$10,565 of $13,000 goal

Raised by 134 people in 1 month
Created August 23, 2018
Medical funding for WicKe Strenfel
Many of you know Moe Strenfel as a long-standing member of the agility community and a member of The Bay Team since 1999. A talented dog trainer and strong advocate for positive based training, Moe is currently experiencing health issues with one of her most talented young dogs, WicKe. As you can imagine, when one our fur-babies is sick, we become very stressed and anxious, especially if there are no answers. Moe needs help to cover current medical costs and upcoming medical costs until WicKe can be diagnosed, treated and returned to full healthy function. Please consider donating, no matter how small, to WicKe’s medical fund. Thank you and if you wish to know more of the story, please continue reading.

WicKe had a series of medical issues that drained Moe, financially, mentally and emotionally. WicKe presented with a swollen eye and cheek in early-August. She was examined by a vet and sent home with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Four days later, WicKe was lethargic, not eating and had a temperature of 105. Moe raced her back to the vet. WicKe was hospitalized; fluids and huge dosages of antibiotics were administered. Within seven hours, WicKe’s temp went back to normal but the blood tests were inconclusive, and no firm diagnosis was given. WicKe was sent home with a different round of antibiotics. A now-desperate-Moe knew this young dog had to have answers. Sadly, within two days, Moe had to take WicKe back to the emergency room with increasing temperature, lethargy and no appetite, even with hand feeding. More extensive tests have been submitted and we hope to have answers by the week's end. 

As of this writing, WicKe continues to battle an elevated temperature and lack of appetite. Her weight is continuing to drop.
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Tuesday; October 16, 2018

WHEN THE DOC CALLS, pick it up, even though you don’t want to.

We had our first recheck yesterday in over a month as the Doc was on vacation and we literally could not get an appointment to see him, he was so busy. WicKe looks great and feels great. No lameness and energy level good. We have occasional incontinence, but we just diaper up when I must leave and can’t get her out.

I asked that Dr Garcia try to keep the recheck under $300 instead of the usual $600. He did and even waived his exam fee for me to make sure it happened. Great job Doc! He took both blood and urine.

Results came back today, over the phone with the opening line of “Do you have time to talk about WicKe’s lab results?” My heart sunk, knowing it is not going to be anything good if it takes time to explain.

First, her white cell counts are off the charts. 80,000 instead of a normal dog of 20,000. She does have a urinary tract infection so that can count for some of the rise in white cells. But Dr Garcia felt it was way too high and really wants to do chest x-rays and an ultrasound again. He feels we are missing something. She is still anemic as well and we don’t know why. She should not be. He also said she has some abnormal counts in different cells, which of course now I can’t remember what they cells they are because I could hardly breath at that point in the conversation. I will ask later when I am not so teary. At least her fungal tests came back negative, so no Valley Fever.

My heart hurts with all of this but I declined the revisit to the ultrasound and x-rays. The money is just not there. Everyone has been so great with donations thru Go Fund Me and our on-line auction on FB. I am out of the medical hole right now (including everyone who was so kind to float loans to me, has finally been repaid) but I have no reserves either.

I am not comfortable borrowing money again nor to ask for more from all of you, as you have been so generous already. There must be an end point when we do just the minimum to keep her quality of life good. That end point is here now. So, I opted to treat the urinary tract infection without further diagnostics and we shall bravely march from there.

Hug your fur kids. They are the best.

Thank you for all your support and prayers.
Love, Moe and WicKe

PS. Jose Cuervo is a good friend of mine.
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Friday, September 28, 2018

No news is good news… but I would have rather have a broken leg, thank you.

We are cruising along. Just on Pred now and no other meds. Eating well, peeing A LOT. WicKe often has an incontinence problem after she has been sleeping for a while. She seems perky, happy and active. We are continuing acupuncture with Dr Wendy Wallace along with supplements and lots of hugs. I tell WicKe about all the well wishes that people have sent her. She seems quite pleased with that fact!

No lab results from the fungal as the doctor was on vacation for about 10 days. If all is negative, then we immune suppress her for about a week and then very slowly try to get her down to the lowest dose of pred to keep her stable. I will have to buy diapers for that week at least. My poor girl.

This illness is not like a broken leg or a skinned pad. There will never be a return to normal. It truly is a day by day illness. It feels like a small irritating cough in the back of your throat that you just can’t get rid of or that funny nagging feeling you get when you know you have forgotten something important. It is always buzzing in the back of my mind.

WicKe’s auction on FB has done really well and we have had fun with it. Thanks to everyone who has donated something or bid on something. We really appreciate it! Some of the medical rechecks on WicKe have been anywhere from $600 to $800 so this auction has helped keep us going forward rather than deeper in the financial hole we are slowing clawing our way out of!

While the focus is always on WicKe; I have been busy moving to San Martin this past month. Out of this house I have been in for 24 plus years. HOW DID I GET THIS MUCH CRAP? More dog stuff then I could ever use and things I haven’t touched in years. It feels great and scary at the same time. So, bear with me as I can’t find my shoes or my sunglasses or my pants! It is very close to where I teach so no more hour-long commute; bigger back yard for the dogs, closer to hiking and I will be getting away from all the crime that has popped up in South San Jose! Yah!

So for today, my attention has to go into clearing out this house and WicKe must just be a small point in my brain.

I still wish it had been a broken leg…

Thank you for all your support!
Love Moe and WicKe
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Monday, September 10, 2018

My stomach isn’t made for roller coaster rides.

Some people get in that line for the big dipper or drop zone coasters and laugh and scream the whole ride. I would much rather sit on the merry go round. Predictable movement and calming. That’s what I like; predictability. But it is not so with this disease that poor WicKe has.

The good news is that WicKe is no longer 3 legged but moving normally. After acupuncture and chiro on Saturday with Dr Wendy Wallace; WicKe was almost immediately 70% better. Wendy felt it was pinch nerve OR still the possibility of a tick-borne disease.

I thought we tested for every tick thing we knew of! But there are many we can’t detect early on or the titer was done incorrectly (yes, the lab can screw up). OR we simply don’t have a test for it! Some tick disease symptoms are exactly what she had:
lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, lameness with neurologic abnormalities, tissue swelling, muscle, neck, or joint pain; generalized lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes); pale mucous membranes, fever. There are even more signs for the different types of tick diseases as well.

So WicKe is now on Doxycycline which is a standard drug for tick diseases along with her pred, anti-nausea drug and stomach protectant. I also visited a Cannabis club for the very first time and got her some CBD oil to help with pain. WicKe seems to breath easier when she has her dose of CBD oil each day. So now we just wait to see if the lameness stays away and the doxy does its work.

Next recheck, Thursday, Sept 13th at 2:30pm.

Thank you for all your support!
Love Moe and WicKe
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Friday, September 7, 2018

Who said life was fair? Or easy?

We had our first recheck since our diagnosis of autoimmune disease yesterday afternoon. We have been on Prednisone, along with antibiotics, GI protectant and anti-nausea meds for a week now. WicKe has been eating on a regular basis (GRAVY!) for four days. I have been slowly adding back in some supplements that she refused to take with her meals last week.

WicKe was a different dog in the waiting room at the hospital yesterday. She ATE, she did tricks, she greeted all the nurses with that sweet little tail wag and soft eyes. When Dr Garcia came in finally, she greeted him too. Crawling in his lap to be petted. I don’t think I have ever seen this man sit in a chair; only on the floor with his patients!

The recheck turned into a dollar drop ($875.00). My mind does the calculations, we are at $15,087.00 but it was necessary. X-rays to make sure her lungs are totally clear from the pneumonia she was suffering from weeks ago. A blood count to make sure the anemia is clearing up. The blood tests should come back today to help guide us forward.

Providing all the blood counts are acceptable, Dr Garcia explained the next step. We double the dose of the pred for about a week. This is to assure Wicke is in remission; we do NOT want a relapse. He went on to further explain that sometimes dogs with this disease, look stable but are just “hiding” the fact the disease is still holding on and is ready to jump out and cause hell. Thus, we need to be sure WicKe is in remission before we start the immunosuppressant reduction.

From there, every two weeks we start to gradually reduce the pred dosage. No suicide reduction, just small amounts so she remains stable. Dr Garcia said there is a 50/50 chance WicKe will get off the pred entirely. But he cautioned that we are going to be very careful that we keep the ultimate goal in our sight, that she remains steady the whole time.

The disease and the pred have already affected her. She has no muscle tone. Her shoulders are so bony you can do an anatomy lesson on her. She has no stamina and just a short trot reduces her to rapid breathing. Dr Garcia patiently explains the pred can cause all these side effects so not to worry so much; it is explainable. Yes, that is right. She is alive and eating and perky. Count my blessings.

GREAT! Drinks on me, right? Nope, I got up this morning to a 3-legged Princess. Left rear being held up. WicKe was fine at ten pm when we went to bed. As far as I know, she didn’t borrow the van last night and go to some weird dog merrymaking rave party complete with a bark-a-thon and cat chasing.

I just sit down and cry while WicKe puts her head in my lap. This might be part of her disease; this soreness, lameness. Some of you have told me your babies had the same odd side effects. But my poor girl has been thru hell and back. She doesn’t need any more pain. A call is in to Dr Garcia for advice. Maybe it will go away in the meantime? Sigh. If any of you have any voodoo magic to make this all go away, please let me know.

Dog bless you all for your continued support.
Hugs from WicKe and me
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$10,565 of $13,000 goal

Raised by 134 people in 1 month
Created August 23, 2018
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