Help Piper and Ella

When I was 22, I was thrilled to buy a puppy on my own for the first time. The dreams of the adventures we would have together in the future came crashing down a few months later. 

Piper was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at only 5 months old. At penn hip X-ray confirmed that Piper’s hips scored 9.5/10 with 10 being the worst. 

We started spending all of the our time at the vet. Twice a week laser treatments. Injections to help her joints. Supplements. Joint food. Pain medication. Orthopaedic beds. 

She was still only a puppy. 

When she was about 11 months old, her hip dislocated on a walk. I remember her suddenly stopping beside me and I could tell something was wrong. She got it back in and we slowly walked home. 

We were sent to an Orthopaedic Veterinarian, two hours away. I place that I would get to know extremely well. 

Piper needed a total hip replacement within the year or she would need to be putdown because of the pain. $10,000. 

She was scheduled for surgery in August. She was 15 months old. Three months full confinement. 

She ended up in the ICU during recovery. $5,000. 
Her hip replacement destroyed her shoulders. 
She needed a shoulder brace. $500. 
Her knee dislocated, she needed surgery again. $3,000. Three months full confinement. 

In 2021, her spine was bothering her so I took her to the vet. I was told that her spine looked okay but her other hip was in horrific condition. Back to the specialist. 

We were told Piper’s spine didn’t look great. She had severe osteoarthritis throughout her entire body. Her shoulders had abnormal issues but nothing could be done.

She needed a second hip replacement. She was scheduled for July 2021.  

It was supposed to be a routine total hip replacement but it wasn’t. I got the call that Piper‘s leg dislocated two days after surgery, the day she was supposed to come home. She needed a second surgery. 
The complications from the dislocation resulted in a fractured femur and a full dislocation.
Another three months full confinement. 

While all of this was going on, we had been given the opportunity to get a CKC Norwegian Elkhound just before Piper turned two. 

My parents knew that I was heartbroken from going from dreaming of adventures with my dog to not being able to walk my dog most of the time due to her pain so they decided to buy this puppy but she would be mine. 

So on February 17, 2017 we picked up Ella. From the minute we got her she was anxious and scared of her shadow. Things never changed. Her anxiety got worse. She became reactive. She needed medication very young to get through her day to day life. We did puppy classes, obediences classes, met with trainers. Nothing helped. 

Then she started having issues breathing. Gagging all of the time. We were sent back to see a specialist at the same clinic where Piper had all of her orthopaedic surgeries. They ran tests and put Ella on daily medication. 

Things were okay until 2020 when everything went down. From June until December 2020, Ella went to the vets 27 times. She had three surgeries, had a cancer scare and then one day she stopped being able to move. She couldn’t stand on her own. We took Ella to the vet. We were rush referred to the same specialist hospital as usual. 

In December 2020, Ella was diagnosed with two auto immune disease. One extremely serious. We were told that Ella’s joints were extremely inflamed. 

This disease meant trips to the specialist every 4-6 weeks with bills averaging $3,500 every single time. 

It meant that Ella needed to take 16 pills every single day in order to survive. Some of those pills might have horrific outcomes on her body if we’re not careful. 

One of her auto immune issues has now settled down after almost a year of a ton of stress but now we found out that Ella might have something wrong her insides. This means more tests. More costs. 

We have finally come to see Ella at her happiest after almost four years of struggles. We have finally come to see Piper at her happiest after five years of struggles. But their happiness has cost an absolute fortune, it has cost me almost my entire twenties: my dogs went from being an addition to my life to being my entire life and it has cost my parents part of their retirement fund. 
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Hayley Moritz 
Red Deer, AB
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