Last year, I think I had a week of utter devastation and panic. I can’t remember precisely the date of this terrifying ordeal but I can say 2019 was hell for me.
Bandit, one of my beautiful canines, started bleeding. From everywhere. His eyes, mouth, nose, and penis. So, far it had not got to his butt at that point, I am sort of assuming had it got to that point I think it would have been a hard place to recover from.
When this was happening I thought it was just a nose bleed. Which, call me stupid, but I wasn’t sure if dogs got nose bleeds. I had not heard of it before, unless they had been struck down by something but honestly if not for the blood no one would have thought there was anything going on with him. He hadn’t been hit by anything, he was still drinking, still eating. It was really strange.
I phoned the vet. Now, please keep in mind, I am poor, still poor, as I have been bouncing between jobs looking for a stable one. So, money was tight… very tight. This does also mean… yes I don’t have pet insurance. Now, again hear me out, this doesn’t reflect the love I have for my poochies. I started University and they were already charging me £50 (roughly) a month for them, and I had received a letter saying that it was going to go up to £75 a month for no other reason than… a yearly renewal. I would never have seen that money again, plus I just couldn’t afford it. So… I cancelled the policy.
When I phoned the Vets, the first thing I asked was – “Is it possible for dogs to get nose bleeds?”. – Her response was of course probably the first question everyone would ask. “Is there a possible reason for his nose to bleed – has he hit his nose, head or anything like that?”. No, I can answer that very positively, no he had not been hit, and as far as I was aware he had not struck his face on anything. She put me on an emergency appointment.
When we got in, the Vet (A lovely woman, I will always be very thankful to her for everything she did), checked him over. She then told us that it could be three possible things. A parasite – specifically Lung Worm. Poisoning – which I honestly thought if any of my dogs was going to ingest something poisonous randomly off the street, it wasn’t him. A blood disorder – Which was the most terrifying option.
He had bloods taken. She spoke to a specialist. And we waited. They gave him medication that would trying to ease the bleeding. The biggest risk was if he was to have a brain bleed. That would have been it, I think I’d have lost him which thinking about it now still makes me cry.
The first thing the specialist weighs out is the poisoning. His bleeding would have been much more aggressive and internal. So, thankfully it wasn’t poisoning. But that meant it was either a parasite or blood disorder. A 50/50 split as to how easily this was going to be treatable. We are still waiting for the blood tests at this point but she does another double check over him, and sees the medication is helping for now.
The second thing to be ruled out is the parasite. The blood results had come back, he wasn’t infected with a parasite, which meant blood disorder. My heart didn’t drop, it was more like a darkening flutter that gradually pushed my heart to my stomach. I listened thoroughly. It was like the focus I lacked in education, finally reared its head, and I took in everything.
His bloods revealed that he had six of a very specific platelet which helps the blood clot and not flow freely from the body. He had six. Dogs are typically supposed to have 145 – 450. He had six. I remember trying really hard not to cry while I stood there listening to what the vet was saying to me. He had to have Chemotherapy (Which dogs typically respond very well to). And steroids to help stop the bleeds. The biggest risk again was if he banged his head, a lesion forming on his brain and him having a brain bleed so we had to be careful with him.
She said this could have been caused by something cancerous, or it could just be one of those things that just happens… so the best option was to treat his bloods and scan for anything sinister. He responded to the Chemo very well, and the steroids helped him recover as well. Then the scan results. Dun dun duuuuuuuuun! revealed nothing. There was nothing malicious underlining his condition. Oh my god, my heart may not have dropped with dread, but it definitely breathed a sigh of pure blissful relief. I had been crying all week, I could just about look at him and not burst into fiver year old blubbery tears. To be told, he doesn’t have cancer! there were no tumours! He is just one of those canines! This does mean that this disorder might be a condition he has to live with but HEY! He wasn’t going to die! Thank god! (I don’t believe in god, but oh I prayed that week let me just say it, I prayed to if there was a divine being in this world, just for my dog to be ok).
He recovered, the disorder did flare up briefly, and according to his bloods it wasn’t as bad, but he needed to go back to the steroids. Once he finished those he has been great up until today.
Today, he has had to go to the vets because of a possible sinus infection. Oh my god, he is literally my vet puppy. Just for the medication and to see the vet £103.68. WOW… damn it.
All of these things was funded by my family. My gran who we lost last year helped me pay for his chemo and his medication, his check ups, his scans. Actually no, let me re-phrase that, she paid for it. I probably wouldn’t have my dog without that beautiful woman. (Oh damn it I’m crying again). Two second breathe, wipe, and pause for composure. And this time, my mum has had to pay for his vet bill. I keep having to rely on other people to pay for my vet bills. How crap is that?
To avoid this hideous pattern that I seem to have fallen into with regards to finance I have decided to try a penny challenge. I have opened an account for both poochies (even though Luna is like a tank, I’m not taking the chance). I am going to put money away specifically for them. I won’t and probably can’t get pet insurance. One I don’t yearly vaccinate, so they just wouldn’t insure them anyway, two let’s be honest given what you pay into that insurance, no matter what insurance is just known to always investigate a way to get out of paying towards the care your pet needs. (This is not just to pet insurance, this is to all insurance types). Also to top it off, I have seen cases in which the insurance just doesn’t cover the price of whatever it is that person needs and they refuse to pay anymore. So, instead, I am putting money away for them.
Day 1 – 1p Day 2 – 2p Day 3 – 3p …. Etc. So, by the end of the year hopefully I could have a couple hundred pound in there for each of them. I am determined to have a healthy pair of poochies by this years end.