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Help Give Cayman a Fighting Chance!

$14,195 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 33 people in 5 months
Cayman is currently being hospitalized at a specialty clinic with a spinal injury.

She was admitted into the ER Thanksgiving evening, Thursday November 22, 2018, experiencing lower lumbar pain, partial paralysis and the inability to urinate or defecate on her own. She was immediately admitted into the hospital overnight.

During the night, she had around the clock nursing care, fluids and pain management until they could begin running extensive tests to figure out the cause of her paralysis Friday morning, November 23, 2018. They preformed blood tests, urinalysis, electrolyte panels, ultrasounds, X-rays and an MRI to determine that she had a herniated disk in her lower back that would require immediate surgery. As soon as they had the okay, she was transferred directly to the OR from her MRI.

From the beginning, the vets have said that this is a very unusual case because dogs don't typically lose the ability to urinate on their own without being completely paralyzed or showing other neurological signs. In some ways, this is good because although she went in not being able to move her tail, she was still walking. However, it makes her prognosis of the nerves regenerating and her being able to go to the bathroom on her on much worse.

During surgery, they said that her case got even more unusual as she did not just have a herniated disk with debris pushing on her spinal cord but that she also had blood clots as well. They removed all of the debris and clots that were pushing on her spine, and they said that the spinal cord was laying more flat along her spine afterwards.

While surgery went as well as could be expected, they said that her prognosis is still the same and that she may get a lot worse before she gets better (i.e. full paralysis).

She is currently being hospitalized for 2-3 more days with pain management.

Once Cayman is able to come home, she will require 8 weeks of recovery and extensive therapies including laser, acupuncture and physical therapy if she has any chance of the nerves healing and regaining the ability to wag her tail and go to the bathroom on her own.

Cayman is honestly the sweetest little girl. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her and comments on how happy is she is and how much she wags her tail. I just can't imagine her being incontinent and unable to wag her tail for the rest of her life. She is only 5 years old...

We are doing absolutely everything we can to give Cayman a fighting chance of beating this. Her medical costs have already risen to $10, 205.49. Her ER visit alone was $3,447.00 and the low end of her initial surgery estimate was $4,320.49. Unfortunately, this does not cover any complications, further hospitalization or therapy. The more therapies she can have, the better chance she has of recovering, so please consider donating to her fund and helping her get through this. I know that she will be forever grateful, and no donation is too small.
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To all of Cayman’s wonderful supporters, words cannot express how much all of your thoughts, prayers and donations have meant to us. They have truly helped us get Cayman the best medical care and make a full recovery from her spinal surgery.

Unfortunately, my update today is not as happy as I was hoping her 6 month update would be...

On May 7th, Cayman started trembling (the first symptom of the herniated disk in her lower back). I immediately rushed her to the hosptial where they determined that she was experiencing severe neck pain. They sent us home with steroids and pain medications, ordered strict crate rest and recommended we get elevated food and water bowls. For the next 9 days Cayman continued to improve and do well. On the 16th, however, she started to have neck spasms again. We continued her laser and TENS therapy to lessen her pain until she started shaking again the morning of the 19th. I rushed her back to the hosptial at 3am where she has been hospitalized ever since. Because her pain was so severe, they could only control it with a cocktail of IV pain medications and muscle relaxants.

At first, they were thinking that Cayman would need another MRI and emergency cervical surgery. However, because Cayman is our little miracle girl, she started to respond to the pain medications, and the neurologist recommended trying medical management one last time. She’s slowly being weened off her Fentanyl and being put on oral pain medications as I type this. If she stays stable, we may be able to avoid neck surgery, but we won’t know more until morning.

She continues to be the strongest and sweetest being I know despite all the hardships she’s had to experience. The first thing any vet or nurse tells me when sending an update is how sweet she is and how she just wants to say hello to everyone. At least I can find some comfort knowing that everyone loves her at the hospital and that she is happy there. Please keep Cayman in your thoughts and prayers while she continues to battle this terrible disease.

—-

For those of you that have donated to her medical fund, I wanted to be completely transparent with you about where your donations have gone.

As of 5/20/19, Cayman’s medical bills have totaled $19,269.06. This includes her first surgery, hospital stays and rehabilitation therapies.

If she will need an MRI and cervical surgery, the hospital has estimated that may cost an additional $5,695.57.

Ongoing therapy with or without surgery could come to another $4,000 for laser, TENS and acupuncture as long as she continues to do well.

Not included in these numbers are all of the supplements she is on, which cost about $338 per month. This includes her anxiety medications, joint support, bladder support, salmon oil, probiotics, CBD oil and herbs.

In light of her recent relapse and requests I’ve received for information on how people can continue to support her, I’ve decided to leave Cayman’s medical fund open a little longer and have increased the amount from $15,000 to $20,000. Any and all additional donations will be put towards doing everything we can to avoid cervical surgery as it’s extremely risky.

Once again, Cayman and I thank you for all of your love and support, and we hope to have much better news for you tomorrow!
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Today is a very special day for us as we celebrate Cayman’s 6th birthday!

There was a point in time when we were told that we may not see this day.

Every single day, she continues to teach me about strength, courage, determination and resilience.

From being a mother to being abandoned to conquering heart worms and undergoing tail surgery on her most dangerous day of treatment to surviving emergency spinal surgery and thriving every single day with IVDD, she is truly my greatest inspiration.

I will forever do whatever I can to make the rest of her life as comfortable and full of joy as possible because she deserves nothing less!

She has made so much progress in the past 4 months, and we have about 2 months left of rehab for her to make a full recovery.

To everyone who reached out to us and supported us during Cayman’s most difficult days last year, thank you so much! She continues to fight each and every day for you and all of the other dogs with IVDD so that they too can see that life and a full recovery is possible after diagnosis.

If you’d like to help Cayman celebrate another birthday, please share her story. I hope that her story can help inspire others going through similar challenges. We are also still accepting donations for her ongoing medical treatments.

Happy happy birthday my sweet girl. And, here’s to many more!

❤️❤️❤️
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THANK YOU so much to all of you that have contributed to Cayman's medical fund thus far! We are so appreciative of all of your thoughts, prayers and donations!

Cayman has made a lot of strides in her recovery over the past month or so. She has regained the use of her tail and has almost regained complete control over her bladder.

She will continue to receive her acupuncture, land exercises, hydrotherapy and laser therapy twice per week for the next four weeks. At that point, she will then switch over to a once weekly rehab schedule as long as she continues to show improvement for up to six months. Any ability that she may regain will happen by that point, so we are doing absolutely everything we can with her rehab therapy and at-home exercises to get her as strong as possible within that time frame.

The new year is looking very bright and a lot less painful for little Cayman, and we couldn't be more grateful for all of your help along the way!

Happy New Year!

Cara & Cayman
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Cayman had a big week this week!

On Friday, she was able to start her underwater therapy. The doctors think that the underwater therapy will be the most beneficial for her recovery and regaining control of her bladder muscles. For the first session, they usually start with 3-5 minutes of the underwater treadmill with lots of breaks in between. Because she is our little miracle girl, she was able to do a full 5 minutes without any breaks! During her first session, they determined that her right side is weaker than her left side, so we will be working to try to make her right side stronger in therapy. This is probably due to the fact that her incision is more to the right side of her spine since they can't go right over the top during surgery.

Now that she has been home for almost two weeks, we have also started to figure out what is the most helpful for her and what doesn't work quite as well.

Acupuncture has become Cayman's favorite therapy. She always has a very good day after she receives her acupuncture treatment and starts to backslide after 3-4 days. Therefore, we have decided to increase the frequency of her acupuncture treatments to two times per week in an effort to keep her as comfortable as possible.

We've also determined that baby diapers are the way to go to keep everyone as comfortable and happy as possible after trying out pee pads, cloth diapers and doggie diapers.

As hard as this entire experience has been for everyone, I have learned so much about the recovery period from a spinal injury and surgery such as this and will be trying to use everything I have learned to help other pets with the same condition. If you ever experience something like this or know someone who does, please do not hesitate to reach out. It is such a hard and long process, and all of the positive thoughts and support from people like you are what are helping us to get through this.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much again for contributing to Cayman's medical fund. We will continue to do absolutely everything we can to give her the best chance of a full recovery!

If you are interested in receiving more frequent updates or getting more pictures (GoFundMe updates are limited to 3), we will be documenting Cayman's recovery on Instagram @little_cayman as much as possible. Please feel free to follow her and share her story!
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Raised by 33 people in 5 months
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