Support for Mia
Book your donation-only shoot to help support Mia's vet
bills. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the
Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County.
The Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Their mission is to improve animal welfare in Montgomery County, Maryland by operating a no-kill shelter for adoptable cats and promoting responsible pet ownership.
Before I share about how awesome this fur baby is, I want to be clear that this is one of thousands of stories.
There are many families in need of financial support for health-related reasons.
We are not unique.
And no - Mia is not a human. We know that (although she is our family). And this experience for us is a very small percentage of how horrible and traumatizing it is for parents to have to go through medical and financial emergencies for their own children; for anyone who is in pain and has to be hospitalized. For families who have saved their entire lives to be able to afford a home or send a child to college, and then for one medical emergency to completely wipe all of that away in a matter days.
YES - Mia is just a dog. But, she is our family. She has been with me (Keelyn) for 13 years. She has a perfect heart and a perfect brain (says the cardiologist and neurologist). It's possible she could live another 4 years, which is an amazing thought. Mia is amazing. And cute. And she brings us a lot of joy and has been our emotional rock for 13 years. But, Mia is not unique, as I've previously stated.
We hope Mia's story - our family's experience - will help other families understand what to look out for with their own fur babies and the reality - our reality - of how much is costs. Additionally, we've included a list of financial aid services (scroll to the bottom of this page) for any pet owners in need.
Here is a timeline and breakdown of what Mia has been through and what we're seeking support for.
Additionally, I hope you will consider donating to the listed non-profits. Any additional funds collected will all go
straight to RedRover Relief. Please know as you read this that we were prepared at any time to accept if Mia
needed to be put down. From the first weekend of all of this, we literally prepared ourselves to say our
goodbyes. Our priority is and has always been to make sure that Mia is comfortable and able to live and
function on her own. As long as she was able to live a quality of life, we were going to stand by and fight with
her. We put our full trust in the veterinary professionals and if at any time they recommended we put her down,
we accepted that.
Thurs, 06/09/22 - Keelyn had to take Mia for a check up concerning her teeth; we thought there might be an epulis (a benign, noncancerous, mass-like growth in the mouth that typically grows over or around a tooth). The vet, turns out, wasn’t concerned with the gum/teeth issue, but instead wanted to get a biopsy for a growth on her front leg. This growth just looked like any other fatty sack. It is something we brought up to our vet over the past year, but they weren't concerned about it be cancerous.
NOTE: the vet did not administer a steroid post Mia having her biopsy. Upon further discussions with the ER Vet, Mia should've received Prednisone, which would've kept her arm and tumor from rupturing, which would've kept Mia from having to go to the ER for two nights.
$209.38 - Dental/Oral Exam + Biopsy on her leg + Diphenhydramine 50mg/ml Injectable per ml (this is a Antihistamine)
Within 24 hours, it had ballooned to nearly 4 times the size and caused her leg to swell to more than twice its normal size. We took her back to the vet on 06/11/22 and she was given Rimadyl 25mg Caplet.
$21.46 - Rimadyl 25mg Caplet
Rimadyl is indicated for the relief of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and for the control of postoperative pain associated with soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries in dogs.
Sun, 06/12/22 - Mia hadn't eaten anything for 24 hours and her arm was still swelling. Because she wasn't eating, we couldn't continue to give her the Rimadyl At 9:00 PM that evening, the growth ruptured (bleeding), causing histamine release. Histamines are chemicals in your dog's body produced in response to allergens. We took her to a local emergency vet (we'll call this location ER#1). This is the evening we were prepared to put Mia down. She wasn't eating on her own, she was bleeding and miserable, and we just prepared ourselves for the worst. But, thankful that wasn't the case.
$533.04 - Visit to the ER (ER#1) + Gabapentin 150mg administered + Fluid + Maropitant 10mg + bandage for arm + Yunnan Baiyao 250mg
Mon, 06/12/22 morning - Mia went to our Vet (non-ER vet) to have blood tested and x-rays.
This is so that we have these test results ready to send to an Oncologist, whenever we were able to get an
$229.51 - Blood test + x-ray + Convenia 80mg/ml Injectable
Mon, 06/12/22 afternoon - Mia's arm was not reducing in size and she was still not eating. So, Keelyn went to
the vet, got Mia, and took her to the emergency vet (we'll call this location ER#2). We called in advance and they
said to bring her so they could get her in ASAP. Many of these ER Vets often can't see animals for 1-6 hours
sometimes. So, it was a huge relief that they could help Mia immediately and stabilize her. This was the day I
was hopeful that Mia would actually stay alive and push through. BIG RELIEF.
- NOTE: The ER Vet confirmed Mia was had been in shock for roughly the last 48 hours (because the first vet who did her biopsy didn't administer any kind of steroid). So Mia was admitted for two nights to monitor her vitals. A CT scan was also completed.
Within 24 hours, Mia's leg was back to normal size and we got a call that she was already yelling at the vet techs for food. I cried tears of relief and happiness.
$7,584.37 - 2 nights in the ER + tons of meds + fluids + food + CT scan + starting chemo
By Wednesday, 06/14/22 Mia was back to her feisty self. Since she was in perfect health otherwise, we
decided to start her on chemo to shrink the mass in hopes of having it surgically removed as soon as possible.
The next option we thought was to amputate her leg, but we were trying to avoid that, unless absolutely needed.
Please keep in mind - it is very possible that we wouldn't have had to go through all of this if that first Vet on
06/09/22 had given her a steroid post her biopsy. It is crazy how quickly things escalated within a matter of a
few days. All we can all do is our best. And sometimes "best" doesn't always work. If Mia had been given the
steroid, it is very possible that she would've been fine post biopsy on 06/09/22 and we would've just waited a
week for the results, and then gone right to the Oncologist to schedule her surgery - no ER visits required. And as
we shared, we were prepared to put Mia down if that was recommended; if she was declining and nothing we
could do, then we accepted that it was her time. But, it wasn't her time. A vet failed to give her what she needed and that's not Mia's fault. The ER vet said she absolutely had more life to live and so we wanted to give her a fighting chance.
Thurs, 06/15/22 - Mia goes home with us, along with Gabapentin and Prednisone (steroid). Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic drug that is commonly prescribed by veterinarians to treat seizures, pain, and anxiety in dogs.
Sat, 06/17/22 - Mia goes into the ER because she is experiencing some slight drowsiness. We didn't know if this was anything major or a side effect of the chemo. Mia ended up being fine and it's probably just due to the chemo + medications.
$203.31 - ER visit and blood pressure test
Thurs, 06/23/22 - 2nd dose of chemo - $489.39
Thurs, 06/30/22 - 3rd dose of chemo - $483.77
Thurs, 07/07/22 - 4th dose of chemo - $518.67
Weds, 07/13/22 - Surgery Consultation to remove mass cell tumor on arm and lymph nodes affected in
neck - $224.33 - Surgery consultation + Prednisone (gen) 10mg
Thurs, 07/21/22 - Mia went in to have surgery, but since she had experienced some dizziness a few
days before, the Oncologist and Surgeon both wanted Mia to see the Neurologist, before agreeing to put Mia under for surgery. - $ - Neurology Exam
Mon, 08/01/22 - Cardiologist appointment
$780.00 - Echocardiogram + Consultation
Tues, 08/09/22 - Neurology Recheck and Chemo
$656.92 - Neurology Recheck + dose of Chemo
Thurs, 08/11/22 - Oncology visit with STAT Radiology
$676.32 - Oncologist + STAT Radiology
Thurs, 08/18/22 - Surgery
$1,836.47 - Surgery to remove mass cell tumor + lymph nodes
Tues, 08/30/22 - Mia starts throwing up during the car ride home
Weds, 08/31/22 - Removal of stitches + Cerenia (anti-nausea meds) - $45.44
Thurs, 09/01/22 - Mia sees ER Vet because she is still not eating. Dealing with pancreatitis and staying
overnight for a couple days - $2,941.41
EASY WAYS TO BOOK YOUR SHOOT & SUPPORT:
Email Keelyn (Photographer) to schedule your session - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions are donation-only - pay what you can to support Mia's bills and RedRover Relief.
Sessions can take place in the DMV area or within 45-miles of Germantown, MD (20874)
Session length can range 15-60 minutes (your choice)
Donation-Only Sessions can include:
If you have a unique session request, please email Keelyn with your inquiry - email@example.com
Donate (no session booking):
Venmo - @Keelyn-Mitchell
AWL Montgomery County - https://awlmc.org/about/
PetSmart Charities - https://petsmartcharities.org/adopt-a-pet/spay-neuter
RedRover Relief - https://www.redrover.org/redrover-relief-grants
North Shore Animal League America’s SpayUSA - https://www.animalleague.org/get-involved/spay-usa/
Brown Dog Foundation, Inc - https://www.browndogfoundation.org/
Actors and Others For Animals - https://www.actorsandothers.com/