Scroll down for Latest UPDATE: Saturday, March 18th.
Please note: Because of the links here for Ruff's Go Fund Me campaign and for my Facebook page, I am keeping this page on the top of my blog and will continue to post updates below.
For many years friends and lovers of Rottweilers around the world have enjoyed the stories and photos of all of my Rotts on my blog LIVING WITH ROTTWEILERS . Now, my big, beautiful best friend Ruffin needs some very expensive medical treatment and I need help to pay for it as soon as possible. Ruff, as everyone calls him, lost his eyesight last month and his Ophthalmologist thinks there is a tumor pressing on his optic nerve. Ruff will need a CT Scan first, followed by radiation therapy to remove or kill the tumor in order to save his life. And if successful it may even restore his eyesight. Ruff has undergone several tests already and all the possible causes for his blindness have been eliminated. So now, the tumor is still growing and getting worse every day.
Today I started a campaign on Go Fund Me to help raise some money to pay for the treatment. Please visit this link: https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-ruffin-my-rottweiler
The total package is more than $10,000 and the treatment cannot begin until it is paid for. The CT Scan and everything related to the radiation treatment must be done at the C.A.R.E. Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Please pass this information to all of your friends. I also just started a page on Facebook but I have no experience working with it yet.
UPDATE: Click this Link to my Facebook Page:
UPDATE: Monday, March 6th.
I was worried over the weekend because Ruff had not wanted to eat anything so I took him to our Vet. He was running a slight fever with 104.5 temperature (2 degrees above normal for a dog). The doctor gave him a shot of Penicillin and shots of Baytril, Cerenia and Meloxicam and almost a quart of Saline water under his skin.
The generous donations so far on my Go Fund Me campaign have enabled me to get Ruffin scheduled for his CT Scan tomorrow (Tuesday March 7th). I'm not sure how soon the results will be known but we will plan things from there. Our Vet thinks the problem lies in his pituitary gland and also affects his liver and other organs.
Prayers are still needed. Also need more response on Go Fund Me.
UPDATE: Wednesday, March 8th.
I am going to keep this page on top of the blog while I continue to post dated updates because it has the links to my Go Fund Me campaign and to my Facebook page.
Last night I fried up another boneless pork chop for Ruff and he ate the whole thing. As small as it was it was only his second meal in four days. He has lost 15 lbs in the past month. Hoping that he was gradually getting his appetite back and because he has a fondness for pork, this morning I cooked up a whole Roast Pork that I had cut up for two adult meals. It only weighed about 1 lb but after I diced it up Ruff ate the whole thing along with a half cup of kibble. Tonight he ate a whole can of dog food.
Yesterday I drove up to the CARE Center in Ohio to have them do the CT Scan. The cost for that used up the entire funds raised so far on Go Fund Me. This afternoon I received a phone call from Dr. Kelsey Pohlmann, the radiation oncologist from PetCure Oncology at the Care Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She said the tumor was located in Ruffin's Pituitary Gland inside his brain. Dr. Pohlmann outlined a course of treatment using 3 sessions of radiation. The cost has been fixed at $8,100. As much as that seems to be I cannot let my best friend go without getting him the best help possible. This is the debt I am willing to pay for the thief that stole my heart.
After talking with Dr. Pohlmann I did a Google search about her and her work and found a great story on the local web site for TV station WLWT in Cincinnati that is worth watching. Here is the link.
Now we need more prayer than ever before.
UPDATE: Saturday, March 11th
I realized a few days ago that I could not wait for the Go Fund Me campaign to generate the entire amount needed for Ruffin's radiology treatment. After talking again with Dr. Pohlmann about the costs she agreed to let me put a down payment and pay the balance when Ruff comes home. So yesterday I dropped off Ruff and maxed out my credit card with a $2000 down payment. Earlier this week I already requested a loan/withdrawal from my IRA to pay the balance but the worst thing to happen there is a big tax headache which I hope to avoid. There's not a lot of money in the account anyway.
After dropping Ruff at the CARE Center we did a tour of the facility and I informed the staff that Ruff loves to be around people and that he was raised on love and gets lots of hugs every day. So before I left two of the girls came over and did just that and made Ruff feel right at home.
Tomorrow, Sunday, I will take Bess with me and we will drive up and visit Ruff. I think Bess has started to notice how empty and quiet the house is and she seems uncomfortable with this. I felt the same way two months ago after old man Axl died and Bess is too young to understand what's going on. When I tell her my plans for the long drive to see Ruffin, her eyes light up with excitement.
UPDATE: Sunday, March 12th
I just got back from visiting Ruff at the CARE Center. Bess was very excited after her longest ride in the car and was very happy to see the love of her life when they brought Ruff into a private visiting room. The staff told me Ruff was eating very well and on his way to regaining the 15 lbs he lost when he got sick a few weeks ago. I brought a package of his favorite treats, sliced beef sausage from Milo's Kitchen, and Ruff and Bess finished it all.
The CARE Center is a big place with a large staff 7-days a week and there were several girls on duty to keep him company. Tomorrow he starts the radiation treatment and I won't see him again until I pick him up on Thursday to bring him home.
UPDATE: Tuesday, March 14th
Dr. Kelsey Pohlmann from the CARE Center called last night and informed me that as a result of the full-body CT Scan they detected a malignant tumor hanging below and outside of Ruff's belly in front of his penis. Because it is not inside his abdomen the surgical removal is not very complicated and can be done while Ruff is still under anesthesia following his last radiation treatment on Thursday.
I received another phone call from the CARE Center today and was told Ruff had just come out of anesthesia following his first radiation session. He has made several friends while in the hospital and is getting many hugs from the staff every day. His appetite is still improving and he is well underway regaining his lost weight.
I sent an email over the weekend to WLWT News Anchor Sheree Paolello thanking her for the great news story and interview she did with Dr. Kelsey Pohlmann at the PetCure Oncology CARE Center and she sent me the following reply last night.
Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry to hear about Ruffin. He’s beautiful. I just want to give him a big smooch. I hope you’re able to get financial support from friends and family. I know it’s OUTRAGEOUS… but I have heard great things about the PetCure treatment.
In the meantime, I’m sending a little prayer your way for your big teddy bear. He looks like such a sweetie.Sheree Paolello/ WLWT Anchor
UPDATE: Wednesday, March 15th
Dr. Kelsey Pohlmann called today to advise me on Ruffin's progress. Ruff will have his last radiation session tomorrow and immediately after will be taken into surgery to remove the tumor hanging below his belly. He will then spend one more night in the hospital at the PetCure Oncology CARE Center and I will drive up there Friday afternoon and bring him home.
This has been quite an ordeal for my big best friend who has never before been away from home in his whole life and even though the staff has taken care to see that he gets as much love as possible, he has still been in a strange place for a whole week and he must miss his family.
While the surgery is not complicated it is still surgery and I wish everyone will say at least one more prayer for Ruff's safety and a speedy recovery.
UPDATE: Thursday, March 16th.
11:45AM Dr. Pohlmann called me this morning and said Ruff had his last radiation session and was still under anesthesia and they were moving him into surgery for the tumor. This morning I also got a revised estimate for the surgery and they lowered it about $200. TOTAL: $1,616.00 to $1,702.00 plus $8,160.00 for the radiation treatment.
I am waiting now to get a phone call from the Dr. Michele Muldoon, the surgeon, to hear how Ruff is doing. Dr. Kelsey Pohlman said she and the other girls on the staff had been giving Ruff daily hugs and Ruff was giving everyone kisses so she felt he was handling his situation very well. I questioned Dr. Pohlmann about Ruff's eyesight and she said not to expect immediate improvement, if any. And the "if any" is contingent on whether or not his optic nerve has been damaged. I guess this is the way doctors often qualify their outlooks with a lot of unknowns.
They also convinced me of the necessity for doing a biopsy on the removed tumor to confirm if it was malignant. They said the CT Scan only looked suspicious.
2:20 PM Dr. Michele Muldoon, the surgeon called me just now and said Ruff is out of surgery and doing fine and the tumor appeared to be just a benign fatty tumor. But she said one side was hard which made for the suspicious image in the CT Scan and that it had an infection in it. They will not know for sure if it was malignant or not until the tests come back in about two weeks. Meanwhile Ruff will be home tomorrow afternoon and he will have a drain in the incision and be on antibiotics.
UPDATE: Friday, March 17th.
Bad weather, icy road conditions and a medical emergency at home prevented me from making the 45-mile trip to pick up Ruff and bring him home today. I will be going tomorrow to bring him back to his family.
UPDATE: Saturday, March 18th
RUFFIN IS HOME. See the new post and the photos.