Posted : 12/24/2008 4:13:14 PM
Callie, JackieG, and sl2crmeg: Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I am such a mess right now. At times I am ready to accept it and let her go (an emergency vet today called me selfish for not doing so.. more on this in a minute) and other times like after reading Callie's nice email I am ready to fight.
I've been reading the forum since Dec 15 but only signed up to post last night. I read many stories here some positive and some rollercoasters like the dog Snickers. I'm not sure I could go through what Snicker's guardian went through. I'm only 9 days into this and already feel exhausted.
This morning I went to my vet. He is a really good vet. He is caring and he does all he can for the size of his practice. He does not have equipment to type and cross match blood. He did have a universal donor for our first transfusion. He could have gotten OxyGlubin for about 1000.00 (he quoted me the right price for the size of my dog). We could have went that way but this morning he sent me to the emergency vet.
This place was like a car dealership. I went in and they would not let me be with my dog. They spoke to me like I was an idiot. They came out with a price sheet and said 2400.00 for the blood transfusion and 3 nights in the hospital. I told them Cyclops was going home with me tonight. They said that even at 2400.00 they could not guarantee Cyclops would be alive to pick her up at the end of the 3rd day. I told them I wanted her to have enough energy to get home and be with the family and if these vets were so certain she was going to die anyway then what difference did it make. So at that point I felt I was being held hostage because they are the only people who have the ability to type and match blood.
My real vet allowed me to stay with Cyclops for the transfusion.
I know I'm not making much sense right now. This emergency vet is transfusing her right now. I dropper her off at 11am and they said 6-8 hours. Its 3pm CST right now. I am hoping to just get her back tonight. I have gifts for her under the tree.
Assuming she makes it out of there alive - I can hope for a miracle from this transfusion. Then I have to decide whether to euthanize her at my home the next time she crashes OR try to get her into 1 of 3 teaching hospitals that are 5 hours from me. The 3 closest are: Oklahoma State University at Stillwater. Kansas University at Lawrence and University of Missouri at Columbia. If any of you have a favorite between those 3 let me know.
Here is the problem. And something that I haven't come across yet on this forum. Something I haven't heard discussed much at all. The problem is money. I am about 2000.00 in so far. I think taking her to a teaching hospital sounds like a great idea. I guess first I will call and see what kind of money I am looking at.
I feel terrible for thinking about money but I really have no idea where I can get the funds that quickly. I can do some things to get money but I don't think I can do it in time to save her life. Also.. I don't want to throw good money after bad. Both vets have said that Cyclops is an extreme case and is basically hopeless. But I've read here of people having multiple transfusions. Why would it be hopeless if I could afford to keep transfusing? Would endless transfusions keep her alive indefinately or is something else going on too? They mentioned fluids building up in her belly and that she has developed a heart murmor. When they pulled out the blood for the CBC today is was almost like water. It had an orange tint to it. They literally have no idea how she is still alive. The one nurse said that she must really have the will to try to stay with me to still be here. They called her a fighter. That makes it even harder to euthanize her.
Have any of you had to weigh the financial aspect into your desision making? They make it sound that even if I was Bill Gates I might still lose her.
Guilt - thats what it comes down to.
My immediate plan is: see if she makes it home tonight and if there is any sign of improvment from the transfusion. Then friday morning I will call one or all of the teaching hospitals and have a discussion about cost and what their policies are.
I'm still in this shock that many here have expressed. Unreal that 10 days ago she was walking and playing and now she is at deaths door. Even more unreal because its Christmas Eve and I have a father who has no understanding about dogs - can't really share my feelings with anyone except my wife - which is why I'm glad I found this forum. Wish you all a Merry Christmas.