February 16th, 2010
Okay, so my plan to update this blog through the present didn’t really happen like I had hoped! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll all be updated by the end of this weekend (someone help me keep to it, wouldja? 😉 )
Most of you know the ordeal that Kevin and I went through with Lola at the beginning of the year but for posterity’s sake 😉 I’d like to post a rundown of the events:
- Day 1, Mon. Jan. 4: Lola was vomitting, had diarrhea, and wouldn’t eat or drink
- Day 2, Tues.: $500 worth of tests/x-rays at SPCA, sent home with meds, the problem continued. Called them back, they suggested hospitalizing her for 1 1/2 days (estimated $1,000).
- Day 3, Wed.: A co-worker recommended his vet, they also suggested hospitalizing at ER hospital down the street (est. $500). Other option to give fluids intravenously and send her home (which we did). Problem got worse, she woke up with–and I apologize in advance for the graphic details–diarrhea that looked like pure blood. Again they wanted to send her to ER hospital (est. $500) but after seeing the struggle that Kevin and I were going through to see the bill grow by leaps and bounds each day, he gave us an amazing option: though normally they don’t hospitalize pets at their facility because no staff on duty, for $100 Lola could stay at their facility and the doctor said that he would stay at his parent’s house in the city so that he could check in on her during the night…amazing. Took blood sample.
- Day 4, Thurs.: Still no improvements, we were afraid we might have to put her down. Blood test results came in: white blood cell count and albumin (a blood protein) levels were dangerously low. Doctor said that if levels didn’t get better, she’d need a plasma transfusion. We never got an estimate but we knew that we could never afford a procedure such as that. Lola was extremely lethargic (barely lifted her head) and still not eating/drinking. Kept her hooked up to fluids/antibiotics another night.
- Day 5, Fri.: Doctor retook blood test mid-day (hopeful that after 1 1/2 days of being hooked up we’d see improvements). During our visit she seemed to have improved by leaps and bounds! She actually stood up to greet us and went for a walk outside. Blood test results: white blood cell count almost back to normal, albumin level still extremely low which meant is was still life-threatening. The doctor wanted to keep her through Monday to make sure that Lola’s body was given a chance to recover. She knew that the cost of hospitalizing her for 3 more days/nights would be impossible for us so she offered to keep Lola at the facility, hooked up to fluids/antibiotics until Monday evening without charging us a penny. And on top of that, their office is closed on Sundays but she was going to come into the office to administer Lola’s meds and check in on her. She did this for us even though Lola hadn’t even been a patient of hers for a week. It was in that moment that I was reminded that there are some truly amazing people in the world, and our vet is one of them. My heart was overflowing with appreciation.
- Days 6 & 7, Sat. 7 Sun.: Slow improvements in energy level and desire to eat/drink.
- Day 8, Mon.: She was finally able to keep food, water and meds down so she came home that evening!
- Week 1 of recovery: When she came home she was skin & bones (she lost 6 pounds, and for a 48 pound dog that’s quite a drop in one week) and still had very little energy. But each day Lola regained more and more strength and at our one week checkup with the doctor she was so impressed with her recovery!
- Today, six weeks since she first showed signs of illness, Lola is doing FANTASTIC! Other than her “battle wounds” (the shaved areas of her front legs where they had to put the IV’s in) that are still showing, you honestly could not imagine that just 6 weeks ago she was hospitalized and on the verge of death. We have absolutely grown a new appreciation for our little girl Lola and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how lucky we are. She is absolutely the best thing that has happened to us in our move to SF and we hope to have her as a part of our family for years and years to come!