Bad News


Atina in her post-op coat, checking for mice

My readers already know that Atina’s kidneys are bad, that I knew that within 24 hours of her purchase, and proved it by taking her to the vet and having blood and urine tests done immediately.  We knew that the broker I bought her from, along with her trainer, and along with their veterinarian, cooked up a cockamaimie story that I was somehow responsible for Atina’s kidney failure because she sniffed some of my arnica oil.

Over $5,000 later, just in vet bills, not including travel, camping, food, and other strictly Atina-related expenses, we finally have an answer.  And as we might have guessed, it has nothing to do with arnica.

The initial biopsy report came in today.  More will trickle in over the week.  But the news is not good.  Really, really not good.

Kidneys are made up of a lot of different structures.  The ones that have to do with filtering out bad stuff and keeping good stuff in the blood are called nephrons.  The biopsy consisted of a wedge shaped chunk of kidney.  This chunk was divided up into several smaller chunks, each destined to be tested in a different way.

The first test is simply to look at the architecture of the kidney.  This is the result we got today, and it’s shocking, and horrifying.

The chunk of kidney tested contained 27 nephrons.  Of those, only two were normal.  The majority of the rest were fetal nephrons.  The rest were basically dead, having been worked to death from trying to compensate for the undeveloped ones.

The pathologist wrote that this was likely due to something that happened to Atina’s mother, either while she was pregnant or nursing, that affected Atina’s kidneys and stopped them from going ahead and developing.  These fetal nephrons will never develop.  They will calcify, or just turn into scar tissue.  There is already scarring.

My poor girl is somehow continuing to chug along on 7% of normal kidney function.  It shows.

She doesn’t have much energy.  Her appetite waxes and wanes.  But show her a frisbee and boy, she will chase that thing two or three times, before she tuckers out and I make her stop.  I learned the hard way, though.  One day I let her play all she wanted, and she tried to die on me.

Today we’re camped at a State Park.  Two young adolescent boys came along, bearing a toy football.  Atina went up to them, and they froze in their tracks.  She looks so scary!  But she went ahead and took what she wanted: she stuck her head under each boy’s hand and demanded that they pet her!  First one boy, then the other.  They were petrified.

I wanted to say, You’d better pet her, or she’ll bite you!  But I didn’t.

Then we had to part ways, because Atina realized that there was a ball involved…And I said to the boys, don’t throw that ball till I get her out of here, ’cause she will pop it if she gets hold of it!

Tomorrow another part of the biopsy will be in.  At this point it’s purely academic, since we know most of the story from today’s result.  Her vet at the University gives her several months to live, maybe a year or two if we’re lucky.

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  1. Laura I am so sorry for Atina. hugs

  2. I am sorry to read this news. I have angry thoughts about the broker, trainer, and veterinarian! They should be responsible for paying all Atina’s expenses and more. Is it possible to make that happen?
    I’m praying for you and Atina.

    • I can’t comment much, since the broker may very well be reading. In fact, she’s such a crafty bitch, I’d be surprised if she weren’t. She knows what she did. The vet has definitely made a grave error, and he knows it, too. The trainer is a poor lost soul with a young family to feed. He got tied up with the wrong outfit, and he is sure paying the price. I’m sure he regrets the day he ever heard her name. He screwed me, that’s for sure, but he’s getting it back in spades. I’m told I shouldn’t feel sorry for him, but I do.

      Prayers are needed and appreciated!

  3. So sorry, Laura. You are Atina are in my prayers. Breeder should be ashamed.

  4. you AND Atina, not you ARE Atina. Though in many ways we can relate to Atina.

  5. Ugh, I am so sorry! I am hoping for a good two years for sweet Atina to be with you. My heart goes out to you. Wish there was something they could do to help treat her. Love and hugs for you and Atina. 💕💕💕

  6. Praying for both. I couldn’t read much of the details (kidneys are triggering for me) but I had been previously following this and am outraged at how things have become. People like this deserve punishment where it will hurt them most. Losing the money they covet above everything else. Bastards.

    • Eek, sorry you got triggered! The tricky thing here is that she has her money hidden somehow, and pretends to live like a desperately poor person. Driving a battered old pickup truck, etc.

  7. Blessings to you and Atina

  8. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  September 30, 2015

    I wish you both peace and comfort. I know Atina’s time will be the bestest ever spent on earth with a loving friend like you by her side.
    I see businesses going after folks who leave bad reviews on review sites. Very different than when I pitched my bitch fest online. Irks the piss out of me people like this exist. Grr. There has to be a bit more leverage on your part as she is more than a pet, but trained as an aide. I hope your lawyer is crafty!
    Well. The better thing would be to spend your time loving her and letting her love you. 💗💖

    • You are right. We have a love fest going on here, and the remainder of her days will be as yummy and fun-filled and love-filled as I can make them. On her side, she is always ready with the kisses and the cuddles, and wakes me up when I have weird dreams, much appreciated. All bets are off if she detects liver treats though 😆

  9. Louise Sutherland-Hoyt

     /  September 30, 2015

    Dear Laura,
    Alina is one blessed doggie to have you as her champion. I will be following your story.

    • Thanks, Louise! I’ll do my best, and knowing I’ve got champions on my side will give me strength to fight the forces of evil that use beautiful animals as currency to line their pockets!

  10. It’s hard when our pets get sick 😦 I’m sorry this is happening and I hope Atina lives the best that she can!

  11. I’m so sorry for you & Atina, hugs & doggie hugs!

  12. I know what you are going through
    My prayers are with you and the pet
    Hugs and wiggles
    Light and love
    Your pal Sheldon

  13. I’m so sorry. ❤

  14. Laura, how awful to hear this latest news about Atina! And how awful for you to have to deal with people not taking responsibility for Atina’s condition. I’ve read all the comments and I mirror everyone else with prayers and good thoughts. It’s so good that Atina has you to see her through this. Chryssa

    • Thanks, Chryssa. She is a sweet little doggie person, and I want what remains of her life to be full of eggs and happy wiggles. I am determined to get justice, because I am furious that this sick pup was foisted off on me when I was in a horribly vulnerable state, but at least poor Atina will have a good life, what remains of it, and proper care, which she would not have had (unless she had been sold to some other unsuspecting yet responsible person).

  15. It’s time to kiss some ass. The breeder and Vet need to be sued. They knew something was wrong with your baby. A healthy young dog does not have Kidney disease. I hate that you are dealing with another pet crisis. I would get the money back and make sure other breeders know how she operates. If their is an Association I would file a complaint with them. She deserves much more for the trauma you’ve been thru.
    Stay strong, the best you can. It pisses me off.

    • Thank you! She will have her day in criminal court. More than one day, very likely, since I am now discovering others who have been swindled. Crime does NOT pay. When people establish a pattern of deceit, it might work once or twice, but eventually it bites them in the ass. Taking advantage of a disabled person is not looked upon kindly by the courts.

  16. I’m sorry that you have to go through this. This woman who sold you the sick dog is responsible for perpetuating a great deal of suffering, not that I ever expect a greedy, self-serving, back biting narcissist to ever regret a moment of the suffering they impose on other people.


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