Intensive-care medical expenses
We needed to provide intensive care for our rescue Cotton. She required about 10 days in the ICU before transfer to foster care. The $1,000 grant was applied directly to those expenses.
We pulled Cotton from Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, AZ, which would have had to euthanize her due to her multiple medical problems. We are the only boxer rescue in Arizona, and without our help, she was going to be put down. She was found with BB pellets in on her left chest/thorax area; bark/shock collar burning and scarring under her neck; and terribly thin at only 38 lbs. Her face was red and hot to the touch. Cotton was brought in to the rescue and given a chance because there was a light in her eyes and she has a fighting spirit that wants to live. Her eyes were absolutely pleading with us to give her a chance.
She was immediately brought to a vet and developed labored breathing, was very uncomfortable, and showed signs that something serious was going on. She required immediate transfer to an emergency veterinary facility, where she received oxygen therapy related to aspiration pneumonia. She has a problem in her esophagus which will be scoped when she is stable. At the current time, she is unable to eat and has aspirated more than once. It is anticipated that she will need surgery on her esophagus to allow her to be able to eat. Her other burns and skin issues will also be addressed when she is stable.
She left the hospital, but was then hospitalized in the ICU again after her blood pressure and body temp dropped. A PICC line had to be placed in her femoral artery so that we could provide IV medicinal and fluid support. A normal catheter in a vein could not because of the BP loss and consistency of her blood. Additionally, she continued to lose significant weight (which she didn’t have to lose), had very little strength left (struggles to get up and would stumble and fall at times). She had no – zero – muscle mass. While her spirit is still loving it is not nearly as strong, she is clearly very tired.
We met with her medical team which includes the hospitals Medical Director and several specialists. We know she has a systemic Neuro Muscular Disorder. We know she has an immune-system issue. We know that she won’t be able to use her tongue or throat again due to the nerve damage and that she will have to continue to live on nutrition and hydration through the use of her surgically implanted gastrotomy feeding tube. We know that she’ll always be at risk of aspiration pneumonia (she just survived a bad battle with that a month ago). We also now know there’s nothing more that we can do for her. We’ve spent a fortune trying to figure her out and find long term, reasonable answers. She’s deserved every bit of it but, in the end, we’ve exhausted it all. We will lose her.
We moved her back to her amazing foster mom’s home. She loves being home and, with the help of some added steroids, got a bit of a physical and emotional boost over the weekend. This is where she needs to be until she lets us know its time. BLR, and Cotton especially, are blessed with a foster mom that is not only deeply committed to her but is also a certified veterinary technician. She’s got the medical expertise at her side, at all times.
On September 27, 2019 we made the decision to let her go. It was been worth every penny to give her a shot. We’ll never ask, “what if…..” Thank you for that amazing gift – to us, her doctors and especially her!