Dear Everyone - I've had to swallow my pride in a major way in order to set up this fund, but due to the overwhelming kind offers of help towards Gilbert's treatment, I have decided to give it a go as a last resort.
As you know (or may not know!), Gilbert is one of my three special greyhound babies. A couple of weeks ago he was diagnosed with an aggressive and fast spreading form of cancer (Osteosarcoma) in his lower leg after being admitted to the vets for a suspected fracture. Despite this being heartbreaking news, all signs pointed to very little metastases (no wonky bloods, no sign of spread on chest x-rays, no clinical signs of being unwell) and we decided (very quickly) to go ahead with an amputation in order to potentially save his life.
Being an ex-veterinary nurse, I know how important it is to insure your pets. I have seen too many sad decisions made on the basis of finances, and seen animals that could have been 'fixed' be PTS because the owners could not afford treatment. Gilbert was indeed insured, but only up to the value of £3k per condition (you never think something this serious will happen to you!). We are already way over that and will have to find that extra money.
The vet seems to think that giving Gilbert a few sessions of chemo MAY prolong his life up to 1 year after the end of treatment. If not, we may have only a couple of months left with our boy and we will have to watch his slow decline until the day we decide he is too poorly to carry on. We are hoping that the chemo MAY not affect him and he might tolerate it well. However, it MAY make him very poorly. It MAY work, it MAY not. There are a lot of ifs, ands & buts.
However, when Gilly's ears prick up anytime I say a word that even vaguely rhymes with WALK (fork, stalk, dork), every time he almost takes my hand off for a treat, every time he wags and 'Roos' (that's greyhound terminology for speaking), I KNOW its not my boy's time to go yet. I want to give him a chance. He is so bright and cheerful despite what he has been through, I think it would be cruel to make the decision to PTS when there is a small chance he could remain well after treatment. If he could talk (properly, I mean) I know what option he would rather choose!
Unfortunately, chemo is £350 per session every 3 weeks. We just can't afford to do this, not long term (and we'd be looking at around 10 sessions). It kills me to think that we came SO close to saving him, and that he could have been put through the stress of amputation only to succumb to cancer in a couple of months.
I feel so terrible asking for 'charity' but it would mean the world if you would donate even a £1 just to help us get the best treatment possible for our boy.
If you could meet him, you would know what a special dog he is. He's been through the mill a bit, what with his one eye, 3 legs, the fact he was born a hermaphrodite and that he had major surgery (to extract pieces of a stolen 1kg frozen lamb joint from the length of his bowels) when he was only a few months old!
If at any point I thought he was suffering or had no quality of life, I would not carry on with treatment. I am not an owner who would keep an animal hanging on to spare my own emotions. But it's not his time yet and I really believe that. I just want to give him a chance.
My dogs are so much more than dogs to me. They are my children. They're my best friends. They have helped me through some difficult times. They love me unconditionally. They know when I'm sad or anxious and just want to make me better. They give me so much joy and happiness. I hope I can do the same for my boy. He deserves it.
Thank you so much in advance.
- Jennifer Smith DAmico
- Deborah S. Creighton
- Sophie v. d. Goltz
- Shannon Baz-Casper
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