Raising Funds for Lola

This is Lola, my little assistance dog. A couple of weeks ago we found a small lump on her leg, which was biopsied and came back as a sarcoma, which was removed the following Monday 14th September.

On Tuesday, Lola seemed to have recovered well, but then started acting and breathing strangely - I phoned ahead to the warn the vet's who is only over the road while my husband rushed her across. When he arrived she had a seizure and became unconscious.  As there was no vet present over the road we had to leap in the car and rush her to the main vets' practice in another town. They couldn't find anything wrong with her but took blood and sent her home. 

At home she was walking strangely, a symptom I had reported before her operation but was thought to be a possible reaction to an insect bite. She was also twitching her legs and body and head.

On Wednesday she had 4 seizures in the day and another 3 in fairly quick succession during the night, and we rushed her in to the main vet's at 3.30am as she didn't seem to be coming round in between in the end. The vet there put her on Diazepam and kept her in.

On Thursday they did a series of blood tests and an X-Ray of her head and neck and chest and an MRI.

On Friday morning she was still making strange twitchy movements and still had the strange walk with back legs bowed and feet kicking out to the side. She was rubbing her head in between her front paws and on surfaces. But her tests all came back clear except for a couple of anomalies in her blood.

The vets' all this time were looking up and coming up with a list of differential diagnoses but nothing seemed to fit. By now we were almost at the end of her quite generous insurance.  They put her on steroids.

Friday she started having seizures again later in the day and that night again my husband rushed over for more Diazepam and some anti-convulsants. These seemed to make a difference for a while - she was only having half seizures, but on Sunday she had more seizures in the day, evening and through the night. Her breathing was laboured all night. The vet's had left a message with a neurologist to see if they could solve the puzzle.

She had more Monday morning and still this awful breathing, not eating, not drinking except with a syringe, just lying panting so hard her trachea seemed in danger of collapse and was clicking. She was not moving apart from twitches and trying to bury her head. When we talked to her she turned her head away.  So we phoned the vet and said maybe had had enough, and they gave us an appointment to discuss next steps and whether to put her to sleep.

THEN an hour later they phoned to say the neurologist had come up with a definitive diagnosis and if he was right there was a quick and simple cure and could we rush her over. She has parathyroid hypocalcemia. This lack of parathyroid hormone leads to decreased blood levels of calcium and increased levels of blood phosphorus. Calcium governs electrical impulses to the muscles and skin and lack of them can cause all sort of symptoms, pins and needles in the face and head, pain, twitching and spasming of muscles, including at worst seizures and Lola had every symptom. We rushed her to the main vet's and she had four fits in the car and was handed over, head lolling, limbs tonic and outstretched, drooling, and breathing raggedly. 

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A hour later she was cured- sitting up and breathing normally! 

However, she was kept in hospital and is still in hospital this Wednesday, as they need to stabilise her and wean her onto oral calcium and vitamin D3, and make sure she does not crash again. 

These extra costs are imminent and we have no money for them, my husband having been out of work (strange times!) since March. Additionally Lola's sarcoma has come back as an intermediate grade sarcoma and locally invasive, which means she will need probably another operation to take more of the surrounding tissue and have a skin graft. Hopefully this should work. 

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Lola is a fabulous dog - joyful, loved by everyone, so sweet-natured and good (although cheeky where cheese is concerned!). She has also saved my life in her role as my assistance dog, many, many times. She accompanies me everywhere - into schools, to poetry-reading sessions, on planes, tubes, buses, shops, restaurants, hospital visits and in parks and on walks, and has even met famous people such as Daniel Radcliffe - and through it all she is unflappable and happy and has never missed alerting me. She has made a huge difference to my life and ability to go out on my own. 

We cannot give up on her treatment, we owe her a huge amount, at the very least a happy and healthy retirement. If you feel you can give a pound or two to help with her ongoing medical costs, we would be so grateful. 

We live in a village in the UK. The money will be spent on any ongoing costs above and beyond her insurance for both the parathyroid hypocalcemia and for the further treatments for her sarcoma and incidental costs pertaining to those things. Lola is owned by us, and her medical costs are our responsibility, which is why she was well-insured. But even good insurance runs out eventually!   She was trained as a UK assistance dog under the auspices and expertise of Medical Detection Dogs. If there is any money left over it will be given to them to train other assistance dogs for people with life-threatening conditions. 

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Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • £10 
    • 25 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £50 
    • 25 d
  • roger yelling 
    • £20 
    • 27 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £5 
    • 27 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £20 
    • 28 d
See all

Organizer

Liz Brownlee 
Organizer
Chew Magna, South West England, United Kingdom

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