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Has anyone had this experience?

will2power
April 19th, 2012, 10:04 AM
Hi. I'm new to the forum and appreciate that it's here for me to reach out to others who might have had similar experiences with their dog. My one-year old husky (Skye) is very sick. She's been hospitalized now for 4 days and I'm so worried for her. If you'll permit me to give her history (it's a bit detailed and long, I know), perhaps you'll have something to suggest? Of course, even positive thoughts for her are welcome.

Until last Friday (April 13) Skye was completely healthy and happy. I should mention here that we have another dog (Sirius) who's also one. He's a rescue, mixed-breed cutie. Throughout all of this, Sirius has remained perfectly healthy and happy, so whatever is going on, it's impacting only Skye. Both dogs are loved and treated like our children. They have a run with an 8-foot fence and patio slabs for flooring that they can access from our house whenever they want. The run is cleaned after every use and hosed daily. Their toys are kept clean and in addition to their usual dry dog food (which they've always eaten), I cook them something for dinner every day (usually skinless chicken breast or the like). Their diet has been consistent and nothing new has been added. They have not been around other dogs recently and no one has been able to access them while they're outside (our home is located on a large piece of land and no one could get near their run without my knowledge). I'm a stay-at-home puppy mommy, so I'm with them all the time.

When we went to bed on Friday night (the dogs sleep in our bed), Skye seemed a little "off". She seemed to want to get as close to our face as possible before she would lie down. Through the night she woke and vomited once. The vomit contained the food she had the previous evening. When we woke on Saturday morning, she was covered in hives and vomiting a little more. We gave her some benedryl and by Saturday evening the hives were gone.

Then her next symptoms started. She started having severe bloody diarrhea with continued vomiting. The skin on her abdomen looked red. We took her to the vet as an emergency and she was given an injection of Cerenia and started on an oral antibiotic (Metronidazole). Abdominal x-rays were done and were normal. Her blood work looked good, too, though her electrolytes were slightly low. We started her on Pedialyte as per the vet's recommendation. The vet felt that she was having some sort of an anaphylactic reaction to something she had ingested. As a side note here, we've racked our brains to think of what that might be. Our house is puppy-proofed. We have 100% control over all food and there are no dangerous items that she can access. We don't even have house plants. Heck, we don't even leave toilet paper out in the bathroom.

We took Skye home and by 6PM on Sunday evening the vomiting and bloody diarrhea had stopped. I thought she was getting better, though she remained lethargic yet unable to rest. She wasn't left unattended through the night, so I know she never slept.

Monday morning I lifted her onto the bed because she seemed unwilling to get there herself. I noticed that the skin on her abdomen and on the inside of her flanks was brilliant red. I thought perhaps it was the remnants of whatever she reacted to initially being flushed from her system. But a little later in the morning I noticed that the pupil of her left eye was very small while the other was large. This was when I packaged her up and made my second emergency visit to the vet. They admitted her right away and said that her heart rate was very high (185 bpm) and her blood pressure was low. She's been in hospital ever since.

Okay. Now comes the saga of her time in hospital. I want to say up front that our vet is moving heaven and earth to help Skye. She's reached out to other vets, contacted an internal medicine specialist at the veterinary hospital in PEI, and posted a history and pictures of Skye's visible symptoms to a vet forum. Initially it was thought that she might have atypical Addison's disease. But since the bloody diarrhea and vomiting has stopped since Sunday evening, this is less likely. They also thought that she might have some sort of autoimmune disease like polyarthritis, but this is also now unlikely.

When she took pictures of Skye's face to share on the forum Monday, she noted that her pupils had switched. Now the right pupil was very small and the left was normal. But since Monday night, both eyes have been normal.

By Tuesday morning all her feet, from the "ankles" down were swollen and the redness of her skin was very brilliant. Her platelet count was normal as was the rest of her complete blood count. They dropped her IV fluids back by half to see if that might help. But the vet felt she was losing protein and that was why she was having the edema. At this point she's getting IV fluids, prednisone, butorphanol injections (for pain), Zentonil*, and injectable Benedryl and injectable Cefazolin* in addition to her oral antibiotic. They also gave her a dose of epinephrine.

The swelling continued into Tuesday evening and she was showing more discomfort, so her butorphanol was increased. They also switched her IV antibiotic over to Baytril (a much more powerful drug). Her red cells and platelets continued to be normal, but her white cells were high (her neutrophils looked toxic). She was getting worse and refusing even to lie down. She would just stand there with her head hung down. Her albumin levels were also starting to go down. They were giving her a "slurry" of high calorie wet dog food by syringe and, though it wasn't much, she was able to keep it down. We visited with her Tuesday evening and the vet said she did "perk up" a little after the visit (God, it was hard to leave her when it was time to go).

On Wednesday morning they started her on colloid fluid therapy to see if that would help her albumin levels and impact on the swelling. They said she had been restless through part of the night, but by 3AM she was sleeping. They switched her IV over to the another leg and repeated her albumin levels. There was a slight decrease in the swelling around her back legs, which we took as a positive sign.

I visited with her again yesterday and spent 3 hours with her, lying on the floor. This was the first good rest she's had since Monday. I tried to feed her, but she refused. She also hadn't taken any water since admission.

Her albumin levels last evening were back to normal, which we also take to be a positive sign. Because they were unable to get a urine sample, they used an ultrasound probe to guide a needle into her bladder. The results were normal, save for slightly more than a trace of protein. Last night they started her on a Fentanyl patch for pain, so we were able to stop the butorphanol injections this morning. That's one less needle stick for her.

I just spoke with the vet and she says that this morning Skye looks brighter and generally better than yesterday. The swelling is about the same, but when they took her out for a walk, she seemed a bit perkier. They gave her another Cerenia injection this morning, because she did vomit a tiny amount of bile through the night. Her skin is also not quite as red. One of the technician's offered her some chicken, but she refused. However, while I was talking with the vet, Skye reached for her water bowl. She drank about half of the bowl and this is the first time they've seen her drink water since admission. Another positive. The plan for today is to continue on with her colloid fluid therapy (as well as the Metronidazole, Baytril, prednisone, Benedryl and Fentanyl). I had hoped that maybe she would continue to improve and we could get her home by the weekend, but the vet says she's still too sick.

As a footnote, I should add that Skye and Sirius both had their DA2P boosters and Rabies 3Y vaccine's on April 5 (about 8 days before all hell broke loose). The vet does not see a connection. At this point they think she had type I GI anaphylaxis that really impacted on her body.

I know this is costing us a fortune. The emergency outpatient visit on Sunday alone was $750. I think we're now into the many-thousand dollar range. She's worth every penny and more, though. I told my partner I'd sell him if I had to. On that note, would anyone like to buy a well-worn but highly lovable husband? (joke)

I'll be visiting with Skye again this afternoon. I'll get to spend about 4 hours with her and I'm going to try and get her to rest as much as possible while I'm there. I'm also bringing her some skinless chicken breast (which I boiled) to see if I can coax her to eat. The vet made this suggestion. We also bring blankets from home with Sirius' scent on it to see if it comforts her. We don't want her to think we've abandoned her! She looks so pitiful. I try to stay calmly happy when I'm with her so she doesn't get more depressed.

Now. If you've made it all the way through this tome, here are my questions: Has anyone experienced a similar situation with a dog (though I recognize that every situation is somewhat unique)? If so, what was the outcome? Do you have any tips or hints for getting her to eat? How about encouraging her to lie down? Is there something more that I could be doing?

Skye is absolutely crucial to our family. We've been lost without her here. I'm really worried about the weekend, because I won't be able to visit her then. I want her to know she's not forgotten. Dogs don't have the ability to reason those things out like people do. All she knows is that she's very sick and we're not there with her. This part kills me almost as much as seeing her in pain. We lost our 7-year old son to cancer a few years ago. I'm in no way minimizing that grief or showing disrespect to him when I say that this is hurting us equally. Our dogs ARE equal, important members of our family and we treat them as such. I'd walk through walls of flames for them.

Anything you can offer at this point would be greatly appreciated by me. Thank you for taking a few hours out of your day to read this book. I'm sorry for the length. I hope all of your non-human family members are healthy and happy.

(*I did an edit to correct 2 drug names: Zentonil and Cefazolin are the correct names)

hazelrunpack
April 19th, 2012, 10:15 AM
omd, you've all been through the ringer :grouphug:

It does sound like you have an excellent vet. Could she have been bitten by something? Have you checked their dog run for mushrooms? We've had some really bad reactions to mushrooms--some of which only pop up for a day and then disappear.

I have no suggestions for you except that when you visit her, bring unwashed shirts from you and your husband for her, as well, since your scent may also comfort her.

Maybe someone else has had a similar experience to yours and will chime in. I wish you and Skye all the best. Pls let us know her progress! :goodvibes:

Loki Love
April 19th, 2012, 10:16 AM
Gosh...what an awful lot to be going through :( Unfortunately, I have no advice re: treatment or causes, but I am sending lots of positive, healing vibes to Skye (and the rest of your family!). :goodvibes:

will2power
April 19th, 2012, 10:35 AM
Thank you for the responses. It's comforting to know that others understand just how important she is to us. I'll bring one of our unwashed shirts with us when I visit today.

Re: mushrooms...it's highly unlikely that she was able to access any sort of plant/fungi material outside. Their run has patio slabs and there's nothing growing down there at all. It's such a mystery to us. Even worse, if I can't figure it out, how can I be proactive to keep it from happening again? That's assuming she recovers. She's been so close to death over these past few days. But I'm latching on to every little piece of positive news we get.

We lost our beloved great dane (Nietzsche) just before we got Skye. After Nietzsche died, I spent a full month lying on the couch crying, unable to do anything. My daughter got Skye for me and I think she literally saved me. She wasn't a replacement for my baby Nietzsche, but she sure forced me to get back into the world. And now this. It just seems so unfair. Skye is just barely one year old, and she deserves a long and healthy, happy life. I'm pouring every ounce of love and energy I have into helping her get well. She just has to get better. I can't even think about losing her. Priority one is to keep her comfortable. Priority two is to get her back.

Thank you for your words and suggestions!!! Anything I can do is helping me cope.

marko
April 19th, 2012, 10:37 AM
wow what an ordeal. I wish i had more to offer but i do thing hazelrunpack's idea of being bitten by something is a possibility here.

keeping fingers crossed for skye :fingerscr and sending good vibes :goodvibes: :goodvibes: and thoughts your way.

will2power
April 19th, 2012, 10:44 AM
Oh, I forgot to comment on the bite possibility. I suppose it's possible. But I live in Newfoundland and the weather hasn't been the greatest yet. I've seen no bees, wasps, mosquitoes, spiders, ants, etc yet. The weather has been too cold for those things here. But maybe another sort of insect crawled into the run and she ate it. That could be a possibility.

Melinda
April 19th, 2012, 11:48 AM
ants will crawl out from under a warm cement patio stone, in fact, if you lift them in the fall/early spring when there is still a bit of snow you'll see them being active. Im so sorry on the loss of your son. I know what you mean about being depressed over the loss of your dane, I too have been in that position. Could your pup be allergic or getting a reaction from ant bites? I know it should clear up quickly while at the vets. But it sure sounds like an allergic reaction. Has your other dog refused or a bit reluctant to eat any of the dog food you put down? thinking maybe some was tainted or out of date? Good luck and I hope your baby continues to improve.

Rgeurts
April 19th, 2012, 12:01 PM
Welcome to the forum! I'm so sorry it's under such distressful circumstance. Believe me when I say I can relate, and my heart truly goes out to you and your family. My husband and I don't have any skin kids, just fur kids... and they mean the world to us. One thing that stands out for me, even though your vet doesn't think anything of it, are the vaccines. I have Malamutes (or had... we just lost our 12 yr old to cancer on March 4, so now just have 1 and a mixed breed rescue puppy). Malamutes and Huskies are both prone to Vaccinosis, which is an immune reaction to vaccines, and can also spawn immune-mediated diseases such as Hypothyroidism. There are so many symptoms, and I doubt any 2 dogs are the exact same. Alot of what you're describing sounds like it could be a reaction to the vaccine, as well as the time frame. I won't go in to all the details of my baby, Nanook, but we have been through the wringer with him as well. I'm going to post some links for you to read. And please, don't think I'm disrespecting your vet, but many will not even acknowledge that vaccines can be harmful, but they almost killed our sweet boy. He was in and out of the hospital for the first year of his life (we were actually told we should have him pts by a few different vets before we found one that was willing to help us). We were eventually led to a wonderful Holisitic vet who saved our babys life. Check out these links, and if you have any questions at all, please ask :)


Dr. Jean Dodds is the leading authority on canine immune issues and vaccinosis. She's a wonderful person and will respond if you email her. She's the one who directed us to the vet who saved our Nanook:

http://www.hemopet.org/

And here are a few links for info, but if you google Vaccinosis, you will find so many articles and actual owner accounts as well:

http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/petvacc.htm

http://www.whale.to/m/pitcairn6.html

http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_vaccination.php

You will all be in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us updated on Skye :grouphug:

will2power
April 19th, 2012, 12:10 PM
I'm just going out the door to go spend time with my baby. I will read the latest posts as soon as I get back and post an update as well. I just had a quick look through what some of you added and it looks like there's some excellent direction there. Thank you SO much! Fingers crossed she looks a little better today. More when I get back.

chico2
April 19th, 2012, 01:53 PM
Rgeurts.I was hoping you'd be reading this post and help out:grouphug:

will2power
April 19th, 2012, 05:17 PM
I got to spend several hours with Skye this afternoon and boy, has there been a huge change in her! When I first arrived they had her IV locked and asked if I wanted to take her outside for a walk. As soon as she saw me she ran to me and tried to climb up onto my lap. And her little tail was wagging like crazy! Honestly, she shocked me with how well she looked compared to yesterday. We walked around the clinic a few times and she even peed for me. :-) Funny how something like that can almost make me giddy. She's got a large patch of fur shaved off her back now for her Fentanyl patch, so she looks a bit dishevelled. But she's still gorgeous in my eyes. She was also drinking water today. The vet says that if the swelling goes down some more and she starts to eat, we can take her home. Even if that is during the weekend. Oh, I can't wait to get her home. She's still getting the colloid fluid therapy, so I'm hoping that will continue to help with the edema. When I had to leave she really pulled on her lead to go with me. That was heartbreaking. :-(

Melinda, I checked the dog food and there's no problem with the expiry date. Sirius is eating the same food and he's as healthy as a horse (I wonder where that expression came from?). But it was certainly worth checking.

Rgeurts, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to recover from something like that. I do appreciate that you took so much time to offer those links. You know, I've had a nagging suspicion about the vaccine. I did a little research and read a bit about vaccinosis earlier in the week and it seems like so many of the symptoms described match closely to Skye's experience. I've discussed this with the vet twice and she feels that the time span was too great. But I just can't shake my worries, because I KNOW Skye didn't have access to anything that she could ingest. I know it. You'd have to know how our family routine goes on a daily basis to understand why I'm so certain. I will look at the links you shared to do a little more research. Thank you so much for your help.

So, all in all, it looks like Skye has turned a corner. I did pay $1000 down on her running bill today and I got a copy of the drugs she's received to date. I notice now that I made a few mistakes with drug names on my first post. I'll go back and edit it to make sure it includes accurate info.

I'm feeling so optimistic now. :-) Yay! Thank you all for being there.

Rgeurts
April 19th, 2012, 06:30 PM
I got to spend several hours with Skye this afternoon and boy, has there been a huge change in her! When I first arrived they had her IV locked and asked if I wanted to take her outside for a walk. As soon as she saw me she ran to me and tried to climb up onto my lap. And her little tail was wagging like crazy! Honestly, she shocked me with how well she looked compared to yesterday. We walked around the clinic a few times and she even peed for me. :-) Funny how something like that can almost make me giddy. She's got a large patch of fur shaved off her back now for her Fentanyl patch, so she looks a bit dishevelled. But she's still gorgeous in my eyes. She was also drinking water today. The vet says that if the swelling goes down some more and she starts to eat, we can take her home. Even if that is during the weekend. Oh, I can't wait to get her home. She's still getting the colloid fluid therapy, so I'm hoping that will continue to help with the edema. When I had to leave she really pulled on her lead to go with me. That was heartbreaking. :-(

Melinda, I checked the dog food and there's no problem with the expiry date. Sirius is eating the same food and he's as healthy as a horse (I wonder where that expression came from?). But it was certainly worth checking.

Rgeurts, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to recover from something like that. I do appreciate that you took so much time to offer those links. You know, I've had a nagging suspicion about the vaccine. I did a little research and read a bit about vaccinosis earlier in the week and it seems like so many of the symptoms described match closely to Skye's experience. I've discussed this with the vet twice and she feels that the time span was too great. But I just can't shake my worries, because I KNOW Skye didn't have access to anything that she could ingest. I know it. You'd have to know how our family routine goes on a daily basis to understand why I'm so certain. I will look at the links you shared to do a little more research. Thank you so much for your help.

So, all in all, it looks like Skye has turned a corner. I did pay $1000 down on her running bill today and I got a copy of the drugs she's received to date. I notice now that I made a few mistakes with drug names on my first post. I'll go back and edit it to make sure it includes accurate info.

I'm feeling so optimistic now. :-) Yay! Thank you all for being there.

I'm so glad to see there's some improvement!! :highfive:
I think we can all relate to getting excited over the potty issues! I know I've sifted through my share of poos :yuck:, and gotten very excited to see a firm stool :laughing:

The shaved fur will grow back! Nookie looked like a patchwork quilt at one time. He was shaved on the back of his head/neck, his back from the mid section down to his tail from CSF taps, his tummy/chest from an ultrasound and both front and rear legs from IV's, having blood drawn and a transfusion.

Nookie had a lot of the same symptoms as Skye, but he also has grand mal seizures and neurolgical disorders (hyperesthesia-tactile and auditory). His belly, ears and paws were bright pink and he would go nuts scratching and biting at himself. Vaccinosis reactions can be immediate, or as long as 3 months after the vaccines are given. So 8 days is well within that time frame. Your vet may be thinking of just an immediate vaccine reaction, not Vaccinosis. In our case, he had his combo vaccine on May 18 and his first grand mal seizure on June 1 (or maybe the 2nd?). He had his Rabies and last booster on July 31 and another seizure on August 1. After that, it was a constant battle to keep him alive. He developed meningoencephalitis (most likely after his first set of puppy shots when he was with the byb... at 5 and a half to 6 weeks old :wall:) and several other issues that he still has to this day. He will never again get another vaccine. They believe his issues are only due to Vaccinosis in part, some are most likely congenital (he came from a backyard breeder).

I hope and :pray: you can take your sweet girl home this weekend and that she makes a speedy recovery!! Bless you and your hubby for taking such good care of her :cloud9:

Robyn

Rgeurts
April 19th, 2012, 07:04 PM
Rgeurts.I was hoping you'd be reading this post and help out:grouphug:

I don't know if it will be much help lol, all I can do is offer my experiences with the Nookie Monster :)

:grouphug: :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
April 19th, 2012, 07:12 PM
So glad to hear Skye is doing better, will2power! :goodvibes:

will2power
April 20th, 2012, 07:41 AM
Thanks so much for all the well-wishes and information. I just called the hospital and got my morning update. Skye slept really well last night. The edema seems to have subsided a little bit more, too. She's drinking enough water, but they're still have to syringe feed her with the high-calorie slurry. However, they think she seems to enjoy the taste a little more this morning. They had her out for a walk and she peed (yay!) and the plan for today is to continue with her meds and the colloid fluid therapy. But the best piece of news was that when the tech called Skye to her, she jumped up and put her paws on her belly! The tech was standing when Skye did this, so she *must* have more energy. They said her overall demeanor seems brighter today, too. :highfive:

Robyn, you've been to hell and back with Nanook. I'm so sorry. You sound an awful lot like me when it comes to your babies. Actually, you all do. Kindred spirits! Can I ask what kind of food you feed your babes? Now that I know Skye is getting better and will be coming home soon, I'm scared to death about how I should be feeding her (just in case). I'm also not sure about her ever having another vaccination. I have so many fears.

I'm breathing easier today. Just a little. Now maybe I can get the swelling to go down around my eyes. I've cried a river this week. :cry:

marko
April 20th, 2012, 08:50 AM
Good news on Skye's improvement and continues good vibes :goodvibes::goodvibes:

Marty11
April 20th, 2012, 10:14 AM
I have been following this thread. I am so happy to hear Skye is doing better. I am suspicious of vaccines too. I am feeding my dog Acana with highest quality canned food added and occasionally sardines for an extra treat.

will2power
April 20th, 2012, 10:25 AM
Thank you both. I've never heard of Acana dog food before. :confused:

I just posted a picture of Skye and Sirius to my forum album in case anyone would like to take a peek.

Rgeurts
April 20th, 2012, 10:49 AM
Thanks so much for all the well-wishes and information. I just called the hospital and got my morning update. Skye slept really well last night. The edema seems to have subsided a little bit more, too. She's drinking enough water, but they're still have to syringe feed her with the high-calorie slurry. However, they think she seems to enjoy the taste a little more this morning. They had her out for a walk and she peed (yay!) and the plan for today is to continue with her meds and the colloid fluid therapy. But the best piece of news was that when the tech called Skye to her, she jumped up and put her paws on her belly! The tech was standing when Skye did this, so she *must* have more energy. They said her overall demeanor seems brighter today, too. :highfive:

Robyn, you've been to hell and back with Nanook. I'm so sorry. You sound an awful lot like me when it comes to your babies. Actually, you all do. Kindred spirits! Can I ask what kind of food you feed your babes? Now that I know Skye is getting better and will be coming home soon, I'm scared to death about how I should be feeding her (just in case). I'm also not sure about her ever having another vaccination. I have so many fears.

I'm breathing easier today. Just a little. Now maybe I can get the swelling to go down around my eyes. I've cried a river this week. :cry:

I'm so sorry... I know exactly how you feel. I've been there many times with both Thorin (before we lost him) and Nookie. :cry:

Your babies are adorable!!! I love Sirius' face, he's too cute :)
And Skye... wow, what a beauty!!! She has gorgeous eyes :flirt:
I'm SO glad to see she is doing better. Hopefully she will continue to improve throughout the day and you can take her home for the weekend :pray: :fingerscr

I was feeding a completely home cooked diet, but Nookie also has allergies and really bad GI issues. It seemed like all the veggies we tried either made him itchy, or made him throw-up, or gave him diarrhea :shrug:
He's also allergic to chicken, beef and we *think* turkey. What I feed him now is a dehydrated food called The Honest Kitchen. They have several different formulas. Some are with meat and grains, some are grain free and the one we use is called "Preference". It's veggies/fruits and you add your own meat. He gets baked Salmon. I spend one day a week, bake it, put it in ziploc baggies and freeze them. This is the only food we have found that doesn't irritate his system. We feed Montana (the puppy) the same brand, but the formula is Embark (Turkey/fruits/veggies-grain free). I would love to put them on raw, but Nookie's immune system is just to weak for raw food.

With Skye, if it was indeed a vaccine reaction, I would be very careful of raw as her immune system is most likely not able to handle it either. Home cooked is great, if you have the time/money to do it :)

Here is a link to the food:

http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/

All the meat they use is antibiotic/hormone free, the grains are organic and fair trade and the produce is non-genetically modified. They are also the only company to have received FDA approval in their facility (human food facility).

CsqU4r3d
April 20th, 2012, 10:50 AM
Great to hear Skye is improving daily and will soon be home where she belongs...:highfive::thumbs up...Both your fur babies are adorable:cloud9::lovestruck:

will2power
April 20th, 2012, 11:28 AM
I'm so excited that it's hard for me to sit and write this post! I just called the vet to see when I could come and visit with Skye and she said she thinks she can come home today!!!! They didn't tell me when I called this morning, but apparently Skye chewed her IV line out last night. She took that as an indicator that she's on the mend. She's still got some swelling, and she's not really eating unless fed with a syringe, but all other signs are positive. She said that I could give her the exact same care at home (minus the IV, of course) and as an added bonus, she's the vet on call this weekend for emergencies. She'll be just a phone call away (and I live about 3 minutes away from the hospital). We'll give her meds and continue the feeding at home. Yay!!!! The vet said she's been jumping up to them all day and she said that she's just so happy when I visit that she will probably finish recuperating at home much faster than she could at the hospital. Okay. I'm probably babbling a little bit right now. I'm just so excited! Skye has literally been at death's door a few times this past week and we've been so frantic. They put another IV in so that she can finish getting more fluids throughout the day, but I can pick her up around 4PM. I have only 3 more hours to go. :)

Now, if someone has a suggestion as to how I can keep my other dog, Sirius, from completely mauling her when she comes home, that would be helpful. :laughing: He's really been missing her.

I'm so *#$%! happy! Thank you all for being there for me and for my Skye Baby. You've helped to keep me somewhat sane. Big hugs for all!

Rgeurts
April 20th, 2012, 11:56 AM
I'm so excited for you!!!! How wonderful :D :highfive:
Please keep us posted on her recovery :grouphug:

will2power
April 20th, 2012, 11:58 AM
Thanks, Robyn. I will! When I get her home and settled I'll take a picture to share with the forum. :-) I'm having a really good Friday. I hope you are, too!

hazelrunpack
April 20th, 2012, 03:38 PM
Wonderful news! :highfive: I'm so happy for all of you!

Sirius, you behave and be a good boy for your sister when she gets home!! :dog:

pbpatti
April 20th, 2012, 03:43 PM
will2power, your last post just fills my heart with JOY :lovestruck:. I am so glad the Skye seems to have come through the worst of it. Well wishes for a full recovery and wishing you and your family some well needed rest as I am pretty sure you have not slept that well this week.

Dog Dancer
April 20th, 2012, 04:09 PM
Just reading this post for the first time. So glad to hear that Skye has pulled through this and is coming home. :thumbs up Bless you and your husband for all that you have done for her. She will repay you many times over I'm certain.

You know, you keep saying thank you to everyone who had their comments (and Robyn with her similar experiences, poor sweet lady) but your post will help others also. Just from reading this it has reminded me when Robyn posted about Mal's being prone to issues with their vaccines. As I am currently waiting for a Mal puppy it's good to be reminded of that. I'm sure I have read that in Robyn's threads before, but had long since forgotten. So you see, now I can thank you! These boards are so helpful all along.

I really hope that the home coming goes smoothly. We're looking forward to some pics. And I sure hope that Skye just continues to improve daily. Trust your gut with this issue and you won't go wrong. Hugs to you all for a great weekend with the pups at home.

will2power
April 20th, 2012, 08:32 PM
That was a very sweet post, Dog Dancer. And all the others, too. They really have lifted my spirits.

I have my darling girl home now. She looks a bit rough around the edges, but the difference in her today compared to last weekend is remarkable. As soon as we came home she found a few small treats that I left for Sirius and she gobbled them up. It was like she was starved for food, even though they'd only been able to get her to eat a little of the high calorie slurry at the hospital (and that was by force feeding with a syringe). I have a bunch of 165g cans of Medi-Cal Recovery food for her (this is what they were making the slurry from) and I'm supposed to try and get her to eat 4.5 cans per day if she doesn't start eating on her own. Now I'm a little unsure how to proceed. She's eating very well and I'm even having to hold back food from her. She's supposed to eat frequent, small meals until her digestive system gets back on track. I think I still want her to have the canned food because it's specially formulated to help her heal.

I have a new problem now. Since she came home at 4, she's peed in the house 5 times. She's also peed in her run twice (no poops yet). I guess I have to start over to some degree with the potty training. We've found that if we go outside with her as soon as she drinks, we can get her to go in her run. I don't want to be stern with her if she goes in the house, because she's still sick. She also has a Fentanyl patch on her back which I'm sure must make her a bit zonked. She's still taking Benedryl, too, and I know that makes her drowsy. Any suggestions as to how I should handle this little dilemma? We don't have carpeting on our floors, so it's not such a challenge to clean up after her. The Fentanyl patch comes off on Sunday morning, so maybe we can be a little more effective then.

So, right now she's resting on the couch beside hubby. Sirius is there beside her, too. He's being such a good boy. I'll get some pictures taken over the weekend.

As of this moment, she's taking 50mg prednisone twice daily (or b.i.d.), 375mg Metronidazole b.i.d., 300mg Zentonil b.i.d., 150mg Baytril b.i.d., 50mg Benedryl b.i.d and a Fentanyl patch. She goes back to the vet on Monday morning for a check up and reassessment, so fingers crossed! So far the grand total is $3118.72. I don't think I ever spent that much money in 6 days in my entire life! LOL

I'm just so happy that she's home. My daughter sent me an email today (she lives in Ottawa and has been worried sick over Skye) and she said, "Mom, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and then comes back with something like this as an apology." Well, I have my Skye back, so apology accepted! :)

May we all have a restful, happy weekend. More to follow...

Rgeurts
April 20th, 2012, 10:41 PM
I'm SO happy she's home and eating!!! That's a great sign :cloud9:
Dog Dancer is a doll! And the rest are equally wonderful. This forum is full of caring, compassionate and knowledgeable people. I really don't know how I would have made it through everything I went through without them :lovestruck:

As for the peeing, if she's on pred, not to dampen your spirits, but you can expect the peeing to continue lol. Nookie was on it for about 8 months and all he did was eat, drink and pee. He was a crazy boy (well, crazier than his normal crazy self :laughing:). He is never left alone in the house, not even for 10 minutes, so he goes to daycare when we work. His peeing was so bad that I had to buy the multi-packs of paper towels for the daycare to help with the cost of cleaning up after him :eek:
We put a belly band on him in the house. I think the equivalent for Skye would be a doggy diaper?

I hope you all have a restful and worry free weekend!! :grouphug:

Robyn

hazelrunpack
April 21st, 2012, 09:32 AM
Ya, it's the dang prednisone. 100mg a day is a large dose. The inappropriate peeing should stop as she's weaned off the pred. She really can't help herself. Just invest in a large jug of a good enzymatic cleaner formulated for neutralizing urine odors and maybe get some pee-resistant pads for any furniture she may be used to lying on. :o

So glad she's home and eating!! :grouphug: I wonder if she just doesn't like the Medi-Cal Recovery food and that's why she wouldn't eat it at the clinic? I take it that she's eating her regular food now? Frankly, if that's the case, I'd call the clinic and ask if it would be okay if you returned the canned food and let her go back on her regular diet.

Rgeurts
April 21st, 2012, 12:01 PM
I hope everything is well, that you and hubby got some rest and Skye is continuing to improve!!! :)

will2power
April 21st, 2012, 12:29 PM
I wonder if the prednisone is also the reason why her urine smells so awful? It's really yellow, too. Or maybe it's a combination of the different drugs she's taking. I picked up a good pet cleaner, so I'm managing to keep the odour down in the house (now the house smells like "juicy apple"). :shrug: They did another urinalysis just before we took her home yesterday and that was fine. And her pee has been the same colour, etc since she was in hospital.

She's also shedding like you wouldn't believe. I'm used to her shedding a lot, but this is way above and beyond what I would expect. I don't really want to brush her because her skin still seems sensitive. I'm just removing what I can when I rub her fur. Could this also be connected to the meds? Or maybe she's losing so much because she's been stressed.

She seems to be doing so much better today. We just had her out for a walk around the backyard and she even wanted to run a little bit. And her appetite is incredible. All it took was getting her back home to make her hungry. I just want to be sure that I don't give her too much too soon. She hasn't really pooped yet and the food she's getting now is the first solid food she's had since April 13th. (Now I'm praying for poop...lol)

The vet said that I didn't need to give her the Medi-Cal Recovery food if she was eating well, so I'm not going to push it. I've opened one can, but she's having none of it. Maybe it's as you mentioned...she just doesn't like it. We have to see the vet again on Monday at 8:45AM, so I'll see if I can get refunded for the remaining cans (the stuff ain't cheap!).

Has anyone here prepared their own dog food at home? I have a book that was written by a vet which includes recipes to make meals at home. I notice that most of the main meals also mentioned a kids multivitamin. Now, I wouldn't change Skye's diet or give her children's multivitamins without the vet's supervision (the book also insists on this), but I was wondering if anyone here used such a thing. I just want to be sure she's getting all the right nutrients as well as the necessary calories. Since last night she's had 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and grilled steak, along with numerous other things. I've boiled some extra lean hamburger meat for her dinner and I'm going to add some rice and veggies to it. I know I should be pushing the dog food because it's more complete for her, but she's lost so much weight that right now I'm trying to get that back up. But I don't want her to be missing something she needs, either. She's so hungry. I think if I gave her 20 chicken breasts right now she'd try to eat them all. I hope we see some poop before the end of today. Overall, she's way better today.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the swelling has all but disappeared. There's just a tiny bit remaining in her front left paw.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and suggestions. They're all helping me tremendously! :grouphug:

hazelrunpack
April 21st, 2012, 03:53 PM
I don't recall a change in the odor of the urine when our dogs have been on pred, but it might be due to the combination of drugs she's on.

As for the shedding--yes, stress can cause them to blow their coat. If you have a grooming mitt, it may be more gentle on her skin and help to get rid of some of that fly-away hair.

Glad to hear her appetite is so good and she's improving so much! I can only imagine your relief :grouphug:

Goldfields
April 21st, 2012, 10:57 PM
This is a really interesting thread and thanks for telling it all, will2power, as one never knows when their own dog could come down with something like this. So pleased that Skye is coming good. My sister and I both include children's vitamins(liquid form) when we feed baby puppies, only a couple of drops of course. It's never hurt them so Skye is likely okay on it, but do run it by your vet first. I had to laugh at the idea of you feeding her 20 chicken breasts, she'd certainly poop them. LOL. Glad to hear that swelling is nearly gone, that part really worried me. She's a lucky girl to have you loving and caring for her. When I die I think I'd like to come back as one of yours or Robyn's dogs. :)

will2power
April 22nd, 2012, 10:35 AM
Yay! Skye did her first poop this morning. :party: It was well-formed, not too hard, not too soft, but just right. It was a goldilocks poop. :D My neighbour must think I'm nuts. I was so excited when she finally went.

So here's the latest update...

She slept well again last night, though she did wake at 4AM to pee. This was most likely because Sirius woke and wanted to go. We removed the Fentanyl patch around 10AM this morning, so she's currently getting zero pain meds. When I have to give her all those other meds (all in pill form), she looks at me with contempt. :( She's being a good girl about it, though.

We changed her Benedryl to q8h yesterday, because she seemed to have some hive-like bumps around her head. It's not so bad today, so I'll make a decision later if we should drop back to q12h again. The vet gave us some leeway in that respect. She's got much more energy today, too. And eating well!

I have noticed a few new odd things. Her skin seems to be peeling something awful. It's almost like someone who's post 5 days after a bad sunburn. I have also noted that the skin around the inside of the top of her legs still seems a bit red (though nothing like it had been last week). And her nails seem a little different to me. I've tried to look at this in terms of the "big picture", and to me it's as if all the rapidly dividing cells of her body have been impacting by her illness; skin, fur, gut, nails, etc. It has to be immune-related. But since I'm not a DVM, I have no clue if all these symptoms are related to the original illness, side-effects of the multiple drugs she's taking, or a combination of both. We see the vet first thing tomorrow so I'll have a long discussion with her about this (as well as her diet). I'm going to ask her about the children's multivitamin idea, too. And maybe I'll try to hunt down one of those grooming mitts. Your comments and suggestions are helping me so much.

So, all in all we're off to a good start today. I hope it stays that way. :pray: Goldfields said, "When I die I think I'd like to come back as one of yours or Robyn's dogs." LOL I'm sure you're just as protective of your baby too. That's one of the things that stands out most to me about this forum. Everyone here seems to share a similar philosophy to my own. We love our babies! :lovestruck:

I hope everyone is having a good day (with a special good vibe for Nanook). :)

will2power
April 23rd, 2012, 09:07 AM
We had Skye back to the vet this morning for her exam. The vet repeated her CBC, chemistry profile and lytes, and she'll give me a call later this morning with the results. She also wanted a urinalysis recheck and because Skye refused to pee, I took the container home and collected the sample here. Skye is looking a lot better except for 2 things: she still has some hives around her head and a few around her flanks, and her gums, eyes, etc. look a little jaundiced (she's still taking the Zentonil for her liver). The vet also took some more pictures of these symptoms to share with other vets for their opinion.

We may need allergy testing. It's just such a mystery. I want her to be 100% better. I'd say she's 95% improved from a week ago, but these two symptoms are still lingering. I don't want her to backslide. I couldn't bear the thought of her being so sick again.

So that's the latest update. I'll post again once I get some of her results back today. I hope everyone's week is off to a good start.

hazelrunpack
April 23rd, 2012, 10:10 AM
So puzzing!! I hope the bloodwork gives the vet some clues, or at least shows marked improvement. Good that your vet is networking--sometimes a group brainstorming can come up with some novel solutions.

Seems strange that she should suddenly become so allergic! Still praying for your girl!! :goodvibes:

will2power
April 23rd, 2012, 11:55 AM
If someone can help me I'd give the world! The vet just called with Skye's lab results. She said she's very, very, very worried. Skye's slightly anaemic and her white cell count is through the roof (about 5X normal high values). She said a normal high for her would be 16. While she was in hospital last week they were running about 32. Today they're 56. And she's been getting two very powerful antibiotics for the past 8 days now! Her bilirubin is up a bit and her albumin levels are creeping back down again, so we may see the limb edema start soon. I'm taking her back again at 3:45 so they can try to aspirate one of the small hives on her head to see if that answers anything, but barring this, she says we've exhausted all our avenues in Newfoundland. She mentioned that they could do further testing in PEI or Guelph, but that's not even a remote possibility for us. I spent another $200 so far today and now she has to have the aspiration this afternoon. That's about $3500 in 7 days. They're completely baffled by her. No one seems to know what's going on! Her glucose is up slightly, but she's not concerned about diabetes. She also said her pancreatic values are down a bit and her liver values are slightly elevated. DOES ANYONE HAVE SUGGESTIONS FOR US? I don't even know if this post makes sense, because I'm crying so hard I can barely see the screen. Skye seems to be feeling better. So why are these results so horribly bad??? Help me if you can, please. I know you will, because you're all such wonderful people. ANY suggestions as to the possible cause of this would be appreciated! She's my baby and I need her.

breeze
April 23rd, 2012, 12:06 PM
I don't have much to over :( over the results

but my question would be if Skye is on anti biotic and other meds wouldn't it raise the results or lower the results??
sorry if it sounds dumb..

more :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:
and
:pray::pray::pray:
coming your way

Dog Dancer
April 23rd, 2012, 02:50 PM
will2power, I'm so sorry to hear Skye is on such a roller coaster ride with her health. Robyn I'm sure will be along and have some advice to offer you. She's had so much experience with her doggy health issues. I have been more fortunate and not faced such dramatic issues with my pups.

Bless you for doing all that you can to help Skye. That said, and forgive me for saying this, but I'm sure you're worrying about it, nobody will judge you badly for not being able to take her to PEI or Guelph. These are tough times all around and you've done so much to help your girl already. Just do what you can and with God's will things will work out for the best for sweet Skye. There are sadly limits to what everyone can do, but it's painfully obvious that you will move heaven and earth to do what you can. A hug to you at this terribly hard time. :grouphug:

You and Skye are in my thoughts and prayers today as we hope for better results soon. And you are right, everyone here feels like you do, are furbabies are just hairy kids to us!

hazelrunpack
April 23rd, 2012, 03:58 PM
Has Skye accompanied you to any warm areas recently?

will2power
April 24th, 2012, 09:54 AM
Dear All. Skye seems to be having a very good morning. She slept all night and we've had no pee accidents in the house so far today (not that it would upset me at this point). Her hives (on her head) even seem to be gone. I'm still waiting for the vet to call with the results of her aspiration yesterday. Right now Skye is snuggled up on the couch. I boiled an entire fresh chicken for her this morning and she just ate a full plate (along with Sirius). I had been giving her boneless skinless chicken breast, which we buy frozen in large boxes. The chicken breast has soy protein on it, so I was thinking maybe she could be reacting to that. I'm going to try only fresh chicken without the soy for a few days to see if that makes any difference. We're still doing all the meds q12h. Right now she's getting 50mg of Benedryl, 375mg of Metronidazole, 150mg of Baytril, 50mg of Prednisone and 300mg of Zentonil at 8 and 8. She's still shedding something awful and her skin continues to peel. Poor thing. She looks like she's been to the front line of a war zone with the shaved front legs and back as well as the peeling skin. But she has energy, she's eating, drinking, sleeping, peeing, pooping and resting. And equally as important, her eyes are bright, reacting with excitement when Dad gets home from work, or when Nan comes to visit and there's food afoot.

I know the blood work yesterday looked bad. And I don't think I'm in some sort of denial. But Skye seems symptomatically so much better that I'm remaining hopeful that this will be something we'll look back on a year from now and think, "gee, that was a scary mystery ride." I really think there's a mind/body connection (even in dogs). If we remain positive around her while supporting her with her meds, exercise/rest and excellent nutrition in a healthy environment, we have a fighting chance. I truly believe that.

To answer a few of your questions, we haven't travelled anywhere with Skye. She's a homebody (not that she doesn't like adventure!). And as for her white cell count, breeze, we'd expect that to go down, especially since she's been getting two different antibiotics since April 15. Instead, it's just continued to climb. <sigh> And thanks for your kind words, Dog Dancer. If I could, I'd take her wherever they told me to go. This whole experience is teaching me that you really need a pot of money that you can access in emergency situations when you have family members with four legs. That, or good pet health insurance.

My name is Honna, btw. If today continues to go well, I'll try to do a proper introduction on the other bulletin board. I'm so happy to know you all. You've been a huge help to me. :thankyou:

Marty11
April 24th, 2012, 10:05 AM
I am sure some will agree with me. Why not try another protein source such as lamb? If there is an allergy, other than grains, chicken is the number one allergy for meat protein. Maybe it's different cause it's fresh? Absolutely no processed treats either. I feed apples and raw vegies for treats. To add to the pile of $$$$ spent, allergy testing would probably be beneficial.

will2power
April 24th, 2012, 10:38 AM
Thanks, Marty. I never considered lamb, since it's something we never eat. It's worth a try. Maybe it is a chicken allergy? Skye and Sirius both love unpeeled, cored apples. They like raw carrot sticks, too. I will confess, however, that we have used processed dog treats. We also use a treat that we buy at the vet clinic, called Medi-Treats. They're naturally preserved with no meat protein. Siruis doesn't like them, but Skye does. I just found them online, so I'll post the ingredients below. Maybe I should be making my own home-made treats. The vet mentioned allergy testing, but when she called yesterday with the blood test results, she stated that we've "exhausted all avenues" here (direct quote). I just want answers. How can you battle something that has yet to be named? I'm going to get her some lamb today. Fingers crossed! :fingerscr

Ingredients in Medi-Treats

Oat Groats, Brewer’s Rice, Apple Pomace, Natural Flavour, Tomato Pomace, Coconut Oil, Flax Seed, Carrot Pomace, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Fructo-Oligosaccharides, Taurine, L-Lysine, Vitamins (DL-Alpha-Tocopherol [Source of Vitamin E], L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C], Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement and Vitamin D3 Supplement), Trace Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulphate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Sulphate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate and Sodium Selenite), L-Carnitine and Beta-Carotene. Naturally Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract and Citric Acid. Approximately 14 kcal/treat

will2power
April 24th, 2012, 10:44 AM
Writing that last post made me think about something...we'd been treating her all along with the vet's opinion that this ordeal has been a type I GI anaphylaxis. If that were so, wouldn't we see an improvement by now? I mean, if we've exhausted all avenues of investigation and treatment, that should mean that a) it wasn't what we were thinking, or b) it is what we were thinking, but the unnamed "thing" she's been reacting to has yet to be identified and removed. Does that sound logical?

Marty11
April 24th, 2012, 10:45 AM
The number one allergy protein is Chicken
The number one allergy grain is rice
Humans are allergic to coconut (can canines be)?

This is what i've read. Things change all the time, so talk to a food expert.

Marty11
April 24th, 2012, 10:53 AM
Anaphylaxis is a direct reaction to something she ingested, or touched on her skin right? It can be a very serious reaction, which explains the hives. At this point I may try fresh lamb(you can buy ground in the freezer), maybe the raw treats, no processed food at all not even the vet treats! Try for several weeks, and there is kibble with limited ingredients you can try or even keep the home cooking and adding one more food source at a time (like sweet potatoes or green beans etc....) You will need at some point, fish oils and vitamins too. Myka and I have been going over this for months. I am suspicious of that coconut oil???? I say "b"

Dog Dancer
April 24th, 2012, 11:47 AM
Marty11 could be onto something withthe chicken. My lab is allergic to chicken and anything with poultry oil/fat. She eats a dry kibble that is lamb based with no grains. I have learned to avoid anything that even says "animal fat" as that could be poultry. It's very common and if Skye's condition doesn't improve I also would suggest trying a change. Word of caution though I find when I feed my dogs too much lamb they get the runs, I think it is very rich. You will need to find the right combination for Skye.

Good luck to you as this mystery continues on Honna. Sending more positive thoughts and prayers your way. Hugs too! Skye is in good hands.

Rgeurts
April 24th, 2012, 12:28 PM
Hi will2power,

I'm sorry to hear about Skyes test results. We did go through something similar with Nookie. He was (and still is) a complete mystery. He was on very high doses of prednisone, like Skye, and he was also on medications to suppress the immune system, the same type given to chemo/cancer patients. He also developed anemia (severe) and a high white blood count. Both can be attributed to a few different things, but prednisone and any other medications that supress the immune system can cause this. Nookie was also on Azathioprine with the pred, which made his much worse. Nookie was bleeding internally and his blood volume was down to 1.25%. Our vet had said when dogs hit 12%-13%, they ususally die. Our baby had literally no blood. He had a transfusion and that's when we were told he wouldn't be with us much longer (Oct. 2010). The transfusion did help, but he struggled with anemia (without internal bleeding) for months. It was a very scary time for us. I won't get in to all the details, it's very confusing and so much to consider. But one thing that comes to mind for me, with all the symptoms, is definitely an immune-mediated response to the vaccines. The high white count and anemia can be symptomatic of IMHA (immune-mediated Hemolytic Anemia), which is what they thought Nookie had (thankfully, he didn't!). Because Malamutes are prone to immune-mediated diseases, I would be asking the vet to check for IMHA, especially with the anemia, high white count and yellowing of the skin/eyes (the yellowing can be attributed to a high Bilirubin count). Another thing is that if Skye is on prednisone and has a high liver count, she should be switched to prednisolone instead. You can also look into getting her on something like Denamarin (Milk Thistle and SAM-e), they work wonders for the liver function and can help to keep the high liver enzymes in check while on all the meds. One thing you need to be very careful with is infections, both bacterial and viral, while she is on the pred. With the doses of pred she is on, she is very susceptible to infections, which can account for the high white cells. Also, prednisone can react with certain other drugs, including antibiotics, maybe just google it to make sure. You would think vets would know, but they can't possibly know everything. Our vet was out of town last week and another one in the clinic tried to put Nookie on Baytril. I freaked out and called them when my MIL told me what they put him on. A dog with neurological issues (especially actively seizuring dogs) should never be given Baytril. When I said I would not give it to him, she looked it up and said he would be fine, that there are no contraindication between the 2. Iasked them to please have her check again and insisted on a diferent antibiotic for him. The clinic called me back and said she had checked, there was nothing to worry about and to go ahead and start it. I told them I absolutely would not and offered her some reference material which included warnings from the company that makes Baytril (Bayer). I wasn't trying to be rude, but I was SO frustrated. So they do make mistakes. Baytril lowers the seizure threshold and also increases seizure activity, so could be a double whammy in his case. Just do some research. The one thing they will need to do is a blood smear to check for spherocytes which is very common with IMHA. Also, she may not display all the clinical symptoms associated with certain illnesses, so if you suspect something, make sure they test even if she isn't displaying all of them. When Nookie had Meningoencephalitis, he displayed none of the typical clinical symptoms such as fever, pain in the neck/shoulders etc. The only symptom he had were seizures :shrug:

Sorry for the novel, but hopefully there will be something helpful here. Please keep us updated on how she is doing. And I'm very glad she seems to be feeling better anyway! :grouphug:

Also, I don't know if you have a good holistic vet, but that is what saved our boy. Western medicine defintely has it's place, and it kept our baby alive long enough for us to get him the help he needed. What Dr. Marsden has done for our boy is nothing short of a miracle. He really did save his life and used only chinese herbs to do it. We can still lose him at any time, and we know that. But we have had a very happy (and a lot more healthy) year than we would have without Dr. Marsden.

Robyn

Marty11
April 24th, 2012, 01:00 PM
You could also try Salmon, Pork, or Beef or something totally different like buffalo or venison. You try one protein at a time, then you add another one to see if there is a reaction. The problem is that if she is anaphylactic, it is more serious. What about something like wellness grain free cans with one protein?

Rgeurts
April 24th, 2012, 01:32 PM
This is a link to a webpage that I found helpful when we thought Nookie had IMHA. It's written by a person who went through this and took a lot of the technical content from studies etc. and put it in an easy to read article. I did some checking on the content, and it seems fairly accurate. It also lists some of the antibiotics that can bring on IMHA, as well as common links between vaccination reactions and IMHA, though nothing has been scientifically proven.

http://www.norfolkterrier.org/articles_f-j/imhafordummies01.html

This is just one paragraph from the arcticle:

"The only relevant event in Rover's case was his annual vaccination for Rabies, Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo and Lyme. That occurred in mid-January along with his mother, a five-year-old Norfolk bitch, and a six-month-old Dachshund puppy. All received the same serums. Only Rover contracted IMHA. There is no scientific evidence to confirm that IMHA is caused by or related to vaccinations. In a significant number of cases, the onset of IMHA follows vaccinations by several weeks, just coincidentally the same amount of time it may take for the immunization process to become effective."

I hope this isn't what Skye has, but would be good to rule it out :)

Rgeurts
April 24th, 2012, 02:27 PM
Ok, forget the Denamrin, the Zentonil looks to be the same thing! :)

Rgeurts
April 24th, 2012, 06:19 PM
Writing that last post made me think about something...we'd been treating her all along with the vet's opinion that this ordeal has been a type I GI anaphylaxis. If that were so, wouldn't we see an improvement by now? I mean, if we've exhausted all avenues of investigation and treatment, that should mean that a) it wasn't what we were thinking, or b) it is what we were thinking, but the unnamed "thing" she's been reacting to has yet to be identified and removed. Does that sound logical?

If it is an allergic reaction, it can take several weeks for the allergen to completely leave her system, so the residual effects can last quite some time, but they should not be getting worse unless there is something you haven't dentified yet. We deal with allergies as well and have yet to identify everything, it's been going on since November of last year :yell:

As for treats, if you have the time to make them, salmon skin with a little crumbled salmon, then rolled up, cut in to small pieces, then baked until dry and crunchy (about an hour at 350 for a full cookie sheet). Nanook and Montana just LOVE them and it's a great source of Omegas. Very healthy and you know exactly what's in it :)

will2power
April 24th, 2012, 07:29 PM
So, here's the latest. The vet called this afternoon with the results of Skye's aspiration. It was completely unremarkable. All they saw on the slides were red and white cells. The plan is to continue on with her current med regime with telephone updates to the vet every 2 days unless there's a change in her symptoms. We'll go back for further assessment when we get toward the end of the prednisone/antibiotics/Zentonil "protocol" (for lack of a better word). Skye continues to feel good, so I'm taking that as a positive and running with it.

Robyn, thank you for the wealth of information and for the link on Rover. IMHA is certainly a terrifying condition. I've read a few abstracts and articles this evening to try and learn more about it. Some of it seems to fit with Skye, but other features of IMHA make me wonder. It seems that most dogs present with anaemia (most often severe anaemia). There's also often times associated low platelet count and leucocytosis. Even when Skye presented initially with severe bloody diarrhea (on Day 2), she wasn't anaemic. Her CBC looked normal and only her electrolytes looked slightly low. Her first sign of anaemia was yesterday, and that was only slight. Platelets have remained normal and bilirubin is only up slightly. The jaundice can't be very bad, because I can't see it. :shrug: The vet said she could see it yesterday, though it wasn't pronounced. I also wonder if, given all the smears that have been done over the past week, spherocytes would have been detected. Would they have to be looking for them specifically?

I'm really concerned about the white cell count being so high. The vet didn't specify what type of white cells (I'm guessing neutrophils), but you mentioned that prednisone can drive that up. Do you have any other resources that I can read on this? She's getting a pretty high dose, as you know (100mg/day). I'm so worried about possible infections. To be honest, I don't even know if I want to walk her in the back yard, because I'm afraid she'll stumble upon bird poop or some such thing. We live in a wooded area, so we get all kinds of wildlife back there. Even an occasional moose. But getting back to the IMHA...the literature I've seen shows a high mortality rate (20%-70% occurring primarily in the first 2 weeks post diagnosis). Skye was admitted in crisis and required intensive care with lactated ringers and colloids, but she didn't require transfusions and seemed to respond well by Day 4. Saturday coming will be 2 weeks for us and she continues to visibly improve. I hope and pray that what's happening on the inside is heading the right way, too. This is all so confusing to me. My husband and I have already decided that the possible risk of further vaccinations outweigh the potential benefits. I just can't shake the suspicion that there's a link there somewhere.

Thanks to Marty and Dog Dancer for the suggestions regarding diet. Tomorrow I'm going to try something different. I hate moose meat and I've never even cooked it before. :yuck: But Skye's getting some tomorrow. I have a feeling she'll like it. And hopefully her body will, too.

Whew. In case I ever meet any of you, you should know that I talk this much in person, too. Forewarned. :o

will2power
April 24th, 2012, 07:37 PM
We deal with allergies as well and have yet to identify everything, it's been going on since November of last year :yell:

Oh, dear. You've really run the gamut with illnesses, haven't you. :(

As for treats, if you have the time to make them, salmon skin with a little crumbled salmon, then rolled up, cut in to small pieces, then baked until dry and crunchy (about an hour at 350 for a full cookie sheet). Nanook and Montana just LOVE them and it's a great source of Omegas. Very healthy and you know exactly what's in it :)

Do you use a whole salmon to get the skin? This sounds like something my babes would like, too. I'm just trying to visualize how to get the skin part right. lol

Rgeurts
April 24th, 2012, 09:50 PM
So, here's the latest. The vet called this afternoon with the results of Skye's aspiration. It was completely unremarkable. All they saw on the slides were red and white cells. The plan is to continue on with her current med regime with telephone updates to the vet every 2 days unless there's a change in her symptoms. We'll go back for further assessment when we get toward the end of the prednisone/antibiotics/Zentonil "protocol" (for lack of a better word). Skye continues to feel good, so I'm taking that as a positive and running with it.

Robyn, thank you for the wealth of information and for the link on Rover. IMHA is certainly a terrifying condition. I've read a few abstracts and articles this evening to try and learn more about it. Some of it seems to fit with Skye, but other features of IMHA make me wonder. It seems that most dogs present with anaemia (most often severe anaemia). There's also often times associated low platelet count and leucocytosis. Even when Skye presented initially with severe bloody diarrhea (on Day 2), she wasn't anaemic. Her CBC looked normal and only her electrolytes looked slightly low. Her first sign of anaemia was yesterday, and that was only slight. Platelets have remained normal and bilirubin is only up slightly. The jaundice can't be very bad, because I can't see it. :shrug: The vet said she could see it yesterday, though it wasn't pronounced. I also wonder if, given all the smears that have been done over the past week, spherocytes would have been detected. Would they have to be looking for them specifically?

I'm really concerned about the white cell count being so high. The vet didn't specify what type of white cells (I'm guessing neutrophils), but you mentioned that prednisone can drive that up. Do you have any other resources that I can read on this? She's getting a pretty high dose, as you know (100mg/day). I'm so worried about possible infections. To be honest, I don't even know if I want to walk her in the back yard, because I'm afraid she'll stumble upon bird poop or some such thing. We live in a wooded area, so we get all kinds of wildlife back there. Even an occasional moose. But getting back to the IMHA...the literature I've seen shows a high mortality rate (20%-70% occurring primarily in the first 2 weeks post diagnosis). Skye was admitted in crisis and required intensive care with lactated ringers and colloids, but she didn't require transfusions and seemed to respond well by Day 4. Saturday coming will be 2 weeks for us and she continues to visibly improve. I hope and pray that what's happening on the inside is heading the right way, too. This is all so confusing to me. My husband and I have already decided that the possible risk of further vaccinations outweigh the potential benefits. I just can't shake the suspicion that there's a link there somewhere.

Thanks to Marty and Dog Dancer for the suggestions regarding diet. Tomorrow I'm going to try something different. I hate moose meat and I've never even cooked it before. :yuck: But Skye's getting some tomorrow. I have a feeling she'll like it. And hopefully her body will, too.

Whew. In case I ever meet any of you, you should know that I talk this much in person, too. Forewarned. :o


I'm glad to see she is still feeling better!! We have always been told to "look at the dog in front of you" and found it to be true in most cases with Nookie. Even though the poor guy has a lot going on and will never be 100% healthy, if he's looking like he feels good, then he does. Hopefully the scary results from the tests will even out over the next little while.

Prednisone can cause high and low WBC, which can be due to a few things. One is that it suppresses the immune system and bone marrow, so the risk of infection is much greater. It can also cause leukocytosis (prednisone induced leukocytosis), which, in most cases, it's after long term use. But one thing I've learned is that the "norm" is rarely ever the "norm", at least in our case, which is why I never go based on all the symptoms. All dogs are different and react differently to foods, medications etc. So just because most dogs need the long term use to induce it doesn't mean that it can't have a faster onset, it just isn't "as" likely. Also, immune responses can cause a high WBC. Do you know what type of cells they are? Nookies are Eosiniphil cells, which suggests an immune reaction. He was originally diagnosed with Idiopathic Eosiniphilic Syndrome, which up to the year 2004 (the last year I could find for any studies on this disorder), there were only 10 documented cases worldwide. I searched the internet and forums for days looking for someone, anyone, that had gone through something even remotely similar, with no luck. I do have some good links on my work computer, so I'll go through them and post tomorrow. But for now, I just googled and found this... it's just a brief explanation of pred use and increased WBC:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_prednisone_causes_elevated_wbc

Also, as for the IMHA, there are 3 different types... acute, sub-acute and chronic. They have different symptoms, onset etc. I pray that your girl doesn't have it, but if she doesn't improve, maybe have her tested just to rule it out? This is a link from someone who went through it. Maybe you will find something helpful:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42910&highlight=sway

Who knows what's really going on with your girl... and it's something you may never know, especially if it is an immune reaction, they're so complicated and can display so many confusing (and scary) symptoms. We've been battling for 2 yrs this June, and still don't have a "firm" diagnosis. We've been told so many things, and by many different vets, but I believe they are all just educated guesses, including the Idiopathic Eosiniphilic Syndrome. It just doesn't seem likely he would have something that rare... but then again, it's Nookie :shrug:

Ok, on to the good stuff... treats!!
For the salmon "sushi", or "crunchies" as my boys know them by, it's so easy!! Nookie gets only 1 protein and it's wild salmon. I bake them weekly. After they're baked, I carefully peel the top skin off (it comes off pretty easily), then I remove the fins and any little bones along the edges, then I lay it flat and cut it into 3 sections. For each section, I crumble some of the cooked salmon onto it, then roll it up like a jelly roll and cut it into small slices. This is a link to what they look like:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=80472

If you still can't picture it, let me know and I'll take some pics of each step this weekend :)

Take care!! :grouphug:

Robyn

will2power
April 25th, 2012, 08:39 AM
We have always been told to "look at the dog in front of you" and found it to be true in most cases with Nookie.

I agree. Skye has even gained back the couple of pounds that she lost (at least she looks her normal, healthy size to me). She's got much more energy now, too.

Prednisone can cause high and low WBC, which can be due to a few things. One is that it suppresses the immune system and bone marrow, so the risk of infection is much greater. It can also cause leukocytosis (prednisone induced leukocytosis), which, in most cases, it's after long term use. But one thing I've learned is that the "norm" is rarely ever the "norm", at least in our case, which is why I never go based on all the symptoms. All dogs are different and react differently to foods, medications etc. So just because most dogs need the long term use to induce it doesn't mean that it can't have a faster onset, it just isn't "as" likely. Also, immune responses can cause a high WBC. Do you know what type of cells they are?

I'm not sure. I was guessing neutrophils, but the vet didn't say. She just said her white count was 5X normal. I'll be talking with her today, so I'll try to get more specific information. I got a copy of Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook and I was reading about prednisone. It says that glucocorticoids can increase the number of circulating platelets, neutrophils and RBCs (though platelet aggregation is inhibited) and decrease lymphocytes (peripheral), monocytes and eosinophils. I also noted that it can cause alopecia, so I wonder if this might be a reason why she's shedding to beat the banshee. She certainly has the diuresis (as many of you mentioned she probably would on high dose prednisone).

Nookies are Eosiniphil cells, which suggests an immune reaction. He was originally diagnosed with Idiopathic Eosiniphilic Syndrome, which up to the year 2004 (the last year I could find for any studies on this disorder), there were only 10 documented cases worldwide. I searched the internet and forums for days looking for someone, anyone, that had gone through something even remotely similar, with no luck. I do have some good links on my work computer, so I'll go through them and post tomorrow. But for now, I just googled and found this... it's just a brief explanation of pred use and increased WBC:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_prednisone_causes_elevated_wbc

I would appreciate that. Sheesh. Of all things to go wrong with Nanook, he had to have something rare. :(

Also, as for the IMHA, there are 3 different types... acute, sub-acute and chronic. They have different symptoms, onset etc. I pray that your girl doesn't have it, but if she doesn't improve, maybe have her tested just to rule it out? This is a link from someone who went through it. Maybe you will find something helpful:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42910&highlight=sway

We will keep this in mind. I just read about Sway. :cry2: What an incredibly sad story. If love was enough, she surely would have made it because it was obvious that Josh loved her more than anything. I used half a box of tissues just reading it. I have to be careful today because crying always gives me an incapacitating headache...and I have only two Tylenol left in the house.

Who knows what's really going on with your girl... and it's something you may never know, especially if it is an immune reaction, they're so complicated and can display so many confusing (and scary) symptoms. We've been battling for 2 yrs this June, and still don't have a "firm" diagnosis. We've been told so many things, and by many different vets, but I believe they are all just educated guesses, including the Idiopathic Eosiniphilic Syndrome. It just doesn't seem likely he would have something that rare... but then again, it's Nookie :shrug:

It's so frustrating. :wall: When you go to battle you really have to know your enemy as intimately as possible. But when you can't even name it with certainty, it handicaps you to some degree. Thankfully, some of the weapons we use are effective against many types of illnesses. And as you said above, you have to look at the dog in front of you. Skye seems 99% normal to me today, so we keep moving forward with the hope that we're going in the right direction. I wonder if Skye and Nookie are related? :)

Ok, on to the good stuff... treats!!
For the salmon "sushi", or "crunchies" as my boys know them by, it's so easy!! Nookie gets only 1 protein and it's wild salmon. I bake them weekly. After they're baked, I carefully peel the top skin off (it comes off pretty easily), then I remove the fins and any little bones along the edges, then I lay it flat and cut it into 3 sections. For each section, I crumble some of the cooked salmon onto it, then roll it up like a jelly roll and cut it into small slices. This is a link to what they look like:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=80472

If you still can't picture it, let me know and I'll take some pics of each step this weekend :)

Take care!! :grouphug:

Robyn

I think I got it! Now, I'm not the world's greatest chef, but I'm going to give this a try. So, I don't need a whole salmon, but just a piece that has the skin attached?

Skye just spotted someone walking their dog down our street and she ran to the window, barking and tail wagging! She's having moose for dinner today. I really hate cooking this stuff. I know it makes me sound like a hypocrite, but I think it's because we see them around our house from time to time. :( They're beautiful animals.

I hope everyone's having a good Wednesday. :fingerscr

Marty11
April 25th, 2012, 09:10 AM
Oh she'll love the wild meat for sure! It's that stronger smell that will coax her to eat. :thumbs up I love the salmon treat idea too!

hazelrunpack
April 25th, 2012, 09:29 AM
So glad she's holding her own and getting her pep and love for life back, will2power. :goodvibes:

will2power
April 25th, 2012, 09:46 AM
Oh she'll love the wild meat for sure! It's that stronger smell that will coax her to eat. :thumbs up I love the salmon treat idea too!

And it's that stronger smell that will stop me from eating dinner. :yuck::laughing: Whatever it takes, that's what I'll do.

And thanks, Hazel. So far, so good!

Marty11
April 25th, 2012, 09:51 AM
Just for the record, i boiled my moose meat in a roaster with the lid on the BBQ, cause your right the smell of it is yukky!!!

will2power
April 26th, 2012, 08:10 AM
Skye's having another good morning. I was just speaking with her vet by phone and we've made a few changes to her meds. We'll drop the Benedryl back to 25mg b.i.d. (from 50mg) since we no longer see signs of urticaria. Her Baytril runs out tomorrow morning, but the vet wants her to go one more week, so we'll pick that up at the clinic later today. All other meds will stay the same until she has her blood work repeated in one week. I don't think I've mentioned it here before, but Skye also has some pinnal vasculitis. Both pinnae seem affected, with a pea-sized sore at the tip of each ear. Her lips, pads, tail and nails look fine. We've been keeping it clean and applying a little polysporin (as per the vet's recommendation). These are my latest worry.

Robyn, it was her neutrophils and monocytes that were elevated. The neutrophils were not unexpected, given her prednisone dosage. It's the monocytes that are a concern.

And Marty, Skye loved the moose meat. Now if I could just get the stink out of my house! lol

hazelrunpack
April 26th, 2012, 10:45 AM
Monocytes are 'mobilized' in inflammatory responses, aren't they? I believe they're also stored mainly in the spleen. Has the vet checked her spleen, by any chance? (I'll fully admit I've had no experience with this so basically that's just an out-of-the-blue brain fart. :o There may be absolutely no merit to it...)

Glad to hear she's still doing so well, give or take some ear tip lesions... :goodvibes:

Moose meat! Who knew? LOL Stinky but delish! :D

breeze
April 26th, 2012, 10:47 AM
more
:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:
coming your way for skye and you

you could light a candle to remove the smell just a thought

Rgeurts
April 26th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Skye's having another good morning. I was just speaking with her vet by phone and we've made a few changes to her meds. We'll drop the Benedryl back to 25mg b.i.d. (from 50mg) since we no longer see signs of urticaria. Her Baytril runs out tomorrow morning, but the vet wants her to go one more week, so we'll pick that up at the clinic later today. All other meds will stay the same until she has her blood work repeated in one week. I don't think I've mentioned it here before, but Skye also has some pinnal vasculitis. Both pinnae seem affected, with a pea-sized sore at the tip of each ear. Her lips, pads, tail and nails look fine. We've been keeping it clean and applying a little polysporin (as per the vet's recommendation). These are my latest worry.

Robyn, it was her neutrophils and monocytes that were elevated. The neutrophils were not unexpected, given her prednisone dosage. It's the monocytes that are a concern.

And Marty, Skye loved the moose meat. Now if I could just get the stink out of my house! lol

Glad to hear Skye is still on the mend!!! :thumbs up :D
Sorry I didn't post yesterday, we were very busy at work, so not much time. One thing you want to make sure of is that when they take Skye off the pred, they wean her slowly. The first vet that actually wanted to help us instead of telling us to put Nookie down was a wonderful lady. But one thing she didn't know is that the pred needs to be weaned down slowly. She took him off it pretty fast and after too short of time, so it didn't have time to take care of the meningo and the seizures became pretty severe. She spoke with a friend of hers who is an internal specialist, and got the proper protocol (we ended up seeing that specialist for a few months before the holistic vet). She wasn't a bad vet, she just had never dealt with any issues like Nookies. At least she took ownership and told us what happened, apologized and corrected it :)

I'll go through all the links today and post them for you. They are mostly links on dogs with auto-immune disorders (possibles causes, symptoms and treatments). For now, this is a good link. It has some good info on vaccine protocols and also breaks down canine blood tests and helps you read and understand them, which I found very helpful with Nookie. It gave me an arsenal of questions to ask so I didn't feel so "in the dark" with everything that was happening:

http://www.acreaturecomfort.com/caninebloodwork.htm

And I just realized that I never answered the question regarding spherocytes! It is a specific test that requires a smear and checking specifically for spherocytes. The reticulocytes, I believe, can be seen in a regular CBC. Reticulocytes are just baby red blood cells.

Monocytes are typically indicative of infection, and being that she has been on Baytril for quite some time, you would expect that they would be coming down (though the neutrophils may remain high until she is off the pred). There are auto-immune disorders which can cause high monocytes, but also tick diseases, which I am not too familiar with. There is one girl here who is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to tick-borne diseases, and they can really wreak havoc. I'll PM her and hopefully she has gets an email when someone PM's her. This is one link I had favorited when we were trying to figure out Nookies symptoms, but, even though it is multisystemic, it didn't really fit with him. Maybe some of it will strike a chord with you:

http://www.vet.uga.edu/vpp/clerk/Bockino/

With everything poor Skye has going on, I'd be very surprised if this isn't an auto-immune response to the vaccines (or could possibly be tick-borne as well :shrug:). I'm glad to hear that you and DH are considering titres instead, especially since northern breed dogs are so prone to immune mediated illnesses.

You said you wonder if Nookie and Skye are related :laughing:
With the amount of issues, you would think so... maybe they are soul-twins :D

One option for you may be to do what I did, and that's contact Dr. Jean Dodds directly. She's very accessible by email. She had me email her all of Nookies test results, then told me what she thought his issue was (Vaccinosis), and referred me to Dr. Steve Marsden. She also has a company where you can send in blood and she will analyze it specific for the breed/age. What may be normal for one breed can be abnormal for another. She's brilliant :D

This is her website:

www.hemopet.org

If you want copies of Nookies test results (bloodwork, CSF etc), let me know. It might be interesting to compare and if there are similarities, maybe your vet can take a look at them also (though we don't really have a "diagnosis", so to speak).

And you think you talk a lot! :laughing:

Take care and continued prayers for Skye, and of course, you, DH and Sirius! :grouphug:

Robyn

will2power
April 27th, 2012, 12:57 PM
Thought I'd give another Skye Baby update. We're having another good day. I'm watching her closely and she seems to be very happy and content. I just wish she'd play a little bit with me or Sirius. She has energy, but she just doesn't seem up to playing yet. Her Nan came to visit a little while ago and she got really excited, jumping and wagging her tail. She's still taking the same meds. I don't think I mentioned it in my last post, but the vet wants her to stay on 50mg of prednisone b.i.d. for another week. We were supposed to drop down to 50mg once a day today. She'll also stay on the Metronidazole for another week at the same dose (in addition to extending the Baytril for one more week). We dropped her Benedryl down to 25mg b.i.d. yesterday and that seems to be working fine. She even seems to have a bit more energy today (probably because of the reduced dosage). Her ears look about the same, but we're still using the polysporin. Hopefully that will heal soon. All in all, she seems like she was before all hell broke loose. She just doesn't play much yet.

HRP, she hasn't had her spleen checked, to my knowledge, but I'll bring this up during my next discussion with the vet. And breeze, the candle was a good idea. I got a vanilla scented candle last holiday and it helped. I'll probably need to use it again today, because I'm cooking more moose. :yuck:

Robyn, thanks so much for all your help. You really are a treasure trove of information! Regarding Skye's prednisone, the plan is to taper her down very gradually. My instructions are to go from 50mg b.i.d. to 50mg once daily for one week, then 25mg once daily for one week, then 12.5mg daily for one week and finally 12.5mg every second day. Does that look about right based on your experience?

I loved the blood values website! It's put together in a nice format, explaining blood components and the table with normal values will definitely come in handy.

I'll discuss the spherocytes with the vet next time we talk to see if she's actually done any digging around for them on Skye's smears. She hasn't mentioned it to me, so I'm thinking she hasn't.

You mentioned tick diseases. This is something I know she considered and ruled out. It was a very long shot to begin with, but she did assess her for it. The website you gave on canine Ehrlichiosis was interesting. Except for the associated thrombocytopenia, the symptoms sound very close to what Skye experienced. This is going to really show how naive I am...but I really didn't know we had ticks in Newfoundland. I just looked on the provincial government website and see that we have several varieties (some permanent and some transient). Hmmm. Just thinking about the fact that we've had an increase in coyote populations lately. Coyotes are hosts for the brown dog tick, which is responsible for canine monocytic ehrlichiosis. AND it appears that some dogs develop a secondary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA)! This is certainly worth another discussion with the vet.

I'm a bit hesitant to contact other vets right now, only because I don't have the money to spend. I had to buy another week's supply of Baytril yesterday (another $92.82) and right now I'm trying to scrape enough money together to have her urinalysis, CBC, chemistry profile and electrolytes rechecked next week (which will be close to another $200). We're getting near the $4000 mark now and we're already down to paying/buying only absolute necessities. She's worth every penny and more, though. I'll start selling off my assets if I have to! :eek: :)

As for Skye's lab results, I don't even have a copy of them. Should they have been provided to me? I asked for them when I emailed the clinic yesterday with some other questions. They responded to the questions but never mentioned my request for a copy of all her labs. When I see the vet next week I'm going to ask for them again. They have to give them if I ask, right? Then we can compare Skye and Nookie (though I know every situation is unique).

Whew! That's about it for now. I've been really busy today trying to get as much dog hair out of the house as possible. Skye's really shedding something fierce. It's a sunny day here (about 17C right now), so my windows and doors are open. As an interesting aside, I'm also watching Skye for signs of urticaria now that the sun is shining so brightly. The hives went away a few days ago, just about the same time that the weather here changed. Until today, it's been cloudy with drizzle/rain. I wonder if she's got a photosensitivity.

I hope you're all having a great day. So far so good in the Skye household. :fingerscr

Rgeurts
April 27th, 2012, 03:01 PM
Thought I'd give another Skye Baby update. We're having another good day. I'm watching her closely and she seems to be very happy and content. I just wish she'd play a little bit with me or Sirius. She has energy, but she just doesn't seem up to playing yet. Her Nan came to visit a little while ago and she got really excited, jumping and wagging her tail. She's still taking the same meds. I don't think I mentioned it in my last post, but the vet wants her to stay on 50mg of prednisone b.i.d. for another week. We were supposed to drop down to 50mg once a day today. She'll also stay on the Metronidazole for another week at the same dose (in addition to extending the Baytril for one more week). We dropped her Benedryl down to 25mg b.i.d. yesterday and that seems to be working fine. She even seems to have a bit more energy today (probably because of the reduced dosage). Her ears look about the same, but we're still using the polysporin. Hopefully that will heal soon. All in all, she seems like she was before all hell broke loose. She just doesn't play much yet.

HRP, she hasn't had her spleen checked, to my knowledge, but I'll bring this up during my next discussion with the vet. And breeze, the candle was a good idea. I got a vanilla scented candle last holiday and it helped. I'll probably need to use it again today, because I'm cooking more moose. :yuck:

Robyn, thanks so much for all your help. You really are a treasure trove of information!

Hopefully some of it will help you to figure out what's going on with Skye :)
I wish I could say I have no information on any of this (for my sake, not yours!), but I've been there lol

Regarding Skye's prednisone, the plan is to taper her down very gradually. My instructions are to go from 50mg b.i.d. to 50mg once daily for one week, then 25mg once daily for one week, then 12.5mg daily for one week and finally 12.5mg every second day. Does that look about right based on your experience?


As far as reducing the pred, that's similar to what our vet did initially, reduced it by 50% each week, which was far too fast, at least for Nookie. But the protocol, once she spoke with the specialist, was that it should be reduced by 25%, not 50%, each time. And ours ended up being a 25% reduction every 2 weeks instead of weekly (and if his symptoms returned after lowering the dose, she would bump it back up for another 2 weeks, then try tapering again), then towards the end, on the very small doses, it was every other day until he was off it.



I loved the blood values website! It's put together in a nice format, explaining blood components and the table with normal values will definitely come in handy.


I was so thankful for that site. It made deciphering his results so much easier and put my mind at ease on a few things :)




I'll discuss the spherocytes with the vet next time we talk to see if she's actually done any digging around for them on Skye's smears. She hasn't mentioned it to me, so I'm thinking she hasn't.

You mentioned tick diseases. This is something I know she considered and ruled out. It was a very long shot to begin with, but she did assess her for it. The website you gave on canine Ehrlichiosis was interesting. Except for the associated thrombocytopenia, the symptoms sound very close to what Skye experienced. This is going to really show how naive I am...but I really didn't know we had ticks in Newfoundland. I just looked on the provincial government website and see that we have several varieties (some permanent and some transient). Hmmm. Just thinking about the fact that we've had an increase in coyote populations lately. Coyotes are hosts for the brown dog tick, which is responsible for canine monocytic ehrlichiosis. AND it appears that some dogs develop a secondary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA)! This is certainly worth another discussion with the vet.

There have been a few people here who were told by their vets that tick disease didn't exist in their province and dismissed it, or that it wasn't prevalent etc. One is a really nice lady named SuperWanda. I'll try to find her posts and link them. But when they insisted on the blood tests, they came back positive. The girl who is very knowledgeable is Maxalisa. Hopefully she will log on and give you some info. I remember a few of hers saying that even if the tick tests come back negative (which I guess is somewhat common), to treat anyway and if the symptoms subside and the dog recovers, then you are on the right path. Hazelrun Pack is also knows a lot about tick borne illnesses, which is why I think she had orignially asked if you had been to a warmer climate? I could be wrong though!

I'm a bit hesitant to contact other vets right now, only because I don't have the money to spend. I had to buy another week's supply of Baytril yesterday (another $92.82) and right now I'm trying to scrape enough money together to have her urinalysis, CBC, chemistry profile and electrolytes rechecked next week (which will be close to another $200). We're getting near the $4000 mark now and we're already down to paying/buying only absolute necessities. She's worth every penny and more, though. I'll start selling off my assets if I have to! :eek: :)

I can relate!! If anyone had told me 3 yrs ago that we would have spent as much as we have on our furboys, I would have said they were nuts lol. Between Nookie and our sweet boy Thorin, they have cost us a small fortune. We had to renegotiate our mortgage, increase our credit line twice and maxed out all of our credit cards. I even had my car for sale at one point, but hubby got a nice Christmas bonus, so I didn't have to :D
As for Skye's lab results, I don't even have a copy of them. Should they have been provided to me? I asked for them when I emailed the clinic yesterday with some other questions. They responded to the questions but never mentioned my request for a copy of all her labs. When I see the vet next week I'm going to ask for them again. They have to give them if I ask, right? Then we can compare Skye and Nookie (though I know every situation is unique).

They can't deny you copies of the reports. If they try, I'd be telling them to give me her entire file and go to another vet. :)


Whew! That's about it for now. I've been really busy today trying to get as much dog hair out of the house as possible. Skye's really shedding something fierce. It's a sunny day here (about 17C right now), so my windows and doors are open. As an interesting aside, I'm also watching Skye for signs of urticaria now that the sun is shining so brightly. The hives went away a few days ago, just about the same time that the weather here changed. Until today, it's been cloudy with drizzle/rain. I wonder if she's got a photosensitivity.

I hope you're all having a great day. So far so good in the Skye household. :fingerscr

I'm glad she still seems to be on the mend :fingerscr :goodvibes: :pray:
I wouldn't worry too much about her playing or being overly active. When Nookie was on the pred he would have some "crazy" moments, but for the most part, he would drink, lay around and sleep. His personality was so masked by it. He slept about 80% of the time, and he was a puppy :(

One thing that scared the hell out of us was something that is quite common with high doses of pred, but the vets we were dealing with knew nothing about it. Nookie starting losing muscle in his head/face. He looked like a skeleton. We had taken him in to the new clinic we had started going to, but our vet wasn't in. It was an older man who owned the clinic. He took one look at Nookie and said "Your dog has masticatory muscle myositis!" and was very worried. We had never even heard of that and were horrified as he explained what it was and what we could expect to start happening. I was just in tears! He almost had us convinced to let him put Nookie under and take a muscle biopsy from his head down to his skull :eek: (which would have relapsed the meningitis at that point)!! We decided to call the specialiast before allowing him to do anything, and I'm SO glad we did. She kinda laughed when I told her what happened and said don't let anyone put him under, and that she was pretty positive he didn't have MMM. What he did have was something called "pred-head". Prednisone will waste the muscles in the head/face and make them look like they're starving (like skeleton heads), and can make the rest of the body bloat up. Nookie looked like a little cow with a skeleton head... it was horrible! We look back at some of his pictures and giggle now, but it was so scary back then.

I'll dig up some of the old links to posts with tick diseases :)

Take care, Honna!! :grouphug:

will2power
April 27th, 2012, 03:24 PM
Wow! Just a quickie post as I'm trying to fix dinner...the vet thought Skye might have had masticatory muscle myositis! This was when they were trying to give her oral meds when she was hospitalized. Turned out she was just being stubborn. :rolleyes: I'll review your other points in greater detail later this evening.

A bit of an oddity...the babes instinctively know when DH is coming home from work (he's predictable that way). He should be home in a few minutes. They always run to the window at this time of day and whine for him. For the past two days when they do this, Skye "mounts" Sirius. :shrug: Weird. Guess she's trying to assert some kind of dominance? lol

Rgeurts
April 27th, 2012, 03:29 PM
Wow! Just a quickie post as I'm trying to fix dinner...the vet thought Skye might have had masticatory muscle myositis! This was when they were trying to give her oral meds when she was hospitalized. Turned out she was just being stubborn. :rolleyes: I'll review your other points in greater detail later this evening.

A bit of an oddity...the babes instinctively know when DH is coming home from work (he's predictable that way). He should be home in a few minutes. They always run to the window at this time of day and whine for him. For the past two days when they do this, Skye "mounts" Sirius. :shrug: Weird. Guess she's trying to assert some kind of dominance? lol

LoL sorry, I hope I'm not overwhelming you. I always seem to be too detailed. I try to cut my posts down, then struggle with what to leave out and end up posting a novel :loser:
If it is too much for you, please don't be afraid to tell me!!

Nookie has actually been doing that to Montana (our rescue puppy) the last few days! When he does it, he gets this crazy look in his eyes, then he gets the zoomies and is way over stimulated. We have to make him lay down and have quite time. We're pretty sure his episodes are neurological though. It could be dominance with Skye, but if she's never done it before, I would consider that a bit odd.

Rgeurts
April 27th, 2012, 04:40 PM
Ok, found the thread. It is quite lengthy, heartbreaking at times, but a VERY happy ending :)

That's a lot of info here and maybe you will find something that might help. Again, keep in mind that not all dogs get all the symptoms. If there are some similarities, it's worth checking out. If your vet doesn't thinking you need to, find another one :)


http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=73066

The dog in this thread is Timber, who, like Skye and Nookie, was a complete mystery.

hazelrunpack
April 27th, 2012, 11:11 PM
Yep, part of the question about the warmer climes was to see if there had been tick exposure. I didn't realize there were ticks in Newfoundland but if there's a growing coyote population, there could well be the chance of infection in Skye. There are screening tests for the tick-borne diseases. Idexx Labs puts out a fairly inexpensive one that tests for Ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and Lyme's, but if it's not available the vet may decide to run titers, which will be more expensive. However, even in humans, the tests may miss up to 30% of the cases, and last time I went in with symptoms after a tick bite, the doctor didn't even bother to test because of it--she just put me on a course of doxycycline. In fact, a common course of action here (both in human and veterinary medicine) is to treat if there is exposure and any symptoms at all, regardless of what the test results are. As Robyn said, if the patient responds, then you're on the right track...

A bit of an oddity...the babes instinctively know when DH is coming home from work (he's predictable that way). He should be home in a few minutes. They always run to the window at this time of day and whine for him. For the past two days when they do this, Skye "mounts" Sirius. :shrug: Weird. Guess she's trying to assert some kind of dominance? lol

I suspect she's feeling better and that's how she's burning off her excess energy! :laughing:

MaxaLisa
April 28th, 2012, 05:35 PM
If someone can help me I'd give the world! The vet just called with Skye's lab results. She said she's very, very, very worried. Skye's slightly anaemic and her white cell count is through the roof (about 5X normal high values). She said a normal high for her would be 16. While she was in hospital last week they were running about 32. Today they're 56. And she's been getting two very powerful antibiotics for the past 8 days now! Her bilirubin is up a bit and her albumin levels are creeping back down again, so we may see the limb edema start soon. I'm taking her back again at 3:45 so they can try to aspirate one of the small hives on her head to see if that answers anything, but barring this, she says we've exhausted all our avenues in Newfoundland. She mentioned that they could do further testing in PEI or Guelph, but that's not even a remote possibility for us. I spent another $200 so far today and now she has to have the aspiration this afternoon. That's about $3500 in 7 days. They're completely baffled by her. No one seems to know what's going on! Her glucose is up slightly, but she's not concerned about diabetes. She also said her pancreatic values are down a bit and her liver values are slightly elevated. DOES ANYONE HAVE SUGGESTIONS FOR US? I don't even know if this post makes sense, because I'm crying so hard I can barely see the screen. Skye seems to be feeling better. So why are these results so horribly bad??? Help me if you can, please. I know you will, because you're all such wonderful people. ANY suggestions as to the possible cause of this would be appreciated! She's my baby and I need her.

Just a few thoughts at this point.

I would try beef and no poultry. Have had lots of poultry issues on some of the forums lately.

This sounds seriously infection induced. Some of that red skin is probably from seriously dilated blood vessels, which can also leak stuff into the body that's not supposed to be there.

Many of these infections emit things that cause an allergic response, so there are many fires to put out at the same time.

For any infection like this, I would want doxycycline added as one of the antibiotics, at the aggressive dose of 10 mg/kg (roughly 5mg/lb) twice a day - no other abx can do what doxy can do in these cases. I would want to slowly wean off the steroids and keep the abx the same until the blood picture starts looking better. If this were all immune based, the pred would be increasing the RBCs. This sounds like infection of the lining of the blood vessels and the bone marrow. This may or may not be related to tick disease, but it's behaving like one.

BTW, tick diseases, or this type of infection can cause IMHA, but the important thing is to make the main treatments the abx, with support from the steroids, rather than the other way around. I'm pretty convinced that the vaccines triggered something that the body was able to previously keep in check.

Just for future reference, benadryl can lower platelets if that ever becomes a problem. You can use vitamin C and bioflavanoids and particularly quercitin to fight the histamine releases if you want to. Yucca is supposed to be good for dealing with endotoxins from infection.

The vasculitis, to me, is a huge indication that aggressive doxy is warranted. Infection of monocytes, and neutrophils, particularly monocytes, screams one of the rickettsia infections, like ehrlichia or anaplasma. There are some local strains that do not show up on current tests however, so I would just treat. You don't have the low platelets, but that could be from the pred. If this dog is not on doxy, it is understandable that the monocytes are not coming down.

And a final somber note. I've seen a lot of vets treat the test results and not the patient. This is an area, where, if the vet doesn't feel the importance of treating with *aggressive dose* doxy, then I would use OTC doxy if this were my dog. This is what I had to do with my boy, which bought him about 8 more months until the infection of the blood vessels turned to cancer of the blood vessels.

Thank you for fighting so hard for Skye!

Goldfields
April 28th, 2012, 09:29 PM
Prednisone will waste the muscles in the head/face and make them look like they're starving (like skeleton heads), and can make the rest of the body bloat up. Nookie looked like a little cow with a skeleton head... it was horrible! We look back at some of his pictures and giggle now, but it was so scary back then.


Robyn, I think it is Prednisone that can cause Cushingoid symptoms, and a skeletal head is a Cushings symptom. Another to look for, funnily enough, is blackheads all over their bellies. I've seen it in both a genuine Cushing's patient(adrenal tumour) and in a dog that had cortisone induced symptoms.

Rgeurts
April 28th, 2012, 09:42 PM
Robyn, I think it is Prednisone that can cause Cushingoid symptoms, and a skeletal head is a Cushings symptom. Another to look for, funnily enough, is blackheads all over their bellies. I've seen it in both a genuine Cushing's patient(adrenal tumour) and in a dog that had cortisone induced symptoms.

Wow... blackheads? I don't think I've ever seen a blackhead on a dog! Thanks, I'll keep that in mind in case I ever seen any on him! And yes, pred can cause Cushing symptoms as well. They were actually thinking he had Cushings at one point because of the muscle wasting, excess drinking and something else, but I don't remember just what it was. But they ended up saying those were just side effects of the pred. "Pred-head" is fairly common from what our specialist said, when an animal or a person is on high doses. Once he came off the pred, it took a good 2-3 months, but the muscle did come back.

Goldfields
April 28th, 2012, 10:01 PM
I know how awful Nookie must have looked. Sugar, who had the adrenal tumour, had the skeletal head and I kept looking at her and thinking 'Gee, your head is not as good as it was when you were younger' , but as with a lot of other Cushings symptoms, you put it down to age. The blackheads were so profuse that I thought she just had a filthy tummy, I even tried to wash the 'dirt' off.

will2power
May 1st, 2012, 01:10 PM
Dear All. Thank you for the replies, advice, prayers, etc. I know I haven't posted an update since Friday and there's a reason for that. I took Saturday for a cleaning day, Sunday we realized that in all the chaos we hadn't filed our taxes with only one day before the deadline (glad CRA has netfile) and yesterday my son had a car accident. No one was hurt and the car was insured, of course. But he did write it off and it was our only car. Sigh. What else can go wrong? I think our house has a curse on it.

Okay. Back to Skye. She continues to do very well with her eating, drinking, sleeping and bathroom breaks. We had her to the vet again this morning and did another UA, CBC, chemistry profile and lytes. The pinnal vasculitis is looking much better and her skin looks good. I got a copy of all her labs dating back to April 16th (the day she was hospitalized), including her values for today. Her UA looked good with everything in the negative to normal range. Her specific gravity was 1.018, but that may be because she's been drinking so much water (prednisone).

Her blood work is still very concerning, though. RBCs and platelets are fine. Her WBC count came down a little bit to 46.48 (down from 56.45 on April 23). On the differential, neutrophils are still high at 38.18 (but down from 50.38 on April 23) and her monocytes have gone up! They're now at 4.35 (up from 3.19 on April 23). This scares me because she's been receiving antibiotics for 16 days now! Her chemistry panel has some worrying results, too. Her urea is slightly high at 10.9 (and up from 5.0 on April 23) and creatinine is on the borderline of low at 44 (down from 68 on April 23). ALT is high at 335 (up from 46 on April 23) as is her ALKP at >2000. Her GGT is very high at 206 (up from 23 on April 23) and her AMYL is low at 215 (though it is up from 164 on April 23). Bilirubin looks great and her lytes all look good.

We're still stymied as to what's going on with her. When I left the vet was having the technician do a blood smear to investigate further. She was also going to share these latest results with her colleagues today and ask for their input. She's still digging for answers.

She's thinking that some of the chemistries may be elevated because of the prednisone she's been taking for the past 2+ weeks. She wants us to start reducing that this evening, with instruction on what to watch for in terms of how Skye reacts to the lower dose.

The plan now is to stay the course with her antibiotics (375mg Metronidazole b.i.d. and 150mg Baytril b.i.d.) and her nutraceutical (300mg Zentonil b.i.d.). Her prednisone will be reduced to 25mg b.i.d. starting this evening. We'll also continue with the Benedryl 25mg b.i.d.

I just don't understand what's going on with her. On the surface, she looks like she's back to her old self again. Except for the places where she had some hair shaved (for IVs and her Fentanyl patch), she looks/acts like she did before she got sick. Financially, this is really taking a heavy toll on us. I had to pay another $440.89 today for her tests and med refills. That's not going to stop us from doing whatever it takes it get her better, but it has made it hard to sleep at night.

Sigh. I just don't understand. Why so many monoctyes? On April 16 they were 1.89, on April 17 they were 3.93, on April 23 they were 3.19 and today they're 4.35. That's 9.4%. I just don't see how this could be an infection. She isn't even displaying symptoms of illness. It has to be immune-mediated, no?

I'm going to take some time and read over your latest posts above. I do appreciate the time that you've put into helping my baby girl. This is such a stressful time for us.

will2power
May 1st, 2012, 01:21 PM
LoL sorry, I hope I'm not overwhelming you. I always seem to be too detailed. I try to cut my posts down, then struggle with what to leave out and end up posting a novel :loser:
If it is too much for you, please don't be afraid to tell me!!

You're posts are perfect, Robyn. You have no idea how much it means to me that you've given so much of your time and knowledge to help Skye. We think you're wonderful.

Nookie has actually been doing that to Montana (our rescue puppy) the last few days! When he does it, he gets this crazy look in his eyes, then he gets the zoomies and is way over stimulated. We have to make him lay down and have quite time. We're pretty sure his episodes are neurological though. It could be dominance with Skye, but if she's never done it before, I would consider that a bit odd.

Oh, Skye's done it before. It just strikes me as bizarre to see a spayed female trying to mount a neutered male. :o He's done it to her, too, always in a playful sort of way. My babes are just weird. lol

will2power
May 1st, 2012, 02:17 PM
Just a few thoughts at this point.

I would try beef and no poultry. Have had lots of poultry issues on some of the forums lately.

We've switched her to things like beef and moose and she seems to be doing really well with it (and likes it, too).


Many of these infections emit things that cause an allergic response, so there are many fires to put out at the same time.

That's for sure! There were definitely a multitude of things happening all at once with her.

For any infection like this, I would want doxycycline added as one of the antibiotics

Is this a drug that's more powerful than she's already receiving, or is it more specific to treating other likely causes of her symptoms?

If this were all immune based, the pred would be increasing the RBCs.

Her RBCs started out high on April 16 at 9.26 (reference interval 5.65 - 8.87), but today they're at 5.82.

This sounds like infection of the lining of the blood vessels and the bone marrow. This may or may not be related to tick disease, but it's behaving like one.

I mentioned tick-borne disease to the vet again today, but she feels this is highly unlikely. It's not something we see around here. :shrug:

I'm pretty convinced that the vaccines triggered something that the body was able to previously keep in check.

Hubby and I think there's a connection, too.

Just for future reference, benadryl can lower platelets if that ever becomes a problem.

Her platelets have remained normal to slightly below normal. But it's good to know how Benedryl can affect her count.


The vasculitis, to me, is a huge indication that aggressive doxy is warranted. Infection of monocytes, and neutrophils, particularly monocytes, screams one of the rickettsia infections, like ehrlichia or anaplasma.

It sounds like you know an awful lot about this and I'm grateful that you're willing to share that knowledge with me. If the vet is convinced that this is not one of the rickettsia infections, can you think of other possibilities?

If this dog is not on doxy, it is understandable that the monocytes are not coming down.

So, in your opinion, the Baytril and Metronidazole wouldn't do much good?

I've seen a lot of vets treat the test results and not the patient. This is an area, where, if the vet doesn't feel the importance of treating with *aggressive dose* doxy, then I would use OTC doxy if this were my dog.

I thought doxycycline was available by prescription only.

This is what I had to do with my boy, which bought him about 8 more months until the infection of the blood vessels turned to cancer of the blood vessels.

I'm so sorry! Your boy did not survive?

Thank you for fighting so hard for Skye!

To infinity and beyond! She's our little girl and we'd do anything for her. I appreciate all your help. So much.

will2power
May 1st, 2012, 02:37 PM
And yes, pred can cause Cushing symptoms as well. They were actually thinking he had Cushings at one point because of the muscle wasting, excess drinking and something else, but I don't remember just what it was. But they ended up saying those were just side effects of the pred.

We discussed this at the vet's today, too. She mentioned that Skye had lost some muscle mass (I've noticed it primarily in the shoulder area). We talked about the excessive drinking/urination and she thinks this is all attributable to the prednisone. Her head looks fine and we haven't seen any blackheads, either. :fingerscr

I'm glad Nookie got his muscle mass back. :)

will2power
May 1st, 2012, 02:55 PM
I didn't realize there were ticks in Newfoundland but if there's a growing coyote population, there could well be the chance of infection in Skye.

I didn't know we had them, either. But because this has been nagging at me, I did some more research via our university resources. Apparently, they're very rare and I think there's only been 2 cases of Lyme disease ever found in dogs on the island (one in 2004 and one in 2006, both on the west coast...I live on the east coast). I need to research this more, though. I was thinking that I might send an email off to the province's Chief Veterinary Officer. It couldn't hurt to ask.

chico2
May 1st, 2012, 05:09 PM
will2power,I have not said a word,because I have no advice to give,just wanted to commend you for doing everything possible for Skye and I hope she'll keep improving:pray:

MaxaLisa
May 1st, 2012, 10:25 PM
I can't quote quoted quotes, but a few thoughts...


Is this a drug that's more powerful than she's already receiving, or is it more specific to treating other likely causes of her symptoms?

Her RBCs started out high on April 16 at 9.26 (reference interval 5.65 - 8.87), but today they're at 5.82.

I mentioned tick-borne disease to the vet again today, but she feels this is highly unlikely. It's not something we see around here. :shrug:

Her platelets have remained normal to slightly below normal.

It sounds like you know an awful lot about this and I'm grateful that you're willing to share that knowledge with me. If the vet is convinced that this is not one of the rickettsia infections, can you think of other possibilities?

So, in your opinion, the Baytril and Metronidazole wouldn't do much good?

I thought doxycycline was available by prescription only.


Elevated monocytes, struggling platelets, call for doxycycline as part of the protocol, as it can do some things that other abx cannot do. Not that it's necessarily stronger, just that the other things might not work, or work well, without all the right pieces of the puzzle. The RBC's, also being abnormal and on the way down is pointing in this direction.

Most vets are not well versed in tick disease. Wanda's Timber is a very good example of this, which was linked to earlier. Vets and specialists often, IMNSHO, get this wrong frequently.

There are some tick diseases that require multiple antibiotics. I believe that Timber was on doxy with a round of metro. The metro can get at forms of some bacteria. For example, lyme, when hit with effective abx, can change into a cyst form that metro is effective against. So, it's not really clear what the right protocol is - gotta treat the patient and not the test. The protocol that my boy did best on was amoxicillin, cipro, and aggressive doxycycline (5mg/lb BID), and pulsed metro 3-5 days at the beginning of each month. He was very sick for many years, and he did well on this protocol and continued to get better. It was only when I backed off on the doxy after many many months that the cancer took over. Doxy is OTC as Bird Biotic.

I can think of no other possibilities - it's clear this is an infection and when I hear elevated monocytes, low end rbc, struggling platelets, that calls for doxy as a first line defense, regardless of what the actual organism is. I believe that a lot of these dogs will not survive without aggressive doxy, and I think it's almost criminal that vets are so afraid of doing this that I think many times it puts the dog in danger, and we have seen this often on the tick list. There are other things can make a dog this sick, but doxy is also anti-inflammatory (often allowing for lower dose pred), and it has a couple of different anti-cancer actions, so, unless the dog has some weird disease (like myasthenia gravis which shouldn't have acetylcholine inhibitors), there is almost no loss in trying an aggressive round, particularly in such serious situations. It's really a game of odds, and I know which option I would pick.

There are other more aggressive drugs that can be used, but if a vet isn't going to consider doxy, they aren't going to consider the drugs that might fight an infection of the monocytes.

MaxaLisa
May 1st, 2012, 10:29 PM
You know, recently in the Minnesota, and/or Wisconsin area, they have found new strains of Ehrlichia which aren't tested for on any of the standard tests. In Southern USA, there is a form of Ehrlichia that is very common that is usually not tested for in dogs (soon there will be a new Idexx 4Dx Plus that will include one this one). So, there are a lot of sick dogs out there, that test negative, and don't get treated.

In tick testing, negative results mean very little, unfortunately.

hazelrunpack
May 2nd, 2012, 09:33 AM
We've had at least one dog that has had one of the new strains. Luckily (or is that unluckily), living in WI, we and the vets are well-versed in the symptoms and started treatment with doxycycline. The dog recovered but never tested positive for the known strains. Testing for tick-borne diseases is a tricky thing under any circumstances--last time I went in for symptoms after a tick bite, the doctor didn't even bother to test. He told me that they're finding that in humans, the tests miss up to 30% of the cases! So he just started treatment with doxycycline and skipped the test.

In an area where tick disease is emergent, many vets and doctors just don't have the expertise to recognize or detect the cases that do occur. Adding doxy might do a world of good. Typically the results are fairly quick, and if the doxy doesn't seem to be doing any good, it's easy enough to discontinue it after a few weeks... Might be worth a try in your dog's case!

Rgeurts
May 3rd, 2012, 10:39 AM
Good morning, Honna! Just checking in on Skye to see how she's doing, and of course, you, DH and Sirius! Hopefully, she's still continuing to improve.

I would have to agree with Hazel and MaxaLisa about the potential for tick-borne illness, especially if you continue to see an increase in the Monocytes and a decrease in the RBC. As both have said, the majority of vets will insist that it's not common, or not even a risk in a particular area. But, as one of our forum members found out, they can be very wrong, and the cost could be your baby's life. I find the ones who insist that's not what it is and refuse to treat for it, even though the symptoms are there, extremely arrogant. I don't know if you read the thread I posted re: SuperWanda and her baby Timber, but if not, I think you will find some similarities.

One thing my hubby and I have found is that you have to be persistent, and not afraid to disagree with your vet. If they're good, they will consider what you have said and act. If not, they probably aren't worth seeing.

Let us know how you are all doing!! And a few more pics wouldn't hurt ;) :grouphug: