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Date:   30 May, 2013  
 
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles & rabbits
A well loved dog passed away
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
Date:   30 May, 2013  
toapayohvets.com 
Be Kind To Pets
Veterinary Education
Project 2010-0129

1438. A well loved dog passed away

Lhasa Apso 9 years, 2 very small breast tumours. Toa Payoh VetsI received an email dated May 27, 2013 from a lady who loves her dog very much. I always feel the loss of my client's older dog from illness or cancer at nearly 14 years of age. The dog was said to have suffered from lymphoma. At 9 years of age, I spayed her as she was suffering from open pyometra and being old, some vets would not operate on her.  She survived the anaesthesia and the surgery in 2008. She thrived due to the high quality of care from the couple.   

 
May 27, 2013

Dear Dr. Sing,

It has been a long time since we last communicated.  I hope you have been well.  I see you have been busy traveling now that you have more or less retired from running your clinic full time. I do see from your website that you still work at Toa Payoh Vets part-time.

CC passed away last month on 22 April 2013, just a week short of her 14th birthday.  She had been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure for a couple of years and in May 2012 she collapsed and was very lethargic.  She spent 4 nights at the vet on IV drip and that hospital stay restarted her kidneys. Since she came home on 17 May 2012 to the last day of her life, I had been giving her daily subcutaneous fluid injections at home.  As you know, this was only to maintain her quality of life, and not a form of treatment.

CC had always been patient and brave with the daily jabs.  In the end it was not the kidney failure that took away her life, but an undiagnosed gastro-intestinal tumor that grew so aggressively.  In the last one week of her life, she was in and out of hospital 3 times, staying around 2 nights each time.  On her last night at home, she pooed blood, had 4 seizures and was just so weak.  She passed away on Monday morning 22 April at the vet clinic on the operating table after the vet Dr. XXX opened her up and found the cancer was too big and deep.

I thought I should write to let you know.  As you know, CC has always been very precious to R and me.  I tried my best as long as I could and poor CC hung on to stay with me too, but it was just too tough for her physically.  I always remember you as her first vet and look upon you with utmost respect because you were the one who operated on her when she was 9 years old when no other vet in Singapore would.  It was after that surgery you performed when I nursed her back to health that our bond deepened.  I still keep digital and printed records of that spay surgery as well as the dental scaling you performed for her.

Thank you very much for your kindness to my beloved CC.

Best regards,
L
 
EMAIL REPLY FROM DR SING dated May 28, 2013

Thank you for updating me about CC and please accept my condolences.

Do let me know if I can be of any help or to talk to. She lived to a ripe old age of 14 years and I am most happy that she has been well cared for, judging from the images I see from your blog which I visited now and then.

Prettied the Lhasa Apso for the vet? Toa Payoh VetsP.S. I phoned the owner as emails are very impersonal and it would be too much grief for her to phone me.

Old dogs are a high risk anaesthetic case and it is not surprising that the other vet did not want to do it as death on the operating table ruins the vet's reputation since some owners will post on internet forums, Facebook and blogs publicising his name, practice and the dog's death for the whole world to know.

No explanation is acceptable when a beloved dog dies on the operating table. I could consider myself lucky in this case. The case study of this Lhasa Apso at:
http://www.bekindtopets.com/dogs/20080912Complications
_bleeding_pyometra_ToaPayohVets.htm
 
Updates will be on this webpage:
http://www.sinpets.com/F6/20130530pyometra_old_dog
_toapayohvets.htm
 

More info at: Dogs or Cats
To make an appointment:
e-mail judy@toapayohvets.com
tel: +65 9668-6469, 6254-3326

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