I’m turning my blog over to Mom today because I have no idea what she’s talking about. Talk to you all soon!
Hi, everyone! First, I want to thank you all for always being such incredible friends and providing greatly needed emotional support.
Molly just had her vet visit! It wasn’t all good but it wasn’t all bad.
I have to break it down into sections. Going from good to bad:
(If you’re just looking for cost of treatment, it’s all the way at the bottom.)
Just by looking at her outward physical appearance, the vet thought Molly was a much older dog. However, upon examining her eyes she noticed there was no indication of cataracts or nuclear sclerosis. She said dogs tend to start developing those things around 6 years old. Since she lacks those things, she’s placing her somewhere between 5 and 6 years old.
Kidney and Liver Function
Excellent! The reason Molly has been drinking excessively and peeing so much is not diabetes or kidney failure but rather a urinary tract infection.
Lump behind her ear
It may be a cyst or it could possibly even be a BB (i.e., shot from a BB gun) that scar tissue built up around. This is on the “keep-an-eye-on list”. If it gets bigger, starts bleeding, or starts bothering her, we will go from there.
She has early onset arthritis in her legs. There is something causing pain in her spine and it could be a multitude of things (ex. a strain, spondilosis, infection (similar to spinal meningitis), disc fusion, etc.).
For now, it’s being treated as a sprain and she’s on a pain medication. If there’s no relief, a muscle relaxer will be added.
X-rays need to be done to determine what damage there has been to the heart and lungs. Since she’s already showing clinical signs (i.e., coughing when excited) the heart worm is progressed and not a minor infection.
It’s the vet’s preference to perform the treatment after Molly has been on heart worm preventative for 6 months (she’s been on it for 4 as of today). The reason for this is that there are 5 life stages of the worms L1-L5:
-L-1 and L-2 are the babies. They are killed by the heart worm preventative.
-L-5 are adults. They are killed by heart worm treatment.
-L-3 and L-4 are juvenile worms. Nothing kills them.
To ensure that all worms are killed by the first treatment, waiting 6 months will mean that all of the juveniles will be adults.
So, around the end of December, we can do a CBC (complete blood panel) and x-rays. If she’s okay to move forward with the treatment, she will begin liver supplements for 2 weeks. After that, her 1st injection will be administered. Then we wait a month, after which another injection will be given and then 24 hours later, a final injection.
During the treatment, Molly MUST be confined (3 months or longer) and have minimal to no exercise. When she goes out, she has to be on a leash. The reason for this is that the worms live in the right side of the heart, the pulmonary artery, and the lungs. The treatment actually dissolves the worms (the vet described it as overcooking spaghetti). If a dog gets excited, it causes the heart to beat fast and respiration increases causing the lungs to inflate/deflate rapidly. The rapid beating/pumping can cause the worms to break. If part of a worm breaks off, it would have the same effect as a pulmonary embolism and result in sudden death.
Molly has teeth with exposed root pulp. Those teeth will need to be pulled.
The worst news we got, which was totally unexpected, is that Molly has a mass on her gum line. It’s possible it’s not malignant but it’s also possible it’s a carcinoma. If it’s a carcinoma, it’s likely that it could have spread through surrounding tissue and even through the blood.
Treating her for gum cancer, if it has spread into surrounding tissue, is not something we would be willing to put her through as it would involve the removal of half of her jaw. We would rather let her live her days loved and as comfortable as possible.
If it’s cancer, everything would stop there. There would be no heart worm treatment.
Molly is scheduled for a dental cleaning on November 11th. At that time, the vet will extract any teeth necessary and remove the mass for biopsy.
So what is all of this going to cost?
Today’s visit was $212.08.
- Exam $44
- Blood work to test her kidney and liver function $53
- Urinalysis $35
- Cephalexin (antibiotic for UTI) $31.88
- Carprofen (pain reliever) $16.60
- Nail trim and grinding $17
- Pill pockets (she HATES taking pills) $10 + tax
- Environmental Waste Disposal $4
The dental on November 11th will be $520.58 + $10/each tooth extracted
- CBC (complete blood count) $45
- Anesthetic $45
- Dental Cleaning $90
- Penicillin G Procaine Injectable (antibiotic) $27
- Metacam Injectable (pain reliever) $27
- Hospitalization & Care (day) $ 18
- HW/Lyme/Ehrlichiosis/Anaplasma Test $42
- Urinalysis (Re-check) $35
- Mass removal NO CHARGE (yay!)
- Biopsy $191.58
The heart worm treatment is going to be anywhere from $957 – 1,056
- Chemistry profile $105
- Chemistry – Electrolytes $35
- Creatine Kinase Level $18
- Total T4 Test $52 (optional
- X-ray $81 for 1st $39 for 2nd
- Environmental waste disposal $4
- Lipoform $33.56
- Immiticide Treatment Injection $425
- Immiticide Additional Slow Treatment $212.50
- Environmental waste disposal $4
Total cost of today’s visit and future medical care: $1,788 + extractions
We’re in for the long haul with her, though, and we’re going to make sure she gets the care she needs.
If you are able to help (even $1), please consider donating to Molly’s care at: http://www.gofundme.com/savingmolly17. We understand financial strain and if you can’t help monetarily, please share her campaign website. Feel free to use her campaign picture wherever you’d like:
Lastly, if you can’t donate or share her campaign, please just say a prayer for her.