A Little About Our Zoey
Zoey is a six year old Rottweiler. She loves to be outside. She enjoys chasing squirrels up trees. She loves to bask in the sunshine, and when her black fur gets too hot, she lays in the shade of the trees or on the cool garage floor. Zoey is a gentle soul, and she tolerates fur grabbing and ear pulling from little children. She is timid and shy; while walking through the house, she stays right up against my leg. She is my faithful, loving friend.
What Happened to Zoey?
Somehow, our Zoey ended up with a fractured spine and hip, possibly due to an encounter with a deer in her backyard, but that is just where the story begins. Her initial injury was this past November. My parents limited her activity and Zoey was heeling well. In February, Zoey started limping again, so back to the vet she went. No one knew she had a degenerating knee problem which progressed because she was compensating for her hip and spine injury. My parents were left with a hard decision; should they put down their otherwise healthy dog because of a bad knee that would only get worse and cause this active dog to be lame, or should they spend thousands on knee surgery? After so much money spent on trips to the vet, x-rays, and medicine, how could they afford this very expensive surgery? They weighed their options, and after the vet assuring them that Zoey was a good candidate and that she would be running in the yard again in 6 months, my parents wiped out their savings and got Zoey a new knee.
Zoey was doing well after her surgery. She was healing. Her staples were looking great. She was walking on a lead. Everything was wonderful, until the day they weren’t. She was coming in from the bathroom, walking up the ramp my dad built for her, when she cried out and her legs buckled underneath her weight. Zoey had to wait the weekend out. My parents saw just how bad this was. Now she can’t stand, and she definitely can’t walk. We use a harness around her backend so she doesn’t have to put weight on her legs, but she won’t use the bathroom for days because she can’t get into the position. The vet took more x-rays, and found that the screw used to repair her knee bent and there are two more fractures where the plate was placed. Did they use subpar material to do the repair? How can this happen? They said they could go back in and try to fix these new problems for a discounted amount of $800 more dollars, but there is no more money and they won’t allow us to make payments. The initial surgery was $3000 and my parents wiped out their savings for it.
This is where it gets really bad and it seems to us the doctors were negligent. (Remember, before the surgery, Zoey could walk, she just couldn’t walk well, and as long as she was taking anti-inflammatory medication, she didn’t seem to be in any pain. This was mostly a preventative procedure. They wanted to prevent her from becoming lame in the future.)
1) Zoey’s other knee is also bad, but the doctors did not check that knee initially to make sure it could support the healing process. My mom requested that x-ray on their last visit. Had they had that information prior to the surgery they probably wouldn’t have had it done. Shouldn’t that be standard procedure? Let’s make sure the other leg can support the strain first?
2) There are new techniques to fix this problem; less invasive techniques that don’t require hardware and has a faster recovery rate. Why wasn’t that procedure done instead or at least discussed?
3) Since her knee wasn’t fully gone, why weren’t other options explored? Maybe a doggy wheelchair. A K9 cart, as they are called, can be used for paralyzed dogs or dogs that just need a little help. They just tweak it a bit so the dog can use its back legs too. A dog can be fully active in a K9 cart, even running full speed. They are inexpensive, in comparison, at only $500. Why wasn’t that option discussed?
So, now, here we are with these questions. There are the thoughts that maybe the doctors were negligent and should have never done the procedure given the other knee was bad. My parents are out of money and can’t afford the $800 (discounted but should be free) repair. And, here’s the worse part, they can’t even afford to put her down. They are tapped out. We don’t want to put her down. We want to get second opinions. We want to explore other options with different doctors.
We are begging you to find it in your heart to donate to our cause. We are asking for your compassion and your help. If your generosity makes a different treatment plan an option, that’s great and we will be thankful and overjoyed. If we only can raise enough to put her down, we will be devastated to lose our friend and family member, but we will be thankful for an end to the pain. Please help us help Zoey.
Thank you for your consideration and taking the time to read our story.