See UPDATE -MAY, 2014 BELOW
F1 standard Goldendoodle
Diagnosis: Proximal duodenal perforation, and septic peritonitis
Primary Veterinarian Information:
Dr. Elizabeth Alexander
Animal Hospital at Southgate
338 Hospital Drive
Glen Burnie, MD 21061 USA
Email: (No email available.)
Bailey is a sweet, gentle soul who has touched the lives of many people in his 9 years. He was such a well-behaved puppy that I started taking him to the local nursing home as a therapy dog when he was only 9 months old, the youngest Pets-On-Wheels (now called PAWS of Anne Arundel County) would allow. He quickly developed a “fan club” there, and the residents waited excitedly for his weekly visit. He has been a regular visitor to the same nursing home for almost 9 years now and helped enrich the lives of many of those who now call that place home. For several years he was also a regular canine blood donor for the Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank, and was their 5,000th donor dog.
Bailey started learning agility when he was about 3 years old, and competed with me for several years. Although he is not a champion, he LOVES the sport and spending time with me. He has been retired from competing on any regular basis. If there is an event that is very close to home, I will allow him to run one course, just for the fun of it. Bailey gets the most excited that I ever see him when allowed to come to an event and play agility. He bows, barks, and goes “woo-woo!” so that everybody knows he has arrived.
Bailey was also the inspiration for starting the Annapolis Area Doodles social group for doodles in the Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland area. He has been the official doodleromp host at monthly romps since 2006, and has welcomed many doodles to play, socialize, and exercise together.
Bailey has had more than his share of health issues. He bloated in 2009 and had to have emergency surgery. He has also torn the cruciate ligament in both back knees requiring TPLO surgeries on each about a year apart. All these surgeries cost thousands of dollars, but there was never any question whether he should have the care needed. My husband and I found a way to pay for it.
My husband has been unemployed for two years now, so we are living on my teacher’s salary. We have managed this except for several unexpected expenses that we had to put on credit cards. Unfortunately, Bailey now has had another medical emergency that I am unsure how we are going to be able to manage financially. $5,000.00 of his newest medical costs are borrowed from CareCredit, and another $5,941.38 on personal credit cards. ($10,941.38 total)
On April 24, 2014, Bailey started vomiting and exhibiting signs of extreme pain in his abdomen. Fearing that he was bloating again, I rushed him to the emergency vet. He bloated in 2009 and exhibited similar symptoms. They could not determine what was causing his pain, so I took him home. He was still no better the next evening. After returning to the emergency veterinarian, it was determined that he had fluid that was leaking into his abdomen from something perforating. It was a tough decision what to do, but since he was happy and healthy before this happened, my husband and I elected to go ahead with the surgery. We hoped and prayed while the surgery was going on that they would not find something he could never recover from, or something that would severely affect the quality of his life.
The surgeon found that the problem was a leak where the stomach and intestine meet. There was a lot of inflammation and peritonitis in the intestine from the leakage. It was touch and go at times because his blood pressure was too low. Then it spiked too high. Kidney damage was a real concern. His albumin level steadily dropped after the surgery. Albumin helps move many small molecules through the blood, including medications. It plays an important role in keeping the fluid from the blood from leaking out into the tissues. He was getting a lot of swelling in his face, neck, and legs because of this. A plasma transfusion did not help, and eventually he needed an albumin transfusion. There was no access to dog albumin so they used a human version. There is the potential that he could have an allergic reaction to this transfusion up to two month later. The transfusion worked, and we are praying no reaction will occur.
He was at the surgical veterinary center for 6 days until they felt he was well enough to come home. We are so thankful Bailey is home and pray for his continued recovery. I am preparing to undergo a hip replacement surgery myself on June 3rd and hope this does not strain us even more financially. I find it difficult to ask for help, but we have found ourselves in a position where we must. Even if you can’t help financially right now, keep him in your thoughts and prayers today. Thank you.
Things were improving with Bailey, but then we hit a set-back. Soon after being prescribed an anti-inflammatory by the surgeon Bailey stopped eating. I found him collapsed outside one morning, vomiting. I took him to my vet's office when it opened and discovered that he had developed another bleeding ulcer. She put him on IV medications and took him home with her over the weekend, just so she could monitor him closely. His red blood cell count dropped down again, as well as his blood albumin level. I was almost faced with the same decision as before. Surgery or putting him down. My vet worked hard to stabilize him and keep the ulcer from perforating like before. She succeeded, and a few days later I was able to bring him home. He came home with 10 medications. The IV catheter was left in his leg for many days, just in case. He is still very anemic and weak, but slowly improving. He will never be able to have any anti-inflammatory drugs from now on.
I wanted to share something that one of my wonderful donors told the veterinary technician when she called. This woman called to donate $18, and said that she was donating that odd amount because she is Jewish. The number 18 stands for life in the Jewish faith, so she was donating to Bailey "for life". The tech said she almost cried when she heard that. THANK YOU to all who have supported us so far.