Thursday, September 14, 2006

When is Enough, Enough??

To all of you animal lovers out there, the answer may be, there's never enough. To me, it's just not that simple.

My poor, sweet, little dog Holly, is very sick. For the last few days she's been having horrible bouts of diarrhea (lovely..I hope you're not eating while reading),been very lethargic, and just not her normal self. Mind you, it's hard enough for a PERSON to make it to the bathroom while having horrible diarrhea, but a dog, well, use your imagination. Our bedroom turned IN to her bathroom. (It doesn't give me high hopes about the future sale of our home by the way, but that's another post.)

A little background on Holly. She's 12 years old. We "inherited" her from my Grandfather after he died. She was his pride and joy, and Holly took wonderful care of him in his final days. She's very sweet and gentle and stays out of the kids' way. She's happy to be inside and goes out only to do her business and comes right back in. She's just not interested in walks or running or playing anymore. We used to try, but she would give us this look of, "'re freakin' crazy" anytime we'd invite her to go outside with us.

So, anyway, back to today. I broke down this morning and called the vet to set up a time to take her in. I wanted to go and stay with her while they checked her out, but with two little guys in tow, that made it pretty much impossible. Especially considering one guy is still crawling and the other was bound to climb the walls while we waited, not to mention my poor sick dog...half covered in POOP....they agreed to let me drop her off and check her out.

I got the call about an hour later that they needed to run some tests and do some x-rays. That was expected. I asked how MUCH said tests and x-rays would cost, and was informed that it would be around $200 (gulp). Well, we want her better, we don't want her to suffer, so, I okay the tests and x-rays.

This afternoon, I got another call from the vet. They have found several things going on with her. What I managed to get down on paper was this: she has kidney stones, her liver is very small, her bilirubin levels are up, and she's dehydrated. They ruled out that she was in any kind of "system failure", but her white/red blood cell count wouldn't even register on their machines, so they're sending off a sample to see what they can find. The vet wanted to keep her overnight (another $150) to do IV fluids and start her on a round of antibiotics.

Thinking of my Grandfather, of my little boys (who LOVE her dearly), and my "Doggie Mommy guilt", I okay this treatment. We should know tomorrow if she's on the mend, or if she is still sick.

So THIS is my dilema. When is enough, enough? Unfortunatley, we do not have medical insurance for our dog. I can just hear the cash register, "cha-ching, cha-ching" in my head every time I talk to the vet. I hate to sound heartless....but I just don't know if we have the $$$$$ to treat her. I love this dog. My kids love this dog. The thought of giving up on her kills me because I feel like my Grandfather is looking down on me shaking his head in disbelief at the mere notion of it.

I just don't know what to do. I'm afraid that we could pay all of this money (which we know is already at $350 if not more), and we'll turn around and it will be something else in a month or two.

Do I give up on her? Do we rack up innumerous bills trying to make her better for the next month or two, simply to have something else happen and add on to the bills?

She's 12 years old. She's had a good life.

I just don't know where to go from here. Poor little girl.

1 comment:

andria said...

You struck a chord with me.

I totally understand your money dilemma. Since we have had our dog we have spent over 300 bucks to repair him after a pit bull attack, another 300 EACH TIME to have the same cancerous tumor removed twice. BUT, he was still young each time, even now he is just now eight.

Our old family dog had heartworms and tumors and all sorts of ailments and did well most of her life. In 1989 at the age of about 15 the tumors got worse and the vet said it could be any day.....she lived four more years and most of them relatively healthy, after we had spoiled her by feeding her cookies and lunch meat on her "death bed". She did get worse in 1993 at the age of 19 when the cancer just spread all over her body in a matter of 1 week. My parents opted to put her down as she could barely move.

I have no real advice, because what I would probably do would cost you large amounts of money, but don't feel badly about your Grandpa, I am sure he is just so glad you gave her a good home all this time.