BIG PUP/DOG JAMES CROSSES THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
3-year-old life, having been diagnosed
with a rare medical problem:
After going under anesthesia for surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee, his esophageal sphincter closed up on him so that no food could pass into his stomach, which caused James to vomit almost immediately after attempting to eat anything. A veterinary specialist in Tyler, Texas has a very expensive piece of medical equipment that the doctor inserts down the dog's throat and then expands (balloons), opening and stretching the esophageal sphincter.
Big Pup/Dog James's medical battle below
Juana and Bill give a Special Report on Big Dog James
JUANA: We had a text from his vet tech assistant and James was doing well. They were still doing dilatation and he was going to have surgery. That’s all they wanted to do, because it was so dangerous. About a week after that, he called me and said that James was doing better. He’s gaining weight and running and playing. He can retrieve toys and he gets along very well with all of Dr. Lay’s dogs. He is staying at Dr. Lay’s.
It appears that he has taken James under his wing, so I confirmed it with Dr. Lay. Dr. Lay said that he wanted us to consider he and his wife James’ foster parents. As James’ vet, Dr. Lay is doing everything he can for James. He isn’t charging us for James’ dilations. They are feeding him six cans of food per day and he’s keeping them down. His food is very watery and they haven’t used a feeding tube for over a month. He also hasn’t worn an ecollar in two months. James hasn’t bothered his feeding tube, because he regards it as part of his body. That afternoon the doctor removed the feeding tube. Dr. Lay dilated him Fridayafternoon and removed the tube, while he was under anesthesia.
After they removed the tube, he was keeping his food down. The doctor will continue dilations, because that stretches his esophagus open as wide as possible. But then the stomach closes it back up. Then the doctor does another dilation, when he thinks it’s time, and then James needs another dilation. That’s just to keep the liquid diet down.
The doctor sent us a video, so we could see that he was running and playing, but there is something wrong with the video.
We also thought that he had an infection on the bone from the TPLO. But the doctor said that has completely healed and the infection is cured. He wants to remove the plate eventually. He wants to wait on that until he does more work on James’ stomach and esophageal sphincter. He said that he will take James to see the specialists at Texas A&M. He has mentors and his previous professors and his advisors. They are guiding him.
Dr. Lay does TPLOs and other kinds of progressive surgeries, which might be better for dogs like James, who have that angle of the leg. His TPLO has already healed, but Dr. Lay wants to remove the plate eventually and exercise his leg. The doctor also visits another clinic with water therapy. He could have James do exercise there. That would help his rehabilitation.
I asked him how much we owed him. He said, “Juana, you don’t owe me a dime. We are in love with James. He is the best baby ever. I’ve never seen a dog fight for his life, like James. He is so sweet and he is a part of our family. Straydog is just wonderful and you take care of so many dogs.” I told him that we have 160 dogs. He said that we do such wonderful things and he wants to help us and take care of this dog. He sent me a picture of James on a bed with another dog. He said that they were planning to go to the store that evening and get James a bed, because there were beds all over the house. I think they have about five dogs.
I just wanted to cry, because James is doing so well and he’s so happy. We couldn’t have done anything better for James. And we know that the doctor would never keep him alive, if he didn’t have a good quality of life. But thankfully the doctor is making sure that he does. James is running, playing and eating. So what else could we ask for?
BILL: We want to thank Dr. Lay and his wife so very, very much. Thanks for the update on big pup James, Juana.
(below is a text from Juana to Vet Tech Jeannie about James)
JUANA: Good morning.. Can you please text me a small update on James? How is he going? Any luck on getting better? Thank you so much Jeannie
VET TECH: He is still regurging some, but able to hold food down the second try. Looks like he is gaining a little weight. Very active at Dr Lay's house. Doc is trying to let him get more exercise, said he had him outside with him today. :)
JUANA: Oh wow, thank you so much!! Has James had that surgery or no? Has he had another new procedure? What's the plan, do you know ? Thank you again so much n plz thank Dr Lay as well :)
VET TECH: No surgery yet. Dr Lay is still trying every option before we risk another surgery. He's been trying different foods and doses of meds first.
JUANA: Ok got it, again, thank you so much to both!
James's stomach tube got plugged--his meds wouldn't go thru and backed up the tube. Morton Clinic x-rayed the big fella, and he was okay with no obstruction. The tube had gotten plugged with the meds.
Dr. Lay decided to wait until tomorrow to try and do another procedure. He and his wife have been making his food with more liquid and feeding him several times, orally, a day. So far, no more vomiting since this weekend. He has been gaining weight. He is up to 66.1 pounds today. Giving all his medicines through his stomach tube.
Here is James with Dr. Lay this weekend. He is in great hands! But our fella still isn't where the doc wants him to be. James ate some on his own this weekend, but vomited after he ate Sat. night. He went back to being fed through the feeding tube yesterday. Big Pup James' esophagus will be dilated again this morning, and possibly again on Wednesday. Please keep your prayers coming for Pup James and thank you for your donations to help James and all of the Straydog rescues! We appreciate everyone's support.
Most of the time sweet James must have this cone on so he won't pull his feeding tube out! Jame's spirits are up. Dr. Lay thinks James may be part Sighthound, he liked looking at the birds in Dr. Lay's yard so much over the weekend. James had a scope today and his esophageal opening is 2 or 3x bigger, which is very good. He will still need dilations on Thursday and next Monday with the goal of having a 20 mm opening so he can eat. Maybe James can come back home to Straydog soon after that the doctor said.
Thank you for your donations and prayers for our big fella, James.
Sweet James is not out of the woods yet, but he is holding his own. He's spending the weekend with Dr. Lay. James had a bm today and still no vomiting (yea). Here he is chillin w Dr Lay and family. Thank you, Dr. And thank you supporters for your prayers and donations for Big Pup James.
James is comfortable, responsive and cooperative at the Starnes Animal Clinic where he can now receive nourishment through his feeding tube (2 cans of food a day) along with his meds and water. He will stay at the clinic over the weekend. Thank you for your prayers and donations for sweet James-dog.
James is in great hands with specialist Dr. Lay at Starnes Animal Clinic. His surgery for a feeding tube went fine yesterday and he is able to get nourishment now, without vomiting! He is comfortable and holding his own, but not out of the woods yet. Please continue to support James and Straydog with your donations and prayers. Thank you!
Sweet James-dog was at the Starnes Animal Clinic in Tyler.
He made it through his gastric feeding tube operation