by Luke, in Thailand
29th August, 2009

Magnum’s paw broke down completely – so upsetting. Poor dog was so trusting and sweet when I agonized over what to do. Ally at the shelter was pragmatic, sympathetic and supportive in making one of the hardest decisions I have been involved with on these trips and I needed a lot of moral support for what had to be done. It was very difficult because I didn’t want to give up on the paw but I needed to face the reality that after three operations and complete failure to get the tissue knitting together, it wasn’t going to happen. Nine months of an open wound had left a chronic infection and deep fissure that I couldn’t get on top of. The pressure of knowing I am leaving in two days put me in a tricky spot – I couldn’t leave the team at the shelter with such an awkward and unresolved case and it wouldn’t be fair on them or Magnum. After Karin came over for a chat about the situation, had a look at the paw and agreed with what had to be done, I began the preparations to remove the leg.
It messed everyone’s day up – the shelter team were incredibly supportive and gave up their Sundays to help, the film crew also gave up their planned free afternoon to help as well. I’m not sure if or how much of the operation will make the programme – it is very difficult to show such a difficult dilemma and gruesome operation but as far as it can go, the op went well.

Magnum woke up without a buster collar for the first time in nine months. When the wound heals and he adapts he will be out the cage and at least free of the chronic pain and constant irritation of a sore paw. Very hard call to make but having done the op I do feel a sense of relief for the poor dog and I think we all feel pleased it went well and that he is going to be okay.

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