Over the past few months, I have featured the remarkable story of Jasmine as she recovers from injury and illness (see Our Journey to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and Difficult to Manage Lameness Treated with Physical Therapy). As our pets are truly part of our families, we are compelled to help them recover from health problems just as we would our human children. This is a concept with which I am greatly familiar, as a veterinary heath care provide and dog dad (see Using Integrative Veterinary Medicine to Treat Illness Affecting My Dog Part 1 and Part 2).
Unfortunately, Jasmine's health problems have continued to create considerable financial hardship for my fellow pet writer, Jana Rade (see her great Dawg Business site), from Ontario, Canada. Please do what you can to contribute financially to Jasmine's medical care and share her story with other pet loving people. You can make a secure, monetary contribution by following this link: Jasmine's ChipIn webpage.
At The End Of the Rope
If you haven't met Jasmine yet, she is a seven yeas old female Rottweiler. She is the puppy of my life and is like my child. Jasmine is loving, affectionate, and loves life with passion.
She has been dealt and unfortunate hand regarding her health, with some issues starting at early age but never properly diagnosed. About two years ago the dam finally broke and we were overwhelmed with one medical issue after another.
It started with her tearing her left ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). Before that could have been taken care of a mass was found in her abdomen and for a while we were very scared it might have been cancer. Fortunately it turned out to be a eosinophilic gastroenteritis, a form of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). She was also diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.
It was found that her other ACL was in a bad shape also, and that she had arthritis not only in both knees but also in her shoulders, neck and jaws. We did an extracapsular repair and stem cell therapy.
Just when her leg was looking really good, her other ACL went. So we had to go through the whole thing again. When her rehab was done and her legs were looking good, her episodes of panting, pacing and discomfort which were progressively getting worse since she was three years old got really bad.
We did all the diagnostics our vet could think of. Last thing to do was an x-ray of the heart. We took her in for an x-ray. She got a bad reaction to one of the drugs resulting in severe hyperthermia (elevated body temperature) and it fried her blood and her muscles. She couldn't stand up or walk on her own and the next morning started peeing blood.
As we took her to the emergency we ended up at the teaching hospital. It turned out that apparently from the trauma caused by the hyperthermia Jasmine also had a large abscess in her abdomen. It was a race against time—waiting for the platelets get high enough so surgery could be done as soon as possible.
We've been at this for over two years now. She had total of 7 surgeries and 2 near death experiences. One thing gets fixed, something else goes wrong. Jasmine sees a regular vet, TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) vet, and a physiotherapist. They all have constantly full hands with Jasmine.
We have spent over $50,000 on vet bills in the past two years and our resources are exhausted. Our truck is falling apart, our home is falling apart.....everything is.
We are taking her to physical therapy with her latest muscle injury and getting another stem cell treatment, this time for her elbow which got really bad.
Now, on top of things, she broke out with a skin infection. That seemed to have been clearing up but the other night, a week into her antibiotic treatment, another bunch of fur fell out leaving a red bald patch. I hope it's just a fall out from the original infection, but I'm worried what would happen if it isn't. That means another vet visit.
If you ever had a dog with a really bad skin disease, or seen one, you know why I'm worried.
We are, however, at the end of the rope. Today, when I talked to my husband about seeing the vet again (saw him twice last week!) he really freaked out. He is talking about putting Jasmine down as we cannot go on like this. I thought he was saying that just because of being upset, but later on he repeated that again. He is dead serious.
Jasmine is so precious. She's smart, loving, caring, full of zest for life. How could we end her life just like that? And, who would take on a dog that costs $2,000/month in vet bills?
The sad thing is she has improved so much and she always manages to come out on top for the time being! She is a fighter and she wants to live! So many issues got resolved and she really could be around for a few more great years if some of these latest things got take care of.
I appreciate where my husband is coming from, but how can I let this to happen? After all, it is just a skin problem at this time? The problem just being that it is one thing after another...
If we just could get through this one now and get some help getting back on our feet, everything could be ok.
Please, if you can, please help Jasmine.