Ruby, an American Staffordshire Terrier, was the runt of her litter but very feisty, as runts frequently are. For whatever reasons, she seemed to "pick" me the times I saw her before we brought her home. She fit right in with us, and never cried or otherwise exhibited distress about her new home. Ruby is and always has been family to us, and when she became seriously ill there was never any question, we'd do whatever it would take to help her get her well so she could live a good life as long as possible, free of debilitating pain.
Although Ruby is always seen as "my" dog much of the resolve & support in her time of need comes from my wife Erica. She kept me strong in the face of what seemed to be very long odds. For the last few years and since she was a wee puppy Ruby has been my best and most loyal four (now three) legged companion. She's only eight years old, but her recent bone cancer is a very invasive and painful disease in dogs and moves very quickly to lymph nodes and critical organs. On the advice of Ruby's long-time vet we had to try to immediately amputate her left front leg in an attempt to save her life. The leg itself isn't much of an issue as there are, as you know, many, many tripod dogs out there doing just fine, & Ruby has always had the resolve and spunk to be one of them.
However, her bone cancer is complicated with other sarcomas that, even when treated with drugs and chemo by our state's best vet specialists, cannot permanently "cure" Ruby. Our best option seemed to be to treat Ruby with all the meds, chemo and rehab as long as she can have a relatively happy, pain-free life, working with our vets for Ruby's best interests.
There were times when Ruby was very, very sick and couldn't/wouldn't eat and looked ready to throw in the towel. She had at least three emergency blood
transfusions as her body was not producing platelets necessary to successfully heal the amputation and we thought thrombocytopenia might occur as a result of a bone marrow disorder that may have spread from the cancerous leg. Apparently, this is not the case, but she also had to fight off several pervasive, malignant infections. The transfusions, chemo and some wonder drugs have, well, worked wonders. It is at this time, upon the recommendation of one of Erica's clients who also had a pit bull with cancer, that we began using a Canine Biologics regimen. Although there are certainly many factors to Ruby's return to health, the impact of her diet, in our opinion, cannot be overemphasized. Ruby appears to be her old self and as healthy and happy as I've seen her since she was a puppy. We have been advised that we may only have 6-18 months with her. Or maybe, just maybe more. In balance, we are grateful for any time we now have; happy to have been able to give her this fighting chance. She deserves to live a good life as long as she can, and we can give it to her.
As you can see, she is such a pretty girl, and now healthy -- perhaps due in part to steroids but certainly because of her voracious appetite and her love of her Canine Biologics food and supplements.
Not having a leg clearly doesn't detract from her at all. It's remarkable to us how unselfconscious she is without the leg. She just goes about being a dog as if being a tripod is just another wrinkle in life. I could certainly learn something from her example; Also, I am now more aware of having a healthy diet myself.
American Staffordshire Terrier
Hangin' with my mom and dad