and the vet quickly prepared to proceed with the emergency surgery. It was 11pm when we left the clinic.

We waited till the wee hours for updates from the vet. She called at 1am to say that she had removed Na Na’s uterus; any longer and it would have ruptured in her stomach, killing her. We were thankful for the vet’s passion and willingness to see us and work late into the night to save Na Na’s life.

Today Na Na is still listless and not eating. The next 48 hours are crucial.

We hope she will pull through and be able to live a happier life.

Na Na’s bill is estimated to be about $3000/-. If you can help with Na Na’s vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg