Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My girl Phyllis

Like I mentioned yesterday we recently went through a health crisis with Phyllis. She is better now, but it was very likely we would lose her.
She had been kind of off for a while but we couldn't figure out what the deal was. She had been to the vet because she was wheezing but x-rays and blood tests didn't show anything. About a week later when I got up in the morning she wouldn't eat anything at all, not even some peanut butter off my finger. You KNOW that means something is really wrong. I watched her for a few hours until the vets office opened and rushed her straight there. That started a six day visit.
My vet has a webcam when you can watch your pet live. I was pretty much glued to it every second I could be. It was so hard to be away from her, worrying that she would die and I wouldn't be there.

She had a bad case of pneumonia. She was having such trouble breathing, and the coughing was just awful. The first two days when I visited her I don't think she knew it was me. She was concentrating so hard on breathing that she was pretty oblivious to what was going on around her. As you can imagine, I was a total wreck. She was iv fluids for days.
Her nose is so small it wasn't practical to put a normal breathing tube in for her. Our vet, Dr. Paula at Animal Ark in Franklin, rigged up this solution. A cone with plastic wrap on the front and an oxygen tube. Doesn't she look like she is in astronaut training? It was a trade off because it made her hot and stressed, but it also got her oxygen when she needed it.By the way, I highly recommend Animal Ark if you are in my area. Dr. Paula is like no other vet I've ever known. She really cares and communicated with me all the time. I felt very supported while we went through this.
The webcam was a blessing and a curse. It was so hard to watch her struggle and not get much rest. Our visits would be up and down. She would seem to get better, then get worse again. 
One day, maybe four days in I was able to be with her for two and a half hours. I got to do her nebulizer treatment, then I held her like this for about 45 minutes and she was able to go into a deep sleep. I hope it was because she was soothed by me being there. By this time she was perking up when I came to visit and she was eating. I would have sat their all day with her if I could have. 
Travis and I were stressing out so much about how much her care was going to cost. The original estimate for two days in the hospital was $400-500 and we were getting into day four with no end in site. That stress on top of the stress of her being away, and the effect it was having on Priscilla was wearing on us. After much thought and encouragement I made a go fund me, hoping to raise $500 to put towards her bill. I was so nervous about it, and worried that people would think I was asking to much, that I didn't look at it for three hours. And when I opened it this is what I saw:

Words cannot express what I felt when I saw that. I burst into tears and Travis thought something was wrong! I was so overwhelmed by the response from friends and family. It made it so we didn't have to make care decisions based on our fear of the bill and not being able to pay it. In the end we raised almost $2,000 and it paid for a huge portion of her bill. We didn't know I was going to lose my job at the time, and I'm so thankful we didn't have to clean out our whole savings account. That just adds another layer of gratitude.
On the morning of the sixth day Phyllis was going to have to be put under to get a lung culture. I was very worried about it, but it seemed like the best option to find out what exactly was going on. I got a call from Dr. Paula saying that Phyllis had stood up and wagged her tail when she saw her. She seemed to be feeling good so she wanted me to come by after work and see what I thought. I rushed right over there and ended up getting to bring her home! She was out of immediate danger and they knew she would be able to recover better at home, where she would have less stress. It was an amazing feeling!
When I got home I put both dogs in bed with me and just stared and Phyllis for a while. I am so happy that this wasn't the end for Phyllis. We still have 6 weeks of at home treatment, and we have another x-ray next week to see if both lungs are clear, but she is out of the woods.
I will never forget how my friends and family came together to support us and this little dog. She is so special to me. I hope she is with us for many more years.


  1. How terrifying for you all! Our vet brainstormed to come up with oxygen delivery ideas for Isabelle too. There's a version of the cone that's softer plastic and zips up. We all decided that was a big old nope. However that was oxygen delivery at home and not with pneumonia!
    If Phyllis winds up needing an inhaler, please let me know. I have a set up that I used with Isabelle successfully. I would be happy to lend it to you.
    I am very sorry you lost your job. That is traumatic. I'm stellar with resumes and cover letters. Happy to help with that too.

  2. Been thinking of you. Hang in there and glad Phyllis is on the mend. Scary situation for sure.

  3. We have been so worried and concerned about Phyllis- since you mentioned she had been ill... in your last blog post.
    Thank you for taking the time to update us on your sweet baby.. We are so sorry she got pneumonia, and was so ill.
    That is just so scary,, We understand because we went through a pneumonia with Tweedles after her surgery..
    Thank goodness you have such caring veterinarians, and doggy hospital.. They took such good care of little Phyllis,, And we know how it broke your heart to see her laying in the hospital... All the worrying you did,,,
    The whole story brought us to tears..
    And then the GO FUND ME --- All those people had so much love in their hearts,, and cared so much for little Phyllis,, and all of you,,, to help. Its all about LOVE,,,,
    We are grateful with you that Phyllis is getting better,,, and that all the love is helping your family.
    We will continue to keep Phyllis in our hearts,, sending healing wishes.
    Thank you to all the people who helped,, Thank you to Dr. Paula at Animal Ark in Franklin, and the team of everyone who helped..
    Please keep getting better Phyllis
    tweedles mommy

  4. So sorry for what you have been through. Dogs are more than pets, they really are part of the family...Phyllis is adorable and she is very lucky to have your love!

  5. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa PHYLLISSSSS I LOVE YOU

  6. I am so thankful she is ok. We love Phyllis and were watching the go fund me page with christmas eve enthusiasm. I loved seeing the numbers climb! People seem to love you guys!

  7. <3 <3 <3 <3 Precious baby! <3 <3 <3 <3


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...