Here are pictures of Skittles, just a week before his passing. R.I.P. 2005-2014
Skittles, just a week before his passing
Skittles, just a week before his passing
I am very sad to say that Skittles passed away this morning. He was doing really well, and had great energy. But within the last 48 hours, he had a sharp decline. He was back to not eating and acting lethargic. I woke up to him having what looked like a seizure--convulsing, not responding, eyes wide open. I stayed there and laid with him until he stopped breathing.
It is likely that his intestines became obstructed again , which is always a possibility with the surgery that he had. It was tough to see that he was doing better, only to see him fall again. But, I can take solace in the fact that I know he had several good days before passing. We had lots of walks and spent a good amount of time in parks soaking up the sun.
Thank you again for your uplifting support--with your help, I was able to make Skittles' last days the best they could be.
Skittles is doing great. He has a bunch of energy and is very happy. Here is a video of him jumping and catching treats. Thank you all for your support!
Skittles is doing so much better! It's so nice to see him happy again :)
Skittles is happy and healthy!
Skittles got posted on 4 The Love of Animals, a blog dedicated to animals and the people that care for them. To those that run the blog, thank you so much for posting him! See his blog entry below:
As for a Skittles update--I am so happy to report that he is doing better. He has been up and down since surgery. This surgery has really taken a toll on him. He did not eat for several days at a time, and was becoming very weak. It was sad to see him wasting away.
Thankfully, though, he started to get his appetite back yesterday, and now that he is eating again, he's starting to act like good ol' Skittles again!
He's on a bland special diet now, and will be taking liver support supplements. Looks like he's going to push on through!
Skittles just had his vet visit. They found that fluid is accumulating in his abdomen, which could be due to infection, leakage, or a progression of his liver disease (which seems not right, because he was happy and healthy before all of this).
He also just had an ultrasound done, and no blockages/emergencies were found.
Once the test of his fluids come back, we will have a better idea of what's going on. It's been a very stressful time...
Skittles' vet visit. Back at the ER now
Ultrasound at the ER
Skittles is doing better today. It seems like most of his pain is gone, so I have taken him off his pain medications (which he was first planned to be done with earlier this week). Now that's he off the pain medications, which sedated him quite a lot, he's starting to have better energy and act like himself again.
As for his liver issues, we will be seeing our vet on Wednesday. I will be updating once the vet discusses his biopsy results in detail. From what I've heard so far, it sounds like a chronic, slow, disease which can be treated with diet and supplements.
As for our fundraising efforts--thank you SO much to everyone who has donated and shared so far! We had a great boost over the past few days thanks in large part to many Cute Overload blog followers from all over the world.
I ask that you please continue to share this page and spread the word. We've done so well so far, and I know with one more boost, we can hit the goal!!
Again, thank you all, and be well.
Well, I got some not-so-great news from the Veterinary Specialty Center. During surgery, they took a liver biopsy as Skittles' liver levels were elevated and the liver was abnormal in appearance.
The test results came back today, and he has Hepatotoxicosis, aka Copper Storage Disease. Apparently, this is somewhat common in West Highland Terriers. Skittles and I will be meeting with our home vet next week to discuss the biopsy results in detail.
It sounds like we just need to make sure his diet is low in copper, and is taking zinc supplements. That's as long as this disease hasn't progressed too far. Of course, though, this adds to the costs...so I will be updating after this examination...
Nearly $600 has been raised just today--thanks mainly to Cute Overload readers! Thank you so much!!
As for Skittles, he is doing alright, but still in pain. Earlier today, he was mildly shaking while laying down :( So, I got a refill on his pain meds so that he's covered for the next few days. So, that added just a little bit to the total cost--which has been updated.
Again, thank you everyone for the well wishes and donations! It's been a great fundraising day :)
Skittles just got posted on Cute Overload - a blog (for super cute animals) with many followers from all over the world!
I am so thankful to those who run the Cute Overload blog, and to the kind and compassionate readers who are donating and sharing!
I am amazed by and so grateful for the kindness and compassion of those who have donated so far. My final bills totaled to $3,826.73, so thanks to you all, more than 25% has already been raised! Thank you SO much for all the kind words, donations, shares, and likes.
Skittles doing pretty darn well, for less than a week out of surgery! He's resting mostly, but he's able to walk when he needs to, and he has been waking up hungry and wanting to eat (Normal, healthy Skittles wakes me up everyday at 6 AM to eat!).
Skittles is starting to get his appetite back. Woohoo!
I'm so thankful to all who have donated so far to Skittles' surgery bills. About 10% has been raised so far. He is still in pain, but at least he's starting to eat a little bit.
Dear Friends, Family and Caring Readers,
Thank you for taking the time to open this link. On April 15th, 2014, Skittles was rushed to the ER for emergency surgery for the removal of an intestinal obstruction. Thankfully, he is out of surgery now and in the process of healing. Here is his story:
Skittles is a great dog. As you can see from this picture that was just taken last week, he is a happy-go-lucky puppy. He is a sweetheart, with a goofy "Westie" terrier personality. Here's a video of Skittles having a howling contest with my partner and I (Spoiler alert: Skittles won).
On the morning of April 15th, Skittles was acting a bit lethargic. He is normally a very excited and energetic dog, so I already knew something was going on. Later in the morning, I could tell he was struggling to excrete but couldn't, as if something was preventing it from passing. I told his dog sitter, Jean (who is amazing and a blessing) to be aware of it during the day. She said he indeed was lethargic, and had no interest in food.
When I came to pick him up in the early evening, he seemed to be okay--not worrisome enough to warrant a vet visit. We had a nice, long walk, and it seemed like he was doing fine. He was still struggling to excrete, however. I figured I would give him pumpkin/something fibrous to help him pass whatever was causing him trouble.
Things got considerably worse very fast once I brought him home. Upon entering the apartment, Skittles went to drink some water. Almost immediately, he threw up all of the water with yellow bile. He then threw up multiple times in just a few minutes after that. I then dialed the phone to my vet (around 6 PM), who referred me to a nearby animal ER. He continued to throw up every half hour or so for the rest of the night.
I took him to the ER right away, and they took his vitals and did X-rays. They said indeed, it was an intestinal obstruction, and that surgery needed to be done ASAP. However, because their surgeon wasn't going to be in that night, and that he was an older dog (9 years old), they referred me to a veterinary specialty center in Buffalo Grove.
Buffalo Grove is over 30 miles away from Chicago. Not having a car, I went through my phone contact list and called everyone I knew who had a car and might be willing to help me out. I was incredibly lucky to have a family friend pick me up on last minute notice and drive me all the way up there.
Once I got there, I knew we would be in good (and expensive) hands. I was first told that surgery would be $3,000, which made me gulp, but relent and give the go ahead. I knew that Skittles needed this surgery. And, as an otherwise happy and healthy dog with years ahead of him (I've known Westies who have lived 18 years), I felt this surgery was worth it.
That initial $3,000 figure soon grew to over $5,000--without informing me before billing. Keep in mind, these are only "estimates." A 100% deposit of the "low estimate" --over $3,800--was required before any procedures could be done. I had also already paid $400 to the first animal ER I took him to in Chicago.
I don't have that kind of money. It's all going to a credit card with a high APR. This is especially frustrating because I have been working hard and living frugally to get my credit card debt down, only to have it skyrocket again.
I know in my heart that everything will be okay with Skittles, and I thank God for that. But, I am concerned about amassing debt that will only continue to grow with a high APR. I am embarassed to ask for help, but I need to be honest and say that I need to try every way possible to pay this balance as soon as I can.
I appreciate anything you can give--even if it's $1 or just some kind words. I'm lucky to have a very loving and helpful family; however, my relatives have their own financial challenges, and I cannot ask them to bear all of this burden on top of what they're already carrying.
Anything that I receive in excess of Skittles' medical bills will be donated to Cape Ann Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Thank you again for taking the time to read all of this. I sincerely appreciate the kind thoughts and words that have been expressed to me since Skittles has been sent to the ER.
Thank you again, and be well.