Scrappy is a 3 year old double registered Scottish Terrier. Scrappy came me to several months ago. Over the last year & a half Scrappy's human mom Lynn has been very sick, spending a great deal of time in the hospital. Lynnette has been diagnosed with Leukemia and only has a few months remaining. During this last year or so Lynnette has been to sick & weak to walk her dogs. So neighbor children would come over to take the dogs out for exercise. Scrappy just loves to go on long strolls around the neighborhood! The children would strap on their roller skates and let Scrappy pull them down the sidewalks. Scrappy is a very strong boy. During one of these outings the snap broke on Scrappy's leash. The worst happened when sweet Scrappy ran out into the street and was run over by a car. Lynnette had Scrappy rushed to emergency vet clinic where they found his upper jaw bone had been snapped in 2 just above the end of his nose. Surgery was performed and 2 stainless wire bands were put in to try to re attach the broken jaw bone.
Scrappy was sent home to heal.
Healing properly did not happen...
Lynnette strapped with great medical expenses of her own with the cancer spreading, spending most of her time in the hospital no longer was able to properly care for her dogs. After spending 21 days in the hospital with friends & neighbors stopping in to feed & water the dogs. No one noticed that Scrappy was in trouble. His jaw had not mended properly, the teeth were rotting, the flesh in his mouth was rotting, sinus infection, ear infection, a very high fever & his coat was dirty & matted, & 2 holes through his palette going straight into his sinus cavity.
Bless this little Scottie boy because
he never let on that he needed help
of his own. He just wanted to please
his master in any way he could.
Chasing after his favorite soccer
ball making his mom smile was pure
joy to this little man Scrappy!
Lynnette realized then, she owed it to her loving Scottie that she needed to place Scrappy where he could be medically attended to and loved. She wanted the very best for Scrappy but was unable to give it to him herself. So Lynnette made a choice and called Jeannine to take her little man. I agreed to take in Scrappy and do what ever it takes to enable this dog to live a happy healthy life.
All of Scrappy's hair had been chopped off with scissors when I met up with Lynn's mom in Moses Lake to pick up Scrappy. He looked terrible & smelled even worse. I didn't even bring him home for a bath because the rotting flesh smell was so bad I took him straight to my Veterinarian. I had to drive with the windows down because of the stench coming from this guys mouth was about to make me sick.
Scrappy was examined and found to have a severe infection, 2 holes in the palette of his mouth leading straight into his sinus cavity, high fever, about 5 pounds under weight, & an ear infection. My vet gave Scrappy an antibiotic injection & sent us home with antibiotic pills for the next 10 days. Nothing further could be done until the infection was cleared up first.
10 days later we returned to the vets office to see what needed to be done to close the holes in the palette and closer examination of the broken jaw while under anaesthetic. The surgery was preformed. While under the vet found that the stainless bands placed in Scrappy's jaw earlier had broken at some point in time. The wire bands were protruding into the sinus. The wires were removed, dead flesh was removed & the 2 holes were sutured closed. Scrappy made it through surgery in fine shape, other than the broken jaw bone had not healed originally and would need further attention. But not by my doctor. I took Scrappy home with yet another round of antibiotics and was told only blended watered down canned dog food. No toys, bones or anything hard to chew. Scrappy tolerated everything really well, showing no real discomfort from the surgery. We waited for time to heal the 2 holes sewn shut in his mouth.
Day 4 after his surgery we woke up to find Scrappy holding his head down low to the floor and sneezing uncontrollably. He could not stop. I called the vets office right away. Something was wrong! We ran into the city right away for another check up. The doctor found that the sutures of one of the holes had tore though the tissue and was tickling his sinus causing the sneezing. The loose sutures were removed which also opened the holes back up again. I asked the doctor did he want to try the surgery again to close the holes. The mouth does heal really quickly. If they would only hold long enough to close the wounds would be a blessing. The doctor thought about this for a few moments then said no, he did not want to try it again. The holes were to large and the tissue to weak to hold the stitches in place long enough for healing. Stitches in the mouth are irritating and Scrappy was running his tongue over them further tugging on the stitches causing the ripping through the soft gum tissue. I was told the holes being large enough to put the end of my little finger into was a good thing. Any food going into the sinus could also be dispelled back out through the large holes. But we still needed to address the broken jaw bone. I was again sent home to continue antibiotics.
Day 6 My vet calls after talking to a specialist in Spokane about Scrappy's case. An appointment was set up for us to go with this special needs case for a consult. Off we to Spokane to see what needed to be done next. After our examination it was explained to us that it would depend on what was found during surgery. I was to leave Scrappy behind for the surgery to be done right away. There were 3 options depending on what they came across. Fingers were crossed and prayers were said through my 2 hour drive home alone. By the time I got home and back into cell signal there was already a message on my cell phone. Scrappy had made it through surgery again. Unfortunately it was a big ordeal, the worst of the 3 options. The broken jaw bone was dead & rotting, had to be removed. All the upper front teeth between the K-9's were also dead with out blood flow had to be removed. The holes were again stitched closed along with the 3 inch incision to remove the broken jaw bone. All went very well considering. Scrappy would be physically watched through the night & heavily medicated for pain. The next day I again drove 2 hours to Spokane to pick up this brave little boy. He was still very groggy from the pain med's but very happy to see me. Even attempting to give me a kiss with his poor little mushy mouth. Back home we headed only making it about 10 miles before all traffic came to a stop on the freeway. There had been an accident ahead of us and no telling how long it was going to be to get it cleared up. Scrappy was uncomfortable and I wanted to get his home as soon as possible. I managed to get into the slow lane and inched up to the next exit ramp. Taking the surface streets through town until I could find the next on ramp beyond the accident on the freeway. It took 10 minutes or so but we were again rolling. Half way home Scrappy was getting agitated, uncomfortable and in pain. I checked my watch and it was close enough to 4 hours since his last pain pill that I was able to give him another tramidol. He had a little bit of water with the pill and tossed and turned in the seat trying to get comfy. The pill was finally taking effect and he lied down for a nap, whimpering in his sleep. I stroked his velvety soft back as I drove home to help comfort this brave boy. Scrappy slept almost all the way home. When he woke up he was sick from the med's. Vomiting all over the seat. Good thing there was no food in his tummy so it was really easy to throw another baby blanket down to cover it up. I could see the look in Scrappy's eyes that he was terribly sorry he got sick. I told him he was a good boy and I fixed it so it was going to be ok. No worries Scrapper Dapper ;-)
Home at last, Scrappy greeted all the other Scotties like he hadn't seen them in a month. He was so happy to be home! He took care of his business then we went to the kitchen to get nestled in. My kitchen is baby gated off on both ends so Scrappy will have lots of room to roam around without being bothered by the others. I have to medicate him every 4 hours for pain. Only to find that the pain pills were not lasting him 4 hours at a time. As the day turned into evening it got worse. Scrappy was screaming in pain & discomfort. I held him in my arms on the kitchen floor through the night like a little baby trying everything I could think of to comfort him between his medication times. This was all we could do the doctor did not want him to have any extra pills other than what was prescribed. Tramadol is a pretty stout drug for a little dog.
The next morning Scrappy & I were both exhausted. Scrappy was finally sleeping peacefully so I tried to sneak off to go lay down in my bed for a bit. I had not been there but a moment when Scrappy noticed I was gone and the crying started again. I gathered Scrappy up and took him to bed with me. He nestled right down at my side for about 10 minutes then woke me up because he wanted back down. He was to hot in my waterbed. I was hurting so bad from sitting on the floor all night. So we went to the living room and tried the sofa. He liked that but again to hot. I snapped on a leash and let him lye on the floor beside me on the sofa. This was ok for him. He could get up and snuggle with me when he wanted and get down on the cooler floor when he needed to. We both took a much needed nap for a couple of hours until his pain pill wore off again. Once I gave him his pill it would take about 20 to 45 minutes for it to kick into effect. So we talked, snuggled, walked around the house trying to keep his mind occupied until the pill would give him the relief he needed. 3 days of this around the clock.
Day 4 after his surgery it was all over. Just like someone turned off the pain switch. He was happy and felt good! Wanting to go out side to adventure in our big back yard.
I let Scrappy out and let my oldest gentle man Wee Doo Skeeter out with him. Skeeter took Scrappy under his wing on day one. They have been buddies at first sight. Every where Skeeter went, Scrappy went. He was so happy to go outside off his leash and look around. No more crying in pain, tail & ears held high. Like a Scottie dog should!
Scrappy looks really good considering there is only the back half of the upper jaw bone remaining. I feared that the face would be all curled in without any bone to support his long nose. But not the case as you can see on the left.
He is so pretty!
I monitored Scrappy's outdoor play time closely. The rest of the time was spent in the kitchen away from the others. They could smell something was different about Scrappy's mouth and wanted to be right in his face to check things out. I didn't want them to bump Scrappy's tender face on accident, so kept every one away until Scrappy heals. We again had to take antibiotics 2 times a day for another 7 days. And only puree canned food for the next 8 weeks. At 8 weeks we could go back for a follow up examination in Spokane with the specialist Dr. Harari.
We only made it 5 days when Scrappy woke up that morning sneezing his head off again & a runny nose. Straight back to Spokane we went. The exam found that the stitches closing the 2 original holes in the palette had again tore through the soft tissue. Dr. Harari & his associate could not believe that even after removing the jaw bone that there was that much tension on the sutures. The thought was with the bone removed there would be more flexibility, less tension for the stitches to hold long enough for the wounds to heal closed. But not the case. The palette cartilage that continues to hold Scrappy's nose in normal shape even without the bone is very strong. Much stronger than anyone anticipated. There is not a lot of options left to repair and close these holes. I was told that doing a skin grafts over the hole rarely works, so that option is out.
Dr. Harari has given me one more option for Scrappy's mouth. This option includes several surgery procedures, slicing through the upper palette to let it drift forward. In hopes of giving the surgon more tissue to work with to close the holes up. After several days of consideration I have decided that this is to much pain to put this kind soul through. The chances of it working is very slim to nill. I just can't do it....
I shower Scrappy with lots of love and attention daily! Each day this happy boy shows me just how much he loves his new home with me and my other Scotties. He has turned into such a momma's boy. Learning my daily routeen when I go outside to do chores. We head out the door together and he races as fast as he can to the center of the yard.. Little speed racer jumps up onto his big rock and waits for me to catch up. A pat on the head and a few kind words then we are off side by side to tend to all of the other animals together. Such a great little helper Mr. Smiley is! Full of life, love and antics, a really great natured boy who has to know where I am at all times.
It is with great sadness & heartbreak that I must say goodbye to Mr. Scrappy. He has gone through so much in his short 3 years of life. I gave him everything I could possibly give to this little sweet guy. Unfortunatly the roof of his mouth is further deteriorating from eating and the normal movement of his tounge. He has shown me and the doctors so much courage, patience & love. I hate to put him down, but I have to do it for his sake. I can't let him suffer and this is looking really bad now. Bless his big bold heart he has not shown me that he is in any discomfort. He hides the pain really well. But having Scotties most of my life, I know they all mask their pain & never complain about anything that might be bothering them. Scotties are so very tough & brave. I have grown so close to this boy making every day of his life with me count. Trying to make up for the rough life he had before he came to me. So it is extra hard for me to help him over the rainbow bridge. But it must be done.
Some day I will see you again my angle, you have earned your wings the hard way.
Everyday I am reminded of you as I look across the yard at your favorite boulder. This is where I laid him to rest. I am also reminded of him with an offspring I have of his. Prudence my rude little dog! She looks just like Scrappy, grunts like him when you rub her sides and that same funny half smile / grin. Some time down the road I will find a suitable mate for Prudence and we will continue Scrappy's beautiful bloodline. I love you Scrapper Dapper!