Help Pay Mr. Sirius's Vet Bills

Everything changed in the Estrada/Lash household on June 24 when one of our two 10-year-old brothers, Mr. Sirius (Gray), suddenly couldn’t walk. When we got up that morning we immediately noticed that Sirius was dragging his back legs, trying to pull himself across the floor. In the time since that moment, he’s had 26 visits to 4 different veterinary facilities, at a cost of over $8,800.

 To briefly summarize, Sirius was suffering from a herniated disc in the spine that caused the lower part of his body to be paralyzed. (To use the medical terminology, an MRI revealed he had “an acute intervertebral disc herniation between the 5th and 6th lumbar vertebrae.”) Apparently this can happen quite spontaneously and is pretty rare in cats. Surgery was performed to “remove a large amount of herniated disc material.” After two days of hospitalization, we brought Sirius home for the long recovery process, which included taking multiple medications (pain killers, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants) and being confined to a cage.

 One of the major consequences of the spinal problem was that Sirius could not empty his bladder on his own. Although the technicians at the various vets we visited (regular vet, emergency vet hospitals) tried to teach us how to express the bladder, we weren’t very good at it, and he needed almost daily vet trips for manual expression of his bladder.

 While all this was going on, Batton and I were also preparing for the San Diego Comic-Con; I was editing the Events Guide and planning the Eisner Awards, while he was doing artwork and preparing materials for the Exhibit A Press booth. Needless to say, it was a very busy and stressful time. To add to that, Mr. Sirius was stressed himself. On the Friday before Comic-Con week (July 15), he was suddenly squinting, and a discharge was coming out of his eyes. Our vet sent us to an animal eye care specialist, who found ulceration on Sirius’s corneas. The specialist said it was a form of Herpes virus that occurs in cats in response to stress. So two types of eye drops were added to his daily regimen.

 Now Comic-Con has come and gone and Sirius is doing well (he's out of the cage and even snuggling with his brother). The eyes have cleared up, the fur is growing back over the incision down his back, he has regained some control of his tail, and we have mastered the art of bladder expression (although we have hopes that he will soon not be needing that “service”). We are hugely grateful to Wendy Gray-Bois for coming to our house twice a day during Con week and tending to Sirius’s needs.



But now we are looking at all the bills that have piled up, and it’s pretty scary. The MRI, surgery, and post-surgery care were over $7,000. The eye care was nearly $400, six trips to the emergency pet hospital totaled nearly $500, and fifteen visits to our local vet came out to more than $800. Several people we spoke to during Comic-Con asked if there was some way to help out with these costs. And many people who are “fans” of Sirius and his brother Swengen on Facebook want to know what they can do.

 So that’s why we’ve started this page. Each trip to the local vet for an exam was $38, while each trip for bladder expression was $22, so donations of those amounts would be like sponsoring one of those visits. But anything you can contribute would be much, much appreciated.

Batton thanks you, I thank you, and Mr. Sirius thanks you.

Jackie Estrada

Donations ()

  • Mark Habegger 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Carmel Curtis 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Katharine Kan 
    • $10 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
See all

Organizer

Jackie Estrada 
Organizer
San Diego, CA
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