Hello ECPC friends! I promised you all a little more information on very special pooch and her person. I would like to introduce you to Katana. (Everyone say hi to Katana!) I had the pleasure of spending some time with Katana and her mom this weekend. She’s a doll of a girl!
Katana’s mom Nancy doesn’t have internet or facebook, so we are hoping we can help her out by getting some information out there.
Katana just turned 11 years old in October and has been with Mom, Nancy for 10 years now. Over the last 6 months Katana has had some medical issues that mom is struggling to keep up on. Her vet tells us: “Katana has chronic food allergies and atopy (hair loss) but is managed well on z/D (prescription diet). Earlier this year she developed loose watery frequent stools that initially responded well to metronidazole. (when she would stop the medication the loose stools would return) So I scoped her colon and came back with a diagnosis of IBD. At the same time I transplanted her GI system with another dog’s normal colonic bacteria as I had cultured her stool and it came back positive for both types of Clostridium difficile, which is extremely rare in dogs. After many vancomycin treatments we know the transplant and the medication are failing because the problem always returns. Frequent loose watery stools. (She is) progressing to Ulcerative Colitis.”
*In terms for those of us who don’t speak medical… Katana had chronic loose stools that medication wasn’t helping. After doing a culture of the stools he found that she had a bacterial overgrowth of Clostridium. This bacteria is “pushing out” or not making room for the good bacteria that is normal and required in the GI system to allow for healthy digestion, bowel movements and happy intestines. In People, C-diff can be difficult to get a handle on and it isn’t completely uncommon. In dogs, C-diff is very uncommon, and Katana’s body isn’t responding to the medications that would typically help clear up the imbalance in the GI bacteria. She was given GI bacteria from a healthy dog, put right into her lower GI system to help give the good bacteria some help in overtaking the Clostridium, but that has not worked either.*
The medication she has been on (that is just maintaining her, not truly correcting the GI imbalance) is running her approximately $300 per prescription and the pharmacy that is compounding the medication has been very willing to work with her. The problem is, this medication isn’t working in the long term. Her vet would like to put her on Rifaxamin. As this isn’t a commonly used medication, it is very costly. The Vet tells us that this one round of medication would run approximately $1200. The last several months have been financially trying on mom (Nancy), and she is finding herself having to make the decision to pay for Katana’s prescription food or pay the heat bill this month. Pay for Katana’s medications or take care of herself. Katana’s mom has maxed out her care credit card, she is finding herself with a mounting bill at the Vet’s office and is unable to continue to pay for medications. Katana is a happy girl who loves people, but has some anxiety issues and prefers to stick close to mom.
Mom is a retired Veteran of the USAF and MtANG totaling 23 years of service. She finds herself having fallen on hard times several years ago and is grateful for what she has. At one point a few years ago, she was homeless and was having a difficult time finding a place that would let her have Katana with her. She has a place now, and says that the last few years have been much better. She states she has every intention of paying her bills in full, she is just unable to on her limited income. One interaction with Nancy and Katana, and you know how much they adore each other. Normally, getting involved in another person’s vet bills and potential personal decisions isn’t something that the Pittie Committee prefers to get involved in. However, in this circumstance, Nancy has done all she can afford to do (and then some) to help keep Katana healthy. She has exhausted all of the options we would normally recommend. (For example, having a long standing relationship with her vet where she can make payments if necessary. Getting a Care Credit Card to allow her to pay for services while paying back the card. Working hand in hand with her veterinarian to determine what she can do at home.) All of these things she has done. All of these things haven’t been able to get Katana to a point where the Dr. feels she is healthy and her body is able to fight off the Clostridium overgrowth with the help of the proper medication.
At this point, the Pittie Committee is not in a position to cover her medical bills or even spring for the cost of the medication, although we wish we were. We would like to reach out to our community and see if anyone out there (or a bunch of anyones) can help Katana and her mom out.
I have spoken with the pharmacy and they are willing to take donations to help defray the cost of Katana’s treatment, but they want the donations to be run through the ECPC. Meaning, they would like to see the Pittie Committee raise the money and bring in a check for Katana’s meds. We are happy to be the facilitator of that. If you feel you could help in other ways, mom still has outstanding balances at her vet for the numerous visits and prescriptions over the year. We are also hoping to help out with the cost of yogurt and probiotics for Katana. Because of Katana’s allergies, her supplements, yogurt and food have to be strictly regulated. Because of this we are hoping to provide a gift card to a grocery store that carries the one brand of yogurt that Katana has been able to have and are working with the Vet to find a suitable probiotic for her.
Here is some basic information on C-Diff in dogs:
if you would like to Donate, here is how:
Donations can be accepted at Best Friends Animal Hospital for Katana.
Best Friends Animal Hospital
425 Smelter Ave
Great Falls, MT 59404
Owner: Nancy Green
To donate toward Katana’s Medications (which is the most urgent need)
C/O Electric City Pittie Committee
PO Box 7144
Great Falls, MT 59406
message us on FB
call us at 509-338-5267 and leave a message on Erin’s Voicemail for additional information
You can donate directly using PayPal at:
Please share this with anyone you think might be interested in Katana’s story.