Save Maya Krypto!

29. October, 2014 General No comments

A lot of stuff has been happening lately—some I can talk about, some I can’t—but the main thing is that our dog is sick. Like, $10,000 worth of sick.

Maya Krypto Johansen Hurwitt, what's got into you?

Maya Krypto Johansen Hurwitt, what’s got into you?

What’s happening is that our sweet and wonderful rescue dog, Maya Krypto, got pneumonia, for the second time in just a few months. She’d been coughing for a few days, but had been her normal energetic self, but on Sunday, October 12, we woke up to find her lying on her side in an unusual place on the bedroom floor and just not getting up. It didn’t matter if we said things like “Breakfast?” or “Outside?” that would normally get her jumping all over us. The most we could get from her was a slight lifting of her head and dropping down again.

So of course we rushed her to the vet, finding a place nearby in San Leandro that offers emergency appointments. We got lucky in that this place is also a hotbed of veterinary specialists, and when we had her x-rayed, a radiologist happened to be there (not even on shift, but bringing her own pet in for treatment) who pointed out that the placement of Maya’s pneumonia was very unusual in dogs—unless some foreign object like a foxtail got into her lungs through her nasal cavity. That would also account for her getting pneumonia twice in such a short period.

So we brought her in for a bronchoscopy, where the internal medicine specialist sends a camera down into her lung, and what he found (in addition to all the fluid from the pneumonia) was a bunch of calcified abscesses that he spent three hours chipping away at and fishing the pieces away before he had to stop because her lung was starting to bleed and swell.

Three weeks and a whole lot of antibiotics later, he’s planning to go in again and see what’s there (whatever foreign object started all this infection still hasn’t turned up) and whether he can get it out with just another bronchoscopy. But he thinks it likely that Maya may need surgery to remove that entire accessory lobe of her lung.

In the meantime, Maya has been getting much better. She’s back to her usual happy, playful self. But she’s still coughing, and it’s a reminder that this is going to continue to be a problem, and a life-threatening one, until we find what’s causing this and remove it.

Of course, the other side is that all of this is very expensive. The visits and procedures so far have cost us $3528.27, and we’re looking at at least that much again, or at least $7000 more if she has to have surgery—which, again, seems likely. The prognosis is very good if we get this taken care of; she’s otherwise healthy and less than two years old and can lead a long and happy life if we treat this before it gets worse. But my wife’s a grad student and I’m a theater critic, and we don’t have anywhere near that kind of money. At the same time, there’s absolutely no question of not doing this. She’s our dog and we love her and will do whatever it takes.

Some people set up a Paypal for us, and friends and even strangers have been amazing in donating. We’re up to $6,221 in donations so far, more than halfway toward our $10,000 goal. But her appointment for the follow-up bronchoscopy and possible/probable surgery is early next week, so we’re crossing our fingers for a surge of donations in the next few days (by the end of the week, which is also the end of the month) to raise the rest of the money to save our wonderful pup.

My lovely wife has been keeping up a blog at with a brief history of Maya Krypto, how we found her and what her life was like in Taiwan before she came to light up our life, plus updates on the latest news in her medical situation, a running tally of the bills, the donations, and the growing list of Maya’s Heroes who are quite literally saving her life with their amazing generosity. If you can help with a donation, or by spreading the word through your social network, or just by sending good vibes and wishes our way, we’d greatly appreciate it. We already do, more than we can possibly say.

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