Aki Says “Thank You Dr Cheryl Ho”

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I came home from my 10-day trip and Aki was limping! Dr Cheryl Ho from Mount Pleasant (Whitley) assisted me and today, Aki is back with a full smile again!

Dr Cheryl and all the vets are angels to pet owners!

Audrey Andrea Agcaoili and Aki

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Timmy WongChoy Says “Thank You Dr Cheryl Ho & Team”

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I wish to thank the veterinary team at Mount Pleasant (Whitley) for the quality service provided to my dog for the past 4 months. My dog Timmy (mixed Whippet adopted from SPCA) was diagnosed with ischemia, where the tip of the tail was injured and difficult to heal.

In April, the vets treated the area and changed the dressing weekly. It recovered but due to excessive wagging, the area bled again. Later Dr Cheryl Ho suggested cutting off the tail by about 2 inches. After surgery, Timmy was hospitalised for two weeks.

During the 2 weeks, Timmy was well looked after and gained weight. The vets were caring and dedicated and kept me updated on Timmy’s condition. After returning home, Timmy needs to go for weekly change of dressing and his tail has recovered and fur has started to grow.

Thank you Dr Cheryl Ho, Dr Lesley Teo, Dr Estella Liew, Ling and all the technicians and assistants for providing excellent medical care and service. Much appreciated!

Keep up the good work.

Rosemary Yam & Timmy WongChoy

Oliver: Little Guy With A Big Story

We met a brave little guy at Mount Pleasant Central Vet Clinic (Whitley). His name is Oliver.

Oliver. Little guy with a big story.

Oliver turns 13 this April. He is a fabulous mix of Beagle x JRT x Dachshund.

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Oliver was adopted as a teeny weeny pup. (He’s still tiny now!) He grew up in the United States with BFF Hannah & humans Rich & Kristen Gridley. 2 years ago, he packed his doggy bags for sunny Singapore.

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Wait. Not leaving his birth place without some glamour shots!

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“Cos I am cool like that.” ~ the one & only Oliver Gridley

24 December 2015, Christmas Eve

“We notice a small bump between his eyes. It was the size of an insect bite. We got him some antibiotics from the clinic.”

February 2016

The little bump did not go away. It grew bigger and Oliver started sneezing more. Oliver’s family decided to run more tests and send some soft tissue samples for biopsy.

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“On our way to get the biopsy done. Oliver looks mad because he didn’t have brekkie or water that morning so he wasn’t happy with me.” (We love this little guy’s attitude!)

When the report came back, Oliver was diagnosed with nasal carcinoma. By the time nasal carcinoma is detected, the disease is already highly infiltrative. CT Scan at Mount Pleasant (Gelenggang) confirmed the nasal mass has extended intracranially. Surgery is not an option.

2 March 2016

Oliver came for his first chemotherapy session with Dr Cheryl Ho. It appears that dogs and cats tolerate chemotherapy better than humans and side effects are minimal. Common side effects of chemotherapy are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and loss of energy.

Doses of drugs and treatment schedules are calculated to minimise discomfort to Oliver. The goal is to kill and slow the growth of cancer cells, while producing minimal negative effects on normal cells.

“We were of course hesitant about chemotherapy but once the veterinary oncology specialist recommended it, we decided to see how Oliver would respond. We are taking it one treatment at a time. If he starts to decline or if the chemotherapy starts making him feel bad, we will stop. Simple as that. Again, his quality of life is priority.

9 March 2016
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“There are good days and there are a few bad days. On a bad day, Oliver would be tired and did not follow me all around the house. But mostly he is doing fine. His appetite has changed slightly. He wants to eat smaller and more frequent meals instead of two bigger meals. So we adjust. He’s still eating the same amount of calories every day.”

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Dr Cheryl Ho measures the mass. It remains the same size at 5.5cm x 5.5cm; it did not grow bigger.

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Oliver loves people, loves attention & of cos, loves treats!

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Mabel draws some blood for testing. Chemotherapy drugs can affect the bone marrow & reduce the body’s ability to produce new blood cells, including white blood cells that fight infections. If Oliver’s white blood cell count is low, he will be more susceptible to developing an infection. Thankfully, Oliver’s blood test results are normal.

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More treats? What’s not to like about vet visits!

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“Oliver still has the energy, still wants to go for walks, sniff things. But we will never keep him alive just for us. When there are more bad days than good days, we will have to make that tough decision.” ~ Kristen


15 march 2016

All cancer patients need regular blood testing to monitor the effects of chemotherapy. Oliver came back for his blood tests. The mass between his eyes has reduced in size and measured 4.5cm x 3.5cm.

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Oliver’s 2nd session of chemotherapy with Dr Cheryl Ho. The mass is yet again smaller at 3.5cm x 3.5cm.

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Oliver’s 3rd session of chemotherapy with Dr Cheryl Ho. This boy is just so happy to see his vet! When Dr Cheryl stepped away for a few minutes, he stared at the door, waiting for her to come back.

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“Oliver loves attention. He wants everyone to crowd around him.”

Oliver's blood test is clear

A blood sample is drawn to check the white blood cell, red blood cell & platelet count to make sure it is safe to proceed with his 3rd session of chemotherapy. The mass was smaller until 2 days ago when it started getting bigger. “The tumour getting smaller initially then growing a bit seems to be the norm. It happened before treatment too.” ~ Kristen

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Cancer patients need to eat to stay strong to handle chemotherapy & the effects of cancer. “Oliver’s appetite isn’t good for about 5 days after chemotherapy. But we always manage to get him to eat with some yummy wet food mixed into his regular food. He’s spoilt rotten but the way I see it, cancer gets him lots more free passes!”

“Again, we are focusing on Oliver’s happiness, energy level & quality of life. The rest is out of our hands. So we are just enjoying him while we still have him & spoiling him rotten!” ~ Kristen

Here’s a short clip on our favourite little guy till we see him again in 3 weeks’ time.

… to be continued…

Mabel Cheah: Toughing It Out

The hospital is one of the toughest places to work in.

We do our best for our patients. We make the kindest decisions for those we cannot save. We grieve with a family who just lost their old friend. We laugh with a couple who got a new kitten.

We feel all kinds of emotions but cannot get too emotional.

I guess that’s what it means to “tough it out”. No matter what the weather. Or how you feel. We wake up every morning to do the things that need to be done. 


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when did you join the mount pleasant family?

When I was younger, I always brought my pets to the vets at Mount Pleasant. After graduating from Otago Polytechnic (New Zealand), I was offered a job in a vet clinic. A year later, in 2011, I joined Mount Pleasant and have never left! 

What makes me stay? Definitely the team I’m working with. The best part is making some really good friends, learning from my team mates and being able to do so much more for our patients. 

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Concordia, Rosemarie, Verg, Annie, Amanda, Mabel with Dags & Bow, the beloved residents of Mount Pleasant Central Veterinary Clinic!

Working in a vet clinic can be very emotional. How do you cope?

Usually I’ll cry when it comes to coping with loss or helplessness or when I’m feeling extremely frustrated. I need to get it out of my system before I can think straight. I try to look at things from all directions and make sense of it. To de-stress, I surf the internet with my cats lying around or on me!

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Kitties! Mia, Momo, Puck & Milly.

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Momo & Mia all grown up, with foster kitty Astro.

Astro loves Momo!

Astro loves Momo!

have you always wanted to work with animals?

From the time I was 16, I knew what I want to do when I grow up. It was either F&B, sports (I was a runner in my school days) or animals. I eventually chose animals because I couldn’t see myself in sports or F&B when I get older.

If I could be anything in the world, I would be a surgeon. I enjoy the adrenaline rush!

do you remember your very first pet?

Coffee joined our family when I was just 3. We grew up together. After my elder sisters left Singapore to study in New Zealand, Coffee and I grew even closer. I loved Coffee a lot. It was really hard when I had to let her go. She was a huge part of my childhood. I don’t think I can ever find another dog like her.

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Do you consider yourself brave?

I think being brave is to choose and be so sure about what you want to do in life.

The good thing about me (sometimes the down side too) is that I can be extremely patient. Life is tough. That’s just how it is. I do not waste time sulking or complaining. When things are rough, I will tough it out till it is over.

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As they say, “tough times never last, tough people do”. We hope Mabel will “tough it out” with our Mount Pleasant family for many many more years to come!


Meet the rest of the family at Mount Pleasant Central Veterinary Clinic (Whitley)!
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Dr Cheryl Ho

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Dr Lesley Teo with her cat Mika

Dr Estella Liew with her dog Mason

Dr Estella Liew with her dog Mason

Daffin, Eunice, Janice with Hoki & Mason

Daffin, Eunice, Janice with Hoki & Mason

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Marc, Song & Vanessa with Panda

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The big family at Mount Pleasant Central Veterinary Clinic (Whitley)!

Chocolate Toxicity & Foods We Should Not Feed Our Dogs

What we love to eat may actually be toxic to our pets.

Twinkle got her paws on a bar of brown rice chocolate and was rushed to Mount Pleasant After-Hours Emergency Clinic. She was attended to by Dr Cheryl Ho and Rodel immediately.

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“Twinkle ate a 65g bar of brown rice chocolate last night without our knowledge. We caught her at the tail-end of her feast. She became a little hyperactive. I called up Mount Pleasant After-Hours Emergency Clinic (Whitley) & was asked to bring Twinkle to the clinic immediately. ” ~ Sharon

Chocolate contains substances known as methylxanthines (specifically theobromine) which are toxic to dogs in certain amounts

Theobromine is a stimulant similar to caffeine. It is present at higher levels in dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate compared to milk and white chocolate. The toxicity of theobromine, therefore, differs according to:

  • type of chocolate ingested
  • amount of chocolate ingested
  • size of the dog

For a small dog like Twinkle, a 50g bar of dark chocolate can cause potentially life-threatening toxicity. Thankfully, the amount of theobromine in the brown rice chocolate bar was insufficient to cause severe toxicity. 

“If your dog has ingested chocolate, take her to the vet immediately. It is important to bring along the chocolate packaging, if possible, so that we can calculate toxicity levels based on weight.” ~ Dr Cheryl Ho, Mount Pleasant Central (Whitley)

Clinical signs of chocolate toxicity include:
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • hyperactivity
  • Increased reflex responses
  • rapid breathing
  • heart palpitations
  • muscle tremors
  • seizures
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Last week over lunch time at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (East), we received an emergency call. Sasha had finished half a box of cappuccino-milk chocolate bites which was left on a table.

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Dr Iin, Gladys & Moe attended to Sasha immediately.

TREATMENT depends on severity of toxicity and involves:
  • emesis induction (inducing vomiting)
  • giving activated charcoal to bind to the chocolate
  • putting the dog on intravenous fluids

Twinkle and Sasha were administered with apomorphine to induce vomiting. It can be given by injection or topically in the form of a quick dissolving tablet to the conjunctival sac of the eye.

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Sasha was hospitalised for observation & well enough for discharge that night. Not all dogs are so fortunate. Some had passed away from severe toxicity, especially when treatment was delayed.

"I want to thank Dr Cheryl Ho & her assistant Rodel for being so calm, reassuring & supportive. They were fast & professional in attending to us immediately. Twinkle vomited the chocolate paste & her dinner within a few minutes of being administered the medicine. Am really grateful to both of them! Twinkle is alright now." ~ Sharon

“I want to thank Dr Cheryl Ho & her assistant Rodel for being so calm, reassuring & supportive. They were fast & professional in attending to us immediately. Twinkle vomited the chocolate paste & her dinner a few minutes after being administered the medicine. Am really grateful to both of them! Twinkle is alright now.” ~ Sharon

** With festive season round the corner, keep chocolates and sweet treats out of your dogs’ reach. If you suspect they have ingested chocolates, take them to the vet immediately. Do not ‘wait and see’. Prompt treatment can save your dog’s life. **


other human foods we should not feed our dogs and cats

ALCOHOL: Just a little alcohol can cause vomiting, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even death.

GRAPES & RAISINS: Substance in grapes and raisins is known to cause kidney failure.

MILK: Most dogs do not produce sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase to break down lactose in milk and other dairy products. Lactose intolerance leads to soft stools, digestive upset or food allergies. 

NUTS: Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and elevated body temperature. Other nuts, like almonds and walnuts, contain high amounts of fats which can potentially cause pancreatitis.

ONIONS: If a large amount of onions (or garlic) is consumed, your dog could suffer gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage, leading to anaemia.

SALTY FOODS: Do not share salty snacks (e.g. potato chips, pretzels) with your dog. Large amounts of salt can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures. 

COOKED BONES: Cooked bones can easily splinter when chewed and cause internal injuries to your dog.

XYLITOL: This artificial sweetener is used in products like candy, baked goods, toothpaste. Xylitol can cause increased insulin to circulate in your dog’s body, leading to hypoglycemia (lowered blood sugar levels) and liver failure.

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Mount Pleasant After-Hours Emergency Clinic is located at 232 Whitley Road, Tel 6250 8333.

Milo The Maltese: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Few months ago, 13-year-old Milo the Maltese developed an ulcerated mass on his neck. He was having difficulty eating and started losing weight.

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Complete surgical removal of the neck mass is the treatment of choice. Dr Estella Liew, Mount Pleasant Central Veterinary Clinic (Whitley), performed the surgery. However, due to its location (very adhered to the jugular vein & trachea), incomplete excision was expected.

The mass was sent for histopathological diagnosis and confirmed to be Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Due to its aggressive nature, the cancer is likely to regrow rapidly or metastasise (spread to other parts of the body).

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SCC is a malignant cancer that originates in the squamous epithelium – the outermost layer of skin that is made up of scale-like cells. Tumours may appear as firm, raised, frequently ulcerated bumps on the skin. They can occur in any parts of the body but usually in areas with a lack of pigmentation or hair.

One factor associated with the development of SCC is prolonged exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation). As with most forms of carcinoma, SCC is more commonly seen in older dogs.

Clinical signs of Squamous cell carcinoma include:
  • drooling 
  • difficulty in eating 
  • weight loss
  • halitosis (bad breath) 
  • facial swelling
oronasal fistula

Milo also had two oronasal fistulas, measuring 2cm x 3cm and 3cm x 0.5cm. Symptoms of oronasal fistulas include chronic nasal discharge (with or without bleeding), sneezing, bad breath. Left untreated, oronasal fistulas would cause irritation of the nose, infection and aspiration pneumonia.

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An oronasal fistula is an abnormal passageway between the mouth & nasal cavity. It needs to be surgically corrected to prevent food & water from passing from the mouth into the nasal cavity. Ref: avds-online.org

Causes of oronasal fistulas include:
  • Trauma
  • Bite wound
  • Oral cancer
  • Periodontal disease
  • Upper jaw overbites (canine teeth in bottom jaw pierce the hard palate/roof of mouth)

The smaller fistula was surgically repaired by creating a flap of gingival tissue on the buccal surface and suturing it over the defect. The other fistula was too large to be repaired at the same time. It was suspected that the fistulas developed due to SCC. If so, the repair will likely  fail. Antibiotics are prescribed to control any possible infection.

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With the presence of the large oronasal fistula, an esophageal feeding tube was surgically placed through the side of Milo’s neck to keep him nourished & prevent aspiration pneumonia.

X-Ray was done to make sure the feeding tube was correctly placed through the esophagus (not the trachea). The tube extends the length of the esophagus & terminates just before the stomach. It allows food to enter the esophagus & flow into the stomach.

X-Ray was done to make sure the feeding tube was correctly placed through the esophagus (not the trachea). The tube extends the length of the esophagus & terminates just before the stomach. It allows food to enter the esophagus & flow into the stomach.

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Feeding tubes should be unwrapped, cleaned & re-wrapped once daily initially. After the insertion site has healed, the tube can be cared for every 48 hours to prevent infection at the insertion site.

Although prognosis for SCC patients is poor, Milo still has that sparkle in his eyes. And cancer can’t wipe that smile off his sweet face.

Towards the end of your pet’s life, I guess the best thing to do is remember the memories you have created (even the frustrating ones!) and cherish the moments you have left (yes there will be times your old friend needs to pee at 3am).

When the day comes to bid farewell, do so with a smile amidst the tears. Because he has been such a good dog.

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“I’ll feed Milo in the morning & come home in the afternoon to feed him again. At night, my mom will help. Milo enjoys sitting by the door. Watching the world go by. He is a good boy. We hope he will live past this year.” ~ Maurice & Yuan

Midnight’s Morning Mishap

Imagine the horror when you realise your car wheel has just rolled over your dog…..This was what happened a few days ago at the Ang residence.

Midnight the Poodle was lying under the family car that morning, unnoticed by all. When Ms Ang started the engine and began to drive off, she heard Midnight yelping as he scrambled out from beneath the car.

Midnight was rushed to Mount Pleasant Central Animal Clinic (Whitley)

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Blood tests, X-rays & ultrasound were done. Midnight suffered minor lacerations on his hind leg, abrasion of his abdomen & scrotum, & mild pulmonary contusion (bruising of the lungs).

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Injuries from trauma may take 24 to 72 hours to be detectable. Midnight was hospitalised to monitor & stabilise his respiratory function & put on  intravenous drip, antibiotics & pain control. With supportive care, pulmonary contusion usually heals on its own. (with Justin, Temasek Polytechnic Vet Tech student-on-attachment)


If your pet is involved in a road traffic accident (RTA):
  • Approach your pet slowly.  Pick him up carefully (use a towel if necessary) to avoid aggravating any injuries.
  • If your pet appears to have a back injury, find a firm surface such as a board.  Do not bend the back in any way.
  • Put on a muzzle if possible. An animal in pain is more likely to bite when handled.
  • Keep your pet calm and quiet. Speak softly. 
  • If your pet is bleeding, put on a bandage (improvise with a towel or some clothing) and apply pressure. 
  • Do not offer water or food in case general anaesthesia is needed at the vet hospital.
  • If your pet is in shock, keep him warm with a blanket. Massage the legs and body to encourage blood flow.  Signs of shock include: cold body, weak & rapid pulse, shallow & rapid breathing, pale or muddy gums.
  • If your pet is not breathing, perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
  • Rush your pet to the nearest vet clinic. For after hours, you can bring your pet to Mount Pleasant After Hours Emergency Clinic at 232 Whitley Road S297824. Tel 6250 8333.

A couple of useful videos:

 


 

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Midnight has been stable & on Friday, he was discharged.  Linn-I looks very grateful to the 2 men who are helping her best friend. 🙂

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Dr Estella Liew explains the home care Midnight needs until he comes back for review next week. By then, his lung bruisings should have resolved sufficiently so that he can be sedated for Dr Estella to stitch up the wound.

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Always beautiful to see children & animals together. (Verg, our Vet Tech with Midnight, Linn-I & Shen-I.)

"Collect moments. Not things."

“Collect moments. Not things.”

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Linn-I cannot bear to let Midnight out of her sight for even one second. Such sweet love. Rest well Midnight. See you next week!

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Chinese New Year has passed. But to Rachel and family, “Gong Xi Fai Cai” will bear a deeper sense of meaning when they celebrate the occasion every year.

 HOW DID YOU CROSS PATH WITH MOMMY & GONG XI FA CAI?

Mommy, Gong Xi and Fa Cai ran into our factory on Chinese New Year (hence their names!), looking skinny and hungry. My parents pitied them and felt they have not had a proper meal for a long time. The least we could do is to give them shelter, food and clean water.

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Hello Fa Cai. You are impossibly adorable!

"You promised to make my ears stop growing....."

“You promised to make my ears stop growing…..You promised…..”

Sadly, a week later, Gong Xi was knocked down by a truck. He was already dead by the time someone spotted his body.

Gong Xi, a young boy, gone too soon. Such is life for our street dogs. And many who try to survive at farms, construction sites, factories.

HOW ARE MOMMY AND FA CAI AFTER GONG XI CROSSED THE RAINBOW BRIDGE?

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We call mommy Ah Girl. She is a very well behaved, doting mom – always leaving food for Fa Cai and eating only after Fa Cai is full.

Mom and daughter - inseparable.

Mom and daughter are inseparable. Fa Cai likes to rest her butt on mommy’s head!

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We suspect Ah Girl was abused by humans before. Whenever anyone holds up a stick or piece of wood, she is so scared. She will shiver, sit on the floor and dare not move an inch.

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Just watching the big world go by.

Then one fateful day, Fa Cai was also knocked down by a car….

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19 May: The impact from the accident caused Fa Cai's diaphragm to rupture. Her liver and intestines were pushed from the abdominal area up into her chest cavity.

19 May: The impact from the accident caused Fa Cai’s diaphragm (muscular separation between chest and abdominal cavities) to rupture. Her liver and intestines were pushed from the abdominal cavity into her chest cavity.

One of her lung lobes was also torn and bleeding into her chest. Fa Cai also suffered tears in her spleen and liver.

One of Fa Cai’s lung lobes was torn and bleeding into her chest. She also suffered tears in her spleen and liver.

Dr Lesley Teo and Dr Estella Liew of Mount Pleasant Central Veterinary Clinic (Whitley) performed an emergency surgery to repair Fa Cai’s ruptured diaphragm. Her liver and intestines were placed back into the abdominal cavity, a chest tube inserted to drain excess fluids from the chest cavity, and a feeding tube to maintain the level of proteins for healing.

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Autotransfusion was also done where blood was collected from Fa Cai’s chest in a sterile manner, filtered and administered back to her body.

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Fa Cai was supported with oxygen therapy for 2 days after surgery.

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Fa Cai may be scarred for life. But she lives to enjoy the love from Rachel and family.

HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED AFTER MEETING MOMMY & FA CAI?

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Having Ah Girl and Fa Cai at the factory makes my day so much brighter. They are the reason I can wake up so early! I  reach the factory at 7am to feed and walk them before starting work. I give up my free time to play with them and keep them company. Seeing them healthy and happy makes everything worth it. They are coming to stay with us and Muffin, our Dachshund. Our home is going to be so much more lively!

TODAY, Dr Cheryl Ho examined Fa Cai and gave her a clean bill of health. Fa Cai also had a mini reunion with Amanda and the other vet technicians.

Mommy is a very sweet, petite-sized mongrel. Looking at the video below, Fa Cai is going to outgrow Mommy very soon!

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Awww….Thanks Fa Cai for your Thank You card! After Gong Xi passed away, everyone has been calling her Gong Xi or Gong Xi Fa Cai.

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Rachel with Ah Girl, Dr Cheryl Ho with Fa Cai, Rachel’s mom.

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There are many street and shelter dogs like Ah Girl and Fa Cai waiting for homes. If you are ready for a best friend, CHOOSE TO ADOPT from shelters like: Animal Lovers League, Mutts & Mittens Community, Gentle Paws, SPCA Singapore, Three Legs Good, Causes for Animals, HOPE Dog Rescue, Mercy Light, Save Our Street Dogs, Proj DormSix, Exclusively Mongrels, Action For Singapore Dogs, Mdm Wong’s Shelter.