Giving your ailing pets a new leash on life
THIS Christmas would not be the same for Chris Kuhnemann without her dog Mishka.
Ms Kuhnemann's closest companion, the 16year-old Maltese dog, will be wagging his tail for another festive season after he had his leg amputated last month as the result of an aggressive cancer.
Living proof that age is no barrier, Palm Beach Veterinary Hospital vet Andrew Blum said removing Mishka's leg was the only option after an extensive tumour on his leg erupted like an abcess.
"Five or six months ago the dog presented with this and I analysed it and it was a softtissue cancer," Dr Blum said.
"Chris was initially worried about Mishka's age and did not want to put him under the stress of an operation.
"We put the dog on pain relief and care but the tumour erupted like an abcess?...?the real solution was to do an amputation, the poor little dog.
"But after he was operated on, he coped beautifully."
Ms Kuhnemann said she was pleased her dog had undertaken the operation and that he had a habit of jumping like a "little lamb".
"Only now he does it on three legs," she said.
Dr Blum said Mishka was not the first ani- mal to have an operation at an old age and power on.
"I had a cat that came in 11 years ago for bowel surgery and it was 16 at the time," he recalled.
"We tried to find a way of not doing it because we didn't think it would warrant that expense but the owner asked to do it and it lived for another 11 years.
"It died in the surgery at 27 years, of old age, this year.
"Age is no barrier for animals and these operations can be important for people."