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Murphy's law - the dog

October 31st, 2019 at 12:18 pm

For some reasons we get very unlucky with what we spend on our pets. Perhaps the real reason is we don't pay on the front end, we adopt dogs, so instead we pay on the back end.

Anyway last year I think I mentioned our dog we adopted in October 2018, a gorgeous standard poodle, was diagnosed with immume mediated thrombocytopenia. It's an autoimmune disease where his body attacks his platelets. We've spent a fortune this year, I'm not adding it up, on medications, and going to the vet every 1-2 weeks for blood draws to measure and see if it's being controlled.

Well it's been a year on steroids and lots of medications and it's not. The long term steroids usage is causing cyst formation and we are at a crossroads. We've been trying to lower his dosage and medications but it's not working. His platelets if they go lower he'll likely bleed out and die.

We were kicked off our pet health insurance I bought because we just bought it and had no idea about background. Anyway we'd have gone over the lifetime $10k limit probably anyway with nationwide and I'm not sure they would have covered all of this treatment. It's more for in case of injury kind of deal.

But he's a fabulous dog. He's 2.5 years old, great shape otherwise and seriously the best dog either of us have ever had. He's super well behaved, really smart. I mean ridiculously smart. DK1 teaches him trick in an hour. He can open doors with his paws. He totally gets our routines, can hear our cars up the street, and just is really a great dog. I don't know if all standard poodles are this smart, but even the dog trainer we worked with said he's EXTREMELY well adjusted, smart, and perfect.

The dog trainer we hired was used by the rescue group we got him from and he'd kept him. He'd used our dog as a training dog for other dogs who were aggressive or shy. He was so even keeled, well mannered, good size that he was perfect. We used the dog trainer so we could control him off leash with voice commands and walk perfectly. He can place easily for 60 minutes outdoors. He can walk without leash and sits in the car perfectly and can be walked by our kids.

So anyway we are at the point of having tried all medications. So the vet suggested that we remove his spleen and his cysts. The surgery will cost $5-7k. I'm a little nervous however because of his low platelet level that surgery is dangerous. This is the same scenario of what happened with our last dog that we had to put him under to remove his cracked tooth or put him down. The cysts also had a rare strain of bacterial infection because of compromised immune system.

I guess I'm just freaked out. I hope this works out. What we're hoping is to reduce his immune response and while he will be compromised without his spleen(he already is majorly immune compromised) he can reduce his medications and we can keep him at a relatively normal level and ease off of weekly blood checks. Something like 2-4 times a year.

Maybe it would have been better to buy a dog next time. But I feel guilty even from a breeder. Who knows. I'll update again in a couple weeks after we do an ultrasound to confirm we can and should do the surgery. Fingers crossed. If this works he'll have another 8-10 good years with us. He's truly been a great addition to the family. He sleeps with us and the kids and is so big and funny he climbs right in bed when we read books and love to just sleep all day.

6 Responses to “Murphy's law - the dog”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Oh how awful! Autoimmune on the rise in pets too? Have you received a second, even third opinion? That's what I might do. Praying for your dog and your family during this heartbreaking time.

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Nope. No where else to get a second opinion. Pretty much it's the only major vet. But even without the platelets are lower without a high dosage of predisone. We've been tinkering with meds for a year and it's causing long term effects. So we're at a point where we have to decide. Even the vet said if he wasn't so young and healthy but he's only 2.5 years old. He's got a potentially long life.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Oh, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. He sounds like a wonderful dog. I don't think it really matters where you got him, health problems can crop up unexpectedly in any animal, just like humans. I hope everything goes well and he can live out a normal life span.

  4. Sue Says:

    I am sorry to hear you and your family have to go through this with your young dog. I'm wishing you the best outcome with whatever you decide.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:


  6. rob62521 Says:

    So sorry you have to deal with this.

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