Devastation as SHAK dog, Kai, passes away

Spending time together. Stephen Wylie with Kai.
Spending time together. Stephen Wylie with Kai.

The next instalment of our series dedicated to Alnwick-based dog-rescue charity, SHAK.

It’s been a really tough time at SHAK, as the dedicated team had to say goodbye to one of its beloved dogs who died after contracting a life-threatening condition.

Brave Kai suffered cardiac arrest on the operating table as he was undergoing vital surgery, after being diagnosed with gastric torsion.

Kai’s death has devastated those who cared for him at SHAK. But while he has gone, he will never be forgotten.

SHAK founder, Stephen Wylie, said: “I always had a real soft spot for Kai, as had so many others. He came with such a huge reputation, but gave us back so much. I don’t think anyone who witnessed it will forget the way he helped other dogs realise that other dogs were actually okay to be around.”

Explaining Kai’s final days, Stephen added: “Kai was in the kennels, looking lethargic and possibly a little bloated. Knowing what this meant, we sped to the vets. On arrival, our worst fears were confirmed – Kai had suffered a stomach torsion and we had to rush him into surgery.

“For any dog, this is traumatic enough and the chance of survival is slim. After surgery, I collected him and brought him home to nurse, knowing the next three days were critical.

“Sleeping on the floor with him and syringe feeding him medication and baby food are now memories I will never forget and the fact Kai let me get so close to him is something I really will cherish.

“On Wednesday night, Kai collapsed and couldn’t stand – my heart told me he was in serious trouble.

“I rushed him back to the vets where an ultrasound scan revealed his abdomen was full of fluid. Opening him back up revealed that the damage to part of his stomach from the twist was too bad. It is presumed the blood vessels to that part were damaged beyond repair, and part of his stomach had died. Kai was so weak now and his heart couldn’t take anymore. He left us after suffering a cardiac arrest on the table.”

Stephen admits that those last few days that he spent with Kai were ‘really special’.