About 3 weeks ago I came home from dinner with friends, and noticed my 20 month old puppy, Bella, limping around while holding her back-left leg up in the air, and not putting any weight on it. She had been gated off in the kitchen of my home, along with my room mate's dog (they are best friends, pictured together above) with access to the our fenced in backyard through a doggie door. Perhaps what bothers me the most is I will never really know what caused her to hurt her knee.
Early the next morning I booked an appointment with our trusted Vet, whose practice has cared for her since she was 8wks old for various issues, which I will explain later. After she was seen, she was diagnosed with a cruciate tear, and was told I should seek a second opinion from a local trusted Specialist, and that most likely she will need surgery very soon.
And here is where the story takes a turn for the worse.
When she was about 9 months old, she suffered a partial tear in her OTHER back knee, her right leg, while she was running alongside me on my bike, which myself and the doctors had been trying to treat with other methods instead of resulting to surgery. So now, she is using her bad leg to take weight off what was her "good" leg, one can only imagine how much pain she must currently be in, and luckily I was able to afford a healthy supply of supplements and pain medications to help with her pain and discomfort.
After the vet visit, I immediately booked an appointment with the specialist, but the first available appointment was 2 weeks away on the 12th of July. At the appointment she was diagnosed with a partially torn Cranial cruciate ligament, or CrCL, in her left knee, and a complete, chronic, tear on her CrCL in her right knee, with arthritis present, and that she would need surgery on her left knee first, in order to increase and ensure a better quality of life. The specialist suggested that after she is done healing with her left knee, to see how she responds with the surgery and see how she handles the usage of her right knee to determine if surgery is the best option on her existing bad knee. To not have the first surgery done, and soon, would only cause greater problems down the road, leading to the eventual pre-mature loss of mobility to her rear legs, causing her hips to eventually give out.
Honestly, this is just a horrible situation, for a young puppy to suffer from such a condition this early in life, it deeply saddens me. I have never skimped out on her health, always immediately taking her to the doctors at the first sign that something isn't right or something is bothering her. She is like a daughter to me. From the first week of owning her, I had to pay close to $400 to clear up a tape worm, round worms, Giardia, and a bacteria skin infection (which she has had several bouts with, until we could figure out her allergies) - over all the allergies, doctor visits, infections, being spayed (and dealing her the complications of a not so successful operation at the local SPCA) and all the money spent, I still consider myself lucky to have such a gorgeous, loving, caring and extraordinary animal to call my own, and I consider myself lucky to be her human. She is never short of love, toys, treats and attention. She is the world to me.
Which brings me to me, I guess I should talk a little about myself. I am a 28 year old single bachelor, living on my own with a couple friends. I am a full time student, working towards a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art, with the specialization of Photography. I also work full time at a Military Surplus store doing Product Photography, and pick up side gigs doing photography (weddings, portrait sessions, etc) as my time allows. I am currently trying to enlist into the United States Army, which this incident has delayed my entry, and I will have to try again at the beginning of 2014. When I enlist, my mother and sister (her Grandma and Auntie, haha) will be taking care of Bella in their home until I am able to bring her along with me. With the job I am going after in the Army I will most likely never see deployment, and if I did, she would return to live with my family until we could again be reunited. I live a modest life, and as it stands I am making ends meet, but myself nor my family do not have the means to afford these surgeries any time soon. It would take me years to save up for both surgeries. It is my plan that once I am in the Army I will be able to afford the next surgery, if needed, by myself and my family.
The total for each surgery is around $3600 - that is the cost for the operation myself and my doctors deemed the best for her condition, the over-night stay at the adjoined emergency hospital (so she can be monitored over night and kept medicated and comfortable after surgery) - taxes, and a re-check evaluation and additional diagnostic if needed, and medications. At least $1725 must be paid at the time of her admission into surgery, with the remaining balance to be paid at the time of discharge following surgery.
The breakdown on costs is as follows:
Overnight stay at Emergency Hospital: $125
Additional charge for re-check: $120
The documents involving the diagnosis, doctor information, and procedure costs are available upon request, just send me an email and I will provide you with copies. As well, I will be diligent with updates and progress on the fundraiser and other events associated with Bella.
I would just like to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts, your donations mean more to us than you could imagine. Getting her back to 100%, or as close as possible, is my number one goal, and without your donations this would not be possible. Sorry for my long-winded (or long-worded?) paragraphs, but I aim to provide you with as much information as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
********In the event that more money is raised than is needed for her surgery and associated costs, the remaining funds will be donated back to "The Saving Bandit Community" - which is responsible for the health, lifesaving, adoption, and avocation of Pitbull/American Staffordshire Terriers and other bullied breeds. I have had the pleasure of being a supporter in this community and have been amazed with some of the things we have accomplished. Find them on Facebook for more info at https://www.facebook.com/savingbandit
In the event that you would want a refund for your donation, I would gladly refund your money. In the unfortunate event that Bella would suffer the unthinkable during her surgery and not make it, I will contact everyone involved in donating and ask if they would like a refund or to move the funds to another fundraiser to help another animal in need.
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