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Okay, I am new to this forum and I have read the guidelines. ;) This is the current health story about our little Yorkie named Kodi. First, let me state that I am a very responsible owner and for the past 30-plus years, I have always taken my pets to the Vet as soon as I could when they got ill and I take very good regular care of my fur babies (shots, drops, checkups, the works!). Second, I have learned through the past 3 decades as a human mother and pet owner that not all situations are emergency life or death situations and it is good to develop a good first-aid kit and first line of defence treatments. It is most important not to panic and rely on one's common sense. Third, I have learned from many home medical situations that a problem can be treated and improved without having to know EXACTLY what is causing the problem. Finally, I am currently going through one of the tightest economic times ever in my life, and find myself without income and so short of cash that I have to creatively figure out how best to look after my fur kids without incurring medical bills. :( There is no help at all out there, no free vet care for pets who need it. :eek: So here is the story:
Around December 31st, we noticed that our little Kodi, age 6 - non-neutered male Yorkie - was acting listless, sleeping a lot, and straining to urinate, not passing more than a drop or so. Oh, oh! Urinary blockage! And yes, I realized that without vet examination and multiple tests, there is no way to tell WHAT is causing the blockage, so it might or might not be Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). But here was the weekend, what to do? :ponder:There was absolutely no way we could afford the exorbitant price of a vet visit, let alone the astronomical cost of an EMERGENCY vet visit, plus tests, plus a round of antibiotics. :eyeroll: So I frantically browsed various pet care websites, looking for home health care advice for urinary tract blockages. We put splashes of a cranberry based herbal tea in his water bowl (also apple cider vinegar splashes); we mixed cranberry juice with plain rice for his dinner; and i gave him "cantharis' little pills, a homeopathic remedy from my first aid kit which i had used on rescue animals before. Little Kodi also felt feverish to the touch (I have no intention of learning how to stick a thermometer into his rear end) and he was sleeping a lot, not eating nor drinking, acting very ill indeed. I figured that he was likely fighting an infection -- this usually requires antibiotics (which causes unfortunate side effects with the digestive system). Without a doctor's prescription for antibiotics, we were stranded. Not quite! I turned to my first-aid kit and pulled out the tiny bottle of Yunnan Bai Yao, the "magic" powder from south China. This powder is sold in tiny vials for sprinkling on wounds as well as in gel caps, for internal use in case of infections. I have taken 2 gel caps 4 times a day when I had a tooth abcess and I have given it both orally and applied it externally to my pet Shih-Tzu when her anal gland got abscessed, and we both cleared up within 24 hrs (no side effects whatsoever). We have quite a few stories about my human family and my pets' experiences with this tiny vial of herbal powder! Yunnan BaiYao is virtually unknown in this country but I have had excellent results as a first line of treatment at home - no downsides. So I trust this herbal concoction. I sprinkled a little pinch into some peanut butter and got Kodi to lick it up, and dosed him 3-4 times a day all through the weekend. He perked right up and started acting livelier! By Monday, the pee was coming out more frequently through the day but still in droplets. I figured that whatever I was doing was beginning to relieve the blockage but not fast enough. I was reading (again on the Internet) that vets are able to either push a kidney stone back into the abdomen or distend the urethra to let out a small stone. What could we do for Kodi? I was worried about little Kodi not being able to handle a build up of toxins in his system. Everything we read said that a pet should be taken to the vet if symptoms did not clear up in 2-3 days. We could not afford to do anything like that, our household had about $150 cash on hand and no income in sight. Kodi only had me to figure things out on a skinner-than-string budget to save his life. So I walked to a neighborhood pet product store that had an "apothecary" and found two products that addressed UTI: "Urtica Urens Mother Tincture" from Essential Soluble Plantcells and "Kidni Flow" from the Azmira Holistic Animal Care line of products. These 2 items cost me $68. I gave the "acute blockage" dosage to little Kodi, every 20 minutes for the better part of the day, mixing the drops with tuna fish. Well, he lapped it up. At the same time, in addition to the oral meds, I prayed and prayed for his well being, I visualized divine light on his body; we laid our hands on his lower abdomen and visualized light pouring into that area to heal any malfunction.
For the past week, we have kept up the daily regimen using all 4 meds: the Cantharis; the Urtica Urens; and the Kidni Flow; and the Yunnan Bai Yao, 3-4 times a day. Improvement has been very slow (or should we say "gentle") but things have steadily improved, yay! We would take Kodi out on the street and bend low to the ground and watch his pee . "What is the pee pee report today?" is the constant topic of conversation daily here. The pee stream went from drops at a time, to more frequent drops, to more of a drip, and now more like a cloudy dribble. Kodi has yet to experience a full stream of pee so I figure there is still some kind of a blockage in there. He is acting totally like his usual self now, playing with our two other dogs, running about and responding to noises outside, drinking water and eating normally, going on a long jog twice a day. I plan to keep up this regimen until Kodi actually experiences a full stream peeing. And he will likely need the supplements for the rest of his life, to keep things running smoothly.
This is simply our story of surviving a horrible situation when we had no access to regular vet care and we were worried that we might lose our little Kodi. Normally, i would have done the home based remedies for 2-3 days then taken him to the vet, but in this case it was the only thing I could do, not my preferred way of life at all. Maybe it was just magic or prayers but our guess work and sheer perseverance and love helped him turn the corner so far. My heart is full of gratitude for whatever has worked and for the fact that Kodi is indeed doing better. Obviously as soon as we have the income, we will take Kodi for a regular vet visit. We will likely need to shell out the money so that technology (blood tests, urine test, etc) can tell us exactly what caused the blockage and take care of it and learn to prevent it. We may need to change his diet for the rest of his life. I am pretty certain that a shift towards a more natural diet will be in store for Kodi and our two other dogs. :)
As recommended in this forum, you should always discuss your pet's symptoms with a vet! My story is unique.
 

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So glad your dog is OK and its clear you are sharing this information to be possibly helpful to others in a similar situation. Your good intentions are very much evident.

I just want to comment that it is also entirely possible that your dog could have gotten much sicker or even died without antibiotics. Its a lucky thing your dog recovered, but if other people take this route, their dog might not be so lucky, as every animal reacts differently.

I know the economy is tough, but the cost of an office visit and a course of clavamox or some other antibiotic is realistically probably less than 75 dollars. If it means eating rice and beans for the week, or putting a little more charge on the credit card, isn't it worth it rather than possibly losing our beloved animal/family member?

I know you are a good and loving owner... just encouraging you not to take this risk next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I know I know

Thanks, Tess, for the wise comments. The reason for my choice was that we had a similar situation just 3 months ago, not a blockage; just a UTI with another dog in the house. We took him to his regular vet, a VCI office here and the cost was around $380, including tests and meds. Sticker shock! That was why we felt there was no way for us. The cost of living here is very high.
We are obviously at the point where our family needs to make choices about moving elsewhere where we can afford our lifestyle with the dogs.
A friend told us about CareCredit, a health care credit charge account for humans and for animals, where one can charge medical expenses and pay them off in installments. So as soon as I have a regular income, I will check into that.
 

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Thanks, Tess, for the wise comments. The reason for my choice was that we had a similar situation just 3 months ago, not a blockage; just a UTI with another dog in the house. We took him to his regular vet, a VCI office here and the cost was around $380, including tests and meds. Sticker shock! That was why we felt there was no way for us. The cost of living here is very high.
We are obviously at the point where our family needs to make choices about moving elsewhere where we can afford our lifestyle with the dogs.
A friend told us about CareCredit, a health care credit charge account for humans and for animals, where one can charge medical expenses and pay them off in installments. So as soon as I have a regular income, I will check into that.
Oh my! Yes, 380 dollars is way out of line. I guess one has to coach the vet at every step and say we don't need ALL the tests! I mean, diagnosing a UTI is pretty straight forward as is the treatment. (In fact the treatment itself is diagnostic, if you know what I mean.) Sounds like they were giving you Cadillac care when a bicycle would have gotten you there just fine.
AND as a result, the next time you were sufficiently spooked so as to not go to the vet at all.

Hope you get that regular job soon. Its very tough not knowing how one is going to pay for vet care, much less groceries for the family.

Best Wishes...
 
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