I adopted Rosie when she was 15 months old... and had no idea that she would come to me with a hidden and, often times, fatal disease. Shortly after she was adopted, Rosie came down with what first appeared as Kennel Cough. Six weeks later, a second problem of pneumonia manifested itself. After another six weeks, she experienced an extremely high fever that brought her to the very edge of death. As a result, a battery of expensive tests were run to ultimately reveal that she’d had Valley Fever all along. This condition compromises the immune system. Although an unexpected diagnosis, Rosie had in fact spent her first 15 months in Tracy, California, where Valley Fever has been known to affect both people and animals.
My finances were significantly strained by a regimen of medication costing over $20 per day, along with emergency vet care. To add to my struggle, I had lost my job in October of 2008, which further heightened my concern for paying the mounting bills. Moreover, removal of a growth from Rosie’s tail and an episode with pancreatitis did not help my financial matters.
In December of 2008, Rosie experienced a Valley Fever episode which required a visit to the ER for three days. With a fever of 106, Rosie came close to death once again. A specialist was seen, followed by an additional two-day stay. The cost of life-saving treatment for just the December illness generated bills of $3,000 and the new medications would cost $600 for six weeks. Rosie’s collective conditions had developed nearly $10,000 in medical bills and for a time, I gave some thought to giving her up. But I just could not see my life without Rosie’s presence. Just one look at her beautiful face and her wonderful and happy demeanor brings smiles to everyone around her. But my reality was bleak… I could no longer pay for the medicines nor the endless visits to the vet. And likely, giving her up would not bode any better for her as there would be few families who could even consider taking her in, given the medical issues and the looming additional costs now projected for the future.
Finally, I found Brown Dog Foundation’s website. After an initial application and following the selection process, the charity generously offered to assist with the cost of the medicine. The much needed aid could not have come at a better time, given the fact that I’d been unemployed for four months. The ability to keep Rosie on the drug protocol for several more months made me feel more confident that a positive outcome was within reach.
To learn more about Valley Fever, visit the Valley Fever Center for Excellence website!
PUPdate! July 13, 2018
I just wanted to let you know that Rosie had her 13th birthday on July 5! I can't believe that she actually made it! You obviously were a great help in getting her medicine when she needed it with her valley fever.
Rosie has the will to live, however, she is losing her balance and she has very weak hindquarters. Difficult for her to walk much… in addition, she is had her head "bobbing" a bit which are probably mini seizures per one of the vets. I don't have much money so I am unsure if I can afford laser treatments or even acupuncture.