Last year, we took in a dog that has the honor of being our most expensive and complex medical case to date. The adorable ten-year-old Alison came to us from China, via a Southern California Golden Retriever rescue group.
After she was diagnosed with a tumor on her adrenal gland, the volunteers in Southern California asked if we would take her, feeling they did not have the resources required to treat and care for her. Of course, we agreed.
Alison needed surgery to remove the tumor and save her life. A specialist, Dr. Erin Paster, was called in to perform this complex surgery. During the operation, the cancerous adrenal gland was removed, and it became apparent that Alison had been hit by a car at some point. A grapefruit-sized tumor was discovered in her abdomen, likely the result of trauma. It too was removed. Alison was hospitalized for several days to be closely monitored. Happily, the surgery was curative; all cancer was excised. The bill for the surgery alone was $5400.
Alison is in foster care now with her buddy Waldo, where she is happily recuperating and getting stronger. She will be undergoing corticosteroid replacement therapy for as long as needed. It could be lifelong but will be evaluated six months after her surgery. At that point, additional blood work will be done to make sure the remaining adrenal gland has begun to do the work of the one that was removed. The consensus of our vets is that Allison’s case is probably our most complicated and involved to date.
At Homeward Bound, we don’t give up easily; we’ll do everything we can to help a dog. When Alison arrived, we were advised that she might not be savable. But we tried anyway. Alison’s will to survive, the doctors’ skill, and many prayers pulled her through and paved the way for a happy, healthy new life. We are delighted with the result. We are so grateful to our vet, Dr. Codde, and to Dr. Paster for saving this adorable girl and giving her a healthy future.