$12,000 to save beloved rottweiler

Last updated 05:00 19/05/2014
DOGGY DEBT: Shylah needed several costly procedures after becoming sick.

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How do you let a loved pet go?

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On December 5, 2013 we finally decided to let Mishka, our 14 year old doberman/collie cross go.

She had a cancerous growth that had appeared and then grew out of control within two months. There was never any chance of operating, it was just about keeping her comfortable and happy. Three times before we'd taken her to the vet not expecting to bring her home but they provided solutions on all the other occasions.

We knew our kitten and 7-year-old rottweiler were going to miss her terribly, too, but it was time to free her from pain.

Four days later we found Shylah, our rottweiler, cowering outside unable to move. We rolled her on to a blanket, lifted her into the car and took off to the after hours vet.

The vet was wonderful but unable to diagnose her before closing, so we took her back to our local vet.

It took them until 2.30pm before they finally got to look at her and found she had a ruptured, infected uterus. The poor darling must've been in so much pain, and we thought she was moping over her sister.

After the operation we had to take her to after hours each night, then pick her up and take her back to the local vet for the day. It took until Friday before we were sure she would survive.

Then started the eating problem. It didn't seem to matter what we fed her, she kept regurgitating it. Back to the local vet who kept giving us Losec and saying it was probably just indigestion.

Finally after two months of this they referred us to the specialists who immediately diagnosed a throat stricture, caused by vomiting during the last operation.

The problem now was that after such a long time the scar tissue was so thick she couldn't swallow anything. The endoscope they put down her throat couldn't even pass through the blockage.

On the first day I agreed to let them treat her I was told that it was going to cost $2,500. I broke down as I didn't have any spare funds - I was still paying off the last operation.

It turns out there is a finance company that lends for vet bills and they accepted our application.

Then the nightmares started. I had been told that she would need three or four dilations, when the vet inserts a balloon down her throat and blows it up to stretch the blocked part of the throat.

I could see why it was costing so much, but after the first one was complete they advised me that the cost was per procedure.

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In the end she had five full procedures and an extra endoscope to check that the throat was still open. All up it's cost us over $12,000.

My car broke down and I can't afford to fix it, so I borrow a friend's vehicle so that I can go home at lunchtime to spoon feed my darling as she still regurgitates a lot of what we feed her.

We have changed vets and are now with a lovely lady who manages five other dogs with similar problems. She is confident that between us we can give Shylah a good life and that makes it all worthwhile!

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