“It’s hard. But the decision you make is the one you think is right for the dog, not for you”

Age: Two years old

Breed: Mastiff

Her Family: Steve waited his whole life to have a dog; him and the family love Maya a great deal. The family love her gentle nature and she is a wonderful companion for their young seven-year-old daughter Ellie.

Her Story: The family noticed one day that Maya had started limping, and when they investigated they found a lump on her leg. They took Maya to the vets the next day, who almost immediately referred the family to Fitzpatrick Referrals.

The Problem: Maya had a potentially devastating bone tumour – the family were shocked to discover the terrible news but wanted to explore what options were available for their young dog, and hoped Noel might be able to offer them a solution.

Treatment: Noel explained that the CT scans currently showed no spread of the tumour, which was reassuring. Unfortunately, it’s likely that the tumour will spread at some point in the future and, therefore, treatment won’t ever cure Maya. Noel listed the options for the concerned family; they could provide Maya with palliative medical care, chemotherapy or total amputation of her right front leg. Noel also explained a fourth option, which would involve replacing the tumour with an endoprosthesis, a unique implant that Noel invented, where the affected bone is removed and replaced with a metal-work. This option has enabled some dogs to have upwards of an additional 11 months of pain-free, quality life on four legs.

Steve decided that he wanted to give Maya the chance to live as full a life as possible for however long she had left, and elected for the endoprosthesis.

Maya recovered well from the surgery and went home after some time at the clinic to recover. Maya suffered a minor setback at her 6 week check-up when Noel found that the flexor tendons in her affected paw were constricting and pulling her toes tight, causing her discomfort. Fortunately, it is a simple problem to correct and three days after Noel released the tendons Maya was able to go home with Steve and the family.

Outcome: Maya returned to Fitzpatrick’s over the next few weeks for a course of chemotherapy that would help keep the cancer at bay. At the moment, the team can see no sign of spread, which is great news for the family who are treasuring every day with her. The surgery has done what it was designed to do, provide a family with hope, more time, and a happy pain-free dog who loves and lives life to the fullest.