Bella’s Story

Bella-pup

Ever since she was just a pup, and the cutest one at that! Bella would spit-up and regurgitate food and water after eating and drinking. We all noticed it but never thought a thing of it as her veterinarian never paid this much attention. 

Bella’s disorder went undiagnosed for seven years, up until this past January… That horrible day when her health began to deteriorate. She sounded terrible! Crackling, coughing, hacking, lethargic and barely breathing…

I rushed her to the Vet! He kept her overnight with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Easily treated (so I thought) with an IV, diuretic and a round of antibiotics. She was better after the treatment but very quickly slipped back into her sickness, listlessness, regurgitating, and respiratory distress… 

We love her!

After several diagnostic tests, Bella’s veterinarians called us with the bad news… They had determined that Bella indeed had a mass in her lungs. Her prognosis was not good and the best recourse was to euthanize her because she was is pain and things would only worsen very quickly for her.

Our Bella was dying and we were devastated! Words cannot express the sadness I felt at the time. I could not even go with Rick to the Vet’s office to hold her. I couldn’t bear to see her one last time before they put her down. I wanted to remember her as she was. An angel and the sweetest gift God could have given me during this difficult season of my life. Tears began to flow… It was as though I had just lost one of my beloved babies. Prayers, begging God to help me and to spare Bella’s life, lifted high. Wales rose up from somewhere deep within my inner soul. Never before had I felt such sorrow…

Upon seeing Bella at the Vet’s office, Rick decided to not put her down but instead to bring her back home, he called me with the news. “Her tail is wagging, she is not ready to be put down yet, I am bringing her home!” Rick exclaimed to me over the phone. With mixed feelings, I prepared to see my Bella again. Even if only for a moment, I felt better…

We almost lost her...

The next day we took Bella to a specialist who confirmed her diagnosis of a Mass. They said it was not in her lungs but in-between her lungs.

This veterinarian specialist offered us surgery to remove the mass, to the tune of $6,000.00 dollars with no assurance that this would help, or that Bella would even survive the delicate operation.

They did encouraged us though to not euthanize her yet, but to take her home, keep her comfortable and to enjoy her for another month or two…

Bella, in her "Bailey Chair"
Bella, in her "Bailey Chair"

As a last resort, we took her the following day to The University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. After an examination and several tests, they determined that Bella did not have a mass. We were ecstatic and unbelievably relieved! Bella was instead suffering from a classic appearance of Megaesophagus (a dilated esophagus). To my ears this still sounded awful, but hearing anything other than that it was a Mass was like hearing the most whimsically beautiful symphony of praise… 

We were so happy, for God had answered our prayers!

We were given two options: Bella could have a feeding tube surgically inserted into her tummy in order to bypass her esophagus, or we could opt to offer her food and drink in a vertical position. She would have to stay in this vertical position for 30 minutes after eating or drinking.

For now, we have opted to try the vertical option of feeding Bella in a “Bailey Chair“. It has been a huge change, adjustment and challenge of experimenting to try to find the best way in which to feed her so that she does not regurgitate her food and water causing pneumonia. After almost two months, I think we have finally figured it out. Bella is doing so much better now and I praise the Lord for that!

Praise the Lord!

I think God has walked me through this devastating “shadow of death,” in order to prove His limitless love to me. He loves you and me, and all His remarkable creatures and spectacular created things so much!

 

God cares deeply about all the little things that we love and care about…

Now that is amazing!

One thought on “Bella’s Story

  1. OLA VIVIAN MAY, EU FIQUEI MUITO FELIZ POR SABER QUE EXISTE OUTRA VIVIAN MAY E QUE GOSTA DE ANIMAIS ,SOU VETERINARIA , AQUI NO BRASIL , SÃO PAULO ,CIDADE POA, FIQUEI COMOVIDA COM SUA BELLA. BEIJOS
    VIVIAM MAY GATTI

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