Mack, a much-loved mutt in Michigan, spent this past week as he has spent the last 10 years — hanging out with the regulars at O’Duffy’s Pub in Kalamazoo, enjoying his favorite snacks and the company of friends.
Last Sunday, though, was Mack’s last Sunday — the 13-year-old German shepherd-collie mix is scheduled to be euthanized today after vets found a large tumor on his liver and other complications.
Jamie Kavanaugh, owner of O’Duffy’s Pub/Cosmo’s Cucina, took Mack to the veterinarian Tuesday and received the diagnosis. “His body is shutting down,” Kavanaugh said.
Mack spent most every day of the last 10 years at the Irish pub in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood, according to MLive.com.
“He’s been a big, calm boy for all of his life. He’s very laid back, good with other dogs, people, kids. He’s very tolerant and loving,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s enjoyed being here. He makes his rounds, eats some treats. St. Patrick’s Day won’t be the same without him.”
Since learning of Mack’s illness, Kavanaugh said he’s showered the dog with companionship and treats. On Wednesday night, when Mack stopped by the pub, a customer ordered a filet and gave the first bite to Mack. Kavanaugh planned to bring Mack to the pub last night for a final goodbye.
“The number of people who love this guy, I can’t imagine what the actually number is. It’s people I don’t even know who love him, that come here and enjoy his company. It’s a real testament to the love of this community,” Kavanaugh said.
Kavanaugh lost his wife, Kim, the restaurant’s co-owner, just over two years ago
“When my wife passed away … I was really afraid he was going to follow her. Instead, he stuck by my side, stayed by my side and he’s been with me on this journey ever since,” Kavanaugh said of Mack. “Now, I think he feels his work is done. And he’s tired. All I can do is pass the love on.”
Kavanaugh said he plans to have Mack cremated and may take his ashes to Ireland to scatter off the coast of the Irish Sea.
(Photo: Erik Holladay / MLive.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bar, collie, cosmo's cucina, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, german shepherd, irish pub, jamie kavanaugh, kalamazoo, liver, mack, michigan, mix, mutt, o'duffy's pup, oduffy's, owner, pets, put, st patricks day, tumor
Heartworm and a cancerous tumor have delayed snout surgery for Kabang, the Philippine dog that lost half her face when she stepped between two children and an oncoming motorcycle.
A veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, says both could be potentially fatal if not treated.
“Fortunately for Kabang, her disease is not very advanced,” Dr. Jane Sykes, a UC Davis infectious disease specialist, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “She has a good prognosis.”
Sykes said veterinarians will have to treat the two ailments — including chemotherapy for the tumor — and that it could be as long as six months before her snout problems can be addressed.
Donations from 20 countries financed Kabang’s trip to the U.S. Vets at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital plan at least two surgeries, one focusing on dental work and the other to close the gaping wound on her face, which, left open, could lead to infection.
But before that can happen they need to treat the heartworm and the cancerous tumor, which vets say was sexually transmitted.
Sykes said more than 90 percent of such cases are cured with chemotherapy.
Both the tumor and the heartworm are common ailments in tropical regions where dogs run loose, as in the Philippines.
Kabang was originally found in a swamp near Zamboanga by a man who planned on feeding her to his family. But the dog bonded with Rudy Bunggal’s 11-year-old daughter and his 3-year-old niece and last year stepped between them and a motorcycle, shearing off her snout.
Kabang disappeared for two weeks after the motorcycle accident, but was greeted as a hero when she returned to Bunggal’s home.
She delivered six puppies at a local dog pound in April of this year, apparently having become pregnant during her two week disappearance.
Sykes said Kabang is “a pleasure to work with … It is wonderful that people have seen how wonderful dogs can be to human lives. … I think we owe her a service in return.”
While missing the top of her snout, Kabang is able to lap up food and water with her tongue, Sykes said, and may still be able to smell some things.
Vets are also seeking permission from her owner to spay Kabang.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bunggal, cancerous, care, children, davis, delivered, dog, dogs, donations, half, heartworm, help, hero, kabang, motorcycle, pets, philippine, philippines, pregnancy, pregnant, pups, saved, sexually, snout, surgery, transmitted, tumor, university of california, veterinarians, veterinary
It has been nearly three years since ohmidog! brought you the story of homeless (at the time) Michael Reed and his three-legged pit bull, Topaz.
I ran across them during a visit to Los Angeles, where I first saw Michael pushing a shopping cart down a sidewalk in Inglewood, with Topaz in tow.
Suspecting they had a story, I followed them to a vacant lot next to a gas station, where, sitting on the sidewalk with a bottle of King Cobra malt liquour — Topaz, as always, at his side — he graciously consented to share it.
The story, that is.
A couple of months earlier, on August 31st, 2008, Topaz had gotten caught in the middle of a barrage of gunfire. Police were shooting at another homeless man named Eddie Franco, who they thought had a gun. Franco was killed. His gun turned out to be a plastic toy.
Topaz, shot 4 times, was taken away by animal control — leaving Michael without the dog he’d grown to depend on, or, for that matter, any idea whether she was still alive.
Through a stroke of fortune, he managed to get Topaz back.
Months before the incident, Ingrid Hurel-Diourbel, founder of Streetsmarts Rescue, had seen Michael and his dog on the street, collecting recyclables, and stopped to talk to him. She placed one of her organization’s rescue tags on Topaz, who had no identification, and Reed gave her his stepmother’s phone number.
When the Carson Shelter’s animal control unit — where Topaz was taken after the shooting — saw the tag, they called Hurel-Diourbel, who got the message to Reed, and helped raised the funds needed for surgery.
Topaz would lose one of her hind legs, but she and Michael would be reunited, resuming their life on the streets for several months. Then, with more help from friends, Michael and Topaz moved into a trailer park, almost two years ago. Things were looking up.
Now comes word from Los Angeles that both Michael and Topaz have fallen victim to some serious medical problems.
Streetsmarts Rescue in Hawthorne reports that Michael is terminally ill with cirrhosis of the liver and Hepatitis C. Topaz has a cancerous lump on her neck — a round cell tumor that will require surgery.
Hurel-Diourbel is trying to raise funds again — about $1,000 for the operation Topaz needs. She’s also trying to find a home for Topaz, for when the day comes that Michael can no longer care for her.
Hurel-Diourbel says she recently spent the day with Michael, who she says has no family to speak of, at the Veteran’s Hospital in Long Beach.
“Michael, homeless at one point, now was being treated with much respect and dignity. It was wonderful to witness,” she said. She added that, during his hospital stay, he told anyone who would listen about his dog.
He has since returned to his trailer in Torrance, which he moved into only with the assurance that Topaz could live there, too. Michael, who acknowledges he has some mental problems, had been looking for work, but without success.
Because it’s not known how much longer Michael will be able to live on his own, Hurel-Diourbel is trying to line up a new home for Topaz, who is 6-years old.
As an outsider, here’s my hope, based on our short visit, and the connection I saw between man and dog: That whoever adopts Topaz — if that occurs before his death — might be willing to let Michael share time, lots of time, with her during his final days.
To learn how to contribute to Topaz’s surgery, visit the ChipIn page that Hurel-Diourbel established.
(You can find a subsequent update on Michael and Topaz here.)
(Photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, bond, cancer, cirrhosis, dogs, health, hepatitis c, homeless, homelessness, ill, ingrid hurl diourbel, liver, los angeles, michael reed, pets, pit bull, police, rescue, shelter, shooting, sick, streetsmarts rescue, surgery, three legs, three-legged, topaz, tumor
Word came this week that Batman, the dog whose brain tumor was being successfully treated with an experimental gene therapy at the University of Minnesota, has died of pneumonia.
“I wanted to let you know that sadly we lost Batman a few weeks ago,” his owner, Anna Brailovsky, wrote ohmidog! in an email. “The very good news is that it was not to brain cancer, so we can still consider him to be a great success story.”
Brailovsky and her husband Eric Baker found Batman him on the streets of Berlin as graduate students in 1999. He returned with the couple to the United States in 2001, and was happy and healthy until he had a series of seizures in 2008.
A tumor was diagnosed and Batman ended up at the University of Minnesota, where Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar, a veterinary surgery professor, and John Ohlfest, a pediatrics professor, had been considering an experimental brain tumor treatment for about three years.
Batman underwent the procedure — which, though it had been tried on mice, had never used on a dog before. Surgeons removed most of Batman’s tumor, much of which was then used to make a vaccine for the dog. A year later the tumor was gone.
The experimental treatment could someday help people with the same disease.
“The study now has many more dogs in various stages of treatment and recovery, and they are steadily moving toward developing the protocol for human trials,” Brailovsky said.
To keep Batman’s memory, she and her family created a website that tells his story and features a university-made video on his treatment:
“Every dog is special to his family, but we were extremely fortunate that Batman’s life also had an impact on the lives of many others,” the website says.
“In the 18 months following the surgery and vaccine protocol, Batman was almost entirely back to his normal, self, and we cherished every extra trip to the park and every extra cuddle on the couch that the experimental treatment had granted us. It was a miraculous gift.
“Unfortunately, curing the brain tumor did not get rid of the seizures originally caused by the tumor growth. With his indefatiguable spirit, Batman repeatedly recovered from the aftermath of a half-dozen serious grand mal episodes that left him temporarily blind and weakened for hours, sometimes days, at a time. He always bounced back as strong and healthy as ever, and we are deeply saddened that our miraculous survivor has finally ran out of second chances.
“On Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Batman suffered a prolonged series of seizures (and likely a stroke) that left him with severe muscle damage and immobolized him for several days. A fighter to the last, he was beginning to regain his strength and appetite when he was suddenly overcome by rapidly progressing pneumonia on the morning of January 18…
“It was a heartbreaking decision, but we had to let him go. He died in his favorite place on the couch.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, anna brailovsky, batman, cancer, cures, death, dies, dog, elizabeth pluhar, experimental, experimental brain tumor treatment, gene therapy, john ohlfest, legacy, medical, medicine, news, pediatrics, pets, pneumonia, research, science, seizures, surgery, tumor, university of minnesota, vaccine, veterinary
A Pennsylvania community is mourning the loss of Ricky, an 11-year-old German shepherd with an outstanding temperament and an even more impressive resume.
Among his accomplishments, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:
Helping protect two presidents; assisting at ground zero after 9/11; apprehending numerous criminals; checking hundreds of potential bomb sites, four of which contained live material; locating two missing children, one of whom was autistic; and interacting with thousands of elementary-school students.
Ricky, who belonged to West Caln Township Police Chief Curt A. Martinez , began his career when he was less than a year old at the Coatesville Area School District, where Martinez worked at the time as a school district security officer.
In May 2002, a budget crisis led the district to put Ricky on the auction block, a decision that provoked public outrage and led to Ricky’s appearance in People magazine. The ensuing publicity helped raise the $4,000 needed for Martinez to buy Ricky.
When Martinez went to work in the West Caln police deparment in Chester County, he took Ricky went with him. Martinez has led the West Caln force for three years.
Martinez said Ricky began barking incessantly last week. After visits to the veterinarian and the animal hospital, Martinez learned the dog had a softball-size tumor in his spleen.
“He was clearly in pain,” Martinez said today. “We had to put him down.
“Everyone in the township is taking it pretty hard,” Martinez added. “It’s a loss to the community, too; he was a great police dog.”
A memorial service will be planned, but Martinez has not worked out the details.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chester county, coatesville, curt a. martinez, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, german shepherd, K-9, k9, pennsylvania, pets, police, police dog, put down, ricky, school district, security, spleen, tumor, west caln township
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted Merial Limited full licensure for a therapeutic DNA vaccine designed to aid in extending survival of dogs with oral melanoma, the company reports in a press release.
Merial, a licensee of Vical Incorporated, plans to launch the product, called Oncept, at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando Jan. 16 – 20.
Melanoma is a common type of cancer in dogs and is the most common malignant tumor of the dog’s mouth. It can also occur in the nail and footpad.
The vaccine contains a gene encoding human tyrosinase, an enzyme associated with skin pigmentation. The tyrosinase produced from the human DNA is similar to canine tyrosinase and has been shown to stimulate an immune response against canine melanoma cells producing tyrosinase. The use of DNA from a noncanine species causes production of tyrosinase that is considered foreign by the canine immune system, stimulating an immune response, acording to the vaccine’s makers. It is similar enough to canine tyrosinase that the dog’s immune response will target canine melanoma cells.
Normal treatment for canine oral melanoma includes surgery and radiation, but even after successful local treatment, the melanoma frequently spreads throughout the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, lungs and kidneys, and is often resistant to chemotherapy.
“The approval of Oncept is a milestone in the cancer vaccine field and a significant advancement for our DNA delivery technology platform,” said Vijay B. Samant, Vical’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agriculture, cancer, canine, department, dogs, footpad, medicine, melanoma, merial, mouth, nail, oncept, oral, radiation, spread, surgery, treatment, tumor, usda, veterinary, vical incorporated
A sweet stray beagle mix found wandering in Baltimore with a tumor the size of a baseball hanging from his neck is being taken in by a Pennsylvania rescue organization.
Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), which had been caring for the dog, sent out an email plea in hopes of finding a rescue organization to take custody of the dog, who will need surgery for the infected tumor.
All Things Pawssible in Lewiston, Pa. — living up to its name — offered to do so, and has a foster home already lined up.
They are accepting donations to help pay for the medical attention he will need.
The Petfinder website for the rescue organization is: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/PA484.html
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: all things pawssible, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, beagle, care, lewiston, maryland, medical, mix, pennsylvania, rescue, shelter, stray, tumor, veterinary
While a Delaware police department worried about the fate of one of its police dogs — shot in the line of duty last week — it suddenly lost another one.
Bandit, a 6-year-old German shepherd who had served four years in the K-9 unit of the New Castle County Police Department, was euthanized Monday after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, according to Delmarvanow.com.
The dog had worked Saturday, and became ill Sunday night. He was rushed to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital — the same hospital where another of the department’s dogs, Diablo, was being treated for two gunshot wounds sustained in the line of duty four days earlier.
Diablo was shot twice last Wednesday in Wilmington while chasing down a suspect who police said had threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend. Diablo, who developed pneumonia at the hospital, remains in stable condition.
Bandit was surrounded by his handler Cpl. Paul Chickadel, family and friends when he died, police officials said.
In 2008, Bandit sniffed out $32,445 in connection with drug investigations, responding to 389 canine calls and assisting in four arrests. In June, the team was certified in narcotics detection, tracking and patrol work by the National Police Canine Association.
The department said arrangements have not been finalized for a memorial service.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bandit, brain tumor, dead, death, delaware, diablo, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, german shepherd, hospital, K-9, k9, new castle county, pollice, shooting, shot, tumor, university of pennsylvania, veterinary, wilmington