Polly the Foster Dog

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Polly is a 6 year old Shih-Tzu dog who was rescued from a breeder and then relinquished to Last Hope Rescue in December 2014. The poor girl’s body is ravaged with tumors and tells quite the story. We are happy that she has been given another chance for a better life. This is her story.

Potential Life History

We are not too sure what her history is but we gather that she was used for multiple births and was given up because she could no longer get pregnant. The backyard breeder clearly did not take care of her medically. Interestingly, she is house-trained.


Polly is a quiet and sweet six year old Shih-Tzu who is just now finding her voice. She was clearly not socialized well and was mistreated. For instance, Polly finally has started giving cues that she needs to go outside whereas before she would not and would hold it. We do think her “holding it in” caused a slight UTI but that was remedied with regular outings.

Polly also acts timid during mealtimes and will back away from her bowl when approached. She only started taking treats from a hand recently and began licking her foster mom. She is still unsure of cuddling. However, she does like to be near her pet caregiver.


Medical History

This is where the story gets interesting and tragic. Polly has a huge mammary mass next to her left front leg. When she walks, it looks like she is using a crutch. The masses do not stop there, though….

After an initial consultation and x-ray, it appeared the mammary mass was not attached to muscle. The plan was set to have the mammary mass removed, spay her and have her teeth cleaned. Unfortunately, Polly was a mess on the inside and had multiple cysts along her ovaries and uterus. Once the spay was completed, the veterinarian removed a smaller mammary mass and determined that it would best not to continue with the main mammary mass removal and that she may need a complete mastectomy at a later date.

Due to the extensive nature of Polly’s condition, Dr. Jean Dodds was consulted. Dr. Dodds concurred with the attending veterinarian that Polly would need a month to recuperate and may need a complete mastectomy. Dr. Dodds noted that the blood work was “unremarkable but actually quite good considering the multiple ovarian, uterine and mammary masses.”

The good news is that the cysts are benign.

Current Medical Condition

Polly is getting healthier by the day! She is on a raw diet of pork, bison and pumpkin. Even though she is on a high moisture diet, she does not drink enough water as her feces is dry like sawdust. So the goal is to provide her with flavored water or goat milk and blueberry ice cubes. Her mass, though, continues to grow.

Treatment Plan

As of the date of this writing, another medical non-profit organization for pets plans to take her for an appointment at The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

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