$1,310 of $2,500
29 donations

Come join Kima & Emma's new community.

Check It Out

Raising funds to help my canine BFFs. The beginning of this story:

At the end of May, 2015, my now 5 year old dog (and canine BFF) Kima had surgery for a condition called idiopathic chylothorax, which means lymphatic fluid (chyle) was leaking into her chest (thorax) for reasons that remain unknown.

The surgery and subsequent vet visits have been extremely expensive and I have exhausted all financial resources, including multiple credit cards. In addition, my older dog was diagnosed with a dangerous cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) a couple of weeks ago and really needs to see a heart specialist. Below are the details on Kima and Emma's conditions and the care they have needed and will need. If you can share this fundraiser with dog-lovers everywhere, it would mean so much to us. This sounds like a cliche, but every dollar really does count, so please don't hesitate to donate $5 if you can.

Kima's surgery: Kima had a double thoracotomy (two incisions in her chest) and a large abdominal incision. The chest surgery was performed to do a thoracic duct ligation (cutting and sealing the duct that was leaking the lymph fluid into her chest) and a pericardectomy (a procedure to remove part of the covering around her heart to reduce the pressure in her ducts and blood vessels). The incision in her abdomen was made so that the surgeon could ablate (cut with a razor) the organ that stores the fluid that was leaking into her chest so it would leak into her abdomen instead. In the end, she had about 60 staples and a chest tube from which I had to draw off the fluid that was accumulating due to the inflammation from the surgery.

Before the surgery, Kima was accumulating 800 milliliters to 1 liter of fluid in her chest every 2 weeks. About 2 weeks after the chest tube was removed, we went back to the vet and, disappointingly, she had 380 ml in her chest -- significantly less than before the surgery, but more than zero. Two weeks later, she had about 250 ml. Again, not zero, but less than before...

On Saturday, July 25, it will be 3 weeks since her last exam and we are hoping beyond hope there is even less fluid. If there is 250ml or more, we will have to consider putting in a permanent chest port so I can draw off the fluid myself every few weeks instead of taking her to the vet (to save money and time and to make Kima more comfortable, as she needs to be sedated each time we go to the vet, but wouldn't have to be at home).

After the surgery, Kima was placed on the steroid Prednisone, to help with inflammation. A couple of weeks ago, we tried to taper her off the Prednisone and, sadly, she experienced terrible withdrawal symptoms early in the morning and I had to take her to the emergency vet where she stayed over night and received IV fluids. It was a very scary incident. She is back on the Prednisone - a very low dose - and we'll discuss tapering her off again after Saturday's visit. Thankfully, she has been great ever since -- she is energetic, happy, and has no idea she is sick.

Emma: Sadly I had to take my older dog, Emma, to the vet a couple of weeks ago because she was suddenly experiencing weakness in her back legs and was unable to pass a bowel movement. I found out she had a bad cardiac arrhythmia. She is on medication (beta blockers), but the vet wants her to see a heart specialist. Unfortunately, I can't afford to take her and we are hoping the medication will be enough to keep her going.

Unsurprisingly, as I mentioned, I have exhausted all of my financial resources. So, I am starting this new fundraising campaign. Thank you so much for reading this message and, to previous supporters, for your love and generosity over the last 6 months. I might not have my canine BFF by my side without you.

If you prefer to donate funds by making a payment over the phone towards our vet bill, you can contact HOPE Advanced Veterinary Center directly at and (301) 637-3228 (press "1" for Internal Medicine).

Much love,

Caitlin and Kima and Emma, too

View more


Supporter activity

Login to post a comment
or Login
Give Now