Pet of the Month: September 2010 #2

petofthemonth_0910_2“Zeke” Triplett – Bull Mastiff

It is memorable for a specialty veterinarian to meet a remarkable pet. Zeke was introduced to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology suffering from a left thoracic-limb lameness where diagnosis had remained elusive. Despite experiencing pain in the left front leg, Zeke always greeted everyone with a wagging tail, a smile, and a head butt for affection.

Zeke presented to Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology in December of 2009. Zeke was assessed on multiple occasions, undergoing 2 magnetic resonance imaging studies to further define his problem. On the second imaging study, a soft-tissue enlargement was identified on the underside of the left shoulder joint. Surgical exploration of the mass lesion revealed an infected joint capsule tumor, a synovial cell sarcoma.

Despite the pain and treatment, Zeke continued to provoke affection and provide everyone with a happy, outgoing nature. Zeke would carry his animal toy within his mouth at all times, challenging anyone to take it from him, all the while wagging his tail. Despite all efforts to show he was doing well, Zeke continued to decline. Zeke’s left leg was amputated, and the tumor removed. Zeke temporarily rallied with improved function and quality of life giving the feeling of success for the valiant soldier. This was short lived, when a persistent cough and reduced appetite concerned his owners. Repeat assessment and evidence of metastases of the cancer to his lungs was identified.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Zeke’s parents, Andy and Dhiannon, remained positive, returning Zeke’s love to the degree that no others could have. They were at the forefront of Zeke’s care with attendant calls for help and further therapy. All was attempted to cure Zeke and provide a quality of life. Faced with making the ultimate decision for a valued part of their family, both Andy and Dhiannon asked Dr. Lane for his advice. The answer was easy, “It is time. You must now say goodbye to a valued family member.” Zeke was let go while at home with his loving family.

In my specialty career, I have met and helped the most amazing pet owners and animals. Each is different, special, and unforgettable. Zeke always demonstrated a positive, powerful, and persuasive personality (The 3 “P’s”) and outlook on life. We now know Zeke is in a better place and pain free. What an amazing life offered by this gentle giant. Our thoughts go with you Andy and Dhiannon. Zeke and the both of you will not soon be forgotten. Zeke will be missed by many.

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