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Dawn IMOM

Stewart Whitaker - Rhodesian Ridgeback with Osteosarcoma

16 posts in this topic

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Stewart Whitaker is a 20 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback diagnosed with osteosarcoma of his right scapula. Stewart is his mom’s service dog and is invaluable to her.

Thanks to all who contribute to the General Fund, IMOM was able to pledge $296 today to get Stewart the surgery he needs.

This is what Stewart's mom has to say about him:

“Stewart, my service/companion dog, brings me his leash, collar and my outdoor shoes when he wants to go outdoors. When we come back indoors, he brings me my slippers. If I drop anything whether a recipe or a washcloth, he retrieves them for me. He has learned how to go for help should my daughter or son in law be at my home. I fall down sometimes, as I am 100% disabled from a spinal cord injury. Stewart gets me back up. Stewart knows when I don't feel well and stays by me. He is my life. I am not ready to give him up, or allow him to die.....I was expecting to have him around for a while.”

Stewart’s mom has also posted about him in the introduction forum here http://www.imom.org/...183#entry135781

We are so thankful to the Angels who contribute to the General Fund. Because of you, we are able to say we will not give up on Stewart either.

To make a donation to IMOM's general fund to help the next pet in need who comes to us when there is no time to fundraise, please click here.

Edited by Dawn IMOM

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Thanks to everyone who contributed to the General Fund so my Stewart can get the surgery he so desperately needs. It is scheduled for this Tuesday, Jan 8.

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Good news! All of the funds that was needed for Stewart's surgery have been met.

A BIG thank you to everyone who helped with this need.

Will let you know tomorrow after Stewart gets home, what the results were of the surgery.

Stewart is on antioxidant supplements for the past 5 days. His energy level have improved as has his appetite. Because of his young age, the vet is telking me his prognosis is good for a better quality of life that what he has had since he got sick back in November.

Thank you again,

Mary Anne and Stewart

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Good news! All of the funds that were needed for Stewart's surgery have been met.

A BIG thank you to everyone who helped with this need.

Will let you know tomorrow after Stewart gets home, what the results were of the surgery.

Stewart is on antioxidant supplements for the past 5 days. His energy level have improved as has his appetite. Because of his young age, the vet is telling me his prognosis is good for a better quality of life that what he has had since he got sick back in November.

Thank you again,

Mary Anne and Stewart

Edited by Mwhitaker

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Sending positive thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery for Stewart tomorrow. My small dog (schipperke) has been running around on 3 legs for almost 12 years now (non-cancer related), and I am sure Stewart will adjust just fine, and be around for you for many years to come. I'll look forward to a great update after surgery.

Take care.

Judy G.

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Good luck to Stewart today for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery! We are keeping paws crossed that he will be able to be your service companion for many years to come! Please let us know how he's doing as soon as you can.

Sheila :catonchair

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Dear Angels,

Stewart's surgery went off yesterday without a hitch. This would not have been possible without the funds from IMOM.

Last night, I made a pallet by his dog bed, and slept by him all night. Every two hours he would wake up, whining, but with a reassuring touch from my hand, and he would go right back to sleep.

When my son in law brought him home from the vet last night, Stewart was so drugged, that he could not walk or move.

I coached him all night with drops of chicken broth on my fingertips, to encourage him to drink something. This morning, around 3am he started drinking the broth and later water.

By 6am, he was also hungry, so had a breakfast of seared salmon, grated carrots, and fish oil, mixed in with his healthy holistic dog food. He ate all of his meal.

He is resting comfortably at my feet as he does every day. The sun comes in the patio door at my house. He is on antibiotics, pain meds, nerve pain meds, anti-inflammatory meds, and antioxidants. He has not experienced any nausea or vomiting, so thankful for that.

Earlier when he went outdoors to go to the bathroom, coming back up the stairs presented a problem that Stewart was able to resolve on his own. He laid his head down on the next step up, and then was able to lift his one front leg to get up the steps.

Thank you again to everyone who made the surgery possible. Thank you too, for all the well wishes you sent our way.....They are greatly appreciated.

MaryAnne and Stewart

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I am so glad to hear that Stewart's surgery went well and he is home. I guess I know why he is smart enough to be a service dog if he is smart enough to figure out how to climb the stairs! Steps are the only thing my tripod ever had any trouble with, and since we rarely encounter steps it's not an issue here.

Thank you for the wonderful update and here's hoping the rest of the recovery goes as smoothly. :)

Judy G.

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It has been a week since Stewart's surgery to amputate his right front leg revaged by a huge cancerous tumor. He is resting comfortably but also getting ansy wanting to go out and play.

Some thoughts to share with others who are also facing surgery on their pets.

I had no idea what to expect once Stewart came home after his surgery. I thought the best thing to do was to go online and see what others had to say on this delicate subject.

Of all of the sites that offered words, none contained words of encouragement. Decided after reading the "night of hell" comments after one pet owner's pet came home after leg amputation surgery, I decided to strike out on my own and see if I couldn't come up with a better way to contend and cope with those first few hours, then days.

When my children were much younger, and were ill, I would make them a pallet in my bedroom, so I could watch, listen and see them throughout the night as they lay sick near my bed. Sometimes, I was on the pallet with them......

Our pets are no different from our children......they too are confused when they are sick, or recovering from major surgery. They too, sometimes just want a touch, from their owner so they know someone is in control of the chaos that is surrounding them.

When Stewart first came home, he was so drugged, he could barely blink his eyes....He could neither stand, nor roll over. My son in law brought him indoors to me, and his kennel that has his pet bed. We left the door open so anyone could sit beside him while he woke up, slowly.....

It was a very scary time.....both for Stewart and I, his owner. It was also a very stressed time.....I tried to keep my voice calm, not only to keep Stewart calm, but to keep me calm too.

That first night, I made a pallet on the floor and spent the first night laying beside my trusted companion/service dog/friend on his dog bed and out of his kennel. We both slept well through the night. Stewart would wake up about every 2 hours and whine.....I suppose he was scared, not being able to move around and just needed comforting. So, without having to get up out of bed, I reached over and laid my hand on his shoulder until he went back to sleep.....

A night of hell never happened much to my surprise and relief. A night of bonding with my friend, Stewart, yes......He trusts me. He loves me. He somehow knew that I knew that everything would be okay, and work itself out.

I also spent the next night on the floor next to my friend. Until I was sure he would be okay through the night hours, I stayed with him during the day as well. Whatever I was doing, I could do in my lap.....By the third night, Stewart was able to sleep by himself in the living room of my house, on his pet bed.....

I knew from taking care of the elderly many years ago, that once Stewart came home from the hospital and was in recovery time, that until he was awake and had his swallowing reflexes back, only then could he have pain meds.

For the first few hours after he returned home, I would dip my fingers in lukewarm chicken broth, and wet Stewart's lips with the broth. It took quite a few tries, and several hours before he would lick the broth off my fingers....Later we did the water.....by 3am, Stewart was drinking water from a bowl that I had tipped near his pet bed yet under him. It had been at least 12 hours since his surgery. I just listened to him, and watched him to see when he would need pain meds....

At one point right after he came home though, he started whining something awful...I cried as I thought he was surely in a great deal of pain. I called the emergency number my vet supplied to me for overnight help should I need it.

Stewart is housebroken, as I am sure a lot of other pets are as well. Stewart needed to pee....and ended up peeing all over his hind quarters onto his bed. I had to reassure him that this time it was okay......and of course, get him cleaned up, and a towel under him for any future need to pee. Once he was able to pee, he quieted down and went back to sleep.....

I have stuck to the doctors orders for Stewart. He wants to do so much more, but can not because his stitches are still healing. He wanted to go out side today and run around the yard....it was hard to make him stay on the porch and not chase the squirrels in the back yard. As any good service dog, he listened and didn't leave the porch.

Stewart's appetite has increased greatly. Now, he is healthy once again, with a spark in his eyes, and a pep to his step..I look forward to walks around our neighborhood once the vet gives us the okay.

The surgery on a pet does not eradicate the cancer. It is still in Stewart's body. I have drastically changed his diet. His dog food is natural holistic grain free dog food, with lots of other good foods like fresh vegetables and fruits included. He gets fresh wild caught salmon at every meal. Stewart is on antioxidants to boost his immune system.....

Nu-Pet and Nu-Vet Plus both have supplements that have been tested in a human laboratory and are shown to improve a pets health not only after a cancer diagnosis, but other health issues that affect our pets. There is cancer support supplements too.....Just go to the web sites of each product. Read the reviews from other pet owners and decide for yourself.

I don't know yet if they are working, as it has only been a week since Stewart's surgery. But, I want to think so. Stewart is happy and healthy once again. I look forward to many more years with my friend, companion and service dog.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible......

Stewart and MaryAnne

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It sounds like you are doing a great job with Stewart. It's good that you are being proactive about the food and supplements. The Magic Bullet Fund (link on this site) is for dogs with cancer, and Laurie Kaplan, the founder, consults with the dogs in the fund about supplements and the proper diet, and has written a book, I believe (no financial interest here!).

It's great to hear that Stewart is doing so well, and looking forward to his walks. I am sure your sleeping next to him did as much, if not more, for his comfort than any pain medication could have. It works for people, and I have no doubt it works for dogs, too. He is lucky to have you.

Sorry the sites you checked were so negative about amputation/surgery. My dog was younger, not quite a year, when he lost his leg, but he had no problems (except stairs) and was running around within a day or two of surgery.

Thank you for the great update.

Judy G.

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I am sorry to have to share the following email we received from Stewart’s mom today. RIP Stewart – you are loved. :animcndc_sm:

“It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that Stewart passed away earlier this morning. He had his head in my lap which was his most favorite place to be.....

The tumor had grown in the past several days to the size of a grapefruit and it had actually broken the skin and was bleeding by noon yesterday.....There was nothing more the vet could do, so I decided I didn't want him to suffer any longer. His activity level had decreased a lot, since day before yesterday. He didn't have the energy to go out and play in the back yard, something he loved to do, nor did he have the energy to go for a walk, something he and I did a lot.....

Stewart cried last night every time he would move on his dog bed.....I spent a lot of time with him yesterday, took lots of pictures as I knew the end was near.

He will be cremated and I will get his ashes back next week, and keep him with me for a while...Burying him up at my daughter's place in the mountains wouldn't have been a good idea. Bears, coyotes and foxes would surely have dug his body up.....

The vets agreed that it was time to let him go, and everyone in the clinic was crying.....My one big fear was that he would die alone in the middle of the night and I surely didn't want that either.....

He was in so much pain before the amputation, that at least with that, it bought Stewart another month of pain free living, and enjoyment of life.....

I have many fond memories of my time with Stewart.....He is happy for sure now, and not hurting any longer.....

Thank you to everyone for everything.

MaryAnne”

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Run free and whole to the Bridge Stewart! You are very loved and will never be forgotten by those whose lives you touched! You were very brave and an inspiration!

Sheila :catonchair

Edited by Sheila IMOM

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maryanne, i am so sorry. such a good and loyal friend you were to each other. sometimes lots of lovin' just has to be packed into a little bit of time.

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I was so very sorry to hear this about Stewart. You are such a good mom,and you must miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Judy G.

There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.

-Gandhi

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My beautiful St Wiler Attila was just diagnosed with bone cancer yesterday and he hasn't much longer. I pray I can be strong for him and be by his side to the end.

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