Saving Dexter the Doberman!

My beautiful boy is sick. Really sick. 
A routine operation to remove a sock,(Doberman owners will relate to this I am sure!) on Valentine’s Day has seen my darling Dex rapidly decline and and undergo a further two operations... he is getting the best possible care but this obviously comes at a price; one that my pet insurance and savings account will not cover.. 

The story so far .. Dexter is a 4 year old Doberman Pinscher, I have had him since a pup. He is incredibly full of life, bouncy and loving. I know his every mood as he knows mine ....

I took him to my vetinary practice on Feb 14 as he was clearly feeling poorly - not his usual Tigger personality, more sleepy sloth dog - not Dexter at all!  They took him straight in, identified an obstruction in his stomach, and he went under the knife.

They removed said sock that was lodged in his small intestine. He didn’t recover as well as hoped but was allowed home overnight. Dex is a homebody who always does better with me and his home comforts, but even so he didn’t have a good night.

I took him back to the vet’s the next day for a check up by which time his body had started to swell  - particularly around his stomach and down his hind leg. They took him in for more tests and felt that the swelling - diagnosed as Peripheral Edema - was due to low levels of protein in his blood. They infused him with human albumin which in itself carried its own risks .. Poor Dex had to have another overnight stay, this time in Sutton. He came home early on Saturday only for me to find a cannula still in his leg... Another cab was booked for another vet’s visit.
The cannula turned out to be a blessing as 
while waiting to be seen for its removal, the swelling increased dramatically; before our eyes, his foreleg also became twice its usual size. He couldn’t sit or lie down because of his operation site and standing was also now causing him pain.

Again he was kept in for tests; luckily the results were sent to the Royal Vetinary College for a specialist take as his own vets were dumbfounded. This led to a full referral to the RVC in Potters Bar. The journey there was two hours of pure hell for a dog for whom there was no comfortable position that didn’t involve weight on a swollen part of his body. He cried for the entire journey. As did we.. 

The RVC (Queen Mother Hospital for Animals) described him as an enigma and began testing him for all and any possible cause.  After 24 hours they decided to operate again while he was strong enough. The surgeon found an infection in his intestine that Dex had tried to ‘fix’ himself (he’s a strong boy!), causing more intestinal problems. She had to bisect the intestine and repair the damage it had caused. At this point I was told his chances were 50/50 and that the following 5 days would be crucial...

...initially his his team were pleased with his progress but he declined very suddenly 2 days later and the tests showed he had Sepsis!

... his chances dropped to 70/30 with further surgery, 0 without it ... an absolute no brainer.. a four hour operation to save his life ensued...

my boy is a fighter and his strength of will is something to behold....

..that was on Thursday;  as I write this on Saturday I have been told that the innovative procecedure that was performed on Dexter seems to be working! He has a 10 cm open wound in his gut being held together by a vacuum pack thereby allowing any infection to drain out of his system. His edema is greatly improved and he’s been taken off methadone so although sleepy, he is significantly less stoned than of late and has had a wander around the ICU having a chat with the newbies and giving love to the nurses. 

Now he is still in a a critical condition and we don’t know what will happen, but I do know that everyone at the RVC has worked tirelessly to care for him and will continue to do so; also they have all fallen in love with him (as they should because he is a beaut’ and so special to everyone). 

I should mention that not only is Dexter a beloved member of our family, he is also my emotional support Dog. I live with clinical depression and anxiety; he is my special mate and I will do whatever it takes to get him home well ...

Now for the asky bit... my insurance will only cover him for the first £4000 as they consider all his treatment to have arisen as a result of the ‘sock incident’. Initial vet fees prior to moving to the RVC were at £3000 .... I hold my breath every day when they give me updates as to costs ... as of yesterday the two operations and post op care were in the region of a little over £12000. We don’t know how long he will be in hospital or what the final bill will be only that it is rising daily. I do not begrudge this at all - he deserves everything and more! 

I have asked for £11,000 which is an enormous amount I know but every penny raised will go directly to the RVC for Dex’s care, they deserve that and so much more.

The latest procedure performed on Dexter wasn’t even available last year; the technology for it was developed by the RVC ... ALL AND ANY money raised over the requested amount will be donated to the Queen Mother Hospital for animals - (the onsite hospital at the RVC in Potters Bar) 

Thank you to them and to you for reading and maybe donating ... 

Love  Lisa and Dexter x

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Lisa JJ 
Wallington, Greater London, United Kingdom