Maeve: A Love on Four Paws success story! by Dr. Sarah Martin

What is so special about Maeve? Well, she highlights so many of the things I am proud about here at Brantford’s Park Road Vet Clinic. Our wonderful clients, our dedicated staff and the foundation they have set up to allow them to help when they can and our veterinary care, pragmatism and bravery!

Her story: One Monday morning a wonderfully dedicated and compassionate client of ours talked with Kathy and brought in a found dog. She had come home to find a cardboard box on her front porch and then the cutest little head with big ears popped right up. She was a feminine looking Hound x Basenji and very sweet. We all noted that she dribbled urine often. We started with testing her urine and she did have an infection. Her backend was urine stained too. She was fostered by Jen and Kristen pending her spay. She was vaccinated and dewormed and heartworm tested. She continued to dribble urine though.

Dr. Sarah asked Deanna to ultrasound her kidneys and her bladder – to rule out bladder stones and also to see if we could find evidence of ectopic ureters. An ectopic ureter means that the tube from the kidney enters the bladder in the wrong place so urine just dribbles out and infections are common. Sure enough Deanna found that her left ureter was huge and tortuous with evidence of it burrowing into the wall of her bladder.

Surgeries involving the ureter and kidney are outside the scope of general practice. Recommendations for Maeve at this time would be referral to a veterinary surgeon. They would perform a number of tests first—confirm our suspicions with another ultrasound read by a radiologist, possibly scope her bladder and perform specialized tests to ensure that her ‘normal’ looking kidney and ureter was functioning 100%.

The conundrum was, of course, Maeve did not have a family of her own yet, nor could we adopt a dog that constantly dribbled urine and had urinary tract infections—no matter how sweet she was. Love on Four Paws exists through the hard work of Kathy, Amy and Jakki—they raise all the funds for the foundations. Asking LOFP to come up with $3000-$5000 was impossible.

So, weighing the reality of the situation Dr. Sarah and Dr. Brenda decided they were game to attempt the surgery—it was Maeve’s only hope. Her ureter was so enlarged that it was not functional, removing her left kidney and ureter was the best option. There were risks. Neither vet had ever performed or even seen the surgery performed. We could not be sure her other kidney was perfect. The Dr.’s did some reading and research and Maeve was booked for surgery on a day when both vets were available. In the meantime one of our fantastic clients had fallen for her…Maeve had a forever home!!!

Surgery day was exciting and a success!!! At least initially—Dr. Brenda performed her spay and then both Dr’s removed her left kidney (wow, is it ever close to the aorta!!!) and her left ureter. At the bladder they sealed the burrowing ureter to the bladder wall to prevent a blind sac from forming.

Dr. Sarah took Maeve home for the night so she could be monitored and given pain medication. Maeve loved all 4 of her boys!!