Our family: My wife, Youngha, and I have been married 15½ years and it seems we've always had our two dogs, Maya (adopted 14yo black lab mix) and little Ariya (13yo full-size dachshund). While Maya has struggled with food allergies of all kinds (food, environmental, etc) Ariya has been the ultimate picture of health and strong as an ox! We have always done everything we can for them with special diets and safe treats. Even when we have struggled to pay bills or pay for food, they were always first. There have been times when they ate better than their humans. Even as they have aged, they have been given mostly clean bills of health aside from normal old dog health changes.
But our most recent trip to the vet changed all that. And the latest events have made it difficult to see forward beyond this months bills. Summary of events: Early last week we had taken a walk with the girls and noticed Ariya was a little slower than she had been the day before and not happily bouncing through grass as usual. Needless to say, we cut the walk short and took a rainy day of rest the following day. She didn't feel well later in the week and actually seemed to be feeling worse. She was having trouble lifting her head, appeared feverish, and had a small amount of blood coming from her mouth as though she bit her tongue (the bleeding continued, slow and small amounts). She still had an appetite but increasingly had no desire to move or get up to eat and drink. When she did move it seemed only because she was uncomfortable. This all occurred within a very short period of time one afternoon. We hand fed her and held the water bowl up for her to drink from.
What we initially thought was a back problem (as we had seen before) had become much more concerning. And it turned out to be much more serious than we imagined. The vet discovered she had thrombocytopenia, a low blood platelet count. Her counts were critically low... at zero. Healthy dogs have a platelet count that's between 175,000 - 500,000. The low platlets explained the consistent bleeding/lack of clotting. When we asked what may have caused it we were told it can be "multifactorial" (it is difficult to pinpoint).
She has been in the doggie ICU, at the Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital in Durham, for the last 36+hrs and has been stable with a healthy appetite. They began treatments and she has had an episode of vomiting blood & food which may indicate she is bleeding in her GI tract. The multiple daily blood screens showed a decreasing red blood cell count and only a slight uptick in platelets. Now she is at a point where she will need a transfusion.
With the funds we have already put forth for the vet visit, diagnosis, ICU deposit, and treatment we've been extended well beyond our financial means. I think the roughest part of it all was how swiftly it all happened and that we could not go inside with her or visit due to current protocols. She's a tough little dog and would expect her to fully recover from this and be back home asap. We just can't afford the cost of the necessary treatments. It's a truly helpless, paralyzing feeling.
Ariya has been such an integral part of our little family for so many reasons. Whether she is the comforter when we have moments of depression, or sadness, or illness, the excited, bouncy little noise maker of dog in the kitchen waiting on her food, or our bold security system in the house. She has given her momma all the love, joy, and happiness she requires when she needs it most and her presence brings a warm, cheerful feeling into the emptiness of a house.
This funding will be dedicated solely to her required needs. Her blood transfusion and extended stay in the hospital, as well as, all of the follow-up visits, medications, regular blood screenings, and other dietary needs the doctors give her. Your help is greatly appreciated: We are incredibly grateful for any and all support given for this cause and will do our best to update her progress. As any pet owner can relate, she is so much more than a pet to us. Most significantly the emotional and psychological support she gives through her magnetic cuddling she offers for free.
Thank you for listening, for caring, and giving what you can for this sweet little dog. To help get the word out, please feel free to share the link on Facebook!