Suddenly on the afternoon of Saturday August 16th, 2014, Maxine the French Bulldog began to stumble on her back legs. Six hours later, her rear half was totally paralyzed, and she became incontinent. After immediately being rushed to a vet known for TV appearances, I was told that they could not help her, and she needed immediate surgery and a neurologist, as they feared IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease). Maxine was mostly limp, and crying in pain. I was given an idea of what a MRI and surgery might run, and directed to a Pet ER, that had a neurologist. After several hours there, we learned that she definitely had spinal cord stenosis and suspected IVDD, causing the paralysis of her hind quarters. It was emphasized that surgery needed to be done sooner rather than later, to keep the rates of success for regaining the use of her legs high. We were also informed that the neurologist did not come in to the office until mid-week, unless I wanted to agree to immediate MRI and surgery, at a price higher than the first estimate. We went home with steroids to reduce the swelling, pain meds, and muscle relaxers. Mid-day Sunday, Maxine showed no signs of progress, and could barely drag her body across the floor with her front legs. I had to carry her outside and hold her up with a towel under her belly, so she could pee. Once the meds really kicked in, you could see the sweet, happy girl wanting to come out and play, but could only lay motionless, flat on her stomach, with her limbs sprawled out. On Monday, I took off work to visit a veterinary neurologist, over an hour away. After another expensive consult, I was quoted almost DOUBLE the ballpark estimate given by the first vet for the MRI and spine surgery. It was once again empasized that she needed surgery, ASAP, to ensure the best chances for regaining the ability to walk again.
After being laid off twice in three years and currently job hunting, I knew I surely could not afford the cost of the MRI and surgery she needs. I left the neurologist with extra medication, hoping and praying that the meds would create a miracle. By mid-afternoon Monday, Maxine became increasingly incontinent her body seemed more "limp". After several accidents while trying to carry her outside to pee (along with 4 wardrobe changes and showers), I knew I had to find a way to get her surgery. Two friends on Facebook offered advice for surgery through Virginia Tech Veterinary Hospital, and many, many other friends offered to donate, if I created a GoFundMe page. So, within an hour, I made a call to VA Tech, learning that as a learning institution, they do surgery at a reasonable price, (actually less than half of what the neurologist quoted). I let them know I was about to leave Baltimore to make the 5+ hour long drive, they assured me that they would have someone waiting for her arrival.
I dropped Maxine at midnight, and this morning they called to say that she had a MRI, and has an acute disc herniation causing her paralysis, as well as a second, older herniation that they also wish to address. As I type this, she is in surgery having both levels of her spine treated, and I am praying for the best...
I rescued Maxine from the Humane Society of Harford County, in November of 2009, and it has been love ever since. She has enjoyed a happy, spoiled life, and all-around great health. I hope that you can donate to assist in covering the costs of my little girl's vet visits, MRI & surgery, follow ups, and rehab, no matter how little!
Thank you for your kindness, and watch out for updates! Follow Maxine on Instagram: @maxinethefrenchbulldog
Below: A paralyzed Maxine upon arriving at Virginia Tech Veterinary Hospital 8/19/14
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