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Cost is no object when dog's life is at stake

Staff writer

The bill was more than Danny and Brenda Maddox of Marion ever imagined spending on a dog.

Not that they had a choice.

“For us, anyway, she’s part of the family,” Danny said, petting the shaved, staple-ridden belly of his in-recovery canine.

Trixie, a 9-year-old mix of terrier and Australian cattle dog, had a rough weekend. Though the Maddoxes said she had been her normal self Aug. 1, she was sluggish and vomiting an alarming amount the next day, a Sunday.

“We decided Sunday night that we would take her to the vet,” Danny said.

Brenda took Trixie to Spur Ridge Veterinary Hospital that Monday morning.

Veterinarian Chris Cox performed blood tests before saying she needed an ultrasound. After getting results of the ultrasound, he referred the Maddoxes to a facility at Kansas State University to receive treatment for a mucocele or swelling in her gallbladder, which caused blockage that prevented it from functioning properly.

Trixie would receive surgery that night. She would not have survived until Tuesday.

Three days, 31 staples, and several meals through a feeding tube later, Trixie was reunited at home with Charlie, her 7-year-old “brother,” an energetic Cavalier King Charles rescue dog.

“He missed her, you could tell,” Danny said. “I mentioned her name a couple times while she was gone, just to see what he would do. He would just lift his head up and start looking around.”

The Maddoxes were grateful for the prompt treatment and coordination from the two veterinary facilities. Afterward, they wondered if there was anything they could have done to see it coming.

“We asked them if it’s a genetic thing,” Brenda said. “They said it’s not really genetic, but I guess certain breeds are more likely to have it than others.”

Trixie, for her part, still seemed worn out from the experience as of Friday. She was a bit lethargic and unsteady at times. She was beginning to eat on her own, but must have a feeding tube until she eats regularly for seven days.

But when someone came walking toward the house, she hopped up with a bark and trotted over to receive them at the door.

She also jumped onto a couch to lay next to Danny.

“She’s kind of my dog, and Charlie’s kind of Brenda’s dog,” he said.

When she seemed most at peace, though, was lying on the floor on her side, belly exposed, staples and all, as Danny gently petted her there.

He said he only has to ask her if she wants to be petted, and she knows to lie down in that position.

“That’s the only trick she knows,” Brenda said.

Last modified Aug. 12, 2015

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