Update on Jack (17JAN19)
After the surgery and completion of the strong antibiotics (quantity of 300), Jack has become a different dog to us (compared to 3 months ago when we first adopted him). He is more lively now, runs faster, and initiates playtime with our other dogs. From what the foster said he used to be lazy (just lying down and eating), we suspect the foreign objects might be in his body for several years!
We did Jack’s last medical checkup yesterday with a Complete Blood Count test (CBC) and a pancreas check (cPL). We are very grateful that the pancreas test result is normal. You can see the comparison of the CBC from last month and this month. All the indicators are moving towards the normal range.
Post surgerical care (long term)
There have been several occasions where Jack had diarrhea after medication was stopped. We were worried that he might be required to be on long term antibiotics. However we started to notice that whenever after an intensive exercise (running in the park or running along with owners pushbike), diarrhea will come haunt him. Our family vet said it is possible for him to have diarrhea after intensive exercise since 20-30cm of his intestines was removed (due to infection). The shorter the time which the stool stays in the large intestine, the more loose it is. Given his CBC and pancreas are normal, these are the following factors that might cause the diarrhea:
- diet (he has always been on id low-fat so this factor is eliminated)
- probiotics (we stopped probiotics with the medication so this might be one of the factors)
- intensive exercise (diarrhea coincidently happened after both times of Intensive exercise)
As of today, Jack will be on leash for walks so he won’t be running around at full speed. Then we can know whether if it is the exercise or the stoppage of probiotics that is affecting him.
Jack and Coco have now been officially rehomed (AFCD ownership changed) and now renamed Toro and Tako living together with 3 other furry siblings.
All donation campaigns have been stopped. Once again thank you for all the donations made to Jack!
Update on Jack (18DEC):
2 weeks have passed and Jack went back to the specialty hospital for a re-consultation. No fluid was found in his abdomen and his blood test does not indicate any abnormalities. The vet reasonably concluded that Jack is medically cleared and does not need to revisit the specialty hospital.
The antibiotics treatment is over today and Jack will need to have a blood test one month later at the family vet clinic. Jack still needs to be under observation within this month as we have to monitor him for any post surgerical complication symptoms after the stoppage of his medication. He is off the e-collar and can finally go back to his normal life routine eg having walks and free to walk around the house.
With most of the signs showing Jack is heading into the correct direction, we are temporarily stopping all donations at this stage. We would like to thank you all the donors for helping Jack out. Even though a second surgery (which was predicted) was not required at the last minute, the donations received have aided the recovery much smoother in terms of:
- With the donations received, the specialty hospital was the first choice to go to for the second surgery since the hospital is better equipped.
- All the medical decisions made are solely based on Jack’s health instead of financial considerations since the financial pressure has been relieved.
We will give an update on Jack in a month’s time. Once again, we appreciate all the help given to us to help Jack during this difficult time.
Update on Jack (04DEC)
morning we sent Jack back to the specialty hospital for his second
surgery. As part of the pre surgery check, the vet did an ultrasound to
pinpoint where the fluid is in the abdomen. To his surprise, he could not
get the abdomen fluid out for sampling. He then did a focal ultrasound
(more focused) on his abdomen to search for the fluid. The outcome of
the scan was no fluid found.
2 factors for the outcome:
1) Jack’s immune system fought it off and flushed out the fluid.
2) the culture test outcome is contaminated
The vet mentioned the possibility of the latter factor is relatively low. We all now hope it is the first factor that leads to the missing of the fluid.
Therefore, a second surgery is not necessary at this point (unless we really want to know if there’s any breakdown inside his intestines or stomach). Given Jack has the appetite to eat, not having any signs of post surgical syndrome, and also the risk of the second surgery involved, it is recommended that Jack should stay home and be observed for 2 more weeks. During these 2 weeks, he has been given 2 antibiotics to fight off the 3 bacteria found in the culture test as a precaution.
During these 2 weeks, if Jack is to show signs of severe diarrhea, loss of appetite, or digested blood in stool, then a second surgery will be imminent.
We all hope he will make it these 2 weeks. Once again thank you donors for your generosity. We will keep all of you updated on Jack’s condition periodically.
With great appreciation,
Updates on Jack (3rd Dec) :
We brought Jack home on 29th Nov. He seemed to be progressing well on his recovery. He was active, eating and pooping. However, as we mentioned earlier, the vet had found some fluid in Jack’s abdomen and had sent samples to the lab for bacterial culture tests. The results came in today and found 3 types of highly-active and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the fluid.
The vet mentioned one of the reasons why the fluid is in Jack’s abdomen may due to the wounds in Jack’s intestines are not healing. And why Jack is not influenced by it at the moment is because the oral antibiotic Jack has been taking is suppressing the bacteria or the fluid is contained by some kind of cysts that’s protecting Jack from it. But once the bacteria got to Jack’s abdomen, it will cause peritonitis (infection in abdominal membrane) and serious complications.
After consulting with both vets on Jack’s case, we have decided that he needs another surgery in order to remove the fluid in his abdomen. The second surgery is going to be a very high-risk procedure (success rate at 50 percent), we will send him back to VSH for the second surgery as VSH is better equipped and hence better chances on Jack. The quotation on the surgery and postoperative care is approximately 50K-70K for now.
Once again, thank you for those who have donated to us. Your help is very much appreciated.
Jack is an Alaskan Malamute who had been looking for a home since he was 3 after his owner is diagnosed with cancer. For the past 3 years he has been adopted twice.
The first adoption was unsuccessful due to the lack of care from adopter. The second adoption was unsuccessful as well due to relocation of the adopter.
As Jack and his sister need to be adopted together, it has been tough to find an adopter. After 3 years of home searching, there is a family who can take both siblings in giving them a loving home.
Jack loves to eat, which is the main reason leading to this incident. At the adopter’s place (nearing to the end of the 3 months trial), Jack suddenly lost his appetite. The adopter knows Jack had tried all his ways to eat things off anywhere he can find (even inedible objects). Therefore he made the first visit to the vet. At the first visit, the vet suggested an X-Ray scan. Initially, they can see there’s a foreign object (suspecting it is a hairband) in the stomach. The vet then gave medication hopefully the foreign object will be passed out through the digestive system instead of inducing Jack to vomit.
The situation had improved the next day with medication but it had took a turn right away with Jack losing its appetite again. Jack then returned to the vet and surgery was required (he had another x ray scan, the foreign object is not moving and his intestines are swollen).
During the surgery the vet had found not just a hairband, but a plastic glove, urine pad, metal chain. Most of the foreign objects are not from the current adopter. Therefore it can be estimated that these foreign objects have been in Jack’s stomach for a LONG time causing pancreatitis. The stomach wall had been infiltrated and infected. Some of the foreign objects had pierced through the large intestines as well. 20-30cm of large intestines had to be removed.
As the clinic who performed the surgery is not a 24hr clinic, Jack was then transferred to VSH in Wan Chai. Only VSH will admit Jack into the hospital as his health condition was very bad. On the same night, he was admitted into ICU in VSH.
Jack stayed in VSH for 3 days already. The progress has been good however during the CPC blood test today the counts for white blood cells is high while the red blood cells is low. His vet has found some fluid in his abdomen as well. He gave the adopter the news that it might be due to inflammation or worst case, the wound in the intestines are not healing. This may lead to a second surgery. Throughout this process, the adopter has not given up on Jack given the expensive treatment nearing $90,000. However as money is not unlimited for them, the financial pressure is starting to hit onto them. We hope that a donation (any amount) can help Jack and his adopter to get through this difficult time. Your help is very much appreciated.