One thing Ihave learned since being a part of this group is that they are the 
most caring, loving people I have ever known.  It seems that when someone loves 
and cares for an animal, they have a greater abundance of love for everyone, 
including people.  I am glad to have found all of you and keep you in my 
prayers always.
---- Ben Williams <> wrote: 
> I'd like to start off this message by thanking all of you for your kind
> words regarding Dexter over the past few days - - my wife and I have shared
> and appreciated every one of the emails - it's meant a lot to us.
> Unfortunately, this morning has proven to be heartbreaking to us both - we
> received a call first thing this morning from East Dallas Animal Clinic's
> Dr. Ken Cantrell that Dexter's condition had worsened over the course of the
> night.  After picking Dex up from the Emergency clinic yesterday morning, we
> immediately took him to Dr. Wright at Lakewood Vet Center.  Dr. Wright has
> been on vacation since last week and we were told that he would be back
> yesterday morning - but he hadn't yet returned.  I took Dexter to see him on
> three occasions last week for his lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator
> injections, but was only able to see him that Monday.  When we took Dex in
> on Friday when the swelling of his feet and face had begun, we were given no
> advice by his staff who were unable to do anything other than give Dex his
> shot and usher us out the door.  They are all very caring people and I don't
> blame them for anything, but I feel that any vet who runs a practice where
> he is the only doctor on staff, should do a bit more to keep his patients
> informed about his availability - that way precious minutes or hours or days
> aren't wasted waiting for him to return.  Fortunately, several weeks ago,
> when trying to convince Dr. Wright to order the LTCI treatment (which took
> him over a week to do) I was referred to the East Dallas Animal Clinic by
> the LTCI folks - they had used the medication before.   East Dallas Animal
> Clinic is a wonderful place.  We've worked with Dr. Ellsworth and Dr.
> Cantrell there - - they are both compassionate and make a point of taking
> calls from concerned pet owners.  They have both been wonderful to work with
> and have been open to taking every conceivable avenue with Dex's treatment.
> I only wish we had been seeing them from the start. We rushed Dex to them
> yesterday morning as soon as it became clear that Dr. Wright wouldn't be
> returning.  Again, I don't blame Dr. Wright, but when we took Dexter in for
> his checkup three weeks ago and Dr. Wright informed us that anemia had set
> in, his advice was to "take him home and make him comfortable."  A week
> passed as I researched and tried to communicate with him about alternate
> treatments and off-label meds.  When you factor in that week and the week he
> took to order the LTCI meds, that's two out of the last three weeks where
> Dex had little treatment.  Again, why the difficulty in getting anything
> done for Dex?  East Dallas, however, fit Dex in on the first day we spoke
> with him and started him on Acemannan injections.  They had two remaining
> doses remaining of that drug; a drug that was very beneficial to Dex last
> year when he was first diagnosed.  they sacrificed those 2 doses for Dex
> without question - had I gone to them earlier, perhaps it would have had
> more effect on him. Regardless, Dex seemed to make improvements while on
> Immunoregulin, LCTI and the acemannan.  FeLV and FIV are horrible diseases,
> though, and I felt like there was something always sneaking up on Dex while
> we treated him.  We seemed to reverse the anemia, but his Lymph nodes were
> swelling.  Some days they would go down, other days, they would blow up.
> When the mystery feet and face swelling started last week, he even responded
> well with benadryl.  That thing sneaking up on Dexter?  Full blown cancer -
> it wasn't just in his lymph nodes, it was in his liver and spleen - it had
> probably made his heart swell.  His breathing was becoming more and more
> labored and we struggled with the decision of when Dexter was in too much
> pain to continue.  Yesterday, Dr. Cantrell started chemotherapy on Dex, as
> well as steroids.  He seemed to tolerate the meds well, but over the course
> of the night, he became more jaundiced and vomited, while his body
> temperature dropped to 94 degrees.  His little body had given out as this
> terrible disease had taken almost everything from him.  I say almost
> everything, because when we arrived at East Dallas Animal Clinic this
> morning, even though he was being hand fed oxygen while under a warming pad,
> little Dexter still had a playful wag of the tail when we placed our hands
> on him and told him how much we love him.  Dexter died at 8 this morning.
> We are heartbroken that our sweet boy is gone and that he was only with us
> for a year and a half.  He was such a wonderful, sweet and special kitty -
> we will miss him terribly.  He was a huge part of our family - not some
> "pet" or animal.  We have four other wonderful kitties at home who are not
> FelV or FIV positive.  They have been wonderful as our attention has been so
> focused on Dex for the last month and we owe them some serious one on one
> time right now.  While all of the kitties get along well, Dex was the one
> cat in the house that all the other cats adored.  He was never involved in
> spats with any of them and they all took turns cleaning him and looking
> after him.  Dex was special to everyone.  In the end, I wish there was more
> I could have done for Dex - I look back at the timing of everything and how
> the last three weeks have gone for him.  Could the outcome have been
> different?  I'll never know, of course, but I'm not done fighting this fight
> with FeLV and FIV.  These diseases took our boy from us and I will not stop
> until they are both a thing of the past.  Its the very least I can do in
> honor of Dexter - a wonderful boy who fought with dignity and calm, and
> above all else, the special brand of sweetness that only he had.
> Thanks, everyone.
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