My Gorgeous Emma
Emma is my heart dog, my dog of a lifetime!! I have 5 other dog's (all are Border Collies) but Emma is super special, coming into my life after losing another Border Collie pup to Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome.
Emma arrived as a 10 week old bundle of fluff & the immediate bond between us was something so special right from the beginning. Emma sailed through her puppy classes, was in competitive obedience training by 5 month's & out doing many dogs much older than herself. When old enough we began agility training, again she was an absolute star!! We also became involved in showing & it's thanks to Emma & her breeders that I'm where I am now some 8 years on.
Emma had a first gorgeous litter of puppies at 2 1/2yrs, just the 2, Abbie & Floss, Abbie is still here with me & Floss lives a great life with a friend. Just 36 hrs after Abbie & Floss were born, 2 became 7 when Emma became a surrogate Mum to 5 orphaned Border Collie puppies, their Mum had died after a c-section. There wasn't a dry eye in the house watching Emma take those puppies into the nest as if they were her own!!
Skip a few great year's (I could write another chapter!), Emma had just turned 6 when she finally had her second litter. 4 gorgeous puppies. I had planned to keep one but male pressure made me give in & not keep, luckily one went to another friend & like him I see all but 1 regularly, however, never again will I listen to anyone regarding my dogs & puppies, least of all a man!!).
It was as this litter were leaving home at 8 weeks that Emma first became ill, she had sickness & diarrhoea with a high temperature. I took her straight to the Vet who prescribed antibiotics & said it was just a virus. The antibiotics seemed to work but then just a couple of days after finishing the course her symptoms started again. This time I saw my regular Vet who thought she was just missing her puppies with being such a maternal bitch, I wasn't convinced so another course of antibiotics began.
Again a couple of days after finishing the antibiotics the symptoms returned but with a much higher temperature. This time I insisted on an ultrasound scan as I was concerned about Pyometra. The scan was inconclusive so an x-ray was also done. The Vet could see nothing so a 3rd course of antibiotics was prescribed.
Once more the symptoms returned after finishing the antibiotics but again a bit worse. This time on exam the Vet felt a mass in her stomach area. Although I knew something was wrong this floored me. Emma was booked in for surgery first thing the next morning without a thought. It should have been the regular Vet's day off but he came in especially.
The next morning we arrived early. I asked the Vet how long the surgery was expected to take as I planned to remain in the village until I knew she was safe in recovery. The surgery took 2 1/2hrs in the end, I was out of my mind with worry, even going to visit my grandparent's grave at the church behind, asking that Emma was looked after.
I finally saw the Vet who showed me the tumour (I wanted to see it), it was so ugly & slightly bigger than a newborn puppy. The Vet said he had removed the tumour from Emma's small intestine & to be safe he'd also taken a 2" margin around as well as some lymph nodes/glands & was going to send some of them to pathology. I knew in my heart that this was bad but I had to put my energies into making sure Emma recovered enough to come home 2 days later & that she continued with her recovery.
A week later I was out walking some of the other dogs when the call came via my mobile phone. The Vet told me that the pathology results were Lymphosarcoma. I remember falling to the ground in tears, it was as if I'd been hit in the solar plexus. Why my Emma? Emma had never done any wrong, from being the perfect puppy to all of her other great achievements. It just wasn't fair. The Vet told me that he didn't recommend chemo & that although he'd taken a good margin, the prognosis was approx 3 months. I was devastated. I couldn't get back home quickly enough to scoop Emma in my arms for a tearful cuddle.
The following day I woke with new energy & that was to try to beat this horrible disease. I spent the next few days surfing the internet reading good & bad stories as well as a mine of information.
One of the things I came across was the cancer starving diet. As a natural feeder I was determined that that was the route to go down. I read up on both the cooked & raw version on various websites including B-Naturals & decided to stick with the raw.
That was the 21 Novemeber 2007.
Emma is still with me!! I take her for a check every 6 months & in between times if I get worried. The Vet is amazed & she's his favourite patient :o)
However I'm worried at the moment & that worry is that the cancer is back but spread to her skin & lungs. The reason I'm concerned about her skin is that approx 6 weeks ago Emma developed what looked like a burn on the side if her rib cage. The skin was discoloured with what appeared to be blisters within the patch & all the hair had fallen out. There was also a tiny tiny bit to the side of one of her nostrils. Off we went to the Vet, my regular Vet was away so we saw someone different. This Vet couldn't explain what the patch was & said that although yes the cancer could appear in her skin, she didn't think it was & said that she'd seen lots of strange bites & stings this summer. I said I was also concerned about her lungs as she now coughs on exercise, not all the time but most of the time. The Vet had a listen & said all sounded clear. Away we came with a course of antibiotics & instruction to bathe it with Colloidal Silver whilst on the antibiotics & then switch to Dermacton cream (we could still use both if we desired). The antibiotics seemed to help by taking the inflammation down but still leaving dry blisters.
I took Emma for another check up with my regular Vet 2 weeks ago & he felt all was ok. I'm now at disagreement again as not only have the blisters started to spread along her rib cage but other places too including the side of her right leg which also has developed a hard, almost bone like lump to the side.
I plan to take Emma back to the Vet's after the weekend. Tomorrow I will bathe her with the Dermacton shampoo bar & double check for any other sites. I'm still applying the Dermacton cream.
If anyone out there has had a dog with anything similar then please get in touch. I'm hoping that I'm just worrying needlessly but my instinct tells me otherwise (as it did at the beginning of all this).
When Emma celebrated her 8th birthday a couple of weeks ago, my one wish was that we have several more years together.
I have just kept a grand-daughter of Emma's from my recent litter, personality wise she is just like Emma. At only 8 weeks she is more or less house trained & already knows some of her basic commands. A very clever & special puppy!! As positive as this is, I can't shake the feeling of dread I have in the pit of my stomach, I so wish I could.
I do hope Emma's story inspires some in the same position but will equally be grateful to hear from anyone else.
Thank you for reading :o)
Lyndsay & Emma xXx
Personal Web: http://www.borderpride.com ~ for more photos of Emma plus my other dogs (I hope this will be allowed)