Watching a beloved pet suffer through an illness or injury is one of the most heartbreaking situations a pet owner will experience. For many, pets are members of our family, and we will do whatever we can to make sure they are happy, healthy, and free from pain. However, when your pet requires medical treatment that is very expensive, your choices become very difficult.
Local photographer Kim Ortiz knows first-hand about this type of choice.
When Lexie, Ortiz’s beloved long-haired Chihuahua, began exhibiting signs of severe neck and back pain, she tried all types of treatment. Veterinarians recommended everything from pain medications and steroid shots to holistic foods and acupuncture. Ortiz tried it all, eventually deciding to have an MRI performed on Lexie to more accurately diagnose why she was in so much pain. The MRI, which cost several thousand dollars, diagnosed Lexie with herniated disc disease. A bulging disc was putting pressure on her spinal cord, which could lead to paralysis without surgery – another expensive treatment.
With no other options, Ortiz scheduled ventral slot surgery for Lexie, where a portion of disc matter was removed. Sadly, Lexie developed a heart murmur shortly after surgery, and died the next day from pulmonary hemorrhage.
Ortiz is devastated at the loss of her beloved Lexie, and the stress is heightened with the mountain of vet bills that need to be paid. In addition to selling many of her personal possessions, including a formal dining room set and hanging tapestries, Ortiz started an online fundraiser through YouCaring (which was started before Lexie passed away) to help offset the cost of the vet bills. While any donation is appreciated, she is offering a free portrait session, and one (1) digital file for anyone who donates $100 or more.
If you need professional head shots, family portraits, or pet photos and would like to support Kim Ortiz’s fundraiser, please visit the Smile for Lexie YouCaring page to donate.
“What I have learned in the last two weeks is how important photos are. It’s the only thing you have left to remember your loved one by.” – Kim Ortiz, Kim Ortiz Photography