Happy Days and Happy Families

12 April 2011

My Bonnie lies not over the ocean, but deep in my heart and, in fact, wherever she chooses to lie!!!

Bonnie stumbled into the dam today, April 10th 2011. How sad is it not that a beautiful 2 year old Golden Retriever girl would,  a) stumble into the dam and b) that it would be a terrible thing for her, and give her a big fright?

She came to me from Golden Retriever Rescue on Sunday 13th March. At first sight it was obvious that there was quite a lot “wrong “ with her! She was very neurotic, over excited, obviously not used to people or attention, very hyper active, dominant over her companion dog, and drooling like a Boxer! One of the most obvious things was her eyes were very sunken and the third eyelid just about covered her eyes. Her eyes were red and inflamed and sore looking! BUT in her chest beat the heart of a Golden Girl waiting to be loved, wanted and cared for!! All the names in my head flew out of the window leaving the one that was meant to be, and Bonnie and I came home to start our adventure together, along with Prince my newly rescued Lab X of nine months old!

The dogs were fine with each other and soon became firm friends, in their new found home!

Our first visit to the vet was Monday morning at 07h00! After much consideration and phone calls back and forth to the eye specialist it was decided that there was nothing that could be done to help Bonnie’s eye problem. Anti–inflammatory meds, anti bacterial, and moisturizing meds were given, and within days the eyes were looking better less red and less sore. The great sadness is the muscles of her head never developed as they should have. Consequently there is no musculature to hold the eyes in place in the sockets or in fact to hold the ears correctly or any of the facial muscles which gives Golden’s their lovely full head shape!  In the acute phase it is a terribly painful condition and not having it attended to must have caused her great pain, and probably accounts for her nervousness of being touched around the head.

A few days later she regurgitated her food, and to my absolute distress it was as though she was blowing bubbles!!! I have never seen as much mucous being thrown up before, not even in Boxers! After a repeat performance of this the next day we went back to the vet the next day. Hoping that we were dealing with a sensitive digestive tract, and or a bad response to good food, we changed her diet, to tins of special digestive prescription food. The regurgitation stopped but the amount of drool and mucous did not!

The dreadful truth became evident after another few changes of food and visits to the vet. Spirocerca Lupi!!

The only way to confirm the diagnosis is to have an endoscopy at the specialist vets.

The normal vet practice does not have a long enough or flexible enough endoscope to get all the way down the oesophagus! So after X-rays to ensure that it was necessary, a general anesthetic was administered and the endoscopy was performed!

Seven Spirocerca Lupi nodules were evident! Fortunately none seem cancerous as yet!

There is good medication to contain this disease, and it has a very high success rate! Unfortunately both the dogs have to be on medication for the rest of their lives. Bonnie is on Dectomax, and Prince is on Milbemax, due to possible Collie genes!

The exercise to get to this point has been very expensive, and the only way to check whether Bonnie is clear of the worms is to have another endoscopy in a few months time!

Once we have killed the worms there is a chance that the nodules could have become cancerous. Should that be the case, treatment would have to be decided on at that stage.

For the moment we are a happy family, Bonnie has become more confident, she has shed a few unnecessary kilo’s, is getting stronger day by day with good food and exercise, oh yes and lots of kisses and the mainstay of all our lives, Love.

S.A.M. Martin