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This fundraiser ended on 09/27/11

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This is the 'Relief for Lassie' Fund. The funds will be used for Lassie's medical costs to help relieve him from his growing ailments.

My dog Lassie, a 2.5 year old, white male akita has been unhealthy for the past 6 months, ever since we moved.

We took him to a new vet after moving when we first started noticing these issues, but they were useless, unwilling to listen, and rushed through the visit without doing much more than giving him his rabies vaccination. We have since gotten a new vet, and taken our other dog in to see them, and they're fantastic. However, between the visits to 2 different vets I've already spent a bit over $500. Most of it was spent on poor Lassie to go to a vet that did jack for him.

He needs to go back in, but I honestly do not have any money until October 12th, and will likely not have the full amount for everything that needs to be done for him (probably close to another $500 for all the tests and medications) and now it's become quite clear that if he waits too long to go in, he may not make it until then as he's suddenly quite rapidly going down hill.

I've already called in favors from friends, and they've been purchasing things of mine to get me some of the cash I need, but that's doing very little. I don't own much of value besides my dogs.

He is 2.5 years old, and was for the most part healthy as a horse before our move started. Since the week we started packing up the house in February, he's only gone down hill. I can give you an idea of what's wrong with him, but I need tests run to get for sure causes on some of the issues.

--He suffers from flea allergy dermatitis. One flea bite on him feels like a cluster of mosquito bites for him, and he WILL chew frantically to relieve the itch, long after he's started gushing blood. To prevent self mutilation, he's been wearing a cone. He is Frontlined, and we have sprayed the yard, and bombed the house, but we do have fleas still, just not nearly as many. The fleas were in this house when we moved, brought in by mice. As a just in case, he needs a skin scraping done to see if Demodex mange is adding to the problem, as stress tends to make demodex flare up. He has no past issues with demodex, nor do his parents (I kept in contact with the breeder) but best be safe rather than sorry if it could help him. The flea allergy is the only thing that existed prior to our move, but at our last location we rarely had a flea issue, and when we did it was resolved within a week or two. before his allergies really kicked in. At our new location the flea population is insane, and our yard rather large so it's been an insane challenge getting rid of them. He is allergic to many flea products, as am I. When we bombed the house, I found out I was allergic to the bombs, and my face blew up.

--With the cone on, he can still reach the last several inches of his tail. He's wearing the largest size cone they sell already, so I cannot upgrade. He did well for a few weeks, and then 3 days ago, he busted his tail open by chewing, and the tail now is severely infected and covered in pus. I've been cleaning it and disinfecting it, but he flat out needs vet attention for in, antibiotics and such. He did this once before lower down on the tail before we got him a cone, right after we moved in, and he had to have his tail shaved and treated, but the infection went away fast. This time it did not.

--His one ear is infected? The skin in it is dry, and inflamed, with a scaly appearance. I assume because he's wearing the cone which is trapping moisture in his ear. The other ear is normal.

--Since we started packing, I had noticed weight loss in him. I figured it was stress, and that after we were settled in he would go back to normal. He didn't. When we had him at the first vet after moving, he weighed in at 78lbs. The last visit prior to that he was 102lbs. The crappy vet's explanation was that he wasn't neutered, and unaltered dogs are skinny. Makes no sense as he wouldn't have lost 1/4 of his original body weight if that were the case.He just wouldn't have had it in the first place. His ribs show and his hip bones jut out. I changed his diet despite them saying nothing was wrong, and he has put on a few pounds since then but not much. He did not have round/hook/whip/tape/or heart worms. Talked to some people, and they think it is his thyroid, so I should get two different thyroid tests run.

--Because he lost so much weight, his legs and hips are littered with bed sores. After much convincing, I've got him sleeping on pillows on the floor, my bed, or the couch, something he never wanted to do before but seems to enjoy now.

-- Since the move, he has gotten pink eye twice. This 2nd bout of it occurred almost a week ago now, and instead of only being in one eye, it happened in both. I've been treating it with the proper medicated drops (bought the first time it happened) and both eyes are almost clear, but it's taking much longer this time.

--Last week, much to my horror, I found a marble sized tumor on his throat. He has lots of excess skin on his neck so I never noticed it before and have no idea how long it's been there. I think it has grown some since it's discovery, but it could just be my own paranoia (can you blame me after all that you've read?) but it needs to be biopsied, and lab tested.

--He has an injury cause luxating patella in his right back leg. It was grade one originally, but with all of his frantic itching and stress, I fear it's only gotten worse as he's been favoring the leg. He needs an x-ray to re-diagnose the grade,and possibly be put on pain medication until it is less aggravated.

--He needs to be neutered. I was not going to have it done before because there are more negative side affects of spaying and neutering than there are positive results (more so in females) but with his sudden bout of issues, and the tumor found recently, I am not taking the chance of any testicular issues on top of that. I just pray his personality stays exactly the same. He's at the age that most of the neuter side effects are no longer in play, so I am alright with having it done now. I can get a spay/neuter voucher from animal control for $20, but I need to see if the vet I now use accepts that voucher.

--Now he's crying. The last two days he'll be laying there, and just start whining. I don't know why. I can find no source of pain, other than his tail. But hearing him is killing me..

--As of today he has Diarrhea, with a few blood speckles. It may clear up tomorrow, it may not. Either way, it has me even more worried.

Normal vet exams I can afford. Updating shots I can afford. Hell, most emergency cases I can afford, but with this spiraling out of control so fast with one thing after another, I just can't afford much more.

Any help would be appreciated.

If you wanted to make a donation to help out I would be forever thankful.

~Samantha

UPDATE: We are only $100 away from our goal, and I cannot thank those who donated enough, not only those who donated money for the upcoming vet visit, but to the kind woman who donated and delivered a basket muzzle to us for Lassie to use instead of the cone (preventing him from chewing the tail tip he could still reach) which he finds more comfortable, and less of a hazard than the cone.

(I cannot count the times he's wiped out a table with it, or locked himself in a room because the cone got stuck on the door and shut it)

Lassie is not whining as much as he was before, which leads me to believe that his infected tail is the cause. Although it is still infected, it is scabbing over now, and not as tender to the touch. His diarrhea has not cleared up much, but there is no long blood speckled through.

The response we've gotten has far exceeded my expectations in such a short amount of time.

I will be having a meeting with the vet tomorrow to get a more exact price for each treatment, and test. I will be making his appointment for October 13th so I can add my own funds to what has been raised. If you feel the need to call the vet and confirm that appointment and the treatments he will be receiving, please do so AFTER I have made the appointment and have returned home. I'll post the results of that meeting here when I return after the visit.

*please excuse picture sizes, did not know they would be so small. Here is the vet info:

Dr. Jim Buhl, Dr. Cary Thompson
Animal Medical Clinic
4113 Morsay Drive
Rockford, IL 61107
amc@rockfordvetclinics.com
Ph. 815.398.4410
Fax. 815.398.9763

Here we go...

OFFICIAL VET ESTIMATES

Exam- $39.00
Skin Scraping- $24.20
FNA Cytological- (Needle Biopsy)- $32.75
Cytology (Lab test for biopsy)- $24.20
Flourescein Eye Stain- $12.10
Schirmer Tear Test- $18.15
Fecal Exam- $17.00
CHEM27/CBC/T4/Spec cPL (thy,kid,liv funct)- $147.20
Neuter- $20 (must be done separate, 2 weeks later)
X-Ray setup- $56.97
X-Ray exposure (3)- $64.35 to $107.25
Anesthesia (if needed)- $65.00
Medical waste fee for X-ray session- $2.75

Potential medications, not set in stone:

Rimadyl (joint inflamation/pain)- $29.40 to $39.60
Tramadol (pain, similar to our tylenol) $10.50 to $12.00
Cephalexin (treats infections) $15.20 to $21.35
Clavamox (Another infection treatment) $53.20 to $99.40

This is what we are at so far. Anything else will be determined after test results for the various tests.

Thank you again!
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