My wife (Alex) and I (Larry) are faced with an awful decision and are in a tremendous financial situation due to a progressive and crippling spinal condition with our beloved dog, Bella.
Bella is a healthy, energetic, loving purebred German Shepherd who we rescued from our local SPCA when she was around 2 years old. She is about 7 now. She is a lovely animal, full of love for everyone, gentle, and has a genuine love of life. She loves to run in the forest, at the beach, just about anywhere. She is the Animal Lady of the House, protecting our two cats, and even deals with our grouchy one-eyed Parrot.
A couple years ago, while Alex was in the middle of multiple surgeries for a rare orthopedic condition, we saw that Bella was severely dragging her rear leg. We went to a couple of veterinarians to discover she has an extra vertebra (or two) and has two herniated discs, based on a Xray and MRI ($2000). This condition causes her spinal cord to become squeezed, and she is gradually losing feeling and strength in her hips and legs.
Given my wife's pending surgery at that time, we went with conservative options to get spinal injections, acupuncture, and physical therapy. Despite all our alternative treatment efforts, it's getting worse!
This past weekend she collapsed and fell several times and walked around like a drunken sailor. After consulting with two veterinarians they said that no number of cortisone injections or further physical therapy can or will help and that spinal surgery (a laminectomy and foraminotomy) would be the best treatment. The alternative would be pain management … to keep her comfortable.
Not a Happy Girl
Two orthopedic veterinarians have confirmed this and said based on where the nerves are impacted they can rebound. The success rate of the procedure is high: about 85%.
She has been a great companion for my wife during all her surgeries.
We have had numerous consultations, and best quote we got for the procedure is $6900. She also needs an MRI $2060, follow-up physical therapy, and follow-up consultations. Our challenge is that we are ourselves in difficult financial times. Larry lost his great corporate job in 2015 and has yet to find stable employment. And last year we spent $35,000 for Alex’s medical expenses. We are living precariously off of Alex's disability income, my small part-time jobs, and our dwindling savings.
We have reached out to the local pet support agencies for grants or sponsorship and are have been told we are not eligible because we still have savings (Go Figure). We are still trying!
So, here’s the ask….
Alex and I decided that we need to do whatever we can to help Bella. We are trying to raise as much money as we can to help mitigate our costs.
Thus, we are trying to raise at least $9,500, so we can keep this amazing pet alive, happy, and healthy and active. Else, and if her condition deteriorates, the other options are… not good.
Any donation you can make – be it $10, $25, $50, $100 – would be a Godsend.
Can you please help us reach our goal? The sooner we get this done, the better...
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