Daphne is special as she was my gift to me after my mum passed away.
Daphne started sneezing a lot and we took her to a local vet to try to work out what was happening. She was treated but it didn’t stop the sneezing. She then collapsed and it was like she was trying to climb out of a whole. She lost the ability to walk. Rushed her to a local 24 hour vet who suggested it was vestibular disease as her eyes were spinning. They said it was strange as it was an old dog disease but she wasn’t. They asked for money up front before any treatment. Said she’d be in for 3 days and then released her after a day. We had to continue treatment at home but noticed she wasn’t getting any better.
Then booked her into the vet my sister worked for, this was at Bathurst. Stayed at my sister’s place but that night Daphne walked into our bed and we thought that’s not right so took her to an out of hours vet. Night vet didn’t have answers so suggested we wait for appointment the next day and Daphne was kept overnight under observation.
Next day at our appointment the vet said Daphne had some major neurological issue and needed to get to SASH. She called ahead and we drove three hours to get to North Ryde. My husband rushed Daphne in while I parked.
SASH staff identified Daphne was very sick and suggested it might be Cryptococcus. They said she would need an MRI and CT scan. It was high risk and she might not survive the anaesthesia. We were also given a rough estimate of costs before we proceeded but never felt under pressure and the focus was always on what was best for Daphne. Treatment couldn’t start until Cryptococcus was confirmed.
Daphne had the MRI and we were told she was so sick she wouldn’t be rescuitated if she stopped breathing or went into cardiac arrest. We were told we would only get a call if she wasn’t going well.
We got that call at 3:40 am. We were told she’d had the maximum dose of medication to get her out of the anaesthetic but it wasn’t working. We said we are on our way.
Arrived at SASH an hour later to be told that Daphne had gotten up just after the call. Our beloved Daphne wagged her tail when she heard us (she had also gone blind) We decided if she was going to fight, so were we.
I said to my husband that I wanted to wait to meet Dr Patrick in person and told about what was happening and hopes for recovery. So we slept in the car in the carpark until Dr Patrick called and I said we were there.
We were told that Cryptococcus was confirmed and it had gone from her nose into her brain and caused meningitis. We were told that Daphne would receive continuous infusion of medication to fight the fungus. If she survived that her prospects were good.
As we lived an hour and a half away and I was on holiday we brought our caravan down to Lane Cove caravan park. I wanted to see her every day while she was in intensive care and will her to fight.
The staff were awesome. We were able to see her in the intensive care unit and feed her. Then we were given a room where she could visit and I would lay on the floor and just give her love. It took two staff to get her to us as she had an IV drip and couldn’t walk.
Dr Amy was fantastic and so caring. We received update calls every morning. Some days Daphne was good, others not.
After 10 days we were able to take her home. SASH arranged for our local vet to continue treatment for 6-8 weeks. She got infusions under her skin 3 times a week. She looked like a mess as her legs had to be shaved and she had lumps and was shaved for the infusions. She was also still blind.
It was rough because it was so hard for her. She was happy in a way though because we were told to give her chicken which she loves. She had lost over 5 kilos. A quarter of her normal weight so we had to encourage her to eat.
At her first check up at SASH Dr Amy was so happy to see her progress and said Daphne had regained sight in one eye.
SASH continue to work with our local vet on checking the fungus levels. She’s had a few set backs and had to have a bit more treatment but Daphne is now healthy and happy.
We can’t thank SASH enough. Without them we would not have Daphne.
Having pet insurance helped make our decisions a bit easier but of course didn’t cover everything. That’s okay and we were lucky to access some savings as to us Daphne was worth it. We would 💯 recommend anyone to go to SASH if they are concerned about their precious pets. The staff truly care and obviously they are the best.