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My $5,000 Chihuahua - A Pet Parent Dilemma

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Posted 09-17-2010 at 11:13 AM by caninemom3
Tags ivy

It was this time of the year, Autumn and it all comes back. Ivy lay in the bed sort of crumpled up with her hind legs contracted to her body. She could not move them and every time I tried to move her she winced and cried out. I was in a panic. What was I, were we to do ?? This had happened before. As I tried to comfort my little Ivy, my tears fell onto her sweet little face. I prayed. "Dear God, NOT THIS AGAIN !!" "What are we going to do, God, we are bankrupt ?!" My head was spinning as I tried to figure out a solution. My husband, for all his faults, was beside himself as well. Ivy was his "little princess". I knew something had to be done and it was me who was going to have to set things in action or she would be paralyzed for the rest of her life or have to be put down.

Ivy had ruptured a disc in her back. I don't know how it happened or why. She had no feeling in her legs and had lost control of bowels and bladder but yet still had enough feeling that she was still in excruciating pain. This had happened a year and a half before exactly the same way. One minute she was fine, the next, she was having extreme trouble ambulating.

Now here we were again. It was a Sunday evening. Anxiety and despair completely took hold of me. The first time it happened it was able to be taken care of quickly as we had credit in those days. Since that first episode we had been forced into bankruptcy and were no longer credit worthy and as I have learned, unfortunately most things are about money.

I called the specialty hospital and spoke to them and told them what was happening. I thought perhaps if we could just confirm the diagnosis, perhaps it was not what I thought it was. They told me of a way to pay for it called Care Credit. It is a credit account which some physicians and veterinarians take. I knew we would not qualify. I explained this to the receptionist who was trying to be very gentle and helpful at the same time. She explained that if I could get someone to get a Care Credit account and then authorize the charges, Ivy could be treated. I began to pray once again. Who on this Earth would be selfless enough and trust me enough to do this for my poor little furbaby ?? My sister shyed away. I had no choice - I called my dearest friend Susan who had been on the scene years earlier when my first husband died and actually helped clean up the room where he passed. Susan is a nurse of the highest caliber and as a person she is an even higher caliber than that.

I burst in on her via telephone on Sunday evening crying, half hysterical, not knowing what to do. She calmed me down. Somehow I told her what was happening and she said "no problem". No problem ??? Was I hearing things ??? As this had already been an extremely emotional evening, I wept into the phone. Susan dropped what she was doing and called Care Credit and after securing an account called the specialty hospital and gave me her authorization to use the account.

The very next morning after a night of sleeplessness and worry, we took Ivy to the Akron Veterinary Clinic. There we saw a very sympathetic older vet named Dr. Ferguson. After his exam, he said he didn't know how successful the operation would be as Ivy was at Stage IV paralysis but we knew she could not go on the way she was. We very reluctantly left Ivy in the care of the wonderful doctors and nurses at the hospital and went home.

Some hours later, the phone rang. It was Dr. Ferguson. Ivy had come through the myelogram and the hemilaminectomy just fine. She had indeed ruptured more discs in her back. Her spinal cord had been compressed. It was not known if the damage was permanent. A week later we brought Ivy home. She still could not walk or tell when she had to go potty.

Over the ensuing weeks we worked with Ivy and Dr. Ferguson would call to see how she was doing. I was beginning to think we had been too late when one afternoon, Ivy seemed a bit more restless than usual. We had put papers down for her just in case. I gently picked her up and sat her on the papers. She tried to stand !!!! She was getting sensation back again !! I never thought seeing a Chihuahua peeing on papers could make me emotional but it did. As the days went on from there, Ivy recovered her ability not only to walk but to run and play and jump and it was all because of a lot of wonderful people and their gifts. Without Susan none of Ivy's recovery would have ever occurred. Without Dr. Ferguson's extreme talent as a surgeon she would not have had the much needed operation and of course, without God Ivy would have died.

Ivy has had 2 back surgeries now that total roughly $5,000 and if I had it to do again and again and again, yes, I would do it. Animals lives mean no less to me than humans. In fact, in some instances they mean more. Why should their lives be of less importance ?? They are, after all, just like us children of God.
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Total Comments 2


  1. Old Comment
    Christmas-A-Holic's Avatar
    Aww.... I am glad she is doing better. I feel the same way about my babies! I would do anything for them.
    Posted 09-17-2010 at 12:18 PM by Christmas-A-Holic Christmas-A-Holic is online now
  2. Old Comment
    Jeniferdwn's Avatar
    I have a special little spot in my heart for Ivy because she looks so much like my little Rascal did! Have you ever read the Wheely Willy books? If not, please find them and read them! They are wonderful and since you're a "chi" person too, you'd love the stories!!! Give kisses to Ivy for me!
    Posted 09-17-2010 at 12:54 PM by Jeniferdwn Jeniferdwn is offline

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