Fenrir Needs Your Help!

Here's the saga of Fenrir and the 2 lb. spleen!

Who is this? Who are you? Why am I here?
This is Fenrir. For having the namesake of a Norse wolf god, he is kind of a weird little blonde sausage. Though, he is officially, a golden beagle mix. I think Twinkie fits him better, don't you think?
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He's 9 years old and he's been living the good life. Sleeping on the couch, running outside, enjoying his time with his family and just loving with everything in him. He doesn't bark, he is offended that you would even suggest biting. Has a soft spoken manner and a sweet personality. Even cats that don't like dogs, cohabitate with Fenrir.

He is a part of my family. My name is Crystal. But you can call me Cry, because anyone willing to even read about my dog is a friend of mine. I am your narrator and also one of the four people blessed to cohabitate and care for the little ball of fluff in the picture.
Also as a disclaimer, if the info you are about to read comes across as humorous it’s is my fault, and please don’t allow that to sway you one way or the other. It is me attempting to cope with it all with my ,sometimes, rather dark humor.

Fenrir's People (Other than me, of course)-
      Samael - Boyfriend, He is the person who raised our dear Fenrir from a pup, He has by far the longest relationship with Fenrir.
     Kalli -  S/O, Fenrir is the first dog that they have gotten a chance to really care for as an adult. Kalli and Finn love going on long walks on the beach.
     Draco- The lovable roommate, Fenrir has claimed Draco's bed as his own. Draco is allowed to sleep on it, providing that he doesn't mind paws to the face.


TLDR: Fenrir is now starting to either stabilize or get better, but is still hospitalized and in need of critical intervention at this time. His decline took place over the course of 6 months, and nearly every organ was a suspect in the crime against doggo.  The Spleen was finally found guilty for the crime of making Finny Fu sick and was sentenced to exile from the body. However, the gall bladder may be a sleeper agent and more testing is needed to see if the red and white blood cells are having a turf war as the immune system attacks the red blood cells. 
3/9/20: he came home yesterday! He is doing much better but we are still looking at a long road of doctor visits and possibly chemotherapy , maybe another surgery to remove his gallbladder later down the line (estimated between 5k and 8k)
3/12/20 We got the info that he has a HistioCytic Sarcoma yesterday and that chemo was going to be looked at after he recovers from the surgery. After getting the news, I spent the day sleeping and working cause I am working a million hours rn. But we hit our goal today... this is insane. You guys are the stuff of legend!
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Contents (Navigate with Ctrl+F)
- TLDR
- The Backstory (September 2020-January 2021)
- Last Month (Febuary)
- This Week (March 2nd-5th)
-  Fund Allocation

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THE BACKSTORY (Sept.2020-January2021)

In September 2020, Fenrir seemed to be more tired and having a harder time getting up and doing things. After a couple days of this lower activity, he stopped defecating. As the canny pet owners we can sometimes be, the lack of bowel movements had us rushing him to the vet, at which point, the vet told us that he was going into liver failure. They knew because of the raised enzyme in his blood and the notable yellow tint to his eyes and gums.They needed to intervene, NOW!
 
So, they took him for the night and flushed him with fluids and medication.

At that time, I thought that the night of waiting in September was the worst, looking back on it now what a sweet summer child that I was. We were hoping and praying to every god, bargaining with our pasts, and crying into each others arms hoping that this... this wouldn't be it.

In the morning, with healthier (albeit not healed entirely) blood values, we got to bring him home. Over the next six months, we would begin getting him medication(Liver medication, antibiotics, anti nausea for the symptoms of the antibiotics) to keep his liver stable and periodically take him in for other exams and tests.

Even with all this intervention something didn't seem quite right. He was still losing weight. Even though we were treating everything we could, he seemed to be eating less and less. We had him checked for worms. He had them, they got treated but it didn't help. 

THE LAST MONTH (February)

After a few months of this, his profile recheck came up, at this point we had been taking him to see the vet almost monthly. We got him a probiotic to balance out his stomach, more antibiotics , and a special diet cause maybe it was his GI tract(340.88$), and after a couple days of not eating the bland food we were giving him, we got him an appetite stimulant to make him eat.(75$) But even with that he still wasn't eating as much as a dog his size should be.

Then the doctor recommended an ultrasound.(500$)
And of course, we did it. 
The results would then take a day to process.

We got the results back. There was a mass in the area of his spleen, maybe on his liver, maybe on his lungs as well. Our hearts dropped.
They needed an X-ray of his chest to see if the mass was in his lungs.

So, it was X-ray time! (205.34$) Finally, some good news amidst the bad! His lungs are clear!

Our primary vet then made an appointment for us with an oncologist, the kind you can only get through the primary vet referring you.

And as we waited for the appointment, we began seeing his energy evaporate like oxygen next to a flame. He was fighting something we couldn't even fathom. We were getting more and more terrified.

Finally! It was time to see the specialist, they did their consult (159.00$) which included an ultrasound of everything in his body that the specialist didn't charge us for since we had just had one done the week prior. 

Checking over all his systems with a fine tooth comb, she confirmed that the mass was in his spleen and also that his liver actually looked fine.  However, his gallbladder did look a little full so she speculated that might have been causing the 'most likely' incorrect diagnosis of liver failure however more testing is the only way to know for sure.

His spleen was definitely a problem though, a very big one; A problem that if it ruptured could easily kill him.

At which point we had two opinions, like a terrible pick your own adventure game that we had no choice but to play.

One was an aspiration of the mass, to understand if it was just the spleen or both the spleen and the liver. (397.48$)

The other, a CT scan to look at all his body systems at once. The gold standard of diagnostics. Unfortunately, anything that effective is always four times the cost.(between $1531.45 and 2308.61)
Ultimately, both would just be leading to an inevitable surgery to remove his defecting spleen.(Initially, between 3,000 and 4,000 dollars)

We chose aspiration, cause there was just no way we could fathom getting both the CT scan and the surgery, with the level of immediacy that the doctors were recommending. Maybe if we just had more time... but even just in the week it took to get him to the aspiration he was becoming more and more frail. He was even beginning to deny his favorite treats.

The terror of this splenic mass killing him in the night, the sleeplessness, that is a hell I would wish upon no one. As each of us in turn would stay up, just watching him. Just doing our best to not let him slip away in the night. We would stop in the middle of conversations and ask "Where's Finn?" then do a mad dash around the house to find him. Fearing what we would find, thankfully, he was always fine. Maybe a little startled at our concern. I personally found myself, losing focus on what I was doing many a time just to look at him, to see the fall of his breath as he slept.

We were on death watch. Four of us, taking turns, trying to take care of each other, watching over him like insomniac guardian angels.

THIS WEEK (March 2nd to March 5th)

Holding our breath, we made it to the morning  of March 2nd, we took him in for the aspiration. It felt like we had made it.

The results were all suggesting what they were already speculating. It is his spleen, not his liver. As far as they told me. there is a marked visual difference between the spleen cells, and liver cells so they are pretty easy to see under the microscope.

Later that day, we decided to go forward with the surgery, because the thing we were fighting the hardest was time. Our funding was low but we could do it, we just needed to do it now.

They said, in the way that doctors say things, that the 'probability of complications was low'. and that their prognosis was 'cautiously hopeful' The worst that could happen as far as they could tell was he would need a blood transfusion.

After the surgery, we found out for sure that the liver looked good and the spleen was definitely causing problems and had grown to a huge, 2 lbs. Keeping in mind, before surgery he was pretty anorexic and weighed about 25 lbs from his normal 30 to 37lbs. It was 8% of his body weight at that point.
That's like a person who weighs 140 lb's  having a tumor removed that is 11.2 lb's

He was supposed to stay in the hospital for two days. He was supposed to get better, but after that first night he was just getting worse. We had moments of thinking that he would be okay, but then his vitals started their decent into madness.

His white blood cell count was into orbit. (82,000. normal is around 17,000)
His red blood cell  count was diving. Anemia hitting him like a brick. 
His blood pressure was high. His heart was working harder just to keep his thinner blood circulating.
His liver enzyme (bilirubin) levels were going up, again.

March 3rd is when the surgeon told us that he would need more care than what they could give him. He needed a transfusion. He needed more monitoring. He needed to go to a different hospital that specialized in complicated cases like his, and it wasn't going to come cheap
We had no idea what to do.
The doctor brings up euthanasia as a reasonable option if we don't have the funds.
But, as always the answer inside of us is always going to be,

"Save him!"

So we put aside our pride and we ask around some the people in our immediate friend circle and my S/o's entirely lovely grandmother. We are thoroughly unused to asking for help. We are usually on the other side, giving help, but these are special circumstances.

They can help and they want to. They are here to save Mr. Fenrir, who has impacted all their lives in different ways. We got just enough to push us up to a place where we can afford transferring him to a new hospital. One with better care and we cross our fingers that we can afford his continued care for at least long enough to get him healthy.  (estimated at 4000.00$;2000.00$ down-payment)

Unfortunately, his situation continued to get more and more complicated. 

On the 4th, they saw the results of the transfusion. It was working, his body wasn't rejecting it and was holding steady to the much better red blood cell count. They also did more diagnostics. (Moving the running tally up to 2600$) This included testing for why his white blood cell count was still so high and why he was still presenting with symptoms of anemia. They were looking at Secondary Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (Or IMHA for short)
She also said she just could not see him getting better before that Sunday+Monday and said if we wanted to continue his care the estimate would be closer to the 5k-6k range. 

Fancy words for, an immune disease that is attacking his red blood cells. Seemingly, the white blood cells were not too big a fan of the red blood cells.
After testing, they found many of the markers that would point towards IMHA, and they determined it would be secondary because it is likely being caused by the existence of the splenic mass.

They did another ultrasound to check on his gallbladder. because the bilirubin(ah, a reoccurring villain!) enzyme was suggesting that his gallbladder may be more concerning than originally they thought, and/or there was something more complicated going on. To keep it brief, his gallbladder has a partial mucus seal on it that is causing some backup into the blood stream.
Thankfully, it was and is not currently the main focus of our concern but could become one if the gallbladder decided to completely seal itself off, like an introvert during Co-vid. (A 5000$ to 8000$ emergency surgery)
 
They decide the best course of action is to give him a cocktail of antibiotics over night and see if they can get him more stable. 

Which brings us up to the 5th of March.
That morning, the vet tells me that with the antibiotics that have been administered, something miraculous is happening.
His red blood cells are going up.
He is holding onto his electrolytes.
His blood glucose levels are looking steady, with supplementation.
His white blood cell counts have come down, slightly.
He is even eating again, and oh boy, he is hungry!

I feel finally as if I can breathe again, we all do. That sweet, silly, pup might just fight all this off. He might just make it through. So long as we can get him the medical care he needs for the length of time that he requires it.

But now we return to the main villain of this saga. "Who, or what is the main villain of this long epic?" You might ask.

Fenrir's rebellious spleen. Was it self-destructive? Yes. Was it getting to big for its britches? Also yes. But most importantly, was it cancerous? and if yes, what kind and did we remove it all by removing the spleen?

Well thus far we only have the preliminary biopsy report from the spleen, and what we know is that it is 'most likely' cancerous.
They know 'with relative certainty' it is not a hemangiosarcoma. A big word for the most common type of splenic cancer.
At the moment, the doctor is speculating that it is likely a Histiocytic Sarcoma.
Which would explain many of the problems that he is exhibiting.

We are hoping to have him home by Monday, but right now we are not sure how our funds look for paying for both, his stay at the hospital, and also the necessary diagnostics to try to find out what is really going on with him.

I will post updates as soon as I have them, also if you have any questions feel free to ask!

FUND ALLOCATION
The funds will be going towards his care.

Whether that be for his continued hospitalization, possible emergency surgeries(that darn gallbladder), for medication, and/or for follow ups after he gets out of the hospital to ensure this beautiful blondie continues gracing us with his lovable derp.
UPDATE: He is now out of the hospital and home but we are not out of the woods yet and to be candid, if something else comes up , we are not financially prepared for it. We will be choosing between his life and covering bills and food, and really... I will always choose him.

Even if you can not give money, as I know so many people say, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for just reading this far. I am not as good at writing as I would hope to be and I tend to be tangential, rambling, and deflect with humor at the best of times.These are clearly not the best of times.

If you want to help, you can always share this page to promote. Even if you are not the type of person who normally posts things like this to their page, please... just consider it. You may not be able to help monetarily, and even then the people around you may not be able to help with funds. but maybe, If we can, together, reach enough people. Then maybe someone WILL be able to help.


RECEIPTS
 I’ve posted postures of the big ones with info redacted to this

BIG RECEIPTS 

Donations

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  • Marcis Edwards 
    • $5 
    • 21 d
  • Jackie Kendall 
    • $10 
    • 27 d
  • Austin Cox 
    • $5 
    • 29 d
  • Eugene Van Wyk 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • Kevin Sponholz 
    • $10 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Crystal Dressler 
Organizer
West Des Moines, IA
Samual Dietsch 
Beneficiary
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