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Added Jan 18 2018

On Tuesday, January 15, Duffy, woke up unable to walk and in horrible pain. We rushed him to the vet who sent him to a specialist immediately. The specialist ordered an MRI which revealed one ruptured disc and two compromised discs. Because Duffy is still young and has so much heart and love in him, putting him down is not an option. He’s a dearly beloved member of the family. He was rushed into surgery that night.

Now we are drowning in medical bills of over $8,000. He will be re-learning to walk for the next few weeks and will require therapeutic rehab, which will add to the bills. So we are hoping there are some dog lovers out there who will contribute to our fund-raising efforts and help Duffy heal. I know so many people are trying to raise money these days and people have to make choices. But every little bit helps, so If you are able to contribute, thank you.

Here's the link to our fundraising page:

The picture is of Duffy yesterday, the day after surgery. He's pretty sedated. We're bringing him home tonight, and I'm sure he'll be happy to be home. Now the long process of healing and rehab begins.

  • Poor little Duffy!! Donated.

  • MillieNeon Person

    Thank you bob1983

  • How about trying to work out a payment plan with doc/hospital and cutting back somewhere else.

  • MillieNeon Person

    francis60647-- She put it on a credit card which maxed it out and will be hard to pay off. I'm an older retired woman on a very limited, fixed income. So I can't help with the finances, though I can with the care-taking while she's at work (she teaches special ed in a tough Chicago high school . . . also very stressful).

    We don't live extravagantly and don't spend money recklessly. And we don't really expect to fundraise the entire amount. But every little bit of help we can receive is greatly appreciated and helps him get the therapeutic rehab he needs. We've also given to others during their vet bill time of need (at least one of whom posted on Everyblock and we didn't know them). We also have other rescue animals in our home that we care for.

    We posted our fundraising link here because there are people who live with animals in this Everyblock community who understand and who help the animal companion community, as we have in the past.

  • Donated. FYI - Vets don't do payment plans, at least none that I've ever heard of in the city. Can you share this with the rescue group she got the dog from, they may be able to help spread it. That is one cute scruffer, good luck!

  • KPG Logan Square resident since 1987

    So sorry to hear about your dog. That seems so expensive-Who is your vet?

  • MillieNeon Person

    Shannon, thank you so much. She has worked for the rescue group he came from, so that's a good idea. KPG, not sure which vet she took him to (she uses several) but he sent her to a specialist immediately, who did an MRI immediately, followed by the surgery. It was better for the dog to do it all at once and not sedate him twice.

  • MillieNeon Person

    KPG, for things like MRIs and surgery, vets are very expensive. Believe me, she priced MRIs, but there's not that much choice per rates. She could have driven 4-5 hours into Wisconsin and saved $1000, but she would have had to bring the dog back here for surgery and aftercare, and the long trip with the very ill dog didn't warrant the savings. Would't have been good for the dog who was in pain.

  • KPG Logan Square resident since 1987

    Sorry for being skeptical. You said it was "our" (meaning your own) fundraising page and wrote in the "we", etc. in relation to caring for the dog so I was assuming that you knew which vet the dog went to. Could please let me know what the Vet's name is just to confirm this is legit? Thanks!

  • MillieNeon Person

    KPG, she saw one vet at Boulevard, then a Dr. Ariel at Royal Treatment, and they both told her to see the specialist at MedVet, Dr. Niman (I think) who did the MRI and the surgery. Might have spelled names wrong.

  • Kori Just a crazy, young dog lady.

    KPG, Regular hospitals will not do a surgery like this. This is for a specialist. Only places like MedVet and Premier Veterinary group will do these as they have specialized surgeons in board. Dr. Niman is a wonderful neurologist but you will pay a premium. We refer to him often.

    Millie- I hope he feels better soon! He's such a beautiful pup. Will be contributing to help fund his recovery. <3

  • MillieNeon Person

    Kori -- thank you. Dr. Niman wound up charging less than originally thought, so we've changed our goal from $10,000 to $8,500. Duffy is doing well. Doesn't understand why he can't run around and chase the cat and play with the other dog, but he's got good feeling in his back legs. The healing process is slow and it will be months before he can chase the cat again, but there don't seem to be any complications.

  • So sorry to hear!! :-(
    Is it Ellen with the glasses and red curls?

  • Warmest of recovery to your pup! I know all about how costly vet bills can be. Obviously it wouldn't help for this occurrence, but you may want to consider getting pet insurance and/or a care card. Our dog recently had to get an MRI as well, cost about $3300 and the pet insurance covered 80%. I'm also glad your pet's condition is treatable.

  • Kaytee, Duffy probably is uninsurable at this point. No Obamacare for dogs. I

  • Duffy is so cute. Keep us posted on his progress. Just also donated.

  • Ellenf owner of apartment build. We need dog park

    thank you... I am Duffy's owner. Thank you for helping, help my guy. He's an amazing spirited boy....It'll be 2-3 months of therapy, but I know he's game for it. i 'll try and post some up date photos tomorrow.. You're all the best !

  • Poor baby..I hope and pray he gets better soon. I have donated and shared. God bless

  • future alderman future alderman

    how did he rupture a disc overnight? prayers

  • MillieNeon Person

    Jayenc: Yep, red-headed curls and glasses, that cousin Ellen.

    future alderman: last Tuesday he woke up and was having trouble walking. Within a couple of hours, his back legs didn't work at all. The tests showed that he has a degenerative disc condition, and that one disc was totally ruptured and two others were compromised. The surgeon repaired the compromised discs. Not completely sure what they do about the ruptured one, but the prognosis is that he's got more good years left. But there was no clue before last Tuesday.

    Thanks so much for your help, folks.

  • After witnessing first hand how large vet bills can be, I now have trupanion med insurance for my doggies. Wouldn't have it any other way.

    BTW, glad to hear a positive prognosis!

  • MillieNeon Person

    Thanks future alderman. Of course we researched all of this thoroughly. Our dog is a mix of about 4-5 breeds as far as we can tell, and may have a bit of Beagle. And Duffy, about a week after surgery, is doing really well. He stands well. We walk him with a harness (not a real walk, just to the next room for rehab), and Ellen does PT with him every day. Thanks for checking that out.

  • Glad Duffy is doing better.

  • A similar thing happened to my dog. He ruptured discs. Not sure how. He was in severe pain and could not move his hind legs. Dr Neiman at Med Vet operated. After a long recovery (including PT at Med Vet) he now walks and is as spunky as ever. I can't say enough about Dr Neiman and the Med Vet Physical Therapy people across the street! Best of luck to your pup.

  • MillieNeon Person

    Beth: How long was your dog's recovery? Our dog is mid-sized, and he's just starting his second week, but he's doing really well. Still confined to bed rest, and he's bored, but he stands well. He will be doing PT. Glad your dog is in great shape after his surgery.

  • MillieNeon It sounds like your dog is doing great! Walter's recovery was slow (I don't think he was standing for several weeks) but PT really helped. I would say after a month or two he discovered that he could move his hind legs and then the progress started. Tell the PT staff at Med Vet that Walter the cockapoo (with the attitude) said Hi. I can't say enough about the staff there!

  • Its a dog. life span maybe 10-15 years. Nope.

  • How is Duffy doing. I hope feeling good.

  • MillieNeon Person

    rogerparker: Yes, many people feel that way about life that's not human. But there are many others that feel differently. If you've never given your heart to a non-human being who trusts you completely, you can't understand this kind of love. How sad for you.

  • MillieNeon Person

    Lesa, Duffy had a set back with another ruptured disk, and he had to have another MRI and surgery. This time they put pins and plates in. He gets out of the hospital tomorrow, but he's doing good. We now have a small pen in the living room. We've got to keep him mostly resting and not trying to walk around. Hard for an active dog to be that still. Puts a lot on us, but Duffy's a family member, not a disposable life just cause the going gets tough.

  • MillieNeon Person

    Beth. Walter didn't stand for two months? Wow. Duffy stood for a few seconds at the hospital yesterday. And before this second surgery, he'd get up and turn around, and take some steps (a few times, he escaped into another room. That's why we've now got a pen. This surgery with the pins and plates might be a longer recovery for Duffy.

  • future alderman future alderman

    i had wondered why your fundraising goal went up. I have to have this kind of surgery myself-it will be a long recovery. I'm surprised they even LET him stand up and you should probably get him some drugs to slow him down for awhile. and rogerparker-6 is less than half of 15!

  • MillieNeon Person

    future alderman: He's coming home today, and he will have painkillers. We've set up a small pen in the living room where he can see what's going on in the house and also get some sun through the windows. I've been dealing with back pain too and done a lot of research. Apparently the back surgeries aren't recommended.. Take a look at this book:

    And Sarno is one of the most famous authors on dealing with back pain:

    And whatever you do, don't let them put you that gabapentin . . . very toxic with horrible side effects.

    My back pain had me crippled, could hardly walk to the bathroom. And now, I'm much better just doing PT exercises, some emotional work, and learning how to sleep on my back using a bolster to elevate my legs. Whatever route you choose, hope you have a good recovery and get rid of your pain.

  • Hi Ellen, is Duffy home. I hope he is doing so much better.

  • Ellenf owner of apartment build. We need dog park

    Hi Lesa, yes he came home last night. He has a really good prognosis, to regain full use of his legs.. he will need a lot of rehab, once his stitches come out. Thank you for asking...

  • Ellenf owner of apartment build. We need dog park

    You probably hadn't seen the 2nd major event...Duffy had a setback. He ruptured another disc and is in surgery again. Can you help an Alive Rescue alum out? His mom is drowning in medical bills for not one, but two surgeries.…. Thank you. so he was back in surgery friday night... a more invasive surgery (2 plates were added as well)... Thank you for asking about him... so he just came home last night ...again !

  • Hi Ellen, I did see where Duffy had to have a second surgery. He is lucky to have a mom who loves him. I did donate a second time. Can't wait to see pics of Duffy running and playing in a few months.

  • future alderman future alderman

    Thanks for the links but just like duffy i don't have pre-op pain, i have a severely compressed spinal cord which means some of my muscles don't do what they're supposed to. and, post-surgery, most people in uk and other places take gabapentin or things like pregabalin. lyrica and cymbalta are also used in US. when your spinal cord looks like a burrito run over by a truck it's not pain, it's paralysis. Have you had an mri recently?
    ps---look for a go fund me coming soon!

  • MillieNeon Person

    future alderman, I know they give gabapentin . . . there's a Facebook group dedicated to people who have been messed from gabapentin's side effects. Maybe take a look at that. But whatever you choose, I wish you success. I'm now using a TENS machine and these machines are super affordable now. They used to cost $300, now you can get a decent little one for $30.

    Will surely contribute to your GoFundMe. However, we set up a fundraiser with GFM charges 5% of the donations, then WePay (the company that handles taking the money and getting it to you) charges another 1-2%, plus $,30 for every transaction. YouCaring doesn't charge anything, but WePay handles the money for YouCaring too, so they take their 1-2% plus $.30 transaction fee.

  • One of my friends has been on gabapentin for years, never had any problems.

    Best over the counter TENS machine I've found is Omron - the one with the black (not silver) control.

    Here's a home remedy website for people and pets:

  • MillieNeon Person

    chi techie . . . not everyone who takes it has a problem, but enough people do to scare me away. Very bad for the liver and kidneys, and I have to be careful about things are liver toxic. But I'm certainly no doctor. I do, however, think people should read about all their medications and think about how they interact. Sometimes people get loaded up with so many toxic drugs it's more harmful than the condition. Thanks for the site link. We're all about home remedies.

  • Hi Ellen. Just wondering how Duffy is doing.

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