Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Maxx with a double x

Meet Maxx (with a double x) 

This is a sad one. Maxx is a very handsome Staffie cross with a Brooklyn accent having originated from New York. 

Maxx’s mum, Tracey, contacted me from my webpage to ask me my opinion on whether it would be Ok for Maxx to have a massage. She wrote that she wanted to give her dog a special treat. However, he is currently at end stage liver disease, so sadly, he now has ascites and is quite filled with fluid in his abdomen. The vet did a slight draining but was concerned to go further, feeling he might do more harm than good. 

Among the many problems that Maxx has endured recently is an inoperable mass on his liver (and now lungs) for the last year and it's grown at a rapid rate. He has spent a good part of last year at the vet's (with recurring pancreatitis). He has been taken to Fitzpatrick’s Referrals (the Supervet) and their oncology unit. But all the specialists say that the prognosis is that he only has a few weeks left and Tracey’s goal was to keep him comfortable and happy. So much so that she wakes up every 2 hours during the night to take Maxx out for a wee to help ease his fluid retention. And not just in the back garden, Maxx thinks of that as an extension to the house - Tracey has to take Maxx out in the street. He is a double x loveable dog with an equally double x stubborn streak. 

When I contacted her to find out more, she told me that she has drawn up a Bucket List for Maxx and massage is high on that list. Most of Maxx’s issues are contraindications to massage and I wanted to make absolutely sure that the vets were on board with this. His vet at the New Priory replied back that as long as I avoided the abdomen everything should be fine. She confirmed that his large mass is probably hepatic carcinoma with secondary abdominal effusion. 

Maxx had his Bucket List massage last night. I spent a while getting the pace and intensity of the massage right to suit him for relaxation as initially the massage techniques were stimulating him rather than calming him down. But after a short time he started to get sleepy and slowly slid himself down onto the massage mat. His favourite moves were around the masseter muscle in his cheek and around his neck and after 90 minutes he did not want to leave the mat. 

I have worked with other dogs where palliative care is the purpose for the massage therapy and in all such cases it is a privilege and honour to be part of that dog’s journey. 

Thank you Maxx. xxxx 
Maxx with two kisses

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