Ralphie is now on his second blood transfusion. He is very weak and has extreme jaundice. Please send all the positive/healing thoughts that you have. This was so unexpected and completely heart wrenching.
I’m just sitting and waiting to hear how the second transfusion went, I should hear back later today. I feel terrible not knowing what to do. His red blood count got down to a 9 yesterday and it only went up to 12 after his first transfusion. His Bilirubin count went way up and they have no other way of brining that down right now. I went to visit him with with the kids today before they started his next transfusion and he got up and tried to follow us out even though he had no energy. I can’t stop thinking about him and also how much this is going to cost, which I feel terrible about, but I’m a single mom and they have given me almost a $7,000 estimate so far. I’m feeling very scared. He’s only 5 years old and my very first dog ever. I am completely unprepared for this.
I’m so sorry Ralphie is so ill. Mfmst has given you great ideas. If nothing works, maybe you can start a gofundme on social media. I think people abuse it sometimes but in your case, it is really needed.
After his second transfusion, his red blood cells have only gone up to 17. The Vet is extremely concerned about his outcome at this point. I am beside myself. They are checking levels again at 1AM and will call me with results. I’m sitting here wondering what to do if they say he either needs another transfusion or euthanasia.
Oh no! I'm so terribly sorry. This is extremely difficult and my heart breaks for you. I can't tell you how much I sympathize other than I had a 4 year old Doberman that got very sick with various things and finally succumbed to cancer and barely started in life. It's especially hard when they're so young. It would be a miracle if something hopeful is discovered. And all we can do now is hope or pray. Lots of hugs and sympathy to you.
He has stayed at a 16 for his red blood count and his bilirubin has actually come down even though inside his ears he looks practically green at this point. He is on a lot of different meds so looking bloated, exhausted and nauseated. They don’t want to test his blood too often since he isn’t holding on to his red blood cells, he needs to keep as many as he can so I won’t know more for awhile what is happening. So we are just waiting. I don’t think he can do another infusion, we are just hoping that his meds start working. Everyday that he is there is more expensive though, the current estimate is between $8,000-$10,000. How do I just stop now though? When he is possibly getting a little better? These costs are insane!
Yes costs are insane! Costs like these are completely unexpected. I can understand you asking the question "how can I just stop now though". This is a valid question. It's not normal for these breeds to have this big of a bill in such short notice and so of course it not wrong to feel stuck. I am so so so very sorry. Maybe talk with your kids and see how they feel? Sometimes kids offer great alternate perspectives... Maybe even the vet can give some advice on what they think is best for Ralphie.
They wanted to do one last blood transfusion last night to get him to that 72 hour point to let the immune suppressant drugs take affect. I almost couldn’t do it, he looked terrible, but the vet thought we should at least give him that time. We double checked the bill thus far and it was less than they originally quoted us, and so we did round 3. I’m going to visit him shortly, but this is the first time I’m going by myself and I’m scared. He doesn’t look like my Ralphie anymore and I’m starting to really think he’s gone. It makes me so sad to see him like this. He has been there for me through my divorce and when my kids aren’t here, he always is. I feel like I took him for granted. We should have gone on more walks and played at the dog park more. My kids are going to be devastated as well, especially my 11 year old. He is such a good dog.
Oh my goodness, just now getting caught up
In this. My heart goes out to you and don’t feel guilty about fretting over the finances, they are a part of the picture and 10,000 dollars is a lot of money. You have to do what works best for you and your family. Many people wouldn’t have done what you have done so far, hold dear to that and know you’re doing the best you can do.
My heart breaks for you. I can only say what I'd do. I wouldn't want him to continue for long feeling so awfully sick unless the prognosis is pretty decent. I wouldn't spend that much money myself and I have plenty. It's just that unless the vet thinks there's a pretty good chance of him having a good life, personally, I'd let him go. But that's just me. Everyone views these things differently. And I could not presume to suggest a decision for you. That has to be just the right thing for you and Ralphie. I don't know how old your children are but I wouldn't burden them with thinking about what to do, or helping you make a decision. I don't think kids are equipped to make a sound choice with something like this. It's hard enough for us. I think this has to be the adult's job and choice with some input from your vet.
I had a sick dog (a 4 yr. old Dobe...liver disease) that I spent about $3,000+ on with blood transfusions, ultra sounds, laproscopy, biopsy and ongoing meds, a nutritionist to help with a special diet that I made at home with a kazillion supplements. There were blood tests every month or two to check his liver enzymes. But he was pretty dang comfortable and enjoying life once we got things under control. Then he got stomach cancer all over his stomach and that was that. I had to let him go right then and there when it was discovered, suddenly. So there was no choice at that point.
I hope you don't reach for that self punishing guilt thing. You can not go back. And I have no doubt that your Ralphie has felt loved and happy being with his family. Dogs don't have to have bazillions of things to do. They're evolved as domestic animals to crave being with their humans, along side them. That's more than a lot of dogs get. Just what you're doing for him now shows that he's had a good home with good care. Don't do that to yourself...beat yourself up and look back. So see what the vet thinks in the next little while and do what you think is best, most loving thing for Ralphie. Be careful the vet doesn't string you along, trying too many different tests and procedures, racking up the bill if the prognosis for a long and comfortable life is doubtful. Maybe he's not that kind of vet. I just know there are some that will milk us for everything they can. I've had both kinds.