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  • Last modified 183 days ago (May 23, 2019)

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Community comes to sick pup's aide

Mastiff now on the mend after swallowing a stick, and suffering tearing and infection

Staff writer

When Marion resident Cindy Buckner saw her dog, Piper, behaving oddly in April, it was clear there was something wrong.

“Piper wasn’t acting right,” she said. “It was little things; she wasn’t eating food or treats. She goes down with me to let the chickens out, and she wasn’t doing that.”

The assumption at the vet was that it was a bleeding ulcer, but treatments didn’t help, Buckner said.

“There was something in there, but nobody knew what it was,” she said.

Buckner was called home from work in late April to drive the 6-year-old mastiff to Kansas State University Veterinary Center for treatment when the problem got worse, Buckner said.

“My husband and I were devastated,” she said. “In March, it was two years since we lost her mom. My husband knew we were going to do anything and everything to save Piper.”

Buckner said she was apprehensive about having surgery performed on Piper after the loss of their other dog.

“I was so afraid of her having any surgeries,” she said. “Her mom died, and we got her home and she had a blood clot. We can’t do this.”

During the operation, it was discovered that Piper had eaten a stick, which ended up tearing at her stomach, and led to an infection, Buckner said.

Despite a successful surgery, Buckner said Piper still wasn’t eating.

“Even if one of our kids is watching her when we go out of town, she will not eat the first time,” she said. “She’s very spoiled.”

When Piper became more willing to eat, anything was fair game since she was still being picky, Buckner said.

“I didn’t care if it was chicken nuggets,” she said. “I didn’t care if it was McDonald’s, as long as she was eating.”

The financial and emotional support they received from the community was a huge help to the family, Buckner said.

“With a bunch of phone calls, and a bunch of prayers, we were able to come up with the money,” she said. “These are big dogs, and just her medicine to come home was $500.”

After a few weeks of recovery, Piper was back to normal and helping to feed the chickens, Buckner said.

“You can’t tell there was anything wrong with her, other than all the shaving marks from the surgery,” she said.

Last modified May 23, 2019

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