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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #11  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:03 AM
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looks and sounds like he is doing a little better .I bet if you gave him a cookie ,you would get the same reaction the doc got , you probably havent been slipping him cookies since he has been in the hospital ,and Pepe is smart enough to know who gave him his last cookie .
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2011, 10:39 PM
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Pepe was discharged today.
Still has a long way to go, as he can't really move much yet.
He has been moving his legs a little though, so that's encouraging.

Moved the loveseat out of the living room to set up a nice, big area for him to hang out.
We need to turn him every few hours and do physical therapy using an exercise ball to keep his leg muscles moving.

Goal is to get some use of legs - enough to stand with assistance. Once that happens and he can go out to do his business, we can celebrate.

Total bill including ER, MRI, and surgery - $5,715
It would have been $7,015, but the surgeon waived some of the fees for us.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:37 PM
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WOW! I never knew how much pet surgery could be!

Did they say anything about how to help prevent this from happening again?
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
WOW! I never knew how much pet surgery could be!

Did they say anything about how to help prevent this from happening again?
Yeah, tell me about it. Part of what we are paying for though is the best facility and medical staff in western Pennsylvania.
A bunch of veterinary specialists got together and opened this facility just a few years ago. It's not a "vet clinic" where you take your pet for routine care. You either go there for emergencies, or are referred there by your regular vet because your pet's issue is beyond their scope, and requires a specialist.

If I didn't link it before, here's their website. Note all the specialty services along the top.

We do have pet insurance, but the last time he injured himself this way, they denied our claim (it doesn't work quite the same way as human medical insurance) due to something that was noted in one of the doctor's charts.
We are praying that with the help of the doctor making some specific notes to address the previous reason for denial, we can get a percentage of our bill paid for, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

As for preventing future injuries to his spine? That's what the reason we went ahead with the surgery. It's complicated, but his spine had too much mobility allowing for the "pinching" of the spinal cord, causing swelling which cuts off the signals from the brain that allow control of the limbs. There's also some abnormality in there, but I'm unclear if it is totally caused by the body's defenses trying to "protect" that area - there was a lot of scar tissue in there that would suggest that.

The amount of "disability" depends on the severity of the damage at the time. The first time it happened, he was really bad (all four legs were affected), but we managed to get him recovered at home with a LOT of effort and physical therapy.
A few years later it happened again when he caught his nose on the ground while chasing a ball. He twisted his neck, dropped to the ground, and couldn't move. This time he had limited use of his back legs, and the recovery time was not as long. At that time, we had discussed the option of surgery, but since it was not without risk, very expensive, and he had recovered without surgery once before, we went that route.

Fast forward a few more years and it happened again with no vigorous activity to point to as a cause - it just "happened". Any time you have a repeated injury, your chances of getting back to where you were initially are reduced. Factor in that with the fact that it could happen again at any time and we were left with three options:
1. Take him home as we had done in the past and cross our fingers.
2. Allow the neurologist to surgically correct the problem area as best as he can and fuse it to eliminate the instability in hopes that we can prevent this from occurring again.
3. Euthanasia

#1 didn't seem like the best option and while #2 was something we are going to struggle with financially, we were not about to consider #3 without trying surgery first. Only when all options are exhausted will we consider that decision that nobody should have to make.

It's not easy to care for a dog that is this debilitated, but it's what we signed up for when we adopted him. In addition to simply being a wonderful dog all around, he's gotten us through some really crappy times emotionally. He deserves as much of a chance as we can give him.

He's going to walk again. I have faith.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:52 AM
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It is fantastic that these services are available and so close!

Is there any chance they would take a swap of lawn care services for their facility in lieu of payment?
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  #16  
Old 11-23-2011, 11:13 PM
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whats up with pepe lately ?
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruces View Post
whats up with pepe lately ?
He's not improving as well as we had hoped.
He just lies there. He'll move his legs on occasion, but makes no effort to move or even lift his head. I try to coax him to move his neck when I'm feeding him by moving the food around.
I think his neck is giving him a lot of discomfort and the surgery has him twisting his head to the right when we stand him up. (which makes it impossible to keep his balance)

We are able to "stand" him now. He has enough strength in his back legs to hold himself up for a few minutes, but the front legs aren't doing much yet. If I position his feet properly for him, he keeps the front legs straight until he gets tired.
Unfortunately, all this effort involved in standing him doesn't make for a relaxed trip outside to "do business" and we've only been able to get him to pee once outside.

We have an exercise "peanut" that we're going to use to help do physical therapy. Drape him over it to support his weight, then by rolling it forward or back, we can get him used to applying pressure to the legs again.

It's very hard, and it's quite frustrating. Everything that needs done takes a lot of time to do - rolling him over every few hours, stretching his limbs, feeding, watering, cleaning off the pee/poop when he goes... it's very time consuming.
My back is killing me. He's only 52 lbs., but picking up a "limp" dog that has had surgery done on his neck is a lot more tricky than carrying a bag of sand.

It's going to be a long road with ups and downs. If we can get to the point where he pees outside - even if I have to carry him - it will be a start. It may be that he needs to "re-learn" that since he had a catheter in for about a week.

Anyway, thanks for asking. Keep us in your prayers.




ETA:
Heh. also had to take a cat to the vet the other day. He hadn't eaten in over 4 days and long story short/$460 later, he's doing better.
I just can't catch a break.
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:30 PM
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Here is our dog Charlie age 11 @ the time. He was diagnosed with cancer, so the vet cut off his front leg, he beat the cancer for the next four months & then was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, we ultimately had to put him to sleep. One of the saddest days for our family in recent memory. I honestly can't tell you what to do, but I know Charlie is not in pain anymore. Good Luck man!

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Old 11-24-2011, 07:31 PM
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Nice to hear about pepe ,even though the news could be better .
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:25 AM
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11/25/11 Progress Update


He moved!

The wife and I were both out of the room and around 7:30pm, my wife called to me, "Come quickly - be quiet!"

I peeked around the corner and there he was, still lying on his bed, but upright, and turned to the left, licking his back foot!
He continued for a minute, then looked at us as if to say "what are YOU looking at?"
He then straightened out, still upright, and lay there for a few minutes looking as though none of this ever happened.

It's a milestone we needed to see. He soon lay back onto his side again and fell asleep, but that was amazing to see.
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