RED for Roman

Roman came into our lives five short months ago, after years of dreaming of bringing a golden retriever puppy into our family.   From the minute he met us, there was no getting away from that little fluff ball.  He clearly picked us. We took him home, and spent the next four months in bliss.  He is your typical happy, loving, mischievous golden puppy.  He steals the bath mat every chance he gets, tries to eat any rock he finds, and two weeks ago he ate part of grandma’s boot.  He is a real handful, but a cute one, and we can't imagine our lives without him.  Three weeks ago, he started having tummy problems.  We called our vet when it didn’t pass after a couple of days.  We hoped it was just a stomach bug.

Then our nightmare began.   After several vet appointments, Roman was finally diagnosed with Pure Red Cell Aplasia, on February 14th.  His bone marrow is not regenerating RED blood cells.  This is an incredibly rare autoimmune disease.  Most vets have never seen a case of this in a puppy. Our Roman was born with it, and every day since then has been a struggle, emotionally and financially.  

The treatment for his condition, though not 100% guaranteed to work, is a combination of steroids, to hopefully jump start his RED blood cell production.  A normal puppy has a red blood cell count of 40.  Before his second transfusion on Feb 16, his count was 8.   Until his treatment works, he needs regular transfusions.  Right this minute he’s at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, where they are also treating him for an infection, which he can’t fight on his own due to his autoimmune disease.

We are hoping the steroids work so that his little body will do what every healthy puppy’s body does.   He just needs a chance to stay healthy enough for the steroids to work.  He’s been poked and prodded more times than we can count.  Bone marrow biopsy, blood cells tests, ultrasounds, x-rays, hospital stays, transfusions, medications.  It’s completely overwhelming, and while we are doing our very best, in the two weeks since his diagnosis, we have spent $6983 on his care.

 In the meantime, each transfusion, and subsequent care, is $900. If he has a reaction, like this last time, he also needs hospitalization for a couple of days.  As much as we would love to, we can’t keep this up, at least not alone.  This is why we are here, asking for your help.  Any donation, even $5, helps.  A share on Facebook, or your favorite social media, will be a huge help.  Seven months is just not enough.  Please help Roman get RED.


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Hilary Ann 
Cranston, RI
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