Sydney's Surgery

Sydney is our 5 year old Chihuahua that recently underwent a hemilaminectomy, a decompressive procedure to remove a herniated disc which was pressing on her spinal cord. This sudden and unexpected issue caused Sydney excessive pain and weakness in her hind limbs.

This is our beloved Sydney...

Everyone seems to think Chihuahua's are nippy or mean, but Sydney is the EXACT opposite. She is a complete moosh and everyone who meets her agrees:)

The morning of New Year's Eve, Tuesday, December 31st 2013, Sydney was not herself. She would not come up the stairs, even when her favorite word, "treat", was used in an attempt to motivate her. We knew immediately something was very wrong.

Upon observing her more closely, we noticed that she was crossing her back legs as she walked and wobbling side to side.

We immediately rushed her to our vet who prescribed steroids and some blood work. The blood work came back negative, and we proceeded with the round of steroids. We cancelled our New Year's Eve plans to spend the night with Sydney.

On Sunday, we had a followup visit with our vet and were excited to see Sydney more energetic, and walking much better than she did on Tuesday. The vet confirmed that she too believed she was 75% better and we could taper off the steroids and track her progress.

The very next night, we were heartbroken to see a sudden decline in Sydney's symptoms. Her crying and yelping was gut wrenching. She could not walk, she was breathing heavily, and there was nothing we could do to ease her pain. We knew we needed to see a specialist immediately.

After multiple phone calls to our vet, other vets, animal hospitals and posting a facebook status asking for anyone's recommendation for a good neurologist, we found ourselves on the phone with a wonderful vet tech at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. She eased our fears and scheduled us to see their Neurologist, Dr. Eric Glass. At this point, Dr. Glass was recommended by so many people, we knew we found the right place.

Sydney was admitted overnight, scheduled for an MRI the next morning with a likely surgery immediately following the results.

This was her home for the last 5 days...

The MRI revealed a large herniated disc at the L1-L2 disc space.

We were thrilled to figure out the cause of Sydney's pain, but we were beside ourselves when given the estimated cost. We knew we would give up anything to help Sydney, especially anticipating the long life we believe she had ahead. However, we never imagined it would be at such an insane cost - of which $4,645.00 was charged immediately...

The surgery went well, and Sydney was able to come home!

We were so happy to get her, despite the long car ride.

I think she is very happy to be home - just super sleepy...

We are so happy to have her back and feel confident that the surgery will be a huge success. We have 4-6 weeks of strict bed-rest before we know the outcome of the surgery.

Unfortunately, the veterinary bills that have accrued since New Year's Eve far exceeded anything we could have planned for. Sacrifices are being made to help afford the medical bills, but it is obviously a huge set back. We have 6 months to figure out a plan of action to determine how we will pay everything in full at that time.

Please consider contributing to Sydney's Surgery. This is only for her surgery, not the cost of our previous visits with our local vet and medications. Any little bit will be a huge help to her and her family. We are definitely not looking to cover 100% of the cost, but every penny will help and is truly appreciated.

*All donated funds that surpass $5,500.00 will be donated to help other pet owners with high medical bills. We can't bear the thought of other families being in similar situations.

If you have the means, please look at Sadie's Fund. This is my co-workers adorable pup and thanks to his suggestion, we learned about GoFundMe & set up this page for Sydney.

  • Lindsay Gellatly 
    • $100 
    • 89 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $700 (Offline)
    • 89 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 (Offline)
    • 90 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,500 (Offline)
    • 90 mos
  • michelle brobeck & family 
    • $20 
    • 90 mos
See all


Liz Green Mariotti 
West New York, NJ
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