23rd September 2007
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK - 5 TODAY
13th November 2007
Received an email this evening letting us know that Jack has a chest infection.and the vet came out today as he wasn't himself. He didn't even get up when his owner got his lead. He wouldn't budge and she couldn't get him to the car so she got the vet to him. The vet gave him 2 injections and he is to have some tablets tomorrow. His owner said he just doesn't want to be bothered with anything or anyone bless him. Even his favourite pilchards wouldn't get him up and she missed him knocking her over this morning as he usually does when she gets up.
23rd September 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK - 6 TODAY
Recieved an email today letting us know Jack is getting on well and now has a new friend whom he plays with and when he's not at play he sits in the window looking for her across the road hoping to see her in her house. It is another Greyhound called Faun!
14th January 2009
Received some upsetting news this morning from Jack's owner letting us know he hasn't been well the past couple of weeks. Just before Christmas his owner phoned because she was disturbed at Jack's behaviour but her partner had been admitted to hospital suddenly and stayed in a few days so we put it down to the upset of the household and to him missing him and everything should settle when he's home again. However, during Christmas Jack started to loose some hair on his tail and where his collar lies, then he began to drink more water and two small swellings appeared under his stomach where he urinates. He went to the vets straight after Christmas where he was examined and put on antibiotics but they didn't seem to have much response. He went to the vets again at the end of last week where the vet examined him again and took a sample of his water. As there was blood in it the vet wanted to see him again today where, under anaesthetic he had X-rays, blood tests and an examination to try and determine what was wrong with him. Although the X-rays showed no large visible tumor masses it was believed Jack may have testicular cancer. We were all quite shocked at hearing this because we all thought he'd been neutered. The vet seemed quite sure because of all the symptoms and he needed an operation to remove the growth. However, the blood tests showed no new baby white or red blood cells were being produced and his platelet count was very low making it too risky for his vet to operate as he had a high chance of bleeding to death and they didn't have the resources to cover this. As a result, he was referred to the Liverpool University Small Animal Hospital who asked that he be brought to them first thing in the morning. Because of transport and logistic problems his owner's friend will bring them both here first thing tomorrow morning and I am going to drive them down to the university where we hope he will receive the treatment he needs. We are all hoping and praying the vets at the university will be able to help Jack and that in no time at all he will be well again.
15th January 2009
When Jack arrived first thing this morning we made sure we kept all ours behind the safety gate at the end of the kitchen so they didn't over power him and then said hello to him. He gave us a nice greeting and to see him, apart from the swellings under his stomach you wouldn't think there was anything wrong, although I later commented to Stuart that he didn't really look like Jack - his face seemed different. Stuart thought it was because we hadn't seen him for nearly two years but when I looked at his pictures on my site I realized his face had a different look about it, but I wasn't sure what.
Jack jumped happily into our car and we drove him to the Liverpool University Small Animal Hospital arriving shortly after 10.30 am. A little later than we planned because of the traffic and because we stopped twice because Jack asked to empty his bladder. Jack looked very frightened in the vets and after discussions with the vets and an examination, which included an internal to check his prostrate Jack was admitted and we came home. It was a very hard day but Jack is where all that can be done for him will be done for him. He is having a number of X-rays today along with more blood tests and bone marrow tests, the results of which his owner hopes to receive later this evening. The vets laid everything on the line to us and it didn't sound good. We came away thinking this was going to be the last time we saw him.
Just after 6.30pm Jack's owner phoned to say the results of the tests had come back. Things didn't look good and they gave him a 10% - 20% chance of surviving the operation due to the low platelet count and the risk of him bleeding to death. Although termination was an option his owner felt she owed it to Jack to give him a chance even though the odds were stacked against him she felt that even 10% was better than the other option, so they will operate on Jack at 10.30 am tomorrow morning. The operation should take about an hour unless there were complications and if there were they would phone to ask if they could just let him pass away, otherwise, they would phone about 5pm to let his owner know what happened. They indicated that in this instance no news would be good news. They could only find one testicle on the X-ray and on that was a tumor which needs to be removed. However, it is very risky because of the suppression symptoms caused in his bone marrow and the very low platelet count. Despite the risks the operation is going ahead and we are all praying he will be okay. The vet said Jack had settled in nicely into his kennel area and when he went into the grounds to empty his bladder they said it was hard to believe anything was wrong with him.
16th January 2009
Today was even harder than yesterday, clock watching, wanting to be alone yet keeping busy. 10.30 am came and went - he would be on the operating table. It was 11.30 am and still no news then 12 noon, still no news - the operation must be over now or are they having problems? Whenever, one of our ex-foster dogs is ill we always find it very upsetting because although we only have them a short while we still love them as if they are our own and get extremely upset when anything happens to them. Normally I try not to mention this too much when I write about our Greyhounds as I don't want it to appear I have favourites when I don't because I love them all but somehow today I feel I must. I was on pins all day, possibly more so because I'd taken him to the vets yesterday and they gave him so little hope. 1pm arrived then 2pm and still no news - was he okay or were they still battling with him? When the phone rang at 3pm Stuart picked it up and when we realized it was Jack's owner on the phone I thought I was going to collapse - I had geared myself to receiving bad news and here it was. As Stuart walked up the stairs with the phone he looked at me and gave me the thumbs up - I had to sit down. Jack had had his operation and survived. We were so elated it was unbelievable because the odds of that happening had been so slim, needless to say no more work got done today - we just couldn't concentrate, couldn't believe he had survived despite the odds stacked against him. Jack had come round from his operation and just had a drink. Despite what all the blood and bone marrow tests said about him bleeding to death if he was cut when they came to operate they found his blood clotting as normal as they were doing the operation, which they were very surprised about but also very pleased so no additional blood was needed - to that end it had been a normal operation - However ! ! ! !
The vets found one testicle that had a tumor, which they think is benign but has been sent to the lab to be tested and one ovary, which has also gone to the lab for tests. JACK HAD BEEN BORN WITH ONE TESTICAL AND ONE OVARY!!! I couldn't believe my ears - I'd never heard of this before but hearing it now makes all Jack's problems of the past and symptoms over the past two or three weeks all fall into place.
The testicle with the tumor was causing the prostrate problems whilst the ovary with its surge of oestrogen was producing the feminization signs of his mammary glands getting bigger and filling with liquid along with the appearance of his penis getting smaller, the changes to his bone marrow, platelets and blood count and possibly to the changes I noticed in his face. Both together were causing the hair loss and the need to drink such a lot of water. Jack was going through a sex change and because of what was happening to his bone marrow, and the speed at which all this was happening, had he not been operated on he would have died within a week or two. The frightening thing is that his owner said that had his mammary glands not began to swell she wouldn't have realised he had anything wrong until possibly it was too late. It will have also had a bearing throughout his life because his body wouldn't have known whether he was male or female and this is bound to have had an effect on his behaviour.
The vet said things had gone fine but he's not out of the woods yet and they are hoping we can bring him home on Monday.
Poor Millie, his companion has been missing him something shocking and their owner had a difficult time settling her last night because she won't eat properly, ignores her chews and wouldn't sleep in her bed. I bet when he comes home there will be a wonderful welcome for him !!!
Jack it seems was a Hermaphrodite, which is very rare and can be genetic or more likely the pregnant mother was treated with hormones especially if there was no supervision from a vet.
Jack, whilst we fostered him had not been the easiest of dogs and his new owners had a few problems with him with other dogs a well. They couldn't let him off the lead around other dogs and really had to watch him. They often said he seemed confused and did strange things sometimes that didn't add up. I'm not at all surprised, what with having both an ovary and a testicle, bless him, he didn't know whether he was male or female, his hormones must have been playing havoc with him and with having an ovary he would have been having 'seasons' hence other male dogs wanting to try and ride him, which led to his retaliation. I wouldn't be surprised if we found that 95% of his behavioral problems were as a result of this and that once he's recovered from his operation and given a few months for his hormones to settle down along with some re-socialization training he'll be a different dog.
Because Jack was born looking like a dog it was because the
male side of him took prominence with the female side being in the background. With the tumor forming on the testicle it may have been that this male prominence reduced thus allowing the female side to take over, which started just before Christmas with the hair loss and over Christmas with the swelling of the mammary glands and other symptoms.
I haven't seen Jack for a couple of years and then only for a few minutes at the 'Meet and Greet a Greyhound Day' in Barrow-in-Furness but I kick myself for not working out the connection. When I talk of my foster dogs I often put them in groups - the rock solid laid back ones, the pretty dainty ones, the nervous ones and the ones who have been somewhat difficult. I have often mentioned Jack in the same sentence as Paddy
, both of whom had behavioral problems, both had been born with no scrotum, both had operations to remove the testicles still inside them, both, once the hormones settled changed their behaviour and became nice dogs. Why didn't I connect Jack had the same problem? Maybe it was because we all thought he'd been neutered, maybe because we hadn't been fostering very long so were not as knowledgeable and maybe it was because we hadn't seen him much since he'd been re-homed.
Whatever the reason we are so proud of Jack's owner for sticking with him, for not giving up on him and for giving him the chance despite being told all the odds were so much against him.
17th January 2009
The University Hospital phoned Jack's owner this afternoon to let her know that Jack was holding his own but they were a little worried that he hadn't eaten anything. They didn't say, but we think he may be on a drip because they said they didn't want to take him of the fluids until he was eating properly again. Jack's owner mentioned that he doesn't have a big appetite at the best of times and not keen on tinned dog food so they are going to try him with some chicken or scrambled egg this evening, which he has at home to see if they can entice him to eat. He's had an anaesthetic three days on the run which may also be affecting him and if he's on a drip he may not want to eat because of this. It may be he's also homesick because he's never been away from his owner for more that 3 or 4 hours. If the vet thinks he is homesick and they feel he is well enough to come home Jack's owner is going to ask if we can come and collect him.
18th January 2009
This morning Jack's owner received a call from Liverpool University Small Animal Hospital saying that because Jack ate his food last night and this morning he could go home. We arrived at the Hospital just after 2 pm.
It was quite an emotional time when Jack walked through the doors of the waiting room because deep down neither Jack's owner nor I ever thought we would see him again. He was quite quiet, which was understandable but his eyes looked bright and he came for a cuddle. We were given a sheet of instructions along with a lot of medication for Jack. Jack has been given two sorts of antibiotics, which he has to be on for the next month or so to protect him against infection whilst his platelet count is so low. He's also on medication to try and 'kick start' his bone marrow production into working properly again. There is also an injection his vet is to give him in three weeks time to help his bones because of the high level of Oestrogen he received from the ovary. We were told it was going to be a very difficult time for Jack and his owners because he must be kept calm and away from things that causes him anxiety. He mustn't get an infection and he mustn't injure himself to give his body the time to get better and the medication for his bone marrow to work, however, we have been warned that quite often the bone marrow doesn't repair itself and we are to be prepared for this. Therefore, Jack is still a long way from being well again and will need a lot of love and looking after to help him through this difficult stage.
As soon as we got outside the building he cocked his leg against a waste bin and urinated - it lasted ages! ! !
He soon settled in the car for the journey home and we stopped at Charnock Richard Service Station on the way so he could have a short walk and relieve himself again, which he did.
On the way back to his house we called in at ours so Stuart could see him and, although Jack wanted to say hello to our Greyhounds he held back. They were very good as they stood with their heads over the swing gates in the conservatory and watched him.
When we finally arrived at his home Jack jumped out the car and walked inside the house where his owner gave him the first of his medication in with some chicken pieces. His owner said he was looking a lot thinner, which isn't surprising to say what he's been through the past few days (three anaesthetics in three days) and, as he was beginning to look a bit tired and weary I said my goodbye's and came home.
19th January 2009
Received a call from Jack's owner today letting us know Jack had a good night last night. He was a bit subdued this morning but ate his breakfast and by mid morning he looked a bit happier. He climbed onto the settee but when he came to get off he yelped so now there is a huge pile of duvets on the floor so he can stretch out on them in comfort.
The vet from Liverpool University Hospital phoned to see how he was and arranged for him to go onto Metacam to reduce his post operation pain and hopefully make him feel a bit better.
20th January 2009
Received a call from Jack's owner today letting us know that with having the Metacam last night Jack looked a bit better this morning and wanted to go for a walk. Although his owner only intended letting him in the garden he wasn't having that and wanted a walk so she took him around the block. He didn't think that was enough but his owner thought it was so soon after his operation.
He had an appointment with the vet this morning who was very pleased with his progress. He took off the large bandage to find Jack has been stapled not stitched, therefore, it will be 14 not 10 days before they are removed.
21st January 2009
Received a call from Jack's owner today letting us know he seems much happier and must be feeling better because he was barking this morning to go for his walk, but again to his dismay it was only round the block. However, he did two lots of stools, which is superb news as they are the first since just before he went to Liverpool University Hospital and the lack of them was causing a bit of concern.
22nd January 2009
Received a phone call from Jack's owner today with some good news. The vet phoned from the Liverpool University Small Animal Hospital saying the tumor they removed was benign and, as a result they've signed him off so he is back with his own vet again as before.
23rd January 2009
Received a call today letting us know Jack visited the vet today who was very pleased with his progress. His anemic gums seem more pink, which is a good sign and maybe his blood count is beginning to correct itself again. The vet was very pleased and said he has defied all the odds against him because by rights he shouldn't be here. His next visit is scheduled for Friday when he has his staples out.
29th January 2009
Jack's owner phoned this morning to say she is as pleased as punch because Jack is chewing a pig's ear again, which is the first he's eaten since Christmas. She also commented his gums looked more pink and his coat appears to be going darker in colour and more like his normal self. Today he's been laying on the settee on his back with his legs in the air - the first time since his operation so she's had a good look at where he was stapled. Some appear to have fallen out already and some are becoming loose so when they go the vet tomorrow he won't have to have as many out.
Although this is all good news they've had one or two scares over the past few days.
For nearly three days he wouldn't eat anything and Sunday night Millie their whippet came charging upstairs barking in the middle of the night and jumped on her owner's bed barking and licking their face to wake them up. Millie was in such a state they knew something must be wrong downstairs and immediately thought this was the end for Jack they had been warned might happen. When they got downstairs they found Jack on the floor unable to stand up and quite distressed. He'd looked a bit shaky a couple of days before this and he seemed weak on his back legs, shaking and not eating so the following