Today I'd like to share this story that I received from Sandy Kilian. It is a story filled with love and compassion ... and it will touch your heart. It also contains a valuable lesson for all of us.
Sandy Kilian wrote:"I have been receiving your emails for many months. I wish I had gotten them sooner. I ran across your site when my Black Mouth Cur, Zoe, became ill. My story is probably one that may have already been told, but just in case I will tell it anyway.
In October of 2007 my dog, Zoe, started favoring her hind leg. We took her to the vet and they could not find anything wrong. They did some x-rays that showed nothing. They sent her home on some meds and said to call if it didn't improve within a week.
She improved. For a while. In December she started again, but this time she wouldn't put weight on it. We again took her to the vet where they could find nothing wrong except a cut between her toes. They gave her some medicine and sent her home. After cleansing the wound and more meds she again seemed to be fine.
In February she became what we considered a bit lazy. She seemed to want to lay around and just not run like she usually did. She was eating fine and was still a very happy girl. March rolled around and that is when she stopped eating just about anything and was extremely tired. We took her to the vet, again they ran tests, blood work, x-rays, stool samples, the works. They noticed that her blood work came back with some irregularities. They switched her diet and sent her home on prednisone. She improved somewhat. When her medicine ran out, within a few days she stopped eating again. We took a trip back to the vets. They did what they could do and recommended we see an Internal Medicine Specialist. We set the appointment for a week away.
Before her appointment came she became very ill and basically wouldn't eat, very tired, vomiting and some very runny stools. Back to the vets. The vet called the specialist to get us in on an emergency.
The specialist did a work up, blood came back with platelets and red blood cells extremely low. We were told they would need to keep her overnight and would need to give her a transfusion hoping that it would help her. She was near death.
Naturally, we agreed. Once she was feeling better, (within a few days), the work ups, sonograms (ultrasound), x-rays etc. started, even a shot of chemotherapy because her red cells weren't improving. All revealed nothing out of the ordinary except her blood work. Prednisone was given and she was sent home all of us hoping that this was some sort of fluke and the prednisone would regulate her blood.
She was happy, eating and no more vomiting. She seemed to be getting a little bit better. By now weekly visits to the specialists were occurring for weekly blood work. Her platelets had improved but red count was still very low. She wasn't improving. They upped her dose of prednisone and added another medicine (I can't remember the name but it was what they gave humans when they have a organ transplant to prevent rejection). A five-day supply was 48 dollars.
This continued for about a month in hopes it would regulate her blood work. It didn't. We were than asked to give consent for a bone marrow aspiration (by now the cancer word had been presented to us). On overnight stay and the next day the aspiration was done. Results were reviewed by 2 specialists. One showed Leukemia, the other specialists disagreed and proceeded to say it was not cancer and it could be corrected if we found the cause. More tests, meanwhile she was still going for weekly visits and weekly bloodwork. Her spirits were great, she was happy and eating. Just not playing. A few weeks later, still on her prednisone and anti rejection drugs, they wanted to do another bone aspiration. We agreed again but told them that if the results were the same this would be the last one.
The results came back the same except there were more bad cells in the marrow than a few weeks before. Diagnosis this time was that they were going to go with the one specialists who said it was bone cancer. This type was incurable. We were told there was nothing they could do for her except to make her comfortable. We would bring her back weekly for blood work to monitor her red cells. That way we would know when the end of her life was near. She wasn't on the anti-rejection drug anymore. Just the prednisone.
Two weeks after she was diagnosed with the cancer, she had a stroke. She was paralyzed on her right side and was bleeding from her rectum. We made her comfortable and spent about an hour of quality time with her just cleaning her up, laying with her and comforting her. We knew her time had come and we knew what we had to do for her. As much as you hate to do it we had to put her out of her misery) We picked her up (not easy at 75 lbs) and took her to the emergency room. Zoe passed away that Sunday.
The reason I am telling you and your readers this is because many people don't think about pet insurance. I wish I had gotten it. She had been ill from October 2007 until she passed away on June 29, 2008, she was 7 years old. Total bill for everyone and everything came to about $11,000.
In August of 2008 we decided to adopt 2 new puppies from a shelter. We now have them both insured. I hope that many people will listen to my story. It can happen to you anytime. I am just thankful that we had the money to make her last days on this earth happy and comfortable. I would do it all over again if I have the unfortunate opportunity to go through this again, I will at least not have the burden of using my savings thanks to pet insurance."
Thanks Sandy for sharing your touching story and for being such a good doggy mamma. I can feel the love and compassion in your story.
Yes, I frequently recommend that my readers should at least consider pet insurance. I do this because I've seen the lives of many pets saved because their owners had the financial ability to do the best for them.
Could you afford an $ 11,000.00 expense to care for Zoe as Sandy did? Most of us can't.