Saturday, October 08, 2005

Pets can be costly

We are in the middle of dealing with a dog who may or may not recover and is killing my pocket book. It's almost as expensive to have a sick dog as it is to have a sick child. However, we don't have insurance on the dog.

Sareena became a member of our family about three years ago. We had had a Cocker Spaniel. We eventually realized that dumb dog was not a fit for our family because he would get aggravated and bite at our son. So we found a home for that dog, and then my husband started look for another one. He has always wanted an English Bulldog. He loves all the extra wrinkly skin. However, we knew we couldn't afford one, nor could we afford a dog that is notorious for many vet bills. So he started looking at the humane societies.

He came home one day and said "I found her. I found our dog. I've already got her, and she is coming home tomorrow. I couldn't resist. I took her for a walk and when we came back she jumped up in my lap and I fell in love." I'm still standing there with a dumb founded look on my face. Then it dawned on me; this is my soft hearted husband. Yea, that sounds about right for him. So she came home the next day, and I too fell in love with her in a heart beat. She is so interesting looking that she is kinda cute. She is half Sharpea and half Bassett Hound. But mostly she is just a big lovable, sweet, gentle dog. The boys even lay across her sometimes and she doesn't even move, maybe look at them and then sigh and lay her head back down.

Yesterday she started whimpering, walking funny and just not herself, so I took her to a veterinary clinic near by. We talked about the fact that I had given Sareena cat food the day before just to hold her over until I could get to the store to buy more dog food for her that night. So the Vet. thought that it could be gastrointeritis. So $204 later I have a few pills to give her and a possible not so bad diagnosis. Just a tummy ache mostly. But today that changed quickly. I got up the morning to find that she was almost dragging her butt on the floor. She was definitely in pain as well. So I called the Vet. We talked for a while and determined that possibly she could now be constipated so he told me to give her some vegetable oil in her food to help her and just watch her. But also keep a close eye on her. Worse case scenario she could be experiencing a spinal problem. He told me to watch and see if she gets so bad that she walks like she is drunk almost completely loosing control of her back end.

By this evening that is what happened. James left work to come home and take her, because he had to carry her. So he comes back tonight, $385 later, to tell me they did X-ray's and her back has gone out. They are keeping her overnight and allowing her to rest. With steroids, rest, and some therapy she may completely recover. On the other hand if she doesn't recover with that and surgery is required we may be forced to make a very difficult decision to let her go. It's one I hope we don't have to make. She is the best dog I have ever had, and so wonderful with the kids, even the baby.

Veterinary care is expensive, but when it works it can save another member of your family. However, when it doesn't work it's hard to make the decision to let them go even though you know it's not very humane to let them suffer for your own selfishness. The mood at my house is very solemn tonight. We don't want to loose our beloved member of our family.


Jim Marks said...

I know how you feel, My wife and I have 3 dogs and 3 cats. Our oldest dog is five. She tried to jump the fence a couple of years ago. She tore the lateral tendon on her right rear leg, $800. But they become so much a part of your family that you gladly find a way to pull them through. Ours have become our children.
I hope your dog pulls through.
It was nice meeting you yesterday at Wal-mart

ErinG said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I felt the same way when my parents decided to put down the dog that I had grown up with. It was a very hard thing to go through.

Just try to remember who is suffering more. You or the dog. My in-laws have an old dog who they love very much and is truly a member of their family but she has so many health problems and is so obviously suffering that it breaks my heart every time I see her. They just can't bring themselves to put her down. I think it would be the most humane thing to do, but I don't say anything to them because I don't want to upset them anymore then they already are.

It sounds like you are willing to do whatever is best for your dog and that is what's important.

amyrebba said...

Thanks Erin and Jim for your support. Sareena is home and recovering, thank God.

Jim it was nice meeting you and your wife the other day. I'm glad you enjoy my site.

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