meningitis and our puppy

Up until last year, we had been debt free for a few years.  We carried a car note, but that was mostly to help our credit score.  We were well on our way to building up more than one month’s salary in our emergency savings.  Then it happened…or continued to happen.

Our Willow

Our sweet baby puppy, Willow,  developed meningitis when she was 6 months old.  She is now two.  It has been a painful journey for her, and also for us financially.

Her meningitis is caused by her immune system.  When it flairs up, her back and neck are excruciatingly painful.  It mostly flairs up when she is sick.  She is on immune suppressants and has a weakened immune system. She tends to get seriously sick from things that most dogs would just get antibiotics for.

It took quite a while, 3 MRIs, 2 spinal taps, an ultra sound, and too many x-rays and blood tests to count, before a diagnosis was made.  And, we had a situation with a neurologist that just didn’t have enough experience to handle her illness.

Last spring, Willow got sick yet again.  I don’t know if it was a blessing in disguise or not.  Although she ended up spending 10 days in a critical care facility, we did find a specialist that has kept her healthy and pain free since then.

Most people say we are crazy for spending so much money on a pet.  But she is more than a pet.  She is a member of our family and I will do anything within my power to keep her healthy and out of pain.

It brings me to tears to see her is pain.  She’s just an innocent little beagle that doesn’t understand why she is in pain. She doesn’t deserve to be in pain. What she does deserve is parents that love her and take care of her in any way they can. Lucky her, she has that. The love she gives back to us is worth the price we pay to keep her healthy.

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6 Responses to meningitis and our puppy

  1. barb19 says:

    Willow is gorgeous – and I would have done exactly what you did Shell – anything to give her a pain-free life; worry about the bills later! Our pets are more than just animals, they are part of our family.
    We had a situation with one of our dogs a few years ago; she started with an itchy rash on her feet, which turned into secondary infections oozing pus and scabbing over. It took us 6 months to find a vet that could give us a diagnosis her. By that time she had lost almost all of her fur; her skin was just red raw and a mass of scabs. Then we started on the tests, one after another – you know what that’s like Shell. We almost lost her, she was literally at death’s door but we weren’t ready to say goodbye yet.
    Long story short, it was all caused by a demodex mite which all dogs have and deal with, but her immune system had been compromised, so that’s why she just got worse. Our vet put her on Ivomac shots which is normally used only for sheep, cattle, horses, etc. but there was nothing else they could try to help her. It was a risk with her being a little dog, but hell, we were losing her anyway so what the heck. They started off with a small dose to see how she reacted as they weren’t sure how much to give her. Anyway, it worked, and after 2 weeks her skin started to clear up and little tufts of new fur was sprouting! She was on that medication for 9 months and we had to take her every month for most tests. It cost us thousands but it was worth every penny (she was called Penny!) She lived another 6 years after that, to the age of 14 when sadly, we lost her to cancer (2 years ago next month).
    I love all my pets, but there is always one kinda special one, and Penny was it; there will never be another like her. We still have Poppy but she is an old girl now, almost 12 and slowing down but otherwise quite healthy.
    I didn’t mean to write all this Shell, it just sorta flowed out from my heart! It was seeing Willow and her story that did it!

    • Seashell says:

      I loved hearing about Penny! I knew if there was anyone that I know that would understand, it would be you. I love my baby girl so much and we are so happy that she has been stable for almost a year now. I some glad you shared your story with me!

  2. Wayne Augden says:

    I enjoyed your post, and your beagle is so cute. 🙂

  3. Manolo says:

    Hi there,
    Little is our Beagle, and we are in Italy.
    Same illness, same story. We are getting to reduce cortisone now, and he is now again a happy dog, although it is not easy at all.
    Best wishes, and if you want or need to share experinces about, here we are 🙂

    • Seashell says:

      Poor Little! Poor momma and daddy! It’s so hard seeing an animal you love hurt like that. I appreciate you reaching out. Many people think we’re crazy for spending so much money on medical expenses for a dog. It’s nice to know there are others who care about their pets as much as we do.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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