Stoffelina is a German Wirehaired Pointer
She is a township dog now living the life. She was discovered in a township outside of George. Severely underfed and sick as a dog. Luckily, she was rescued by SPCA George from a life of eating rocks and being taunted by naughty kids.
We heard about this rare breed at the SPCA from a friend at GSP rescue. Anyone that knows pointers will tell you they don’t do well in a kennel. They need human interaction. We decided to go and visit her but to be honest I already knew that she would be coming home with us.
We met Stof and when I saw the look in my wife’s eyes the writing was on the wall.
There is something very special about Stoffel. She has eyes that looks straight into your soul. All she wants in life is a little bit of love unless there is something that can be snacked on. Then your love is basically chopped liver.
Stof took part in a charity drive and played model for some of the Woolworths dogfood and snack packaging. As payment they sponsored three months’ worth of food for a dog in a shelter. We love telling anyone who dares stand close enough to the dog food isle every time we are in the shops that this is our dog. It’s usually followed by looks of disbelieve.
Stoffelina is a medical marvel. But not in a good way. We got her on good food and she bulked up nicely. We quickly realized that she had very bad hip dysplasia, but she makes up for that in effort. Somehow she can still get onto any couch or bed no matter the height. We have our suspicion that she was part of a hunting family, but when she was unable to hunt because of her hips they gave her away.
For years she had a cough that would not go away. She had lots of medicine including being treated for kennel cough but nothing did the trick. One day we took her to a new vet and he immediately told me that she is gluten intolerant. Being a chef I laughed and told him to be serious. He assured me that this was the case. We put her on food with no grain and the cough stopped immediately.
One year at Brenton on sea we were walking on the beach. She was on the edge of the fynbos when we realized her face was starting to swell. We rushed to the vet in Knysna where he showed us the bite mark. Luckily it was a night adder. They have the same type of venom as a puff adder but much less potent. He was able to treat her with cortisone and she pulled through.
She did not learn her lesson because she still sticks her head in any bush or hole she can find.
One day we noticed that Stof is losing weight and her hair is starting to look a little thin. Off to the vet we went. With the expression on his face during the examination I could see that there was bad news on the way. Stof’s liver was massively enlarged. The vet told me that he thinks its liver cancer. I asked what we can do? His response was” nothing that I would do to my dogs” then he made a slicing gesture with his thumb across his thought. He said that he would like to do some tests and I should leave her there for two hours. I had some things to do so I left her there. I drove around for feeling very sad about the news. When I returned the vet had a smile on his face and said he has great news. He’s never felt so good to tell someone that their dog has tick bite fever. He said that he has not seen symptoms like that in many, many years. We treated her with antibiotics and she pulled through.
About a year later we saw what looks like a spider bite on the end of her tail. She then developed large blister like knobs on the back of her ears and off to the vet we went. In the 60 years of experience between him and his colleague they have never seen such a thing. After tons of research we together decided that is was a secondary infection from a possible insect bite called canine leproid granuloma. Basically leprosy for dogs. (Inset WTF emoji here)
The vet has never treated this himself. We could treat her with some very serious long term antibiotics used for TB. He also mentioned that her immune system should be able to fight off the infection by itself given some time. We thought that her immune system was suppressed by the years of living in the township. We decided to start her on the antibiotics.
At this stage I should mention that through all of the above, snake bite included, Stof has never acted sick a day in her life. She is always keen for a walk or a bite to eat. One day after giving her the antibiotics she changed into a sick dog. We immediately stopped and decided just to treat the wounds on her ears that have now opened up. After two months of treating the open wounds, she started to heal. And guess what, she pulled through.
Stof has been struggling with diarrhea for the last 6 months. We have tried everything and ran every test you can think of. Finally, the vet suggested we take her to a specialist. A scan showed that she had a massive growth in the colon. It also appeared that it had spread to two different places. We thought that it was tickets. The specialist did a biopsy while we went for a very sad chocolate milkshake. On return he greeted us with some good news and some bad news. The growth was a malignant cancerous growth, but the other two lesions came back clean. It was only inflammation. That means that we can remove part of the colon and she should be able to pull through.