Medical Bills Advise needed - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Medical Bills Advise needed

Hi I originally posted in a different thread and members were helpful to point me to post here in the "health & wellness" section to get more advise.

Here is what's going on in a nut shell (what I previously wrote in the other thread): Hey guys, any advise? My 4 year old dog has IBD and we have pet insurance. She's on lifelong medications and limited diet. She had a sudden emergency this past week and had to get intestinal surgery due to a failing-leaking intestine and dangerous fever. The annual max for our pet insurance is $5000. We've already way past that limit and the year just started. Plus I've already also paid another $4500 but it's still not enough. She's still in the hospital now and will be staying in the hospital for 3 more days. Is there a way for us to get some financial help? I could really use the help and advise. Thank you.

Members' advise I gotten so far, which I'm looking into is using "Care Credit". And starting a goFundMe page for my babygirl, which I'm working on right now.

I really feel like crap when I have to ask for help financially, because is means I'm not adequate enough to support her. And it feels really really depressing.

But any helpful ideas and advise is welcome. Thank you so much everyone!

~Ashpaw
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 03:11 PM
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Have you asked the hospital where she's being treated if they have some kind of payment plan?
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 06:54 PM
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I caught your dilemma on the other thread. Other then care credit and gofundme, I am not sure what else to suggest. I will mention though, soliciting funds on this site is prohibited (donation is a swear word), so anything would have to go through private messaging and other social media you might belong to.


That aside. I am questioning how the heck you have spent close to 10 grand and your dog is in hospital AND on meds for life.
IBD is a catch all phrase for IDK or **** is going on with your dosg.


BUT, I might suggest you post what was done to incur these costs incl. diagnostics, blood work incl values, and especially the meds your dog is taking. This may be a HUGE factor....example, meticam causes intestinal bleeding. IS that a med your dog has been on.


What does she eat?
Many here who may be able to turn your dogs health around.
Have you considered a holistic vet or integrative at least.
Split the details up in separate posts.
I want to hear about ALL meds (incl anything not related like flea/HW pesticides)
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Last edited by Castlemaid; 02-03-2017 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Using acronyms to avoid spelling out swear words is also a swear word on this site.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorBytes View Post
I caught your dilemma on the other thread. Other then care credit and gofundme, I am not sure what else to suggest. I will mention though, soliciting funds on this site is prohibited (donation is a swear word), so anything would have to go through private messaging and other social media you might belong to.


That aside. I am questioning how the heck you have spent close to 10 grand and your dog is in hospital AND on meds for life.
IBD is a catch all phrase for IDK or WTF is going on with your dosg.


BUT, I might suggest you post what was done to incur these costs incl. diagnostics, blood work incl values, and especially the meds your dog is taking. This may be a HUGE factor....example, meticam causes intestinal bleeding. IS that a med your dog has been on.


What does she eat?
Many here who may be able to turn your dogs health around.
Have you considered a holistic vet or integrative at least.
Split the details up in separate posts.
I want to hear about ALL meds (incl anything not related like flea/HW pesticides)
Totally, GatorBytes. Let me get you the details of her situation including diet and medications and illness. It's a tad long so bare with me as we go through this. She's my first dog and I'm super detailed with her record, she's got 3 binders full of medical issues and 2 notebooks for her daily stool logs.

First of all let me start with her puppyhood. I got her a few months after her birth. A few days after she came home she started having bloody stool. I immediately brought her into her first vet checkup at Banfield and she was said to be in good health, but questioned my girl's calmness, saying that was not normal. I was quite taken aback, the vet never took into account individual energy levels and personality. I never wanted to see that vet again. Eclair was given Panacur. Afterward I went home to spray the whole backyard, frontyard, and garage with bleach solution, just to be sure.

The next month, Eclair was having diarrhea-ish cowpies. I brought her into a different vet that had good reviews on yelp. I also brought a sample for her stool for testing. The tests showed negative for any parasite. Mind you, everytime she goes to the restroom I'm immediately cleaning and spraying the area with a bleach solution once a week. We've already tried the whole chicken and rice feeding. A let me tell you, that didn't work. The unhappy stools kept coming. The next month, I brought in another stool sample but it still wasn't right, and still no parasite in the results. By this time she's been having diarrhea in her crate (she is crate trained by the way) at least 1-2 times per month. And it's been a cleaning nightmare.

I decided to bring her another vet. And I explained my concern, they did a more specific stool test. And lo, they found a positive giardia! They gave her metronidazole and tinidazole.
Then after several months after the medication, we stool sampled to make sure the giardia was gone, and every so often afterwards. Everything looked promising, until she started having unknown causing diarrhea. They tried Albon, panacur again, tylan, amoxicillian, ciprofloxacin, and tinidazole again all within a 6month period. Finally we decided to have Eclair go see an internal medicine specialist to have a endoscopy done.

Results of the endoscopy showed a inflamed small intestine to large intestine, ie. the dog version of Crohn's Disease. It was so inflamed and tender that it bled when the scope bumped into it. So she has IBD. She has since been put onto a regime of buedsonide and an antibiotic, with fiber added to her meals and pre/probiotics. We recently had to switch to prednisone due to a return of her loose stool and decreasing weight.

So this past sunday she regurgitated breakfast and got a fever. Its unusual for her to have regurgitation. I was concerned, cold paws and hot head. I took her into the ER. She's been in the hospital since then. 106.5F fever with no known cause. XRays were taken, blood tests, urine samples, abd fluid sample, ultra sounds, eventually that surgery. Which took out the 12cm of damaged/leaking intestine, unhealthy spleen, and liver biospy for and enlarged liver; plus culture sample from the tissue of the damaged intestines (results haven't come back yet). All this time staying in the hospital getting around the clock care. Basically what scares me the most is not knowing why that intestine started leaking in the first place.

Currently she's on prednisone 10mg qd to bid, metronidazole 500mg bid, denamarin qd, and VSL#3 qd, oh and her non-flavored fiber.

Diet-wise, currently she's on Natural Balance LID Vension dry and wet, with Grandma Lucy Venison. Treats include Whimzees and vension only meats from Primal's lung snaps or Natural Balance LID Vension jerky (to hide her medication in). She's been on this diet since beginning of 2016.

Now let me breakdown the food she has been on: she started on Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy. Plain chicken and rice. Blue buffalo puppy. Wellness Chicken. Pinnacle Trout. Nutrisource Chicken Rice. Hill's Presciption Z/D. Natural Balance LID Duck Potato. Frozen raw sprinkled on meals or sometimes the freeze dried meals. Since her diagnosis via endoscopy my baby has been put on a single protein diet, no grains. It's been crazy but we are unable to do previous proteins in any of the previously eaten diets. So no more beef, chicken, turkey, duck, white fish, fish in general, and those easy to get proteins.

Phew, now on to the minor details. I use K9 advantage II for extra large dogs. We use it only when it gets hot, so here where we are at, starting around the month of April. And we stop using it in October. I grind her nails and bathe her myself, I use the oatmeal type of shampoo and de-shedding conditioner. Treats she's tried include sweet potato chews, and any type of limited ingredient/no grain treats that have proteins related to her diet like venison scapulas.

I know this is a lot to read, but if I forgot anything.. Please let me know. And yeah, I'm not asking for donations on this site. It's just wrong, I need ideas and advice on how to deal with all the medical bills coming my way. And solutions to her health, I just want my babygirl cared for, healthy and happy.

~Ashpaw

Last edited by ashpaw; 02-03-2017 at 09:19 PM.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 09:37 PM
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I would try to up the max for next year if they allow you that.
Good luck.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:10 PM
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I used CareCredit for a $6000 unexpected vet bill and was happy to have it, the problem is they give you 0% interest for just a year, then if you don't pay it off within a year, you are saddled with back interest.

You can also use a 0% APR credit card, I keep getting offers for 18 month intro 0% APR (again, you'd have to pay off within that time or switch the balance somewhere else). Sometimes the interest rate, once it kicks in, is lower than CareCredit, and without back payments. You can also investigate personal loans through your bank. Or personal loans from family-friends and possibly a lower interest rate.

Sell what you can. I sold some stuff on Ebay to help with the bill and it worked well for me.

Consider the long-term outcome for the dog. Are you going to draw the line at some point if the medical bills keep piling up? I know it is so hard to just give up, but you might find yourself in massive debt, with an incredibly sick dog that is just getting sicker. I am so sorry you are in this situation, my heart goes out to you.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:24 PM
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Wow Ashpaw, we're going to have to break this down.
Meds? That many and they don't know why? They don't know why the GI tract is breaking down?
Spleen removed? Did I miss the age? That is extreme No?


I want others to read the bio and chime in before I go off on my "Over servicing with drugs" theory...
Hoping to get a balance from all this to turn your pup around, but the spleen this is disconcerting

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:55 PM
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Holy cow. I have a dog with an IBD diagnosis who is about to go for an endoscopy next week, but she is ten and her symptoms and history actually seem mild compared to yours.

I don't know if this is any use to you...because she was nowhere near as sick as your dog, but she did have some stool problems around a year and a half. She also had a few hot spots. She was, possibly wrongly, diagnosed with food allergies. Based on her allergy profile, I started home cooking for her. She became the picture of perfect health. I cooked for her for maybe 6 years give or take, maybe longer. All this time she had perfect stools and was so healthy. But it was hugely labor intensive. And life got to me and I decided to try her back on kibble. Her health was never quite so great again, stools a little skfter but still plenty formed enough to be healthy. She got some reocurring ear issues but nothing so frequent or major that I was like, aha! Probably around age 9 she started to have real problems requiring the vet.

In the last two years it has been a gradual deterioration for her, starting with occasional nausea (drooling), progressing into bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. She has been seen by two local vets for this. She too had one episode of fever along with the other stuff but it didnt require hospitalization although I was giving her fluids at home because for at leaat 24 hours she couldn't keep water down. She also reguritated food at the beginning of this illness which she has never done before or since. My vet put her on some hard core antibiotics but I dont remember what it was. It worked though. She had a high white count.

She was taking carafate and anatacids for her stomach but she was needing more and more and getting less and less relief so I finally took her to the referral hospital where she had her 4th ultrasound, tons more blood work, and tried one new med but she had one of her worst nausea spells ever, two days straight and I had tk give her cerenia injections twk days in a row which I have not had to do before (most she has had was one cerenia shot per month or so)

So now we are going for the endoscopy/biopsy. She is on her 4th (?) Perscription diet. I did try cooking for her again and it made her much sicker so now I am afraid to do it again. I could say the culprit was going back on commercial food but she also was getting old so, it may have been something that was going to come back around anyway.

Weirdly...my dog was eating natural balance duck and potato with some primal raw added, that was her diet when she got considerably worse. Natural balance was bought out and I think the quality went way down.

Anyway, I had saved and saved for something I really wanted to do and now it is going to pay for her endoscopy instead(3500!!!!) But thanking my stars I can pay for it.

Your dog sounds very sick....in theory I do believe that real food (and after everything your dog has been on I would think she has no healthy gut flora left??) Is the best thing. I have not figured out how to get my dog back onto some sort of real food...but I have not given up thinking about it and trying to figure it out.

In the past I have run up huge credit card bills in situations like this and then slaved to pay them off. The price we pay to share our lives with them. Good luck
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 11:07 PM
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Dare I ask where you got her?

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 02:18 PM
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Wow, I'm sorry you're going thru all that. The Mosby foundation is one organization that can help with some pet bills. You might also ask some rescues. Some have funds that can help owners. It sounds like maybe at some point there was an allergy issue there. Maybe for a short time a hydrolyzed diet could be tried. Just my experience but venison was a disaster for mine. Worked at first (and her allergy test showed it was ok) but then it turned into a diarrhea disaster.
I used Honest Kitchen once for a dog who ended up with a fungal infection that went into her organs and that did help. She loved it and gained weight for a time. But at this point I'd be nervous about trying different foods without vet supervision.
When my senior girl kept having diarrhea it was giardia. Metronidazole didn't work. I used panacur for 5 days, 3 week break, then 4 days of panacur and 10 days of tylosin. But the above is only my experience. I think I would consider another vet opinion. Hope things go better.
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