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All I Want For Christmas is for Hobson To Be Healthy Again

It is December. The Christmas decorations and promotions are appearing in shops again. Christmas songs are playing. Unfortunately, anything to do with Christmas makes me feel sick inside. 

This photo of Hobson with his English Setter sister, Misty was taken on 4 November 2012. Misty had been living with us for 6 weeks by then. During this time, Misty had certainly helped Hobson, and me, but Hobson is still very ill even though his blood tests including his TFT have always been normal. 

Hobson’s health had started to improve after our baby English Setter girl, Annie arrived. On 24 June 2012, the day before Annie died, Hobson and Annie had a lovely run with each other. It was the first time I had allowed Annie to run with Hobson outside the house because I was so worried about her. I felt so happy seeing Hobson and Annie together. Hobson had not played like this since his English Setter brother, Hammer died. The next day our baby girl, Annie was taken away from us. Annie’s death was too much for Hobson and it was too much for me. We have kept each other a-float and I have managed to keep Hobson alive. However, Hobson has become too ill to play and run like he did with Annie this day.

This is a photo of Hobson in 2009 when he was 6 years old, prior to GDV. Hobson is a Pamploma English Setter. He is a large, strong boned boy. Well, he was before vets destroyed his health.


This is a photo of Hobson’s mother, Beatrice when she was pregnant with Hobson. She is a Pamploma English Setter and she is a large, strong boned girl. She has an impressive pedigree. 

Hobson suffered GDV because of the adverse side effects of the drug, Prednisone and the harmful preservatives in the veterinary Hills Science Diet z/d low allergen dried dog food. Sometimes the causes of GDV are difficult to determine. This was not the case with Hobson. The treating vet knew he was responsible and he showed no remorse. He knew he would not be made to be accountable by the Veterinary Surgeons Board.


Even though I was advised by the veterinary specialist who performed surgery on Hobson that Hobson had achieved a remarkable recovery (Surgery was performed on Hobson PM Sunday, 16 August and Hobson was discharged AM Tuesday, 18 August), this is how Hobson looked 8 days later on 26 August. Hobson had lost kilos in weight and his coat had deteriorated significantly. Hobson was a shell of his former self. My beautiful, healthy English Setter boy had been reduced to this poor state by a vet. All the years of excellent nutrition and care had been wiped away by a vet.

Since the GDV surgery Hobson has never been the same dog, physically, emotionally or mentally. 

In addition Hobson had a sertoli testicular tumour which was ignored by several vets even though his nipples were enlarged, his groin area became pigmented and he developed warts in this area. I believe the tumour was the cause of Hobson’s acute skin allergy problem in 2009 because too much oestrogen was being produced in his body, thereby upsetting his hormonal balance. I was ignored by vets and I was almost thrown out of one vet practice because I questioned the use of Prednisone again. Hobson was eventually desexed in 2011 by a vet I did not know without my knowledge or permission. She removed his scrotum without my knowledge or permission, did not insert enough stitches in the wound, and I believe she botched the surgery. 

In addition, Hobson lost his English Setter brother, Hammer on 3 August 2011 and in less than 4 months he lost his English Setter sisters, Rose and Annie. Hobson has suffered a great deal. 

Even though Christmas is a heart-breaking time for me, I still believe in miracles and magic, angels and fairies, leprechauns and gnomes (I am a mixture of Irish and Cornish). When I was a child my father used to read books to me. My favourite book was King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and I still love stories about this time, "in a land of myth and a time of magic". 

I am sending out a very special wish for Christmas .. I wish with all my heart that my beautiful English Setter boy, Hobson will be healthy again and he will be able to run and play with his young English Setter sister, Misty for many years to come. Hobson is only 9 years old.


This is a photo of Hobson with me after my Arabian horse, Khomet died suddenly and tragically. My hair was falling out because of my trauma and grief. As always, Hobson was there to comfort me and to help me. I will never be able to repay Hobson for the unconditional love and companionship he has given me.

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Comment by Lynn Spencer on December 2, 2012 at 4:24am

Susan, I hope with all my heart that you get your wish for Christmas & that your beloved boy Hobson will be happy & well again & back to his lovely self.  He is a beautiful & very lucky boy because he has a Mum who loves him so much & who will do whatever it takes to make him well again. 


Love & hugs to you both. 

Comment by Finding_Beau on December 2, 2012 at 4:43am

I have been trying to publish this blog for most of the day, despite Telstra!! There appears to be a problem with the photo of Hobson with Sam, our resident heron. I will persevere. Thank you for your kind words, Lynn.

Comment by Kimberly Simmons on December 2, 2012 at 10:07am

Hobson looks like a darling! I hope he gets better soon :( GDV is such a horrid enemy!

Comment by Angela Clarke on December 2, 2012 at 10:19am

How I wish I was a christmas fairy with a magic wand for you Susan. You are so very lovely and caring you deserve magic and happiness. Give all your special children a hugg from us and take great care of yourself. Loves and licks from Abbie, Sofie and Elsa <:0)

Comment by karen chesher on December 2, 2012 at 12:39pm

Susan,looking at the difference in the photos of Hobson within those 3 years its heart breaking, i really hope the Christmas Fairy showers you and Hobson with magic fairy dust.With all the heartbreak you have been through with your beloved animals nobody deserves happinesss more than you.

Please give Hobson a big cuddle from me.

Comment by James Doran on December 2, 2012 at 2:22pm

Our best wishes, thoughts & prayers for you and all your family, Susan. God bless.

Comment by silvia on December 2, 2012 at 3:36pm

we really really wish you to be healthy again very soon, beautiful Hobson!! you are so much loved, i wish you really come back with us and your family and mum  in the most magic mood, as only you can do!! stay strong and win and come back running for many years to come :)

Comment by Finding_Beau on December 2, 2012 at 4:03pm

I logged into ES this morning because I realised I'd made a mistake with a date, and read all your beautiful comments. The tears are streaming down my face again. Thank you all very much!!! ES is the only place I feel I can share my feelings and my stories about my beautiful English Setter and horse children, as well as Sam, our white-faced heron family member, and know that I will not be ridiculed and that others around the world will genuinely care. xxxx

Comment by Barbara on December 3, 2012 at 9:55am

Hope your wish comes true Susan! Love B+T xxx

Comment by Susan Andrews on December 3, 2012 at 10:03am

All my Christmas wishes  to you and Hobson.xx


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