Help Gracie live out a long happy and healthy life! Video footage of this amazing spirit below ...
Gracie is a soft furry, friendly black and white Cockapoo that is super curious, and the most spirited bundle of joy in the world! She is the first pet in my lifetime that I have watched grow form 8 weeks old to her 11.5 years young. She may be getting older number wise, but is still as strong and vibrant as a puppy. Gracie loves people, loves her daily walks, EATING, chewing her bones and snuggling with anyone who will tolerate her spunk! She is so much more than a faithful and loving companion, Gracie is family.
Late November 2017, after eating a treat Gracie appeared to have some of it stuck in her teeth. Upon brushing her teeth a growth was discovered. She was in the vets office the next day. The vet determined it was a mass of some sort. It would need to be removed and tested. $1,150 later to cover office visit, blood screening, surgery cost to remove mass, and pathology fee, the vet was UNABLE to remove the entire mass as he discovered the mass was covering a larger area than he could see in the initial office visit. It was under her tongue too, wrapped around both sides of her left lower carnassial tooth and the molars in the back of her mouth. It was surgically out of his expertise, as these growths can also attack the bone. This was a complex case, and could require removal of teeth and/or part of the jaw to get clean margins of the mass! BEYOND OVERWHELMED. After a long week of waiting on pathology, the tests came back benign! Prayers felt answered. Discussed with vet options; either get a second opinion, or monitor her and take it by ear since it’s not bothering her.
1st week of January comes quickly and Gracie is exhibiting odd behavior. Anxious, tail between her legs, zero interest in her bones and lastly, she would start to yawn, and abruptly stop. It appeared her jaw was the source of discomfort. Perhaps she was sore from her last surgery a few weeks back? TMJ from her bones? Issue with a tooth? Whatever it was, she was acting different, so back to the vet ($350) for another sedated examination and teeth cleaning to rule out any potential dental issues. Teeth were great, but the mass just tested 7 weeks prior was considerably bigger. It was growing aggressively. The vet took a picture during sedation and my HEART SKIPPED A BEAT when I saw it. The below photo is Gracie’s mass, and the ENTIRE area that needed to be removed. Yes, her jaw and socket!
￼￼￼A consultation was set the morning after with the referred specialist. Gracie needed a CT Scan to determine if the mass was ONLY in that area and discuss possible treatment. If it was localized (best case scenerio), she would need a partial mandibulectomy (partial removal of her jaw). Just the surgical consult + CT Scan scheduled for the next morning was $1,500. Fear and stress were beginning to become real. She was just sedated 2 days prior and still dealing with the first surgery expenses. The surgeon called after the CT scan, confirmed it was local and not in other areas of the jaw. Which was the best news under the circumstances.
Estimated around $6,500 because it will require a few days in the hospital for this kind of surgery. Hello panic attack. Not only is this a major surgery for Gracie with real risks involved, but the estimate can easily increase if something unexpected happens during surgery, or if she needs to stay longer in hospital, or follow up testing, x-rays, scans, medication, etc.
Bottom line; The rate this growth is growing, and where it is located this surgery had to be done now to save her life. The after care required diligence and close monitoring as a feeding tube was placed during surgery to ensure she was hydrated, fed and medicated at home until she is up to eating on her own. The thought of rehabbing her, along with high medical expenses is beyond overwhelming and stressful, yet the outcome is worth it. She has many more years yet to live! For me personally, without Gracie, the past several years of my life would have been hopeless with the loss of my father, had she not been there with me. Gracie is beyond LOVED, and anything that can be done to provide her the best quality of life and longevity is worth it all. She deserves a chance to live another 4-5+ years God willing, and this is the only thing in her way right now.
How You Can Help
This was an extremely expensive surgery, that carried a signifigant financial burden as I missed weeks of work after to care for her. Setting up this gofundme was suggested by a friend, to at least help alleviate the financial stress. So here is ... our story being put out to the universe, which is so against my nature. Please share if you feel inclined. If your situation allows, any contribution would be so beyond generous. If the goal is reached to cover the surgery and aftercare expenses, it will be a blessing. All donations will be used to cover all of her medical expenses and aftercare. Please know even the smallest of donatations is appreciated, even if it is just sharing, prayers, and words of encouragement. Updates and photos before, during and after will be posted here. Should the goal be met and there be any money left over that was raised it will all be donated to the www.hopeforpaws.org organization that does incredible work for rescue dogs.
FYI: GoFundMe works on a 0% platform for taking fees. However they ask for tips by defaulting a 15% fee by masking as a “tip”. You may elect to NOT leave a tip. All you need to do is select the drop-down box next to the 15% defaulted tip charge. Change to “other”, and fill in box with amount of tip, if any, or 0.00 for none.
Note: They already take 2.9% of all the donations + $0.30 per transaction through their processing platform. Again, if you elect to leave a donation, you can ZERO out their default tip charge.
Thank you for your support, and here’s to helping Gracie live out a long, happy and healthy life - full of LOVE and BONES! -Leslie Michelle
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