Medical Care for My Dog, Dallas
My beautiful girl dog, Dallas, took a nosedive in health in the last couple of days. She's a six-year-old German Shepherd/Collie mix, named after the Dallas Cowboys (please don't hold that against us).
On June 12 and 13, she seemed to be lethargic and hardly moving, which is rare for her; I'm sure she's like most dogs that are a de facto vacuum cleaner in the kitchen. That June 12th night, I came downstairs to find two pieces of popcorn still on the floor and her over in the living room. I’ve never seen that.
The night of June 13, we took her to the veterinarian because it was clear something was wrong. After some testing, it seems that she has a herniated disc, wherein the chipped pieces of her disc caused internal bleeding and much pain along her back and limited mobile function of her back legs. However, the doctors are optimistic that after surgery, she has an 80 percent of full recovery with a couple months of therapy and the like.
I hesitated to turn to a GoFundMe because asking for money is weird, but as you can imagine, the costs for all of this – housing her at the animal clinic since June 13, running tests, anesthesia, surgery and the like – are running high.
Unfortunately, we rolled the dice on pet insurance by opting to not get it because Dallas always seemed so healthy and full of life. That’s clearly backfired here, but in any case, all the help our friends and family are willing to offer would be more than appreciated.
All money would go to the medical expenses incurred throughout this process and whatever is necessary in the post-operation and therapeutic phase.
As I stated on my Facebook the other day, I'm 26; I've lived my entire cognizant life with a dog and six years with Dallas. Dogs are bittersweet in that you only get so much time with a creature that loves you so unconditionally, but six years, selfishly, sure as hell ain't enough for me, so I hope she can make it out of this with a good quality of life. And I would do anything to ensure more quality time with her.
She’s my best friend.
Thank you for your support.
Then we heard from the vet that that was way, way too much space because we don't want her moving around. So, we closed quarter: Duh, we'll just move the couch, the chair and her cage in a closer circle around her. Brainiac amateur vets over here.
Finally, we decided to put her in our family room, which is right next to the backdoor and near the kitchen. This offers two immediate benefits: She's near all of us instead of in a too-far-away room, so hopefully she's not getting depressed and now she's near the backdoor for an easy exit to go potty.
Also, my mom bought a bigger cage to cocoon her in that's much more workable than what we had going on in the living room.
I never knew I'd be in the position of wiping my own dog's butt, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I'm just constantly scared, however, that I'm not doing what is right or needed for her fully recovery. I try to wipe her down as best as I can after she pees or poops and I try to be as careful with her a I can when I'm picking her up.
Today, though, when I took her outside, I sat her down in the grass off the patio in front of our hot tub. I ran back inside for a moment to get the watering can, so I could rinse her off and the deck she had peed on. I look through the window and she's scooting in front of the hot tub, which is on the patio (and she had to go over some rocks!). So, she's just moving too much, which freaks me out.
Long rambling dealio aside, I hope she's doing okay. Thanks again everyone!
I also bought her a little squeaky monkey to brighten her spirits and it sure did! That's the happiest I've seen her yet. She was ready to go with it!
To the point of money, I want to lay out the actual bill we got, so people have an idea of what the money is going toward. In addition to that, today, I bought some things not on that list but which are necessary for her post-surgery recovery: Grooming wipes for when she pees/poops on herself because you can't have her getting an infection; Dog pads, to hopefully absorb said pee; Omeprazole tablets, which the doctor recommended to counteract the steroid she's taking (it helps with the heartburn); and the squeaky monkey and a peanut butter-tasting tiny bone. Everything I mentioned thus far will be in photos at the end as well.
The other costs amount to $4,880, of which $1,818 was already paid by my parents. Ideally, I'd like to be able to raise enough to pay back the full $4,880. The good news here is that it's not *as* much as we expected, so I'll be lowering the campaign goal.
I will do the invoice pictures in another update since it seems I can only do three pictures at a time?
Again, I can't thank everyone enough for their kind and generous donations. Just the best!
Update on June 17: Dallas' surgery went well and she's back home! She has a huge, gnarly surgery incision on her back and still has no use of her back legs (but there is feeling in them!).
So, essentially, we will have to use a sling and "express her urine" for the next four weeks and feed her pills wrapped in turkey until she begins to recover. Technically, the recovery will last six to 12 months, but she's expected to be able to walk within the next four to six weeks. Until that time, she's immobilized without the sling. So we set up a space adjacent to the kitchen where she can be as comfortable as possible and also not be tempted to move around.
It was really hard to see Dallas, for all intents and purposes, paralyzed like that and recovering from something so major. Just a week ago, she was fetching a Frisbee. And now this. Even if things go as planned and she recovers the ability to walk, she will never be able to catch a Frisbee again because she's not supposed to ever jump again. That breaks my heart, truly.
But smiles: Seeing her back in her element (our house after being gone since June 13) and with plentiful kisses to be had, was the best. I missed her presence. A home without a dog just ain't the same.
Any and all continued help with her medical bills is beyond any appreciation I can muster with words. Money is very much a secondary concern to me since there was a time this week where I thought I wouldn't even have her around anymore.
Thank you again everyone and I'll continue posting periodic updates on her progress and recovery.
Dogs are forever the best.