[Gpdd] Rainbow Bridge: Reese

scalabro3 at cfl.rr.com scalabro3 at cfl.rr.com
Mon Jan 27 22:09:24 EST 2014

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Reese crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on January 23rd. Reese joined our family on December 18, 2010. My friend Jen had just rescued him from a local shelter where his time was up. She runs a second chance dog rescue. Two of my other pigs had come from her rescue. She knew that all of our pens were full, but she just fell in love with this little guy, and she said that she wanted him to go to the best home possible. I put off adopting him for several weeks because I thought that she would change her mind and decide to keep him for herself, but when she didn't, we took Reese home with us. He was such a beautiful little soul. He was so full of energy. He would jump on top of the pigloos, and he always had so much to tell us whenever we would pick him up. He was a non-stop little chatterbox, and he brought so much joy to our home.

His medical problems started a few months later in March 2011. He had trouble breathing, so I brought him to the vet, expecting that he had an URI and that he would be given Baytril and sent back home, but instead I found that his chest was full of fluid and that he needed surgery. The first procedure removed 20ccs of fluid from his chest. The next day, they removed 10 ccs of fluid and put him on Furosamide.  His prognosis was not very good at that time, but remarkably, he continued to improve and in a few months, we were able to discontinue the Furosimide.

He did very well for a while, and then in May 2012, a giant tumor grew seemingly overnight under his arm. We were so afraid that it was cancer, but it turned out to be a lipoma.

His first bladder stone surgery was in May 2013. Once again, I thought that I was dropping him off for something minor and that he'd be sent home with a bottle of sulfatrim. I was shocked that he had bladder stones. After Chakalaka's UTI problem, we had installed a reverse osmosis water filtration system, and none of the herd have had a high calcium diet, at least not when they lived with us.

The surgery didn't go well. He had a suture reaction and developed a giant granuloma in his bladder. He bled so much in the days after his surgery that I don't know how he survived.  We didn't think we'd ever put him through surgery again, but when the stones came back a month later, we had to give him another chance. The second stone surgery went better. We removed pellets from his diet and put him on a very restricted diet, but when the stones came back again less than a month later, we went ahead and scheduled him for another surgery and gave him his pellets back. He loved them so much. We still only gave him a very limited amount, but he seemed to enjoy them.  

We started syringing him 20 mls of fluid each day and giving him potassium citrate twice a day, and it seemed to slow the progress of the stones. His last stone surgery was on January 17th. He seemed to recover remarkably well from it, but the vet recommended against another stone surgery. Because he had so much scar tissue and adhesions, she said that it was more likely that he would suffer intestinal damage in the process of getting to the bladder, so we would need to focus on pain management if the stones came back again.

He seemed to get stronger every day. The day before his one-week recheck, he was standing up and begging for lettuce, and he seemed to be doing pretty well. I dropped him off for what I thought would be a routine re-check, and I told him that I would pick him up after work. That was the last time I saw him alive.  

The vet called me at 4:00 pm and said that he had a large mass in his abdomen that wasn't there a week ago. She recommended exploratory surgery to see what it was. She felt that there was a chance that removing the mass would help his problem, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.  Her tech called me back at 4:30 pm. The vet was doing surgery and she had found that the mass was attached to his intestines. She asked what I wanted her to do, and I told her to try to remove the mass to give him a chance.  She worked at it for a while, but after a few minutes, she said that she couldn't remove it all, and because of how quickly it had grown, it would most likely quickly grow back once she removed it. She recommended that we euthanize him before he woke up. It broke my heart, but I agreed. I didn't want him to suffer.
When we first brought him home, we thought that Reese and Puffy might someday live together when Donovan and Cocoa Puff crossed the bridge.  Now Cocoa Puff and Donovan are still here with us, and Reese and Puffy are together on the other side of the bridge. Life can be so unpredictable.

I feel so terrible that we couldn't save my little guy. In my head I know that we made the logical choice, but in my heart, I wonder if he had another miracle left in him. I can take comfort in the fact that his pain is over, but I will always miss my little guy.

ME in New Smyrna Beach with Donovan, Cocoa Puff, Dilly Jr., Chakalaka, Godiva, and Ghirardelli in our home and with Dillon, Twinkie, Puffy, and Reese Forever in our Hearts

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