Help Save Sawyer

Meet our Salty Dog of the month for the month of May, Sawyer. We chose Sawyer because the chances of making a full recovery are very high despite his condition! Sawyer has a growing tumor infiltrating his ear canal and causing him severe pain, so he needs surgery to remove it as soon as possible before it potentially spreads.

golden retriever cancer
golden retriever cancer
golden retriever cancer
golden retriever cancer

From Sawyer’s owner, Christine Heady:

“Sawyer is our family’s first Golden Retriever and is the sweetest, most loving dog a family could call their own. When we got him at 10 weeks old, he was one of 7 puppies, and the breeder called him Tank because he was the biggest puppy in the litter. We chose him, though, because of his temperament – he was the calmest and loving.

He has lived up to his namesake of Sawyer, as it means “sawer of wood” … anything and everything left on the floor during the first few years we’ve had him he would saw on. Shoe heels, bottom rungs of wood chairs, and more. My son Liam who is 14 loves baseball, so he nicknamed Sawyer’s middle name as Fenway. They love to play catch and run around. Since Liam is an only child and I’m a single working mother, Sawyer has served as sibling, companion, and best friend for us.

He’s a “Love” and in spite of being almost 8 years old, still behaves like a puppy. When we learned the likelihood Sawyer may have cancer and need surgery, our vet could confirm I almost crumbled. So many things went through my mind. What could we have done differently, how is this going to influence really the only sibling my son has known and what does this mean? Our vet reassured us Sawyer would be well cared for and after I researched what was happening knew there was no other option but to trust the next steps.

Never has Sawyer left our side. His nighttime routine of making sure Liam goes to sleep first, and then come into my room to guard us all until morning never waivers. We love our Sawyer and his life to my small family epitomizes the phrase, “A dog is man’s best friend.”

We are encouraged that he is in the best care possible!

From Dr. Brian Gerard, Sawyer’s Vet:

Sawyer has been our patient since he was a puppy. The owner has always been on top of his care and always looking out for his best interest.

Sawyer is almost an 8-year-old Golden Retriever. He has had a long history of allergies and chronic ear infections. Both ears have been treated for ear Hematomas. He has been on long term Apoquel to keep his ear and skin infections at bay.

The owner has been responsible for the cost of Sawyer’s care, even though she is a single mother with financial constraints. Jupiter Animal Hospital has extended as much as we can financially, including keeping the owner on a payment plan, which is rarely done here.

Recently, we noticed a firm mass to the base of Sawyer’s right ear. It was large enough that it has completely obstructed Sawyer’s ear canal. Aspirates of the mass were taken, and this revealed a possible spindle cell tumor. A final diagnosis has not been made as to the specific type because this would require a biopsy. I have made a recommendation to the owner to consider a Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA).

An estimate from Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens has been provided as the anticipated cost of care for Sawyer’s procedure (TECA). Ms. Heady is unable to move ahead with this procedure due to severe financial constraints and as such, we are asking Salty Dog Paddle for help.

Sawyer needs funding to have this surgical procedure to remove the tumor and submit for histopathology. I believe that this will be Sawyer’s best chance for survival long term.

UPDATE as of 7/10/2020: Sawyer has been scheduled for a Total Ear Canal Ablation and Bulla Osteotomy (TECA) surgery at the end of July with the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens.