Friday, February 15, 2008

Dakota's options: a risky surgery or euthanasia

Again, our baby girl Dakota, only 2 or 3 years old and at a point where she could live or die...can you help?

This morning, Dakota and I went over to a surgical specialist to find out how bad her hernia was a scary sight, that's for sure. Her hernia basically covers what you would normally see on the film of her chest: her heart, lungs, etc. This hernia has taken over...not to say it is necessarily too late to help her. Now I further understand why she wheezes, coughs and has diarrhea. Most likely, in the same incident that Dakota broke her ribs and hind leg (both healed, indicating the event occurred some time ago), the trauma caused the hernia to develop. The surgical specialist said she feels confident that the surgery would be successful, but can't be sure until she sees how badly her organs have been effected by the hernia. It is possible that when a hernia has been there long enough, organs may begin to adhere where they are not supposed to, making the surgery very risky and complicated. It is also possible that if the incident that caused the trauma happened when Dakota was a puppy, her organs may be underdeveloped now, diminishing her prolonged health. We don't know exactly how long she's had it...if only we knew, more answers would be available to us.

I'm sort of at a loss. Her surgery, hospitalization and necessary medicine, etc., will cost nearly $2000. I WANT to raise this money...she truly is an exceptional animal. However, I need others to want to save this dog's life. Even more, if anyone is interested in adopting her after she recovers, I would without a doubt do everything medically possible to fix her, with or without the donations. Please email and let us know if you would be willing to donate toward this promising, life-saving surgery for Dakota, or if you would consider adopting her...I would even love comments/opinions about this situation.

I do realize that $2000 could potentially save 6 or 7 other satos, but I see it differently. The money we could raise to help Dakota wouldn't exist in our funding if it weren't for her specific, urgent case of life or death and our wanting her to eventually have life that our personal dogs have. If I can verify over the weekend that Dakota's chances of a great life greatly outweigh her chances of being worse off or falling into a downward-health spiral in the long run
after the surgery, I will effortlessly put money into her medical expenses...and I'm hoping I'm not the only one.

At this point, our final decision as to whether or not the surgery is the best option versus putting her little body to rest is still up for debate...the decision, however, is 100% based on if the surgery has a higher probability of being successful than not and whether or not her quality of life after the surgery will be improved/"normal." As of now, I scheduled an appointment for the next surgery slot available: this coming Tuesday. I have until Monday to cancel. I've been doing my research, calling any vet I know and trust and those referred to me by friends, asking an the same questions over and over and getting a variety of answers that still leave me without a definitive's going to be a long weekend.

Again, if you are willing to donate toward Dakota's surgery or want to adopt her, please email For donors, please indicate what amount you are able to contribute for now. Once I get more information/gather my thoughts about what's the best thing to do for the well being of Dakota, you'll know. Thank you to all of you who have been so thoughtful during these unfortunate last couple of days. I wish Dakota could tell me what she wanted. Yes, I've been looking for hints of a message in her soft, brown eyes. She is staying at Dr. Ramos' for the weekend, getting everything she needs to stay comfortable. I miss her face already.

Staying positive,
Shanti and Kota


amber said...

she's' beautiful, and looks like she would be a wonderful sister to my leeloo, but we can NOT have four dogs!

i've got this one in my prayers.

Shanti A. Santulli said...

I have received emails from potential donors for Dakota's surgery, no adopter yet. As of now, the total funds of those who are willing to donate sum up to almost half the amount. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks this is worth a shot...