After several weeks of emergency room visits when Calli would be shaking and unable to breathe, we finally got a diagnosis of Mega Esophagus.
Mega Esophagus is difficult to detect and diagnose, and the medical options are few. It can develop at any age. The muscles of the esophagus fail and it cannot propel food or water into the stomach. (It’s like a balloon that has been inflated several times and then hangs limp.)The result is that ingested food sits in the esophagus within the chest cavity and never makes it to the stomach. The most serious complication is that digestive fluid/food will at some point pool in the esophagus which generally results in aspiration of digestive fluid/food, leading to pneumonia. (Aspiration Pneumonia).
This is what was happening to Calli. Every trip to the emergency room filled me with fear and dread – that I might lose my pup and that I might have to make the ultimate choice between saving my devoted companion or going into extreme debt. And every time we came home I thanked God for saving Calli. I honestly could not look into her eyes and euthanize her.
Then she aspirated again. Another trip to the ER. I thought my choice had been made for me. But after a great talk with this new doctor who is interning at the Emergency Hospital, who was patient and kind with me, answering all my questions, I realized that this is manageable. When I brought Calli home last night, she was wagging her tail and had more energy.
So this morning we started what will probably be her forever routine. I give her a liquid medicine, wait one hour to let it get in her system, and then I give her two other pills and wait again for twenty minute. Then I feed her and have to hold her up in a sitting up position for 10 minutes. I did all of this this morning and it takes a bit of time, but she seemed to take it well. Maybe she knows this will make her feel better. Maybe she knows how much she means to me. Or maybe she just wants to please me.
But the reality is that no matter how much love I am willing to give Calli, there is still the practical issue of the costs of medical care. This happened in Aug and it cost around $4,000 but this time around it is just over $8,000.
I have never asked for anything for myself and have worked in animal welfare for years and helped so many shelter animals. But I am asking for Calli. If you can donate even a small amount, it will be appreciated beyond words. And if you can’t donate, I understand and ask only that you keep Calli in your prayers and share this. Thank you.
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