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Author Topic: Please Help Our Little Rio!  (Read 1994 times)
FRSO Board
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Posts: 889

« on: May 20, 2009, 07:19:13 PM »

Rio the ferret has seen hard times before.  This friendly little sable
was found abandoned in a garage and turned over to the Humane Society,
which gave her to the Ferret Rescue Society of Ottawa.  We found a home
for her, along with her new friend Bob, where she was loved and happy. 
Unfortunately her family's circumstances changed, and Rio was returned
to us.  She is still a delightful ferret - but now she is fighting for
her life.

Rio has always been healthy, but on Friday, May 15th she started panting
to breathe.  When this continued, Rio's foster Mom brought her to the
vet in Alta Vista.  Rio has been x-rayed, and has been in an oxygen tent
since Sunday morning.  She is being treated with different antibiotics
as the vet struggles to diagnose and heal her.  Severe pneumonia is
suspected, but this is an unusual case, and nothing has been confirmed. 
Meanwhile, Rio is still eating well, and still giving her loving kisses
to those who care for her.  She is too young and too much of a fighter
for us to give up on her easily.

The problem for us is that Rio's care is very expensive.  The FRSO
relies entirely on donations, and our budget is very small.  When
disaster strikes, we have to weigh the merits of bankrupting ourselves
treating one seriously ill ferret against the consequences of depriving
multiple other ferrets of less expensive but vital medical care.

This is where you have an opportunity to be Rio's champion.  While we
don't normally bother people by asking for money, in this special case
we are pleading with you to give any amount of money you can to help
with Rio's care.  We want this sweet ferret to be healthy again - and we
want to be able to continue to help other, equally deserving ferrets as
well.  Every bit helps.

By donating, you are not only helping Rio, you are also helping other
ferrets.  Rio's situation is medically unusual, and by treating her, the
vet will gain knowledge that could help other ferrets in the same
situation.  With Rio's medical costs offset by your donations, our other
ferrets in need of care won't be denied because of a lack of resources. 
And by helping the FRSO to survive this crisis without being plunged
deeply into debt, you help ensure that we will continue to be there for
Rio, and all her present and future shelter buddies.

There are three easy ways you can make a donation to help Rio.

1) You can make a donation via CanadaHelps.org and receive an instant tax receipt.  The link is: http://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d93180

2) You can make a payment via Paypal by going to our website at http://ferretrescue.ca/donate.php and clicking on the Paypal Donate Now button.

3) You can mail a cheque payable to the Ferret Rescue Society of Ottawa and Area to us at PO BOX 39034, 2265 Riverside Dr. Ottawa, ON K1H 1A1

Please help Rio.  She'd kiss you if she could!


Ferret Rescue Society of Ottawa and Area
FRSO Board
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Posts: 889

« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2009, 07:09:24 AM »

Hello again to all of our Supporters. 

First off, on behalf of the Ferret Rescue board and all the fosters, we would like to share our heartfelt appreciation to all who donated to Rio's treatment and kept this sweet little ferret in their thoughts and prayers. Thank you also to Dr. Auger and Dr. Laite for their input and consultation in fighting to save our darling fuzzbutt.

We unfortunately bring the sad news that Rio's battle came to an end today.  Numerous courses of treatment were attempted, from steroids to a number of different antibiotics, all to no avail.  Rio never stopped fighting but a decision was needed as we had run out of treatment options and a diagnosis had yet to be found.  At 13:00, the process to transfer her from Alta Vista Animal Hospital to March Road Animal Hospital  began. With the help of Dr. Cheryl Laite, and in the arms of Jen and myself, Rio was helped across the rainbow bridge.

Rio's case is unusual because she was able to remain aware and appreciative of her surroundings, keep a robust appetite and  normal urine and stool output all despite the apparent severity of her respiratory issues.  For the duration of her
treatment, from Sunday the 17th to Thursday the 21st of May, she was kept within an oxygen tent, on 24hour ICU care, all the while eating her duck soup meals and doling out nose kisses for anyone who asked. Her breathing rate did remain shallow and very rapid even in her oxygen rich environment and the two sets of X-rays that were taken showed an abnormal lung consolidation pattern.  After 5 long days, Rio was clearly tiring and we knew that we'd soon have to let her go.  Though a bacterial or viral infection seems to have been ruled out, it is still important to obtain a definative diagnosis to be sure Rio's plight is not likely to affect other foster ferrets. We knew in order to find the cause of Rio's issues and to prevent her from truly suffering, we had to say goodbye sooner than later.  This has been one of the hardest goodbye's both Jen and I have been asked to face in our many years as part of the rescue.

In the end, we are left with a $2200 bill at Alta Vista, as well as a bill at March Road Animal Hospital for the assistance received from Dr. Laite in helping Rio cross the Rainbow Bridge and in hopefully finding Rio's illness.  The total of that bill has yet to be determined, as is the final diagnosis.  We will share this information as soon as it is available to us.  Keep in mind that a decision to go the route of invasive therapy, non-invasive or not to treat is ferret and illness dependent.  We try to let sick animals cross the rainbow bridge for the right reasons and at the right time.  Rio's case was difficult but we know that everything reasonable was tried. There are no regrets, only saddness.

As we are a volunteer charity, receiving nothing in the way of official government funding, this latest medical crisis could have left the rescue's bank account very depleted and with no ability to recover even after our biggest upcoming biannual fundraiser. Without your generous additional donations that we have received so far, we may not have been in a position to provide definitive treatment for other sick fuzzies in the near future let alone maintain the current level of care that we offer. We can't thank you enough. For all of you who pulled together to help give us that extra boost, especially in these difficult times...THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. In additon to getting monetary donations, knowing that we have such a supportive, ferret-loving community has helped to keep our spirits.  It reminds us that others share our passion for these wonderful souls and keeps us moving forward even after little tragedies!

We again, would like to thank Dr. Daren Auger and Dr. Cheryl Laite who worked with each other and Alta Vista to try and solve the mystery and save Rio's life. Thank you both for not giving up!  We know that she appreciated every extra hour that you gave her, as do we. We couldn't have fought so hard without your support and advice.

Ferret Rescue Society of Ottawa and Area
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