Health Update

Well, my mom was able to take me for my four month check up to see if I was still positive for heartworms. Those were the most agonizing and longest ten minutes of my life. My mom and I spoke on the drive to the mobile clinic and we determined that even if the test came back positive we were not going to lose hope but we would just test again in two months. This making it the full six months the American Heartworm Association recommends. We tested early because the AHA also states that most will test negative at the sixteen week mark.

The test came back NEGATIVE!!! I tested negative, which means my body has been cleared of the heartworms. My mom was thrilled (I think she still feels bad for allowing this to happen because she had to stop giving me the monthly prevention tabs due to cost) but I forgive her. She is an amazing mom and I know she loves me very much.

She now says that no matter what that year supply of pills will forever be in the budget even if it means she has to cut back on something else for that month that they are due to be bought.

Luckily, we learned that our local grocery store carries medication for pets and my heartworm prevention is substantially less expensive with them than anywhere else. There was even a $12 rebate but my mom wasn’t sure if the company would honor our purchase since it said “submit your receipt from your veterinarian office (no third party)” but last night when we looked to see if there was one for this year she saw on the one posted on the website it states” submit your receipt from your veterinarian office or Merck approved retailed” so who knows she probably could have gotten $12 back off the already low price.

She said she would be on the lookout later this year for a rebate.

Please, make sure you all get tested yearly and stay on your heartworm prevention all year round.

Toodles ❤ Bells

©Bella

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My Tío Abuelo

My Tío Abuelo Tito had to have his right hind leg amputated January 7th. It turned out that the little “nugget” of a cyst he had was cancerous. The day of surgery he must have been in some pain and tried his best to “chew” the tumor off. He ended up chewing off a good portion of it and was bleeding out. My uncle quickly left work and arrived with enough time to get him to the animal hospital. My Mom met them there and said the Vet stated it was best in order to save him to amputate the hind leg to make sure they cut off all of the cancer.

It has been a few weeks now and he is doing much better. He has acclimated to walking on three legs and has even started to jump down off furniture with no issues. He is still learning how “jump” on the sofa on his own but for now he requires assistance. My uncle is working on making him a little step so he can get up on the bed more freely but for now he is sleeping in his new bed on the floor.

©Bella

Another Year

A few months have passed since I last updated everyone on my health roadblock. As mentioned previously I finished my treatment and let me just say to this day, I still have nightmares of the Immiticide injections. I can at times still feel my body shiver from the after effect. Mom said she will probably take me to get tested in the upcoming week or so, just to see where I stand. I will be four months post treatment as of January 27th and the American Heartworm Society mentions that some cases will still have a positive heartworm test 16 weeks post treatment. If this is my case, then we will follow the guidelines to recheck two months later before proceeding with additional treatment. I am staying positive as is my family that my test I take in the next few weeks will come back negative. I continue to take my monthly heartworm pill. I started a new brand now, it is called Tri-Heart. It technically it is not “new” since I would take it when I was younger.

Other than my health hiccup I haven’t really been up to much. I spent time hanging out with my besties, Daisy and Darla. It was good to visit them. We did a lot of shopping. I found a “lit” {as Darla says (millenials)} at Petsmart. It was regular $24.99 and it was on sale for $6.99. Of course, I used my entire allowance on it so back to the shelves the Whimzees went. Luckily, for me, Mom knows how much I love them so she bought the pack for me.

After a shopping trip we hung out and binged Netflix shows. This was the look Daisy gave Darla while she was eating her potato chips.

Spent the holidays with family. My mom had surgery a few days before Christmas so we had a very relaxing holiday. My cousins came in from out of town so it was awesome to spend time with Jerry and Gunner. My mom got me a pack of Merrick Fresh Kisses. I am tied between which ones are my favorite…I like that Whimzees are made in Europe because they have strict guidelines for food, pet products, and beauty products but at the same time I like that Merrick is a local company here in Texas. My mom says that Merrick tends to help with my breath but she also says that she thinks the Whimzees are better at rubbing the tarter off the teeth. I guess for now we will just keep buying both. 🙂

Merrick Fresh Kisses


Whimzees

Another new thing I embarked on the last few months is a new protein from my trusted friends over at Zignature. I am in LOVE with the kangaroo protein. One of the main reasons my mom and I love Zignature is because they are single protein and it is so interchangeable that one month I can eat duck and the next month I can do kangaroo with zero issues to my tummy. I really give them four paws! It is along the lines of a luxury food line but it is well worth the cost! My favorites in order

# 1 Kangaroo, #2 Zessential, #3 Duck, # 4 is tied between Lamb and Pork.

One of the reasons we love it is because the entire line is
Hypoallergenic meat first recipe, with no Corn, Wheat, Soy, Dairy, or Chicken, Chicken Eggs, or Chicken By-Products and Potato and Grain free.

With a new year comes the goals of trying to slim down. I gained a few pounds due to the steroids I was on while undergoing my treatment. I am going to try at least for two pounds. That will put me at 15 pounds. Which my doctor said is ideal for me seeing as I am half Italian Greyhound. Toodles

©Bella

I am done with my treatment!! :)

I completed my treatment protocol yesterday. Mom said I was a trooper. Although, I am walking a bit slow today, you would have never guessed I just had 2 injections of Arsenic in a 24 hour period. My appetite is back full force.

I will continue on the prednisone for the next 30 days. The steroid helps to reduce inflammation in the lungs and vessels, caused by the worms before and after they die. It also helps reduce the risk of an acute pulmonary embolism that can cause sudden death as the worms are dying.

My re-test will be on/around March 26th. Both my family and I are remaining positive that I will test negative and will not need a second series of injections. Our vet said since I was pretty early in the disease I should be just fine, as statistics show a 96% negative result for stages 1-3 of the disease at the 6 month mark when given the recommended 3 injection protocol.

❤ Bells

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A bit embarrassed with my bald spots. They were necessary as the Vet needed to have a sterile are for the injections. 

©Bella

Heartworm Treatment Update

Through a connection my mom had at work she was able to get the name of the vet who does all the hearworm+ treatment on the animals in the shelters here in my town. The vet worked a great deal and with the blessing of my family and friends who donated, we were able to afford the actual recommended American Heartworm Association treatment plan of the melarsomine injections.

My first injection was yesterday. It was a painful ordeal. They tried to numb the area as best as they could but the poison that gets injected bypassed the numbing medication and was felt immediately.

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me when I got home after the injection…hoping no one will catch the patch of hair missing. I had to be shaved so they would have a sterile site for the injection

I stayed in the hospital for exactly six hours. I was surrounded by really nice individuals. The tech even fed me. The vet said I did really well, better than he has seen in some time. I was up walking about twenty minutes after the injection, although I was walking slow.

I was in pain for a majority of the night. No matter which way I tried to lay my body, it was to uncomfortable. My Mom was a trooper. She stayed up with me until I was finally able to fall asleep, even though she had work today.

I will continue to be on activity restriction for another 3 months. Lets just say, I am sure missing my outside feel the grass potty breaks.

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me trying to get comfortable during the night and in between my wimpers

Since today was my brother’s first day back at school and my Mom had work, I was alone in my recovery. Luckily, for me the girls came to check up on me. I love Ms. J. She has always understood the friendship me and the girls have. ❤

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woke up from nap to the girls standing over me. true friendship

 

 

©Bella

Staying Positive DONATIONS CLOSED :)

So much has been going on since I last posted. I had been enjoying the summer break with my hooman brother and sister. She has started coming over a bit more these last few months. She jokes and tells our mom it is because we have cable. LOL

Then my happiness abruptly ended. My mom took me to get tested for heartworms. I have not been showing any signs of illness or anything but over the summer my mom took a summer seasonal job with a vet clinic and she was seeing dogs come in and every work day there was one or two who tested positive. So she thought to put her at ease, I should get tested. We never thought the results would come back the way they did. At first, she thought it was a false positive so the vet did a second test and within 30 seconds the test came back with the same news we had been giving from the first test. I was positive. The vet is confident we caught it early and will not be a death sentence but finances have always been rough here at home. My mom does the best she can but as most others lives paycheck to paycheck. The vet was kind enough to give me a treatment plan that was a little more than half of the recommended more aggressive treatment plan so that is the route we have gone. We are remaining hopeful and positive that this route will heal me with minimal damage to my heart and other organs that heartworms attack.

I know I myself, am staying positive because I want to be around a lot longer to enjoy my hoomans. As part chihuahua I have an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years and italian greyhound of 12 to 15 years. So if I can meet those in the middle of 15 years, I still have at minimum 7 years left to enjoy my family.

My mom has always been a very proud individual. We can be short on funds for things at times but she has always refused to ask for help. At times, she will go without than to ask my grandparents for help. I have always admired the strength this woman has. So, it was hard for her to swallow that pride pill and reach out.

She created a go fund me in hopes that people will find it in their hearts to donate any amount they can to help with my treatment. She has also asked the vet clinic she worked at earlier in the summer about working during the school year in hopes to earn a bit more to go towards the treatment.

She will be uploading the test results showing the final outcome of Positive in hopes this will help individuals know that my treatment is real and will be able to feel at ease with a donation, any amount helps. $1, $2, $3, even $5.

Ways to donate if you find yourself in a place to help. Any amount will help.

CLOSED-DONATIONS RAISED

Here is an actual breakdown for what the treatment will cost after the year mark.  

2 x-rays (cash cost $200 each) $400

12 month box of Quadriguard $37.98

6 month round of Steroid $60

12 month round of Doxycycline $480

2 heartworm tests at the 6 month mark and 12 month mark (cash cost $38 each) $76

5 office visits (one in August, October, December, April, and July) $250 at each office visit at $50

Actual total for treatment $1103.98 this was still over $1700 less than the very aggressive preferred treatment with no guarantee I will heal or make it out alive as some dogs have been known to pass away during this much more aggressive treatment. .

©Bella

Cuddle Bugs

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A few weekends ago I asked my Mom if she would drive me over to visit these two rascals. I am starting to feel with each passing day all my friends just want to spend their days in bed. Like come on…we aren’t senior citizens.

They refused to get out of bed so I snapped a pic and decided to capture the moment and then join them. Auntie Sam rewarded us with a Petsmart trip. YAY!!! On the drive over, I was telling her how we had stopped buying Greenies and started buying Whimzees. It is a great European company based out of Holland. And everyone knows European companies are much better, Much Better than American companies. Now, before you bash me, I say this because the EU regulates products at a much stricter level than the FDA does for American companies.

I had a few extra dollars left over from my allowance so I decided to treat them to one. I was also telling them that I started a new food and how it is amazeballs. I told my Mom how I had noticed a big difference in my coat. It is now shiny and sooo soft. Even though the previous food still had 4 stars on dog-advisor, it had a lot of starch. Starch from what my Mom and I were told is bad. One, it turns into sugars which causes teeth plaque/tarter to accumulate at a faster pace. Two, starch is bad in general and the previous food I was eating had potatoes in it.

Click the Zignature image to the right to read all about the new food I am enjoying——>

We then went back to their home and enjoyed some Netflix until my Mom came to pick me up. We watched Dexter. I never got the chance to watch it from the beginning because Mom said it was too gory and she didn’t feel I would understand it was fictional.

Let me just say this…Dexter is DA BOMB!!! Oh my gosh, I never thought shows like that would have a following but wow, the plot is amazing. I was on pins and needles.

I continued watching at home. I even got my Mom to sit on the sofa with me and enjoy a few episodes. Even though I saw the last season, I think I will just watch all the way through again because I don’t remember much from the last season. I even got permission to watch the show during the day while Mom and brother are at work/school. I just had to promise that I would not watch within 30 minutes to my nap times. My Mom didn’t want me to have nightmares and no one would be around to wake me up from them. I love how they look out for me. I don’t know what I would do without my Mom or my brother.

By the way, did I mention my Mom made me an appointment for a Spa Day. Apparently, I will be having a Blueberry Facial done. I am sooo super stoked about it.

Toodles

❤ Bells

©Bella

 

#aydiosfrio18

A week has gone by and we are happy to say that we survived #aydiosfrio18. I will admit though, the weather was beautiful. My Mom said she wasn’t going to take me out because it was too cold and my sweater was not thick enough. However, after a few hours of my “crying” we stumbled our way outside. WOW!!! Maybe Mom’s do know better. My paws were cold!! My Mom immediately picked me up when we reached the bottom of the stairs. I kept myself nice and toasty nuzzled in her chest for the remainder of the less than 25 yard walk to the icy covered grass.  After we came back inside, I called my bestie Daisy to see how they were holding up with this #onceinalifetime in the teens weather.

She said they as well had not gone out but were hoping that their Mom would give in as well. Moms really are a bit overprotective, aren’t they??? She started to talk to me about the Lifetime movie they were watching and how she was so confused by the plot. I tried to explain to her a bit as I had seen before, but to no avail. I told her maybe she should just stick to Hallmark movies. Now, those are some cute story lines even if at times they don’t seem believable. I proceeded to ask how my other bestie was and her response “wait, I will send you a picture.” A few seconds later, the picture arrived. It was Darla 100%. She is such a goofball.

It was a “under the covers” type of day.

I am actually hoping we get a few more cold days like that day, it would be nice to have a winter in good ol south Texas.

©Bella

BeFunky Collage

Me on the top….Darla on the bottom

Winter Jacket

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Another year of gifts and family gatherings have passed. I am super blessed to have family that are as loving as mine. I spent Thanksgiving at home because I was feeling a bit under the weather. These Texas allergies are no joke. I was a bit sad when I found out that my cousin Jerry had driven down with my Uncle and spent the day with the family. My mom said he is very “regal”, whatever that means. 


Christmas was fun. I tagged along and went to my Great-Grandmother’s home for awhile but my anxiety level went through the roof. I ended up having to come back home. It was fine though, I had mom turn on the TV and was able to catch up with some shows I had fallen behind on. My gifts were awesome! I received this amazing indestructible ball from my friends over at Candiae. I have been playing with this thing for two weeks now and boy this thing really is indestructible. I also love that you can put treats inside of it which allows me to practice my motor skills. 

I sent some cute toys to my cousin Jerry for Christmas. I hope he enjoys them. By the way, isn’t he adorable in his winter jacket?? #jerryiscute 

©Bella

Snow??? Did someone say SNOW???

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I couldn’t believe it when I heard my Mom tell my brother that it was SNOWING!!! Like Snow in Texas is a once in a lifetime experience. Well, in my Mom’s case twice in her lifetime. Correction thrice in her lifetime if you want to count the less than half an inch we received back in 2011. Seeing as she is a bit “ancient” she experienced it back in 1985 when the city received OVER 13 1/2 inches!!! That is like almost as tall as I am when standing on my hind legs.

So, when I saw my brother come out from his room while hearing his friend on speaker phone tell him “Dude! It’s snowing,” I knew I had to see for myself. I put on the teeny tiny jacket (which reminds me, I have to lose some weight) and stepped outside. It was like I was in a Hallmark Movie. The ground was so soft like a down pillow. I immediately asked my Mom if I could go see the girls. She said of course and since she was having to take my brother on an errand, she didn’t mind dropping me off.

Ding Dong, the door bell chimed. Ding Dong, the door bell chimed again. No one was answering. I thought to myself “well, maybe they are out enjoying the snow.” Nope, as I was about to turn around and walk back to the car (my Mom was waiting before she drove off) the door opened. I walked in and found the girls just lying on the sofa. Darla (formerly known as Dahlia—she had an identity crises and now only goes by Darla) honestly, that suites her much more; was covered in her blanket watching Hallmark. They were watching Hallmark!! I wanted us to parade around outside and feel the snow hit our bodies. Daisy the old soul that she is said she saw it from the window and that was enough for her. I managed to convince Darla so her Mom helped her with her jacket and snow shoes and we went outside to play in the snow. It was the most awesome time ever. We may never see something like this again, unless either Ms. Stephanie or we move somewhere north where snow is a common site. Which by the way, I am working very hard in convincing my Mom. Heck, I am even throwing hints out there to my brother for universities in snow common cities.

Toodles until the next time.

Ciao

©Bella

 

SNOW DAY 2017 (7th Dec) in Texas