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662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yesterday I'm at work, (the kids were home with the hounds) I was manually srcubbing mold off the exterior of a house and using some industrial bleach.

I had gloves and prorective gear on, but once I started working on the ceiling in the carport and along the front of the house under the gutters the bleach solution was dripping down inside my glove and I didn't realize it for a while until my arm started burning.

I ended up going to the clinic ... now on the way to the clinic I get a phone call from my children freaking out. They went to take the dogs for a walk and apparently Mocha just collapsed.

So now _I_ was freaking out because I couldn't go home I was on the way to the clinic with a pretty bad chemical burn from wrist to elbow ... and now I'm worried about what could possibly be wrong with Mocha and unable to go find out until I get done at the clinic.

At the clinic the doctor tells me I have 2nd and 3rd degree burns, they slather my arm up with some special cream to neutralize the bleach and some other stuff to treat the actual burns and wrap my arm in some gauze specifically for burns (it apparently won't stick in the spots where my skin is all peeled back and seeping).

They send me off with some pain killers and instructions to come back every day for the next week to have my dressings changed and now I can finally get home and see what's wrong with my Mocha.

I get home and the house is in chaos, the kids are crying, my mother is upstairs running her hands in the air over Mocha saying she's doing reiki but that everyone better say their goodbyes, etc. -- Beldin was laying down beside Mocha whining and he would not move from her side and the kittens were pacing around meowing and trying to get to Mocha from between the kids and my mother.

I get the story from my kids that they decided to take the dogs for a walk because Mocha looked a bit "depressed" and they thought she'd like some fresh air ... they got about 4 houses down the street and she "looked like she stumbled" and collapsed.

The kids told me a taxi was driving by and the guy got out and helped get Mocha back home, they laid her on a blanket in the living room and she didn't move from that spot from then til I got home.

Aparently in the time I was gone she had been heaving like she wanted to throw up but nothing would come up, she wouldn't eat or drink and after her collapse wouldn't move from her spot on the floor.

She was twitching and moaning. Her eyes were really red, her mouth was really red, her tongue was really pale and she was cold. Her ears, the inside of her mouth and her tummy were all really cold to the touch.

When I came home she lifted her tail and thumped it on the floor twice but wouldn't pick up her head to look at me. - I got on the phone to the vet.

Being after hours by this time I had to page someone. The vet that called me back was really insensitive, after listening to the symptoms (and the kids crying in the background) he was like "Well, I'm out for dinner with my wife, if you want me to come in and even just to have her looked at is going to be at least $200"

I explained to him that I don't get any money until the 20th (today) and would he please come in and take a look at her and I could pay him tomorrow (since this was yesterday).

He said no, that he'd need the money before even opening the door to the clinic and I could wait until the morning if I wanted and hope she lasted the night or I could "find some friends to pay for it if you care enough to have her looked at tonight, or if you can't get the money and don't want her to suffer I'll come euthanize her for $80". Then he was like "page me back if you get some money" and hung up.

God was taking care of us though, or some guardian angel was looking out for Mocha - no sooner than the vet hung up then I got a call from the fellow who had hired me to scrub the house (he wanted to know how my trip to the clinic went) he could hear everyone in the background freaking out and asked what was wrong, so I told him about Mocha and he said "I'll be there in 5 min!"

So he came and gathered me and Mocha into his truck and drove us to the vet and I told him "I don't have any money to take care of this!" And he shushed me and said "You don't need to worry about that"

The rest of it was kind of a blur - he paged the vet and when he got there took him aside while I sat on the floor with Mocha ... I cought some words here and there but mostly he dealt with everything while we were there. Apparently he paid the vet a deposit and he told him not to talk to me about billing - period - that he'd deal with it. He told him to just make sure Mocha got better and to take care of things.

He's arranged for me to go in and visit Mocha later today. So far we still don't know what's wrong. From what the vet told us while we were there, without further examination he figures it could be pancreatitis or a blockage in her digestive system somewhere but wants to run tests and start her on an iv.

He said they are going to put her in an IV and antibiotics and anti inflamitories for now for 3 days, then if she doesn't clear up they'll start x-rays and further treatments.

I told my friend I would pay him back or work off the debt and he said "oh no you will not - you won't worry about this, do you understand? You just get better and be ready for Mocha to get better and come home"

So now I have 2 clinics to visit on a daily basis for the next little while ... the "people clinic" for my arm to have the dressing changed and treated ... and the vet clinic on the other side of town to visit Mocha and check in on her and see how she's doing.

What a day yesterday was.

And thank God for friends like Mitch.

662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just got off the phone with the vet - they had Mocha on an IV with antibiotics and some glucose formula overnight but they said there's been no change in her since we brought her in yesterday.

Her temperature is way down, she won't move or eat or drink and is basically just laying there moaning and twitching and not very responsive to stimuli.

The vet says I can come in later today to see her during visiting hours and they may have more to tell me then, but so far they have nothing new to tell me, no diagnosis or anything further than just "wait and see".

Beldin is going crazy here without Mocha. He's depressed and wandering around like he's looking for her under the couch and in the hallways etc and he flops down on the floor in the middle of the living room and just wimpers. He barely slept last night too, kept waking me up with his crying and moaning and yipping. The poor houndie. - The kids have been cuddling and petting him lots - they all need the comfort.

I just got back home from a visit to the clinic myself to have my dressings changed ... my arm is in pretty bad shape and there may be some scarring. When they peeled the bandages off a lot of skin came with them ... they've got more cream and different bandaging on it today and they want to leave it alone over the weekend to give it a chance to heal up a bit before they change the dressing again.

662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just got back home from visiting Mocha at the vets. She's not doing very well. It's not what the vet said he was considering at first but now he doesn't know what it is.

They are running blood tests and xrays and said they should have further information for me by about 2pm tomorrow afternoon.

Mocha is not responding to outside stimuli, when I was there talking to her and petting her she didn't even twitch.

They said they are having trouble stabalizing her temperature, it keeps dropping and they can't get it up, they have her wrapped in some type of bubblewrap blanket and foil lined covers to try keep in her body heat. She has a few IVs hooked up to her with three different antibiotics (they told me everything I'm just having trouble remembering the names of them at the moment).

The vet said he has never seen an animal with membranes as red as hers have gotten ... inside her mouth, nose, eyes, ... all really really red. And cold.

They said she had some diarhea and that it was bloody.

The vet told me that he's not feeling very optomistic. He said at this point even if the xrays show some type of blockage Mocha would not survive a surgery.

They are going to run toxicology tests to see if she was somehow poisoned or something and they're checking for kidney failure, etc.

The vet said at this point Mocha needs a miracle. He said he's not quite ready to give up but at the same time he says he doesn't want to raise my hopes.

662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Umm . . . I think you'd better get that toxicology test now.

Could it be antifreeze?

What is "reiki" by the way?[/b]
They took the blood for the toxicology tests while I was there - they had to courier it to a lab on the mainland (In Vancouver) I live on the island - they should have some type of results for me later today, I'll be going back in to the clinic at 2pm if I haven't gotten a phone call from them by then because that's when the vet told me I could come back in.

Reiki is described by Wikipedia as:

Reiki (霊気 or レイキ, Reiki? IPA: [ˌreɪki]) is a form of spiritual practice,[1] used as a complementary therapy,[2] proposed for the treatment of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual diseases.[3][4][5] Mikao Usui developed Reiki in early 20th century Japan, where he said he received the ability of 'healing without energy depletion' after three weeks of fasting and meditating on Mount Kurama.[6] Practitioners use a technique similar to the laying on of hands, which they say will channel "healing energy" (ki).[7] Practitioners state that energy flows through their palms[8] to bring about healing[9] and that the method can be used for self-treatment[10] as well as treatment of others.[/b]
And by as:

Main Entry: reiki
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a type of ancient healing involving gentle massage therapy and deep relaxation; also written Reiki, also called Reiki system, [Reiki therapy], Usui method, Usui system, Usui Reiki
Etymology: Japanese rei 'universal energy' + ki 'life force'; developed in the early 1900's by Mikao Usui in Japan

Main Entry: Rei·ki
Pronunciation: 'rA-"kE
Function: noun
: a system of hands-on touching based on the belief that such touching by an experienced practitioner produces beneficial effects by strengthening and normalizing certain vital energy fields held to exist within the body[/b]
Among other things my mom claims the ability to perform Reiki and it was her contribution to prove to me that while she has been complaining about the dogs and telling me to get rid of them that she did not wish them to be sick or ill in any way. So she was "transferring some of her energy to Mocha" in an effort to help her feel well.

It was probably the closest thing to an apology I would ever get from her, even while she is still saying "I told you so" and doing nothing but complaining about how much money this is going to cost Mitch and how selfish I am etc

Neither Beldin nor I slept much last night - the kids are all at different friends houses for a couple days.

I don't know what I'm going to do with myself until 2 ... it's only 630am at the moment.

Thank you all so much for the emails I've gotten and for your responses here. It means a lot.


662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to an email from one of our forum members I did some research online and brought the possibility up to the vet this morning of "Addison's Disease" (Hypoarenocorticism) ...

... the vet told me that he had started Mocha on steriods last night on a hunch and when he got her blood work back today his suspicion was the same thing - however because he had already started her on the steriods last night he can't test her specifically for Addison's Disease now, all he can go by is their "best guess" so he started her on treatment for it this morning after my call.

I went in to see Mocha this afternoon and talked to the vet. He said he started her on treatment for Addison's Disease, even though he was not able to diagnos her "officially" with that, and in the two hours from my initial phone call to the time I went in there she has shown some response to the treatment.

When I was in there today she was still laying there and didn't open her eyes, but her membranes were no longer an angry red, they are still quite a bit more reddish than they should be but definately not as bad as they were - also her body temperature has stabalized and they no longer had her wrapped in foil.

I was there for an hour, near the end of the hour she was starting to respond to outside stimuli. She twitched and opened her eyes when I shook my keys and when I talked to her she tried to wag her tail.

That all sounds good, BUT the vet warned me that because of the severity she had gotten to, even under the best case senario Mocha will need to be on special medication for the rest of her life and will also need to be brought in very frequently for blood work and treatments to keep her stabalized. She will die without it.

Also now he is worried there was some organ damage, but he is running further tests to figure that out.

Also according to the print out he gave me, the fact that she is currently responding to treatment could very well be a temporary thing, and she could revert at any time. Particularly because she had gotten to the point of collapse and "crisis" prior to an even unofficial diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

So now I'm faced with a few tough decisions ...

I know for a fact my financial situation is not such that I could afford the types of treatments and medications the vet is talking about now ... even under "best case senario" ... and as he has told me, chances are slim they will be ... chances are she is going to require additional treatments on top of that due to potential internal damage that he's looking into.

Her alertness and responsiveness could be temporary and she could revert at any moment, they need to keep her hospitalized for a few more days at the very least and chances are at least another week to stabalize her ... if not more, then he said I would need to bring her back every couple of weeks for a couple days to do blood work and tests and treatment.

Unfortunately even though Mitch has been such a sweetheart so far with covering Mocha's bills I can not expect that he will be able (or willing) to continue with the costs of ongoing treatments such as she will require.

--> So ... I can try find someone able / willing to adopt her knowing her medical condition and willing / able to cover the costs for as long as she may have ...

--> or I can have her put to rest and live with the fact that she may have lived for years yet, and wrestle with the too many "maybes", "ifs", and "could haves" ...

--> there feels like I should have more choices than these but maybe I'm too close to the situation to see them clearly right now ... my arm hurts, my heart hurts and I am having trouble thinking ...

The vet said that this is a genetic disorder and I should contact the breeder to let her know as well.

The vet said that normally IF this disease is discovered before a crisis occurs there is a good chance of a more favorable prognosis ... however in Mocha's case, they are not very optomistic ... but after seeing her open her eyes and attempt to wag her tail at me today I was not able to make the decision to have her put to rest.

I feel so lost.

662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
The vet office is closed today and I haven't been able to get through to page anyone ... I'll probably have to wait until tomorrow morning.

Mitch came over last night and he's confirmed what I already know, that there is no way he can continue to cover her costs ... particularly for long term care. (He's already done so much anyhow, I was feeling really bad about it).

The vet suggested I email the breeder to let her know what's going on, but I guess there's nothing she can or will do to help.

I've been checking the groups and anything I can online for financial help, but have been running in to a lot of dead ends.

For AAHA - they will only help with the initial emergency care, not the ongoing treatments (which is where I'll really need help) and they only supply up to $500 ... it's already well over that. I will print out the page and bring it to my vet because it says they'd require a letter from him too along with my application ...

Care Credit will help cover the cost initially (if approved) but you still have to make payments and pay them back, that on top of the ongoing medication and care Mocha would require is again too much.

Help-a-pet is United States only, also it's a one time only emergency fun if approved, again, no help for ongoing care that the vet has said Mocha would require.

Imom is not currently accepting any applications for assistance until further notice ...

The Pet Fund doesn't help with emergency situations, they do help with treatments, but there is an extensive waiting list and limited funding available (they have a cap of $500), and they will also not help with "procedures already in progress" - that rules Mocha out as she's already being treated.

The UAN helps individuals who have just gone through something like a house fire or natural disaster or domestic violence situation, etc. But they had a link to a Canadian organization located in Alberta ... except they only help with cancer patients.

have to find some type of something for her today, or by the time the clinic opens tomorrow. As it sits right now I already have no way to pay the vet fees so far and there's no way I could afford the type of care Mocha's going to require from now on. So I pray I find something. I'll be able to talk to the vet tomorrow too and see if they can possibly suggest any other alternatives to the one I am being faced with.

I'm hoping there is something here like I can go to the papers or something and find Mocha someone willing / able to take her in, knowing she's sick and able to deal with the ongoing medical bills etc. ... I just don't know.

This is tearing us up -

At this point there is nothing more I can do for her, so I am hoping and praying that I can find someone who is able / willing to help, either by adopting her or helping to provide me with the means to care properly for her because as things are right now, her future is not bright.

Joseph is having some serious issues, we had gotten the houndies in the first place for him (he's my autistic son) and he has been doing so well since we have gotten them, they have been a blessing - but now Joe won't come out of his room and the last few days have been horrible for him. I'm beside myself trying to deal with him and the situation with Mocha - and even Beldin won't calm down. He howls all night.

Anyhow, thanks for the information links and the financial assistance links ... hopefully I'll be able to find something before it's too late for Mocha.

And thank you for your emails and PMs and words of support and encouragement.


I just got a call from the vet tech on duty at the clinic, he says Mocha is still responding well, she won't eat or drink still but she is more alert.

Other than that he says he has no information for me but he will call the vet that has been working with Mocha and will have him give me a call to discuss financial options etc ...

662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I just got a call from the administrator at the vet clinic. They are going to work out a payment plan with me for what's currently owing (close to a thousand dollars) -

- also they are going to do what they can to find Mocha a place where she will be able to get the ongoing medical attention she will require in a low stress environment and be well taken care of ...

It was an extremely hard decision to make but a lot better than the alternative. At least I know she will be alive and taken care of.

I need to go in tomorrow to sign the papers.

We are also going to have Beldin tested (just in case) I need to make sure this isn't going to happen again. The kids and I wouldn't be able to handle it.

I may need to find a counsellor for the kids (particularly Joseph) My daughter is crying but I was able to explain to her that Mocha will be alright - she will be well looked after, just we are not able to take care of her here.

I think she understands now and she is just happy that Mocha is alive ... I told her my heart hurts too. I wish Mocha could come home but we simply do not have the means to keep her well.

Hopefully Beldin's tests will all come back clear and we can all start with healing and doing our best to move on. Beldin has also been really depressed and not eating and howling and crying ... but the vet said he should get over that in time. He suggested we may want to get some canned food to entice Beldin to start eating again.

Right at this moment I feel empty, drained and numb ... I am happy though that Mocha will be taken care of. I just pray that she will be happy and very well taken care of in whichever new home they find for her.

The vet said that sometimes a new host family will be willing to keep in touch with the old family but most times when children are involved they prefer full closure (particularly in the case where a child is special needs sometimes they said it is better to say good-bye and just let them get over it with time).

Thank you all so much for being there for me and encouragement during this time ... it has really meant a lot to me. - I'll keep you informed and let you know how Beldin does.

Thanks again.

**big hugs**

662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I went to the vet's this morning to sign the papers basically giving Mocha over to them so they can continue to treat her and to get her on a program through the local animal shelters to find her a home that can afford her medications and continued treatments etc. I cried a lot but the vet administrator said she'd do the same thing. They assure me they will do everything they possibly can to find Mocha a good home where she will be well taken care of. She said they've all fallen in love with her there since she's been there (she is a wonderful dog) and they're all pulling for her.

I have a bill now for $832.21 that I have to pay off, but the vet says that as long as I continue to make payments and show good faith then they can accept whatever I can give, even if it's only 20 bucks a month til it's paid off.

I still have to make an appointment to get Beldin tested to make sure he doesn't have the same issue, but that'll be $135 that I don't have right now. It needs to be done though, neither the kids nor I could go through all this again. The breeder that I originally got Mocha and Beldin from is having her dogs tested as well.

My arm is healing ... I was also at the people clinic today and they changed the dressing - most of my arm has already healed over quite nicely and there shouldn't be too much scarring. There's only one area they're still concerned about where the 3rd degree burn was and looked like it took a chunk out of my arm ... they treated the area and put some more special cream stuff on it and want me to keep coming back every day to have the dressing changed ... they're hoping it'll start to look alright in about a week.

And I had a job interview today with a local security company. I start training on Thursday. (I just need to get my license renewed).

Joey has an appointment coming up with his counsellors and psychologist to help him through all this.

Anyhow, that's pretty much it in a nutshell at the moment ... it's been a hell of a week.
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