Month: July 2016

Dog Leg Amputation – Miss Jack

Miss Jack’s Story

The short version is that Jack showed up outside my door Christmas Eve 2011 when I was living in Sierra Leone. My house had been broken into and I had asked my landlord for more security and this was the result: 

When she was two months old, she was badly injured when she was pushed off a third story balcony by my neighbors. There’s only one vet in Sierra Leone and we weren’t able to repair her leg, but she healed well enough to begin using the leg and coped well for two years. 

Miss Jack at Beach

During the summer of 2014, it was clear that her leg was causing her too much pain and I started to see specialists to figure out how to help her, but as a recent college graduate working at a nonprofit, figuring out how to afford the surgery scared me. I happened to run into a dog on a walk that summer who had just had her leg amputated at Helping Hands and her person couldn’t say enough good things about the quality of care. I researched and discussed with my primary vet and set an appointment. 

These pictures are from just after the surgery – you can see how happy she is. The relief from the pain was immediate and she healed beautifully. 

Miss Jack after dog leg amputation surgery at Helping Hands Veterinary Care

Veterinary Surgery for a Dog Leg Amputation – Notes from Dr. Lori Pasternak:

Miss Jack suffered a fracture in her left elbow while living in Africa. Surgical treatment was not available and she was crate rested until it healed.  Her owners kindly adopted her and brought her home to America. Once in America, her lameness continued to worsen and the poorly healed elbow posed a very difficult if not impossible challenge to repair. The fracture involved the elbow joint and had healed abnormally. The owners opted to have the leg amputated to quickly alleviate her pain. Dogs and cats do very well on three legs (check out our amputation video to see for yourself). Miss Jack was back and better than ever quickly after her amputation surgery. She is one lucky dog to be given a chance for a pain free life. She doesn’t care about only having three legs as long as there is no more pain.

Miss Jack 18 Months Later

Here she is a year and a half later, as regal as can be. The only (temporary) loss was that she could no longer shake her paw on command, but she quickly figured out how to offer her right paw instead.

Miss Jack 18 months after leg amputation surgery at Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care

Miss Jack 18 months after leg amputation surgery at Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care

Tylers Tales – A Dog Living With Cancer

Tyler Too

Tyler Too’s Story

Tyler Too, a Boston Terrier, has devoted her life to caring for others.  As a therapy dog, she loves to visit hospitals and nursing homes— bringing smiles to everyone she meets.  But five years ago, this sweet dog became the patient when she was diagnosed with cancer.  Thanks to wonderful care by her veterinarians, including veterinary surgery at Helping Hands, today Tyler is strong and healthy. Now, she continues to help others with her very own website – – a special place for children with cancer and other serious medical conditions.  Tyler shares her experiences and feelings coping with cancer—offering hope, encouragement and even more smiles. (Wait until you see Tyler wearing her wigs!)

Veterinary Surgery to Remove Growths from Tyler Too – Notes from Dr. Lori Pasternak:

Tyler Too has been to Helping Hands on several occasions as he continues to grow lumps and bumps. Some have been benign and a few have been diagnosed as mast cell cancer.  Mast cells are responsible for allergic reactions in the body. Like when you get a bug bite and a bump forms then quickly goes away. That is the mast cells acting normally. When mast cell become cancerous, they form the lump and then keep on growing and do not go away. They can form anywhere in the body, but mast cells prefer the skin, which makes them easier to remove. Occasionally they will shrink, then regrow, so if you see a lump on your dog that grows, shrinks, then grows again, it is likely a mast cell cancer. Please have any lump or bump checked out right away by your regular veterinarian. The smaller it is when you have it removed, the easier for your pet and will be less expensive. Also the sooner it is removed, the less chance it will have to spread to other parts of the skin. There are many forms of skin cancer and mast cell cancer is only one type. Sadly, there is still no cure for cancer, but Tyler Too keeps on truckin’.

Tyler Too Blonde Wig

Since Tyler Too knows chemotherapy can lead to hair loss, he tries on a blonde wig.

Note from Tyler’s Person – Susan

I was heartsick and terrified when I learned Tyler had cancer.  But writing Tylers-Tales has been my therapy.  This little dog has brought so much joy to our family.  I am grateful for every day that she has been with us – and to Helping Hands for giving us many more years of enjoying her.