Ella came to the Village too late, yet she touched so many as she passed through our group.  We are sad to have to tell you that Ella did not make it through the day.
Ella was showing signs of distress for some time.  Her owner did not fully recognize the seriousness of her condition.  Ella suffered.  When Ella’s owner finally decided give her up, it needed to be done in a hurry because the owner was moving and Ella could not go with her.
Ella arrived to us gasping for breath, delirious, whimpering, unable to eat or even sleep.  She could not stand and would fall over out of exhaustion from gasping and lack of sleep.  Had her owner recognized the symptoms earlier and sought medical care, maybe she would not have suffered.  I can barely bring myself to say it, but for Ella euthanasia would have been a better option than being in the condition she was in when she arrived to us.
Ella went straight to emergency care from her owner’s home.  She was surrendered to us in the lobby of ER.  We had to get her help immediately.  The prognosis was guarded.  There was a chance to help her, but the bad news was after 2 days in ICU her bill was already in the hundreds and the CT scan would be almost a thousand, the required surgery another $3,000.   It was more than the Village could do without getting help.  We sent out the pleas.  The French Bulldog community responded in mass to Ella’s plight.  The cost of trying to help Ella was large–but the generosity of the Frenchie community was larger.
We tried everything we could for Ella.  We were blessed with a loving vet team at the ER, one vet even wanted to adopt her and personally paid for Ella’s Xrays.  She was surrounded by the best care.  She was treated in ICU for 2 days, through the generous donations from French Bulldog lovers, we were able to schedule Ella’s surgery.  After her surgical consult, it was determined she was too ill to go straight to surgery.  Ella was anesthetized and they first tried to find the problem with a CT scan.  There were several suspicious masses found.  A nasal scope was ordered, a biopsy was done.  It was found that Ella was consumed with cancer.  The tumors had metastasized and her nasal cavity was 100% blocked by malignant tumors.  Ella could not recover. The decision was made this evening to let Ella go.  She would no longer suffer.
Many tears were shed for Ella.  Those involved in getting her help were touched by her sweet spirit.  The medical staff was personally involved in caring for her and comforting her.
We want to thank those that donated to try to save Ella.  In these tight economic times, we realize that many of those donations were true sacrifices.  The costs of the hospital, the CT scan, the scope and biopsy were very expensive, but the generosity of those that cared about helping Ella made it possible for us to try to save her.  Your donations were not in vain.  Ella is a reminder of the importance of paying attention to changes in your dog’s behavior.  Had Ella’s owner recognized the seriousness of Ella’s open mouth breathing and the changes in her behavior, maybe the cancer could have been caught early enough to remove it.  Had she been surrendered to the Village earlier, maybe we would have been able to help.
We are looking at a special way to remember Ella and honor her.  For now, remember Ella by taking your middle aged and senior citizen canine family members for regular check ups.  Don’t ignore medical issues that pop up.  Taking your dog in early to check that small lump, that slight limp, that odd way of breathing could save their life.  Remember that when your vet suggests an X-ray or a test, it is not just to pad the bill, it is because he/she has seen something that needs to be looked at more closely.  Remember a round of antibiotics can’t cure everything.  Just as we normally need more frequent and more extensive medical care as we age, so do our dogs.  Ella may still be here running and playing as an 8 year old Frenchie had her condition been taken seriously earlier.
Thank you for trying to help Ella—-everyone loves a puppy, we are thankful and humbled that so many cared about Ella.  Sadly, sometimes even a Village is not enough .
Kimberly Rice and the French Bulldog Village Volunteers
A very special thank you to everyone who cared for her and gave her a chance at life.