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Hello Fellow Golden Lovers,

I joined this site back in the summer right before getting our new and first Golden, Kodi. The dog herself has been a great addition loving and sweet. However, she also came with massive set of congential health problems that we have been battling since 5 days after we brought her home. We have sought help from various vets, friends, family, strangers, and I now coming seeking the advice of fellow Golden owners.

Our dog Kodi is now 8 months old, and we were recently informed that without a $15,000 combination surgery, she will die. We do not have the $15,000, so we have chosen to keep her on medicine and make her quality of life as happy as possible for as long as we can.

Kodi's health status is that she has a recessed vulva, etopic ureter on the left side, as well as an extra flap of tissue that has grown over her vagina causing urine to leak slowly, and that was the syptom that alerted us. Initally our vet told us that UTIs were common in female puppies, but after chronic infections, she urged us to take the next step. So after months of Clavamox and UTI's, urine cultures, urinanalyses we took her to an internist who did ultrasound and gave us the news about all that he saw. He said she has the kidneys of a 10 yr old dog at only 8 months, and no matter what measures we took there was no guarantee of recovery because her kidneys have suffered for so long.

So presented with those options, we have just decided to keep her on meds. Needless to say, this news hit us like a ton a bricks, and we have had a huge black cloud over our heads since finding out.

We have slowly but surely been entertaining the idea of getting a new puppy so that Kodi will have a friend, and that maybe we will have a new little light in our lives and something else to concentrate on as all of our conversations have been about Kodi's illness and how much we will miss her.

We do have some questions though...How will having a new dog affect our current one, and when Kodi passes will this scar the puppy? How much more expensive is it? We don't want to be judged or seem like we're trying to replace Kodi because nothing and no one ever could or will. We don't want people saying oh, your one dog is sick so you just go out and get another. We have already spent over $2,000 in medical expenses alone. This not include regular/general care or vaccinations. We are suing the breeder.We just want some feedback on this idea. We're open to hearing your thoughts.

Thanks for taking the time to read and share. Prayers are welcome :)
 

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I am so sorry you are going through all of this. I really can't tell you what you need to do, but know that you'll be in my thoughts and hope it helps to make your decisions. Prayers for you and Kodi.
 

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I don't even know what I would do in a horrible situation like this. I'm SO sorry for Kodi and your family.

I hate to bring a business side of this up, but have you been in touch with the breeder?
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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Wow that is a tough one. I completely understand not being able to afford a 15,000 operation. I think I would be thinking in the same direction you are thinking. My biggest concern would be that with Kodis condition she may not be able to keep up with an exhuberant puppy. There also may be issue with house breaking the new puppy if there is any hint of urine scent in the house the puppy may learn that it is ok to go inside. My thoughts are with you and Kodi.
 

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I think that right now I would dedicate all my time to Kodi. As she has more problems having a puppy in the house might complicate matters. And you would feel guilty if you had to give alot of attention to the puppy or Kodi and the other one not getting enough attention. That is my opinion and what I would do.
I am so sorry of what you are going thru with Kodi and pray that you and her have alot more time together loving each other. It is a tough decision to make.
 

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Wow. That is tough. I am glad that you are going after the breeder. That is just outrageous and I think that the breeder needs to take some responsibility in this matter. I wish I had some advice, but I would definitely hold off on the new puppy for now. It's not the time. Kodi needs you and a new puppy would take a ton of attention away from Kodi, which is what she needs right now. I'm so sorry you are going through this. :(

BTW, I have a female shepherd named Kodi, short for Kodiak. :)
 

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I am so sorry :( It sounds like you love your dog very much. As far as advice, do what your heart tells you. Don't worry about being judged because of your choices, few people will have to make the difficult decisions that you do or come close to understanding them.
 

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B.J. and the Kohana Kids
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I am soooo sorry to hear that Kodi isn't doing well. I think you have to do what is best for her. I'm not saying do or dont get another puppy, but its up to you to judge your situation and whether Kodi (or you) would be up for it. I'm not sure anything you mentioned was necessarily genetic, but your breeder should be informed. Not that it could have been prevented, but if it were me, I'd want to know. Hugs for Kodi (and you!).

Btw, I really think its about more than cost, but $15000 is a lot of money and I know I wouldn't be in a position to be able to afford it. Its a sad, but very real, reality. I dont think anyone has the right to judge you. You obviously love and care a lot about Kodi. Hugs, BJ
 

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Just a thought. Could a rescue organization help in a situation like this? Maybe a Veterinary Training Hospital could take the case? I'm not sure how such things work...
 

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Misty & Holly's Mom :)
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I am so sorry about your poor dog. Just follow your heart....I would try a teaching hospital...you never know..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for your kind words and support. We had a long talk last night, and at least for now, we are going to hold off on the puppy. You all brought up some very good points about things we had not considered. I knew you all would come through for us:)

We live right outside of Philadelphia, and we're going to try University of Pennsylvania as they have a phenomenal vet program and could be of some assitance to us. Thanks for that idea, at this point, it doesn't hurt to ask, and we want to exhaust every possible avenue.

The hard thing is, aside from her leaking, she doesn't display any signs of illness so its hard for us to believe she is as ill as she is, ya know? We want to take her so many places and let her experience the best things in life...I guess now we're going to have to do it at a faster pace. We don't have children yet, so she is our little one, the love of our lives...

As far as the breeder, she has been informed of this since a week after we brought her home. She gave us $66 toward the first set of bills (split the cost) and since then has done NOTHING but claim that is not her responsibility, and she will not do anything more for Kodi. We asked for reimbursment for the purchase price of Kodi ($800) because this is a congenital defect, and our expectations of having a healthy dog were not met. She has accused us of being money-hungry and only "out to make a buck." We have sent her and her vet all the reports and medical findings, but she always has some excuse of why she didn't get them or the vet never received the fax etc etc... This side of the story has been an absolute nightmare and we have pursued legal action against her. We will also file claims with the ACK and the Better Business Bureau, and do all that we can to warn people about her business practices. We don't think she's a bad person who intentionally did anything, but as pet owners we were given a sick puppy, so we're simply asking for the money back. We're doing what we think is best but it certainly has taken away from the experience we were anticipating.

The hardest and most frustrating thing for me is that we tried our best to be responsible. We researched for almost a year to figure what breed we wanted visited several breeders, went pet expos, read several books on what look for in a reputable breeder, how to choose a puppy to fit our lifestyle, consulted vets. I mean, we took this decision VERY seriously. We even moved so we could have a dog in the first place. It just hard to think that all that was for naught....and we ended up with one of worse scenarios possible.... such is life.... I guess all we can do try to stay positive, learn, and find strength in each other. It good to know I can come here to be heard as well:)

Again, thanks for all the kind words. We will continue to keep you all updated, and if I can figure it out, I'll get some pics up here of our little monster :)
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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I am so sorry for your situation and think you are wonderful for trying to do everything you can for your baby. We would not be able to afford a $15,000 operation either. How tragic.

Even though I don't know if this issue was congenital or genetic, I do know that most breeders have in their contract that if the dog has a life altering health issue, they will return your money in exchange for the dog. In which case I assume the pup would be euthanized. of course, most people fall in love with their pup and would not return it.

If this problem was not genetic but congentital, I wouldn't expect my breeder to pay for it. if it is genetic, and she knew before hand, that is different altogether.
I am so sorry for your pup and you. Please post pics and keep us updated. Kodi is in my prayers.
 

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Selsevin

Selsevin

I am glad you are looking into the University.
I don't personally know anyone that could afford $15,000.
Here are some orgs that can provide financial aid to owners-worth a try
and I believe there is something called Care Credit that I've heard other people on this forum use with good results. I am so sorry for what Kodi and you are going through.


Here is a list of orgs that help that I found posted on Best Friends Network-they really help shelters/rescues and owners.
Blind Dogs

IMOM Blind Dogs Fund:
http://www.imom.org/fa/contact.htm

GENERAL

In Memory of Magic (IMOM) is dedicated to insuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.
http://www.imom.org
IMOM, Inc
PO Box 282
Cheltenham, MD 20623
Phone (866)-230-2164 Fax (301)-599-1852

United Animal Nations established the LifeLine fund in 1997 to aid companion animals in times of life-threatening emergencies when their caregivers, with low or no incomes, are unable to afford the entire cost of treatment.
http://uan.org/lifeline/index.html
United Animal Nations
P.O. Box 188890
Sacramento, California 95818
Telephone: (916) 429 2457 fax: (916) 429 2456
LifeLine Fund - http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=28

Help-A-Pet is a nonprofit organization, which provides financial assistance for the medical care of pets whose guardians are unable to afford the expense
http://www.help-a-pet.org/home..html
Help-A-Pet
P. O. Box 244
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521
Telephone: (630) 986-9504 fax: (630) 986-9141

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Programs provides financial assistance for emergency medical care for cats.
http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/
FVEAP
1641 Elizabeth Lane
Yuba City, CA 95993
Fax: 888-301-4264

DISEASE-SPECIFIC

Diabetes

IMOM Diabetic Pet Fund
http://www.imom.org/diabetic-pets

Diabetic Pet Fund:
http://www.petdiabetes.net/fund/

Special Needs cats

Cats in Crisis:
http://www.catsincrisis.org/crisisFund.html

Blind Dogs

IMOM Blind Dogs Fund:
http://www.imom.org/fa/contact.htm

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF)

IMOM Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) Kitties Fund
http://www.imom.org/funds/crf.htm

Cats in Crisis Mesa Fund
http://www.catsincrisis.org/mesaFund.html

Cats - Heart and Thyroid

Cats in Crisis Stripes Fund
http://www.catsincrisis.org/stripesFund.html

Cats - Neurological conditions and mobility impairments

Cats in Crisis Gillie Fund
http://www.catsincrisis.org/gillieFund.html

ASSISTANCE DOGS

Assistance Dog Partners
http://www.iaadp.org/VCP.html

FUNDING FOR ORGANIZATIONS (Specific animals needing veterinary care):

http://www.catsincrisis.org/
http://www.imom.org

BREED-SPECIFIC

If you have a specific breed of dog, contact the national club for that breed. In some cases, these clubs offer a veterinary financial assistance fund. Here are a few websites for groups that provide financial assistance for specific breeds:

Bernese Mountain Dog
http://www.behaf.org/help.html

Corgi
http://www.corgiaid.org/

Doberman (special needs)
http://www.doberman911.org/

Great Pyrenees
http://www.angelfire.com/bc2/pyramedic/summary.html

Labrador Retriever
http://www.labmed.org
http://www.labradorlifeline.org/

Pit Bull/Staffordshire Terrier
http://www.pbrc.net/fund/financial.html

Westies
http://www.westiemed.com/

American Animal Hospital Association
http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/home/
"The heartbreak happens all too often ? a pet owner is unable to
afford treatment and their sick or injured companion animal pays the
price. If the owner is elderly, disabled or on a fixed income, the
cost of care may be too much of a stretch for their pocketbook.
Perhaps they have been victimized by crime, property loss or a job
layoff and are experiencing a temporary financial hardship ? making it
too difficult to afford pet care. And some animals, brought to clinics
by Good Samaritans, don't have an owner to pay for treatment. Whatever
the situation, the fact remains the same: When sick or injured animals
are unable to receive veterinary care, they suffer. Through the AAHA
Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured
pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is
experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
www.Angels4Animals.org
"Angels4Animals, a non-profit organization and a program of Inner
Voice Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian
angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult
financial situations. At Angels4Animals we believe that animal owners
should not have to say goodbye to the animals that they love. Our
work is accomplished in conjunction with veterinary clinics across
the country, eager to assist as many animals, and their owners, as
possible. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment
to those pets and pet owners in need."

Care Credit
www.carecredit.com
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"CareCredit, the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more
than 3 million patients/clients get the treatment or procedures they
needed and wanted. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for
treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan
and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every
budget."


Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/
"The NEED & The HELP: Seniors, People with disabilities, People who
have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten - any
of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved
companion."

The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501
(c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and
kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save
their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

Help-A-Pet
http://www.help-a-pet.org/home.html
"Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the
working poor. For lonely seniors, physically/mentally challenged
individuals and children of working parents, pets represent much more
than a diversion."

IMOM
http://www.imom.org
"Mission Statement:
Helping people help pets. To better the lives of sick, injured and
abused companion animals. We are dedicated to insure that no
companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker
is financially challenged."

The Pet Fund
http://thepetfund.com/
"The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that
provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need
urgent veterinary care. Often animals are put down or suffer
needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or
emergency vet visits. Companion animal owners must often make the
difficult decision to put an animal down or neglect urgent medical
needs because of the costs involved. The purpose of the Pet Fund is
to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal
medical care need never be made on the basis of cost."

United Animal Nations
http://www.uan.org/lifeline/index.html
"The mission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued
animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require
specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve
Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured
animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens
and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care."

UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills
http://www.petloversonline.co.uk/financial.htm
"Most of us can cope with the financial commitment involved in the
day to day care of our pets. However, how many of us come out in a
cold sweat when our pet is ill or injured and we know we have to take
it to the vet? Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford
it but, some of us who love our animals dearly cannot. Unfortunately
we do not have a PDSA or a RSPCA Centre within our area, but there
are a few charities who may be able to help."

Other Groups Who are Breed or Injury Specific:

Corgi Aid
http://www.corgiaid.org/

Dachshunds Needing IVDD surgery
http://members.rushmore.com/~dds/applyforhelp.htm
<http://members.rushmore.com/%7Edds/applyforhelp.htm>

HandicappedPets.com
http://www.handicappedpets.com/Articles/help/
"From time to time, HandicappedPets.com recognizes a caretaker of
handicapped pets that need some special attention, and a little extra
help. There are those who are so selflessly dedicated to their animal
families that they give up a little more than they can afford."

Labrador Lifeline
http://www.labradorlifeline.org/success/2005-abbey.htm

LabMed: Rx For Rescued Labs
http://www.labmed.org/aid_main.html
06-21-2008, 10:16 PM #17
 

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In the Moment
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I am so sorry for you and Kody. I, too, would highly recommend getting her to a teaching vet. hospital/ vet school. I would think that not many people could afford such an expensive surgery, and since it is such a rare condition, they may do it for the value it would have for those in training.....that certainly is the case for humans. Please know that you will stay in my thoughts and prayers. I'm glad that she doesn't seem to be suffering... but know that these sweet creatures are experts in masking discomfort or pain. You are wonderful doggy parents for taking such good care of her. And, I also agree with those that think perhaps now is not the time for a new pupper. Personally, I would put all my energy into dealing with this issue. Hopefully, you can get her cured or stabilized and then, joy of joys, a new friend would be a wonderful addition.
 

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So sorry to hear about Kodi - hopefully you will find some help at UPenn. I have heard great things about them. Thanks for being such devoted parents to Kodi- I am sure she appreciates it. Hopefully they will find a solution to her issues. Our prayers will be with you.
 
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