30 January 2011

Dear little Dustin died last night of kidney failure after a nearly four year struggle with cancer (small cell lymphoma), irritable bowel syndrome, and stomatitis. He had most of his remaining teeth removed 2 months ago because he was not eating. His oncologist was at VCA West LA and suggested an internist there, Dr. Bruyette, to determine why Dustin was not eating.

Dustin's kidney functions were just about normal with a slight elevation in his BUN, which Bruyette discounted as reflecting kidney disease, because his other and related blood values were normal. So he recommended a third dental examination, cleaning and extraction to better manage his stomatitis, which began about 14 months ago.

Well, it wasn't stomatitis that was bringing him down, but kidney failure, which Alan Chinn, a psychic, had diagnosed two months ago.

While I was away in Pheonix for 15 days, Dustin deteriorated. When I returned I took him into the West LA VCA to Bruyette to find out the source of Dustin's severe weight loss. Dustin had gone from 7 lbs 4 ounces in late November, to 5 lbs., 3 ounces when I returned.

I had noticed Dustin was drinking more water even before I left for Phoenix, but his blood values had been near normal just 3 weeks before.

Dustin was hospitalized for 4 days at West LA and put on an IV. His BUN was 147 on entry (hign normal is 28), and his creatinine was 9.1, with anything over 2.1 an elevation.

This was an enormous and sudden decompensation.

Anyway, the 4 days of hospitalization cost over $2,800, which followed almost $1,000 for an unnecessary dental just 2 months before.

I also want to point out I never saw a doctor at West LA VCA. I could not get an appointment and had to drop him off. I talked to Bruyette for 5 minutes on Friday (Dustin was hospitalized on Thursday afternoon), and I talked to another internist on Sunday for 15 minutes.

Nor did anyone from VCA West LA call to find out how Dustin was doing after he returned home. 

Avoid VCA West LA, they have gone totally over to the Darkside of rapacious and unrepentant Capitalism, as did the human medical model years before. What is worse, VCA now owns Antech Diagnostics, which is one of the leading veterinary labs, and which has drastically raised its fees for tests submitted by independent vets----because they can. They selectively charge higher rates to small practices with low volumes, and much lower fees to large practices or VCA clinics.

In any event, Dustin did not eat after he got home even though his creatinine had dropped to 3.9, and BUN to 71. So we force fed Dustin with a syringe for alomost 2 weeks, up to 130 cc a day of Science Diet AD, as SD KD cannot be syringe fed. He even gained weight. I took him to his usual vet, Adler, now also VCA, and his weight had increased to 6 lbs. 2 ounces. However, blood tests taken 3 days ago there showed creatinine had gone back up higher than even when he went into hospitalization at VCA, West LA. His creatinine was now 10.1, and BUN 156.

Last night (Jan 30) I went to get him for his 6 pm feeding, but he was under the bed and I could not get him. Two hours later Kerima and I got him out, and found he was already in a borderline in a coma despite doing well the previous days except for not eating.

My nickname for Dustin is my tumor, as whenever I lay down, within minutes he'd be on my chest, looking into my eyes or sleeping.

So I put Dustin on my chest. He was ever so quiet and his eyes were open. Then he seemed to revive a little and began looking at me. He laid there for about an hour, and I picked him up and carried him to Kerima in another room, and put Dustin in her lap. He was there for about 20 minutes then began a series of coughs, about 15 or 20, that gradually got weaker, then he died with her holding him.

All of our other cats were very disturbed. They knew something was happening, but not what. Dustin is now lying in an open box for them to see and say goodbye however cats do during this night. Sometime today, Cal Pet will pick up his body and cremate it, just as they have done with 8 other cats over the past 21 years.

Kerima was heart broken, holding tightly onto Dustin and crying profusely. I tried to tell her to let go and be more peaceful for Dustin's sake, as when most of us feel really sick or are dying, we like to be left alone.  But she got lost in her emotions and wanted me to sympathize with her holding on and crying, but I could not. I wanted Dustin to feel peace while passing, not us holding onto to him.

Daisy, Dustin's sister, had died 1.5 years before of kidney failure at home also after 4 days of hospitalization at Adler's Vet Clinic, which at that time belonged to a different corporation. That hospitalization, with the same treatment mostly, for the same diagnosis, cost $720, of 1/4th of Dustin's hospitalization at VCA West LA. She died peacefully at home also. This shows you the moral corruption and greed VCA-Antech has brought to the entire veterinary industry who are following VCA's  pricing practices.

I will tell you more later, but there is a crying need for quality veterinary care, such as we received at Adler VCA in Reseda, even after they had sold themselves to a large corporation, versus the 4 times as expensive VCA West LA just 1.5 years later.

In fact, this will be a mission of our Ashram: to establish a low cost, non profit, veterinary clinic charging less than half VCA rates. This would be a not for profit vet clinic. We are beginning exploration of this concept at this time.

There is no way an 80 year old on social security can afford the usurious rates charged by current vet practices. Something must be done to help pets of rescuers with dozens or hundreds of animals, as well as the animals of the elderly and poor who are now going without care. More about this later.


  1. Dear Edji,

    May beautiful Dustin rest in peace.

    And what a beautiful and meaningful mission for our Ashram.

    NO sentient being should suffer because they cannot afford proper medical care. What has our world come to?


    Alan & Jo-Ann

  2. Excellent idea, Edji!
    Full support.
    My regrets on Dustin's passing and may all sentient beings realize and embody the compassion which unites us.

  3. In reading the entry,

    Unsolicited that I could tell - a wave wept through passing. It seems for me, Dustin - as with All in your care - steadily, kindly, served - corporeal challenges notwithstanding.

    From struck [nearly] dumb...

    Thank you Sir.



  4. Definitely as Robert said- living on a 3rd grade planet.

    But how else could we learn?


  5. Dearest Edji,

    Dustin was a very lucky being to have you as his care taker. May his memory live on with the new low cost medical clinic. Wonderful idea.
    Our hearts are with you and Kerima today.
    Much love,

  6. Edji,

    My heart goes out to you and your family which included all of your precious cats. May both your wife and cats find some peace in their grieving. It is truly sad the overcharging and greed of some that effect the many. I believe your suggestion is a great one and may it be a model for so many that want to help the innocent and suffering.



  7. Nothing more to say.
    Only hugs for you and Kerima.

  8. Edji,

    I hold all of you in my heart.

    Love and blessings


  9. Dearest Master Edji,
    My heart goes to Dustin! Your love and comppasion for all of us is truly unconditional and unimaginable. How can one stop tears after reading all this? May he rests in peace!! and May our Spiritual Family brings happiness and peace in this world!!
    I bow!

  10. Dearest Edji,

    The power of your love is with Dustin...

    My heart hugs you, Kerima and all your other
    house-kitties...may all be gentle.

    I am pleased to have shared some time with your sweet Dustin, a special one indeed.

    All love always,

  11. Dearest Edji,
    I felt the depth of your sadness and cried with Kerima as I read the post. I grieve with you.