ROCKINGHAM, NC......We were contacted by the Humane Society of Richmond County about a beautiful Staffordshire Terrier that was in desperate need of help. He had a horrible mass on his penis, was heartworm positive and bleeding from the growth. I went into great detail explaining what we do and how full we are with major medical abuse cases, and I could not responsibly take on any new animals at this time. I went round and round with the Adoption Coordinator doing my best to come up with a plan to help this sweet dog. His Owners had allowed Levi (as they were calling him) to go without medical care and they now wanted to hand him over to Animal Control. Levi is eight years old and is the sweetest dog. He is nothing but pure LOVE. No one stepped up, and I could not allow him to be Put to Sleep when I knew I could help him. I had him taken to Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Matthews, NC.
Levi's case is beyond complicated. He is very anemic, and his tumor has burst and bleeds constantly. He has been in critical care since we got him over a week ago with a raging infection from the mass. A small biopsy was sent off but came back inconclusive. We have to know what the mass is before we can do any surgery. If the mass is benign, we could remove it and repair the penis. Unfortunately, the new biopsy came back cancer. Levi has Dermal Hemangiosarcomas which is cancer you can get from the sun.
The only chance Levi has is Surgical Amputation of the penis with excision of all preputial tissue (mass). Since this will have to be done, Levi will require a Scrotal Ablation castration with Scrotal Urethrostomy to give him a new location to urinate. Once the testicles are removed and the penile tissue amputated, the urethral in the scrotal region will be isolated and incised to create a linear opening that will be sutured to the skin. This will be his new urethral opening to urinate through. We did scans of his abdomen and lungs to make sure cancer had not spread. The best news we had is that cancer had not spread. We also had a full Cardiology workup with his Cardiologist since Levi is Heartworm positive. His heart and lungs are healthy enough for him to have the procedure.
All the Specialists and Oncologists got together and decided Levi was a good candidate for this complicated procedure, and Dr. Michelle Nanfelt was the best person to do the Surgery. Levi had over four hours of reconstructive surgery. He is now in ICU recovering. For the next month, his body will be healing and scarring over to create a new opening where he can urinate. Blood in his urine is expected during this time. His incision site has to remain clean during this healing process which is why he will remain in ICU.
Noah's Arks Rescue has done three of this procedure before with great results. Two from cancer and one from a dog mauling. It is not an easy surgical procedure but is the only hope for animals with preputial or penis cancer. We now just have to wait and see how well he recovers from this.
This is starting off as a terrible week for a lot of the abuse cases we have saved. Several of our dogs are in ICU because of complications. We will be posting updates all week long to keep everyone in the loop. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE....Donate when you get these posts. I stayed up until 4:00 AM talking to ER Specialists to get these pups the Emergency Care they needed so they could have surgery today. I am exhausted but have to keep going so we can get the funds they each need to get their procedures done. Whatever you can Donate when the e-mails come around is appreciated more than you realize.
We are it for the dogs we take in. If Surgery or an ER visit is going to give the animal a better Quality of Life, then I am going to do it and dread the day that I can't. Please, Do Not let that be this week.