Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dog survives in happy tale

The Holland Sentinel
Posted Feb 07, 2010 @ 05:30 AM
Holland, MI —

Lorna Balcer wasn’t the only person to fall on hard times last year, but she hated to think her dog Bella would be affected.Balcer was homeless and working part-time last October when she told The Sentinel about her tough break. Her 5-year-old cairn terrier had a lump veterinarians believed could be a cancerous tumor.

Staying off and on with her brother in Holland Township and making meager wages without full-time work, Balcer, 50, sensed her dog was in pain. She just had no way to pay for the operation.

With the help of several donations, Bella was able to get the surgery she needed in December. Today, both dog and owner are doing much better, said Balcer, who said she currently holds three jobs.“What gets me is that so many people here in Michigan are unemployed,” Balcer said. “And yet I had someone willing to pay for her entire surgery — which, they did.”

A local veterinarian donated her time to perform the surgery, while an anonymous donor paid for the anesthetic and supplies. Another donor, Julie Peckham, paid for the initial consultation, Balcer said.

What veterinarian Sue Vander Jagt found was that the lump on Bella’s stomach was not cancerous — but a hernia underneath it was more threatening. It ended up being a fatty tumor, which is nothing. It was benign,” Vander Jagt of the Animal Clinic of Holland, said. “But directly underneath it was a very large hernia. That was quite serious. It was pretty labor intensive and difficult to repair it. It was the largest one I’d ever seen.”

The surgery took about 30 minutes and would typically cost between $300 to $600, Vander Jagt said. Bella should now lead a healthy life, she said.Balcer said the surgery was “like a miracle” for Bella.

“Before she had the surgery, she was lethargic. She just was not herself,” Balcer said. “She’s very much more energetic now. She’s doing wonderful.”

Copyright 2010 The Holland Sentinel. Some rights reserved

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