Success in not always measured in dollars, especially in the veterinary profession. The story of Maizy is a success on every level that counts.
On a cold day in late November 2009, Dr. Bianucci’s wife, Susan, was driving on Maybank Highway. She saw a heart wrenching site. It was a mere skeleton of a dog stumbling along the road being blown down from the draft of passing cars. The dog was barely able to struggle to her feet before being blown over again. Susan stopped and approached the dog, which weakly wagged its tail and then collapsed. She lifted the dog into the car and quickly brought her to the Mount Pleasant Office of Veterinary Emergency Care. Dr. Bianucci met her there. About his impression of the dog, Dr. Bianucci describes, “In my career, I have never seen a more pathetic sight. This creature was so dehydrated that her eyes could not even be seen for being so sunken in. She could not raise her head to eat or drink. She had a tumor at the tail base that was the size of a grapefruit.”
Further examination revealed that the tumor had spread to her abdomen and a similarly sized mass was there. This poor dog had lost nearly all of her hair and only weighed a frail 29 lbs. Her body temperature was to low to register. When her blood was drawn, it was so thick it resembled syrup, because she was so dehydrated. The decision was made by all present that she should be put to sleep. The only dissenters were Susan and Dr. Bianucci. Dr. Bianucci explains, “We could not help but feel that this dog had been so terribly neglected and had recent suffered so badly that to let her go now amid such misery was wrong. She deserved to experience some love and care. So we started her on fluids and electrolytes and the entire staff gradually signed on to this project, but there were plenty of doubters at first.
Success Story Dr. Bianucci and the rest of the staff decided on a name for the rescued dog that might or might not have a hope for survival: “Because she was found on Maybank Highway, she was named Maizy Maybank”
Within a few days, Maizy began to walk: a few days later, she could eat. Dr. Bianucci notes, “As her hydration improved, her beautiful brown eyes came into view. After a week, we decided it was time to go to surgery. This was risky. The mass on her backside was huge and adjacent to the anus. The one in the abdomen was also huge and was surrounded by the bladder, major vessels and nerves. The surgery was difficult and there were times during which putting her to sleep seemed reasonable, but we moved forward. As a result of the team’s efforts, Maizy made a wonderful recovery! She did beautifully. Her recovery was remarkable. The tumor is on that chemotherapy can help. So, our oncology specialists volunteered their services and she began chemo.”
Success StoryMaizy was adopted on Christmas Eve by one of the surgery technicians at VSC, Christine. She and her family have given Maizy a loving home in which Maizy assumed top dog status! Within 3 months, all of Maizy’s hair had grown back; she now weighed a healthy 52lbs versus her mere 29lbs and was cancer free.
Maizy was treated by the Emergency Service, then Surgery, and then Oncology. It was truly a combined effort and a leap of faith.
Maizy lived with her new family for 9 months (which is the equivalent of 5 human years) and received the love she deserved after her surgery. She returned that love to her new family and taught everyone a lesson about being a fighter and what can be achieved with a little faith and a combined effort of care and compassion.
Sadly, Maizy’s cancer returned 9 months later and we lost her. Maizy will be loved and remembered always as the sad, neglected little dog she started out as, to the sweet, unconditional loving pet she became. Although Maizy was only with us 9 months, success was achieved all the way around. Maizy was given a 2nd chance at life to live in a loving home and for all that were fortunate enough to know her, we learned that a little love can go a long way.
Dr. Bianucci adds, “It is impossible to describe what a sweet dog Maizy was.”