Updates on Medical fees for senior dogs with cancer and kidney disease

Update posted by Hazel Hong On Oct 25, 2021

Dear friends who have been following our journey, I have been updating these individual update posts that are linked on the original campaign description. If you'd like to continue supporting us, you can help to share the campaign shortlink with your friends and family https://goget.fund/3FCsbyc. Thank you!

Updates on Tarou: read here

Updates on Ichigo: read here

List of supporters / 支持者: read here

Medical expenses / 医药费用: read here

Medical documents / 医疗文件: read here

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/halosnatcher/

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Update posted by Hazel Hong On Oct 14, 2021

Thank you to everyone who has sent us their support and messages of encouragement. We've definitely been keeping track of everyone who has sent us funds so that we can personally thank you once we have the time!

Of course, please don't feel obliged to send us anything, just sharing the link amongst your circle of friends already means so much to us. If you do know of anyone in the same situation, please feel free to send them our way and we'll try our best to support them too.

Short link to our campaign: https://goget.fund/3FCsbyc

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Update posted by Hazel Hong On Oct 13, 2021

Quote for Tarou's amputation + CT scan of his lungs

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Update posted by Hazel Hong On Oct 12, 2021

To be as transparent as possible, we have compiled all our medical expenses since 12 September. This is not including transportation and regular medication fees. We calculated this starting from first vet appointment for both dogs where were discovered their issues.

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Update posted by Hazel Hong On Oct 11, 2021

7 Sep: We had a doggy physiotherapist come over to work on Ichigo and she discovered that Tarou's right elbow was way bigger than the other while doing a quick check on him.

12 Sep: We did an x-ray on his front leg to see if it was osteosarcoma. We didn't find anything but we noticed pockets on the x-rays in the swollen part of his limb. He was placed on anti-inflammatory medication for 4 days to see if the swelling would go down.

17 Sep: The swelling around his elbow got slightly bigger, we went ahead and did a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) to check for cancer. Though, we all highly suspect it to be cancer just based on the look and feel. The results came back the next day highly suspicious of cancer. We will have to do a biopsy to confirm and identify what type of cancer we're dealing with.

5 Oct: We visited a specialist at Beecroft who could do the amputation, he determined that Tarou should still be fit to walk on 3 legs. But we'd have to do a few tests to check if the cancer has spread to his lungs and internal organs first.

7 Oct: We went down to Dr Ly for a third opinion. He recommended not going with amputation due to his age and immediately called for a punch biopsy. Tarou was given 3 immune-boosting supplements.

8 Oct: We did a last-minute abdominal ultrasound at Hillside Vet as I wanted to have the results just in time for his scheduled bloodwork and chest x-ray on 10 Oct.

10 Oct: His leg has swelled up a little more when I felt it in the morning. He has been sleeping a lot more these days and pants very easily. He's still very food motivated and will beg anyone who he thinks has treats for him. We did a chest X-ray and full blood panel. The results were normal but indicated a mild infection. His abdominal ultrasound report came back in the afternoon, his lungs look fine but his spleen looks slightly abnormal, it could be early signs of cancer or just inflammation.

13 Oct: Tarou is still his usual self the past few days, AKA will work for food and will steal food if you're not paying attention. His lower leg, which suddenly swelled up last Friday (8 Oct), is now back to its usual size. The swelling was most probably due to inflammation from the punch biopsy we did on Thursday and not the spread of the cancerous lump. He's still able to walk well apart from the occasional tripping and imbalance.

I've just received an estimated quote for the procedure and it adds up to a whopping $6000+. We also requested an estimate to do a CT scan for his chest, which we were thinking of doing before proceeding with the amputation. This will give us a better idea of whether or not cancer has spread to his lungs, and whether or not we should proceed with the amputation.

25 Oct: Since the last update, we've discovered another lump in Tarou's other arm. We initially scheduled for a surgery slot at VES on 19 Oct. When the came, this new lump had already spread to the inside of his muscle. The vet told us that we would have to consider this, as he could only remove the tumour and a small margin. In our understanding, this would mean that there would still be some cancer cells left in the muscle even after removing the tumour. It was a really tough decision, but we felt that it would be too painful to put him through the amputation, only for cancer to still claim him in the end. That morning, we walked out of VES relieved.

Regarding his biopsy results, the top 3 highly suspected cancers that he has are poorly differentiated soft tissue sarcoma (liposarcoma), followed by carcinoma and plasma cell tumour. We will be trying to plan out a solid cancer protocol for him, starting with a custom cancer and seizure diet. I don't know how much pain or discomfort he is in at the moment, but he's still his usual greedy, food motivated self. His right leg has swelled up in recent days due to Lymphedema, and the scab on his biopsy wound came off earlier than required and it has become infected.

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Update posted by Hazel Hong On Oct 11, 2021

12 Sep: We brought him for a routine senior checkup. Results showed that his SDMA level was on the high side (11, with normal range being between 0 - 14) but still within normal range. We did a urinalysis on the spot which came back slightly diluted. We were told to bring him back in a months time to re-check his levels.

16 Sep: He started vomiting the night before and wouldn't stop even after there was no more food left in his system. We brought him to the vet the next day where he did an x-ray and SNAP test. X-ray showed gastrointestinal inflammation and the SNAP came back was abnormal which indicates presence of pancreatitis. He was then put on Hills i/d diet and recovered his appetite soon after. That episode did leave him pickier with his food but everything else was normal.

3 Oct: We went back to re-check his SDMA and urinalysis tests. SDMA came back 18, which was not good, and urinalysis showed that his urine wasn't very concentrated. We were told to up his water intake to at least 650ml/day.

9 Oct: Ichigo refused food for almost the whole day, I only managed to hand feed him in the morning after much coaxing. He was still drinking a healthy amount of water. I found green, smelly, mucus in his nose and it leaked out the whole night.

10 Oct: We did a follow-up blood test and found that his kidney levels were deteriorating, it showed elevated levels of CREA and BUN, and his urinalysis results were also not good. We immediately performed a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, as well as a leptospirosis test.

He was immediately brought over to VES to be hospitalised and he was put on IV fluids, and nausea and pain medication. The vet commented that he looked pretty miserable.

11 Oct: I got a call this morning, it's not good. He's still looking pretty sad and refusing to eat and no amount of head pats from the vets and vet techs could cheer him up. We had to consider doing a procedure to insert a permanent feeding tube through his neck into his stomach through his oesophagus. I told them to hold that off until we visited him in the evening. Ultrasound scans showed that he had pancreatitis, that there was something going on with one of his kidneys, and also that he was starting to show early signs of gallbladder mucocele.

We arrived at VES at 5 pm, he looked so sad when he first came out but his mood did seem to improve gradually. After 20mins, he seemed a lot more alert and interested in his surroundings. Doc then gave us the green light to discharge him and try to see if he'd feel more comfortable eating at home instead. We were so glad that he went straight for his water bowl and scarfed down quite a bit of food once we got home.

13 Oct: He's now more or less back to normal, though he seems a little more tired than before. I'm sure the hospitalisation and pain took quite a bit out of him. He's still eating well but we will have to give him at least 650ml of water every day, which we split over 6 feeds. Our only issue is that he will have to take more pee breaks, he doesn't want to do it at home, I'm not sure if we'll be able to eventually re-train him for that.

We will have to bring him back to check his levels in a week's time. Hoping that his condition would have stabilised by then.

25 Oct: A week after Ichigo was discharged, we realised that the nurses missed out on Ursofalk, the medication which would help with Ichigo's pre-gallbladder mucocele issue. We managed to get it when while bringing Tarou back for a pre-surgery check and he will be due for abdominal ultrasound in 2 weeks time for a re-check to see if the medication will resolve the issue.

He has been sneezing lesser as we decided to extend his antibiotic medication for another week. Hopefully, it will resolve on its own, otherwise, we may have to do further tests to find out what the issue is. Feeding is still a bit of a struggle, there are certain supplements or ingredients in his new diet which he doesn't seem to enjoy. But we have been managing to get at least 850ml of water in him daily.

We decided to begin administering 200ml of subcutaneous fluids into Ichigo daily (19 Oct). It allows us to lower the amount of water he has to drink to 700ml daily. We're at our 5th day and it's a little painful to see his initial discomfort but he does such a good job of remaining calm throughout the entire 15 minute session.

Yesterday's (24 Oct) kidney results weren't great, his SDMA has gone up to 42 from 37 (17 Oct). Creatinine is still above the normal range at 2.2mg/dL, and his BUN levels have also gone up to 61mg/dL from 51mg/dL. We took his blood pressure and it was really high 196. It could have led to the increase in his SDMA levels, we've hence started him on a medication to help with hypertension, and also stopped giving him meat and organ treats that are not part of his prescribed diet.

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