Thursday, March 21, 2013



I arrived in Sugar Land, just south of Houston, about 1:45 a.m. Thursday morning.  I had intended to arrive a lot earlier and get a hotel, but life is what it is.  Keaton was asleep so I decided to not set up my CPAP which meant no sleep.  The night before she walked the house all night for 6 straight hours, whining, getting in bed, getting out of bed.  I am two days on 3 hours sleep.

Anyway, I am home.  The neurologist saw Keaton at 9 a.m..  By about noon she met with me to give me the news.  The MRI showed an inoperable brain tumor.  Its size and location make removal impossible.

If I am willing to effectively relocate to Sugar Land for 4 months we can try radiology therapy with no guarantee.  I will not put Keaton (nearly 11) a very sick dog through 4 months of radiology therapy.  The vet put her on a medication regiment which should keep her happy for about 3-4 months before the medication stops working.  The tumor will continue to grow during this period but the medicine will reduce the swelling on the brain.

She sent a very nice summary to my regular vet instructing him to use humane euthanasia at the point the medicine is no longer working.  She was clear it would be cruel to allow Keaton to just suffer.  Funny, Keaton as a dog has more rights than we do as humans.  For humans they would just induce a coma, and allow us to slowly die while in a coma.

To a person the staff at Sugar Land Veterinarian Specialists were amazing.  My first phone call was met with extraordinary compassion.  They checked Price Line for me for hotels in the area which would take dogs.  They got me prices and reservation numbers.  They told me up front what to expect in terms of costs.  $2,000 to $2,500.  It came in $5 short of the $2,000 mark.  They worked directly with my vet to get her medical records.  I had to do nothing.

They were the only group willing to take me first thing in the morning while doing everything possible to get me out of there by early afternoon.  Other clinics provided me very little information other than to be prepared to stay in Sugar Land for a few days.  This clinic does the MRI right there.

From the receptionist, to the tech, to the neurologist is was pure compassion.  I watched as people brought in their pets for chemo, ct scans, surgeries and everyone was treated with extraordinary compassion.

There is no easy way to tell someone their pet has an inoperable brain tumor.  The doctor was so nice.  She agreed with me it was best to try our best to keep her happy for a long as possible with medication.  At her age to take her last 4 months and put her through radiology therapy would be cruel.  For what - an extra couple of months?  I would prefer her last 3-4 months be comfortable.

As I type she is walking in  endless circles in and out of the house.  The location of the tumor causes this. I will stay awake until she drops from exhaustion.  I will then put her to bed.  The medicine should take three days to kick in.  If there is no change we will add an additional medication.  The doctor was so cool that for the medicines which are also used for humans she will call the prescription into CVS for me.  She says they are a lot cheaper than the price of what a vet would charge.

I cannot say enough good things about the Sugar Land Veterinarian Specialists.  I want this review on the Internet so people know they are the place to go.

I did check with Texas A&M in College Station.  I now officially can say A&M sucks.  The bill would have been at least $1,500 more, and they were unwilling to see Keaton and do the MRI in one day.  They insisted you give them three days.  The staff on the phone was rude and somewhat indignant that I would even ask about prices.  Also they had no appointments for several weeks even for emergencies. 

While Sugar Land Veterinarian Specialists were doing the MRI, I went over to Whole Foods for breakfast.  That is where I was when I posted today's post on DA Saenz.  Sugar Land has about 100,000 fewer people than Brownsville, but the difference is night and day. 


Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and Keaton. May he find some relief and enjoy the remaining time he has with you. God give you strength. Our dogs are our family and have such a special place in our lives. Admire that you went the extra mile for him and thankful that you found such a wonderful clinic. May God bless you both

BobbyWC said...

First thanks - actually Buster and Keaton are girls. I decided on the names before going to the pound to adopt them. The only siblings they had as puppies were two girls. Keaton can be either a boy's or girl's name - but I agree Buster is a boy's name - but if you knew Buster the name nonetheless fits.

Keaton got her medicine this morning is a small piece of Opa German sausage. This will be her treat (twice a day) for the next 3-4 months

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Sorry for my mix up on gender - tears were rolling down my face while reading your article so my error. May you all enjoy a beautiful and blessed weekend!

BobbyWC said...

Keaton is so much more than her gender - no sorry needed - people are always surprised with a name like Keaton she is girl - you an imagine the look on their face when they realize Buster is a girl

Bobby WC