Our sweet French bulldog buddy, Monty Mountain was diagnosed with a brain tumor in early November 2017. In the first 5+ years of Monty's life, he had not suffered major health issues. Just like many other Frenchies, he had some skin allergies and gas issues which is managed by a high protein diet. Generally, a pretty healthy, happy chap.
In late September 2017, I noticed that Monty was not himself. He had a few accidents in the house where he never would have peed before; he was also legarthic. I took him to the vet a couple times over October 2017, coming home with no real answers. It wasn't until, the end of October, where I observed him walking in circles for no reason, and always to the left. The next day, my friend was standing on Monty's right side and offered him a treat and he was completely unresponsive. It was like he could not hear or see. Anyone who has met Monty knows that he is always hungry and can sense food at all moments. I knew something was seriously wrong.
After a couple appointments with a neurologist and an MRI, Monty was diagnosed with a significant-sized mass in the left side of his brain and is inoperable. His tumor is called a glioma, which is a tricky one as it is tendril-like, reaching out through crevices of the brain. Apparently, smoosh-faced dogs (such as bulldogs, pugs and boxers) are predisposed to this.
Short answer of the report is, his condition is terminal and the best chances of him prolonging a comfortable life would be to begin radiation treatments as soon as possible. If I decide to let him be and just give him the prescribed medication alone (prednisone), he would have just a few short months to live- a year at best. With his days numbered, I have since taken him to an oncologist, reviewed and researched options and have scheduled him to have stereotactic radiation treatments next week.
Monty has pet insurance covering most of the radiation treatment, which alone is approximately $14,000. Additional out of pocket expenses surmount to the thousands.
Some of the initial costs include:
- Appointment fees (while not cheap at approx. $200 per visit, I feel grateful to live in a metropolis where specialists are available)
- Blood panels
- X Rays
- CT scan
As we complete the treatments over the next couple weeks, there will be follow up appointments and MRI's to assess the progress of the radiation, which are not included in the cost of radiation treatments. This also does not include required medications and recommended supplements or dietary updates. While I am doing my best to ask as many questions as possible to estimate future expenses, the information is overwhelming.
I was initially hesitant of accepting contributions from people when offered. However, I want to be able to look back and know that I have done everything I can to provide Monty the best life possible. The last thing I want is for something bad to happen because I was too proud to accept help from those who care. At the very least, I want to share Monty’s story and allow everyone a simple outlet to help.
WHAT MONTY MOUNTAIN MEANS TO US
When I moved back to Los Angeles after living in New York, I picked Monty from a litter of five pups in December 2011.
￼￼￼￼￼￼(That's the little idiot on the very left)
Since then, Monty has been with me on road trips, art openings, dog parties, late nights at the office, through illnesses, job changes and break-ups. While many of my friends are birthing and raising human babies, Monty has become and is my only child; we have our tiny household together here in LA.
When I take Monty on walks, Frenchie lovers stop to greet him and say hello. From moving cars, children will point at him and laugh. When I bring him to shops and restaurants, people smile when they watch his ears perk up. Monty is always sweet and gentle with all humans and dogs he comes across and it is so nice to see him bring happiness to people's faces.
His significance in my life became more apparent to me when I lost my father unexpectedly seven months ago in March 2017. While I still carry tremendous pain from my father's passing, I found comfort in knowing I have Monty in my life. Never did I imagine that at just 5 years, 11 months old, I could lose Monty (who is currently my closest family member) in a matter of weeks. Needless to say, I am not ready to say goodbye.
Aside from the newly found brain tumor, Monty is a young, energetic dog. If he can fight this and we learn how to manage it, I am hopeful he will have a few good years ahead. I have recently met people whose dogs have tumors and were expected to have a few short months to live. With proper care, they have seen their dogs live happily, years after their expectancy.
I am incredibly grateful for your support and thoughts in helping Monty reach this goal too. If you have any relevant experiences or stories about your pups, please do share.
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