The Healthy Paws® information, product, and gift card, have been provided by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance®.The personal story and opinions shared are mine alone.
This is a difficult post for me to write. So much has happened in a few short weeks that I don’t even know what day it is sometimes.
My beloved dog, Riley, is an 8-year-old Lhasa Poo. Many of you may recognize him because he is often featured on my blog. He and my first child were the reason The Mod Mommy even started.
I’ve had Riley since he was 3-months-old and since then I had vowed to feed him the best and give him the greatest life. I know many pet owners would agree that’s how we all feel when we open our hearts and homes to our best friends.
I thought I did everything right along the way, organic and holistic dog food, homemade dog treats, staying away from flea and tick medications that had harmful chemicals, and even switching all household cleaners to homemade ones.
I have no idea if any of this helped in his lifetime, but, my sweet dog has cancer. The absolute worst kind. The kind that is rarely cured.
He’s only 8. I still can’t fully understand it.
About three weeks ago, I noticed Riley collapse twice in the yard. I immediately called the vet and they told me to take him in ASAP. After a short while, he seemed to be acting normal and he was sent home with a “neck injury.”
For the next five days, he would be on pills for the “neck injury.” Right after the five days, he seemed sluggish and had constant diarrhea. He had so many accidents in the house that I lost count. I called the vet again and they said to only feed him beef and rice to help his stools.
Riley didn’t want to eat and was really weak. After one day, I rushed him to my vet where they found through ultrasound he was bleeding internally. He had blood in his abdomen and needed surgery right away.
What happened next was a blur, but Riley had emergency surgery and had his spleen removed in an effort to save his life.
Before any surgery could be performed, I had to pay a big deposit upfront. I was a mess and just wanted my dog saved.
I quickly signed all the papers and promised to pay the insanely high vet bill for my sweet dog.
Oh, how I wish I had pet insurance at a time like this.
I don’t know why I never got it for Riley when he was young. But, the truth is, I think I didn’t want to face the fact that he may someday need it in the event of an emergency.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance® pays up to 90% of vet bills. It does not cover wellness care, such as regular vaccines, checkups, flea and tick or heart worm preventative, etc. but, would have helped in my case.
And while only 1% of pet parents have health insurance for their pets, it is the fastest growing voluntary employee benefit.
More pet parents are educating themselves on the importance of pet insurance like, how it works, what it covers, and when they would need it.
Riley’s surgery went well. He stayed in the intensive care unit for two days and then was able to come home. It’s been two weeks since the surgery and he seems to be acting like himself. He’s chasing squirrels, begging for food, going on walks and digging holes in our beds. ❤️
Unfortunately, the biopsies from his surgery showed the tumors on his spleen were, in fact, cancer. Riley has Hemangiosarcoma.
Hemangiosarcoma is an aggressive, malignant tumor that affects the blood vessels lining cells. It’s most common location is the spleen. The doctors were a bit shocked because he’s young and is not on the list of dogs it usually affects.
And while no other tumors were noticeable during surgery, the doctor said the cancer is microscopic and most likely can’t be seen.
I am heartbroken. The grief is overcoming at times, but I am determined to have normal and fun days with Riley and our family.
I have no idea how much time left we have with Riley. I think about it every second. I watch him closely and wonder if today will be the day he gets ill again. I’ve been told he has up to three months without treatment. I am praying for longer.
After speaking with my dog’s veterinarian and doing lots of research on my own. I’ve decided to help him holistically.
This study on dogs with Hemangiosarcoma is what made me decide to go this route.
Disclaimer: Pet owners are urged not to implement any suggestions on animal health treatments without prior consultation with their licensed veterinarian.
Riley is taking four supplements daily and has a new diet. His food is grain-free and has some tomatoes, blueberries and broccoli mixed in. My vet told me this produce helps fight cancer, so in his bowl it goes.
Daily supplements Riley is taking include:
- Turkey Tail mushroom capsules – The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School released a study showing that the Turkey Tail mushroom extract, PSP, significantly increased survival of dogs with Hemangiosarcoma. (Read about the study)
- Only Natural Pet Immune Strengthener – Immune Strengthener’s blend of natural vitamins, herbs, antioxidants and mushrooms can provide immune system support to help your dog or cat fight chronic health issues while supporting organ function.
- Only Natural Pet B.S.S.T. Herbal Formula– The herbs in the famous Essiac formula may help maintain cellular health, purify the blood, and help the body eliminate destroyed tissue and toxic residues.
- Yunnan Baiyao– Yunnan Baiyao is the best-known household Chinese medicine in China used to stop bleeding and promote healing from wounds or internal injuries. My vet recommends this specifically for dogs battling Hemangiosarcoma.
***Note: I bought the Only Natural Pet products at PetSmart, my vet provided me with the Yunnan Baiyao, and the turkey tail mushroom capsules were bought online.
Living through this experience with Riley has made me realize how important health insurance is for pets. They’re our family, too, and we should be ready for the unpredictable. A lot of human health-care techniques that are becoming available for our pets are very expensive. Having pet insurance greatly helps the ordeal.
Visit Healthy Paws Pet Insurance® to receive a free quote. With every free quote, Healthy Paws contributes money to the medical care of homeless pets. Through the Refer-A-Friend program, participants earn $35 for every friend who enrolls with Healthy Paws.
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An important thing to keep in mind, pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, so it is important to sign your pup up early. That not only helps care for your pet with future illnesses and accidents, but lowers the cost for you, too.
I need to end this post on a pleasant note. Riley just got a brand-new leash and I’m happy to give away a similar light-up leash for your dog, which is perfect for those night-time strolls! It’s USB re-chargeable.
Have you ever considered getting pet health insurance?