Save Scooter

Campaign Created by: Laurie Cicotello
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The funds from this campaign will be received by Angela Keen.

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Goal : $15,000

Raised : $9,871

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???  Scooter Update ???

Aloha e kākou, just want to thank you for all the comforting messages. I just got off the phone with the vet at the emergency vet hospital.

They are skilled in urgent and complicated animal conditions. So... It's complicated but you all asked.

Scooter has what's called bullous in his right lung. 

Think of it as large blisters/bubbles. It grew large enough that it caused fluid to build up in his right lung — and he has several.

It's idiopathic meaning it's not really known how it happened. This is common in Huskies — not in Scooter's breed. 

They drained a half IV bag of fluid off his lung yesterday and more today. They were astounded.

The vet on overnight duty was FINALLY able to find the sweet spot in his lung to vacuum the fluid and keep it clear. 

This condition is so rare here in Hawaiʻi that they couldn't find the equipment for the lung vacuum also known as continuous pleural vac. 

The vet created something from a device they use in the OR/operating room. He's in the ICU under round the clock care.

They did a CT scan tonight and saw several bullae in his right lung.

He has a teeny tiny one on the left lung that is small enough that it can be zapped/cauterized. But the right lung needs a lobectomy. 

There's a surgeon who can perform surgery on the right lung but she has been in surgery all day and so has her team.

She's back on Monday and surgery is planned for Monday. Dr. Ortiz wants the surgeon and her team alert and rested. I agree!

Scooter will be on the continuous pneumo vac throughout the weekend. Monday they will be doing a lung lobectomy (removing much of his right lung).

??  Important to note  ??
He will have ♦️great ? quality of life and can live perfectly healthy this way.

It's ironic that he has a lung issue as he never left my side during my Covid battle when my lungs were full.

Not only that, he wakes up his Papa (Mr. Keen) who has a severe form of Asthma. In the middle of the night — when his oxygen dips low – Scooter will jump off the bed — he'll scream bark (alert) and he will paw at Mr. Keen's side of the bed until he gets up.

I've taken Mr. Keen's oxygen — sure enough — it's 92(low). Scooter will herd his Papa to the nebulizer.

So this is a dog, who helped both of us with serious lung issues, now he has his own lung struggle.

I cannot close the door on his life.

He is otherwise happy, healthy, energetic and acts like a puppy at age 11. 

This won't be an easy financial journey for us as I'm out of work due to the pandemic but after what we've been through this past 13 months — it's not his time yet.

The vet could not figure out why he's so calm around other dogs and the chaos in the ICU. He just layed comfortably and didn't bark nor flinch. She went on and on about him and was trying to figure out his calm temperament.

Well, that's because Scooter was trained as a service dog. Once I went into remission, he still continued and continues his mission to help others with medical needs.

Thank you for the prayers, the aloha and positive thoughts. It means the world to us and to Scooter. Love you all! ??? So... It's complicated but you all asked.
 
Scooter has what's called bullous in his right lung. Think of it as large blisters/bubbles. It grew large enough that it caused fluid to build up in his right lung. He has several. It's idiopathic meaning it's not really known how it happened. This is common in Huskies — not in Scooter's breed. 
 
They drained a half IV bag of fluid off his lung yesterday and more today. They were astounded.
 
The vet on overnight duty was FINALLY able to find the sweet spot in his lung to vacuum the fluid and keep it clear. This condition is so rare here in Hawaiʻi that they couldn't find the equipment for the lung vacuum also known as continuous pleural vac. The vet created something from a device they use in the OR/operating room. He's in the ICU under round the clock care.
 
They did a CT scan tonight and saw several bullae in his right lung.
 
He has a teeny tiny one on the left lung that is small enough that it can be zapped/cauterized. But the right lung needs a lobectomy. 
 
There's a surgeon who can perform surgery on the right lung but she has been in surgery all day and so has her team.
 
She's back on Monday and surgery is planned for Monday. Dr. Ortiz wants the surgeon and her team alert and rested. I agree!
 
Scooter will be on the continuous pneumo vac throughout the weekend. Monday they will be doing a lung lobectomy (removing much of his right lung).
 
??Important to note??
He will have great quality of life and can live perfectly healthy this way.
 
It's ironic that he has a lung issue as he never left my side during my Covid battle when my lungs were full.
 
Not only that, he wakes up his Papa (Mr. Keen) who has a severe form of Asthma. In the middle of the night — when his oxygen dips low – Scooter will jump off the bed — he'll scream bark (alert) and he will paw at Mr. Keen's side of the bed until he gets up.
 
I've taken Mr. Keen's oxygen — sure enough — it's 92(low). Scooter will herd his Papa to the nebulizer.
 
So this is a dog, who helped both of us with serious lung issues, now he has his own lung struggle.
 
I cannot close the door on his life.
 
He is otherwise happy, healthy, energetic and acts like a puppy at age 11. This won't be an easy financial journey for us as I'm off of work due to the pandemic but after what we've been through this past 13 months — it's not his time yet.
 
The vet could not figure out why he's so calm around other dogs and the chaos in the ICU. He just layed comfortably and didn't bark nor flinch.

She went on and on about him and was trying to figure out his calm temperament.
 
Well, that's because Scooter was trained as a service dog. Once I went into remission, he still continued and continues his mission to help others with medical needs.
 
Thank you for the prayers, the aloha and positive thoughts. It means the world to us and to Scooter. Love you all! 

UPDATES

Update #8 Scooter on KHON2 News SUNDAY (it was rescheduled).
May 16, 2021
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⚠️⚠️⚠️ Last minute schedule change! The veteranarian has to reschedule with the reporter. So the story is rescheduled for Sunday. ⚠️⚠️⚠️

? ? Aloha Mai Kākou,??

Scooter's story about his lung removal surgery will be featured on KHON2 News tonight at 6 and 10.

Why is this a news story? 
Two reasons...
  1. As many as 80 dogs across the US have contracted Covid-19 from their owners. The virus originated in animals so it is a zoonotic virus. Cats have also caught Covid-19 from people. But — you say the blisters on his lung happened now yet my husband and I had Covid last year? The vet did say that Scooter had the bulla (blisters) on his lung for quite a while. It only now burst open and became a health risk.
  2. If it isn't Covid that caused his lung problems it is such a coincidence that my husband and I faced serious lung issues last year, now Scooter has a lung issue.

I also want pet parents to be aware of this condition. I went four weeks of being told that I was overreacting to his labored breathing. On the fourth week we had a second opinion. That second opinion saved his life! 

We are grateful for all of your prayers, aloha, support and donations. Without this, Scooter would not be alive today. 

I will post the story tonight here after it airs. 

For those of you asking — I had my second Pfizer vaccine a week ago today. It's been a very challenging week and I spent most of the week in bed due to my reaction to the vaccine. It knocked me off of my okole (butt).

Since I had Covid-19 — anyone who has had the virus has a much stronger reaction to the vaccine. This is something nurses and physicians warned me about. The hope is that it will help improve my Covid Long Haul symptoms. It's already helping! 

We are so incredibly grateful that we are all on the mend! 

Mahalo palena ʻole, 
Angela, Norm and Scooter 

 

Update #7 Test results are in!
May 14, 2021
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Aloha Mai Kakou!

Scooter is home recuperating and he’s doing great — better than expected. He had his first visit to the vet after surgery. He also had his first bath since surgery. Please look through the photos as I’ve uploaded new pictures. His stitches dissolved and the scar is healing nicely. We never had to put the cone of shame on him at home. Wow!

He did his first "Give me five," with his paw! See photo. There’s a post bath photo (you can see his hair is a bit stringy by the ears from the dampness). He was so happy to be sparkly clean!

He has six weeks of recovery yet with his insides — his incision is looking great. He is half shaved across his right rib/flank area. The new hair is growing in nicely.

Things that have improved post-surgery: His appetite is back. He’s happier and is smiling (yes, he smiles). He’s also gone back to his routine things such as burying bones in the carpet and rooting in his bed before bedtime.

He is doing some of his service dog tasks on his own! One task that he has picked up on his own since last year is that he’s detecting when my husband is having an asthma attack in his sleep. Yes, Norm has an issue with asthma at night and sometimes has to get up to do a breathing treatment.

At some point last year, Scooter took it upon himself to alert every time Norm’s oxygen is low due to asthma at night in bed. Last night  Scooter sat up in bed  made lots of noise and tapped Norm with his paw until he got up. Just like old times! Last night and the past few nights, he led Norm to his nebulizer. If Norm falls asleep, he will bark at him to wake him up. Once Norm finishes, Scooter will lead him into the bedroom to go back to bed. Pretty amazing!

VERC sent off Scooter’s lung tissue to the lab. It came back benign. Prayers answered. So, we really do not know what caused the blisters on the lung or what they call bulla. The bulla (blister) burst and that is what caused his lung to collapse. He basically had a hole in his lung caused by a broken blister. This is something that can happen to Covid patients. Could he have caught Covid from us when we had it? Coronavirus is a zoonotic virus (it started in animals) but we just do not know.

One thing I can tell you, we’d be losing our home right now if it weren’t for your donations. With a 98% success rate on this lung removal surgery, there’s no way we could have put him to sleep because other than his lung  he is very healthy and vibrant.

Scooter has this happiness and expression that tells me he’s happy that he feels normal and healthy again. It seems he thought that he would never get better. He deffinitely knows that his life was saved cause he sure acts like it and is very appreciative by giving kisses everytime we do something simple for him.

We are in the home stretch of his campaign. We are still a little short on the final bill. I’ve decided to put together a "donation plan" for a future dog who has a similar plight at VERC. This will happen once I start working again and we are financially stable once again. I hope to begin working in a few months. I want to be able to pay it forward to another family with a similar battle.

If you've already donated, please share our updates as it helps spread the word. I want people to be informed about what this is and how it can happen out of the blue to dogs for unknown reasons.

No words can express how grateful we are thanks to your love, aloha, support and donations! 

Mahalo Palena 'ole, 


Angela, Norm and Scooter

Update #6 Baby Steps
May 4, 2021
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Aloha Mai Kākou!

We are now almost one week into recovery! Scooter still has pain. His surgery is the equivalent of open heart surgery in humans as far as recovery is concerned. This recovery is supposed to be 12 days per the vet/surgeon.

He's on Gabapentin and Tramadol. We phased out the Trazadone for anxiety (pain anxiety) as it seemed to make him more fidgety.

The little buggah is smart because he's now figured out how to avoid his medicine. The Tramadol is so awful tasting that he will pick out everything except for the pill whether it is wrapped in cheese, peanut butter or anything else. He takes the Gabapentin in liquid form as it goes into a NON needle syringe that is squirted in his mouth. But he's gotten wise to that too! He growled at me then immediately licked my face! Ha! Ha! 

After doing some research, I hid the pill inside a tiny piece of ribeye we had in the freezer. The steak was seared. I took a teeny tiny piece and made a hole for the pill, the fat sealed up the pocket. It's also supposed to disguise the smell!
What a treat! It worked! Ribeye huh? Not something he would normally get. LOL! 

He's got six more days of no activity except for brief moments outside to pee and poop. We have jump proofed the bed and the couch. Two places he loves to jump off of. He's often frustrated with the safety measures. 

A huge mahalo to those of you who shall remain nameless who have sent in donations asking not to be identified. You have no idea how much this means to us and to Scooter. He definitely knows that he went through something and that he's healing. He keeps looking at me like, "Am I going to get better?" and of course I constantly tell him he's going to get better. 

His hair is starting to grow on the area where they did surgery. He often comes to sit by me so I can massage his back and give him his favorite nose rubs for comfort. He also allows me to brush him. No baths for two whole weeks! He gets baths once to twice a week due to the fact that he has hair and not fur. He allows me to brush him and he loves it. 

We will continue to keep you posted on his progress! He's wagging his tail more frequently and getting more interested in his food every day. 
​​
Thank you so much for the prayers, the positive messages, the donations and all the Aloha you are sending to us and Scooter. He is my world, and I'm so grateful we have him for many more years to come thanks to you! 

Update #5 Scooter is home!
April 29, 2021
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Aloha Mai Kākou! Scooter is home and he's resting comfortably. We picked him up around 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 28. He has five medications to keep him comfortable. In human terms, what he went through is similar to open heart surgery for a person. In Scooter's case it meant repairing his lung by removing much of it to prevent the air and fluid leak from his right lung lobe.

His medications include Tramadol, Gabapentin and Trazadone. He has a medication called Entyce to stimulate his appetite. I gave him breakfast in bed this morning. Wrapped his pills in cheese. The Gabapentin is liquid, thank goodness. 

He's got a two week recovery. No activity but peeing and pooping. 

I'm uploading the latest photos and a video compilation. There is one photo of him looking at the camera that is priceless! He looks so happy to be back with us! 

We are all so grateful for your words of support and your donations! If you feel more comfortable donating via Venmo which has no fees and goes directly to our account, please let me know. Scooter is alive, content and now home thanks to you! 
With all our love and appreciation, 
Scootie Pie, Angela and Mr. Keen

Update #4 Post Surgery Update on Scooter
April 28, 2021
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Aloha Mai Kākou,

Scooter made it through his first night post surgery. He's got a nice battle scar down his chest but it's healing nicely. His chest cavity is showing no air leakage from the lung! 

If he continues to progress today, we will pick him up this afternoon!!! The vet sent me a photo with his cone. He said Scooter managed to climb over his lap. Very impressive. His chest is very sore so he must take it easy. 

I do want to let you know that the bill is much higher than we expected. I've not had a major emergency with any dogs over my lifetime, so this is something new for us. The emergency portion of the bill (his first three days) is $6,671. This includes multiple x-rays, CT scan, pneumo vac (lung vacuum) to keep air and fluid out of his chest cavity to save his life. The surgery is $10,368. This surgery, a lung lobectomy is one of the most expensive surgeries there is. The condition is rare and takes a specialist like Dr. Watkins to perform. I have uploaded the photos of the bills so you can see the itemizations. If you right click on the bill, open in a new tab, it will show the entire picture so you can view it.

There is no doubt in my mind that YOU helped us save Scooter's life. All the prayers, the well wishes and the donations helped make this happen. I've been out of work since June 30, 2020. The state of Hawaii has had an awful time with unemployment. I did not receive my unemployment after December. We also did not receive our stimulus from Uncle Sam. I am actively looking for work in addition to running Kapu Breakers.

A few of you asked about pet insurance. In lieu of pet insurance, we opted for a savings account for Scooter. That worked well. It was up to $10,000 but was depleted when I lost my job and could not get unemployment. 

We are so grateful for the outpouring of ALOHA for Scooter. He is happy, getting back to health and we are forever appreciative for your donations and prayers! 

Love, 

Angela, Mr. Keen and Scooter-Pooter

Update #3 HE. MADE. IT. THROUGH. SURGERY!
April 28, 2021
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? We have fantastic news!!!?

Scooter made it through surgery with flying colors! YOUR compassion, your prayers and your donations are the reason why he's doing so well!!!!

​​​​​​His surgeon Dr. Watkins called to tell me he did very well in surgery. She removed much of his right lung where the burst bullae (blisters) caused air and fluid leakage in his right lung.

She did say, some small dogs are at risk for this condition Scooter has — pneumothorax — by ingesting grass seeds. She said this is NOT Scooter's case. It could be bacteria or it could even be from my Covid as it is a Zoonotic virus (originating in animals). The tissue will be sent to a lab for testing. 

She also removed a small mass which looks like a tiny fatty tumor. 

They have the lung port in his chest and it will stay there for 24 hours until he is stable.

He is groggy and coming out of surgery but should be fine.

​​​​​​Many of you asked about his quality of life. His quality of life will be EXCEPTIONAL, 99% NORMAL! He may not be going on long walks for a while but will need to take it easy until fully healed. 

This surgery would not be possible without your love and financial support. On behalf of Scooter, woof, woof! 
We will have an update tomorrow on his recovery! Stay tuned. 

Mahalo, 
Angela, Mr. Keen and Scooter


 

Save Scooter: Update #2 Monday, April 26
April 27, 2021
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Aloha Mai Kākou, The vet called us late last night to allow us a special exception to see Scooter. He lost a few pounds. He was so excited to see us! They removed the lung vacuum (vac) temporarily to bring him outside. He has a drainage tube that goes to his lung. The vac/suction is to keep the air and fluid out of his right lung. He's lost a few pounds which is a lot for a 14 lb. dog. A vet tech braided his hair! So cute and it also keeps the hair from getting into knots. 

The vet called this morning. He is stable with the lung tube and suction on his lung. 
​They have  two extremely critical cases that need immediate surgery. So they postponed his surgery for tomorrow. There is only one surgeon who can do his lobectomy (lung removal). VERC is wonderful as they will not charge us for the extra day. 

Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27. We will keep you posted. 

Mr. Keen and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Scooter would not be alive if it weren't for you! You are saving his precious life! And we will forever be grateful to you for the prayers, the words of kindness and compassion and the generous donations!

Love and aloha to you all!
Angela, Mr Keen
and Scoots 

 

Update #1
April 24, 2021
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Mahalo nunui I'm in tears. I'm so grateful to my BFF Laurie Cicotello for putting this together.
The vet specialists at VERC (Veteranarian Emergency Referral Center) are amazing. They've been calling me twice a day with updates. He's in their ICU and will stay there until Monday when he will have surgery. He has a continuous vacuum tube on his right lung. His right lung was damaged due to idiopathic pneumothorax. Ironically, I was at risk for this when I had Covid-19. However it happened to him, they don't know but VERC experts are working so hard and they say with surgery on Monday to remove a large portion of his right lung, he will have a great quality of life. Monday, is the big day. He is currently stable and getting spoiled in the ICU. He's apparently a favorite and won the hearts of the vets and staff. 
Thank you all for the prayers and the donations. I'm in awe. 

 

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