In the fall of 2015, we were contacted by the San Francisco SPCA about a special Mastiff named Gillian. Gillian is from the South Korean meat market and was saved by Humane Society International, who flew her to the United States. She will always have a medically difficult life. While she was in Korea, she had a botched C-section for her dead puppies intended to increase inventory at the meat farm. She also had a dead puppy manually pulled from her birth canal/vulva by the farmer. Unfortunately, the sutures from her C-section dehisced, which resulted in emergency surgery. While she was in the shelter in California, staff noticed that she seemed to leak urine. Though it was originally assumed to be attributed to her enlarged vulva from the puppy being pulled out, tests revealed an ongoing UTI. Gillian was also put on urinary incontinence medication. When this didn’t help, an ultrasound was performed which revealed a cystic kidney and a large mass in her bladder that makes urine pool and leak out. She had a surgical consult at VCA SF Vet Specialists, where they recommended that the kidney and bladder mass need to be removed. We couldn’t say no to this poor girl and we picked her up at Pittsburgh International on November 14.
In late November, she had her 3.5-hour surgery which produced good news and bad news. The good news was the absence of any tumors. The bad news was that Gillian‘s left kidney was completely filled with urine and was non-functional. This would set her up for possible major infections in the future, so the only option was to remove the kidney. Also, the surgeon could not find a bladder anywhere. What the doctor in California saw on the ultrasound was the ureter which connects the kidney to the bladder but unfortunately, there is no bladder so the urine just dumps right into the vagina. She is not sure if Gillian was born without a bladder or when she had the botched C-section, the farmer in Korea cut it out. Despite all of that, everything went well and Gillian is doing great now! She will always require daily cleaning in the area of the vagina with baby wipes and we will have to watch for urinary tract infections. She will always have an incontinence problem,but if that’s all that’s wrong with her, we are extremely happy that she have a chance to live a normal life! We have so many people to thank for getting this sweet girl to us. Click this link to see a video of Gillian ringing in the new year with lots of play, and check out our Facebook page for more videos of Gillian playing with the other dogs!
Unfortunately, in February of 2017, Gillian passed away. She had been in renal failure for several weeks; with only having one kidney and no bladder, her poor body could just not hold on any longer. This amazing girl has endured so much in her life and yet was still a trooper until the very end. It has been an amazing journey and my hope is that she will only remember the 1.5 years she spent here, not her terrible past. We are incredibly thankful to everyone who played a part in Gillian’s journey to Gentle Ben’s, including Lola Weber who met Gillian in S. Korea and named her. To the wonderful staff at the San Francisco SPCA including Michelle Baker and Dirk Burns who spent so much time with Gillian when she arrived there and to Frances Ho who helped coordinate her flight to Pittsburgh. Also to the surgeons at PVSEC in Pittsburgh for providing Gillian with a life saving surgery. Thank you to Dr. Marc and all of the staff at Animal General who helped in her care once she was diagnosed to be in renal failure. Also to those who donated the prescription kidney food once Gillian was diagnosed to be in renal failure. She will be missed.