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  #31  
Old April 21st, 2012, 11:29 AM
will2power will2power is offline
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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"). 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!
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  #32  
Old April 21st, 2012, 02:53 PM
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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
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  #33  
Old April 21st, 2012, 09:57 PM
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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.
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  #34  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 09:35 AM
will2power will2power is offline
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We have poop!

Yay! Skye did her first poop this morning. It was well-formed, not too hard, not too soft, but just right. It was a goldilocks poop. 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. 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!

I hope everyone is having a good day (with a special good vibe for Nanook).
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  #35  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:07 AM
will2power will2power is offline
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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.
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  #36  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 09:10 AM
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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!!
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  #37  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 10:55 AM
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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.
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  #38  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 11:06 AM
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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
and

coming your way
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  #39  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 01:50 PM
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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.

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!
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  #40  
Old April 23rd, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Has Skye accompanied you to any warm areas recently?
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  #41  
Old April 24th, 2012, 08:54 AM
will2power will2power is offline
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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.
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  #42  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:05 AM
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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.
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  #43  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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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!

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
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  #44  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:44 AM
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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?
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  #45  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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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.
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  #46  
Old April 24th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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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"
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  #47  
Old April 24th, 2012, 10:47 AM
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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.
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  #48  
Old April 24th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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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

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!

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
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Last edited by Rgeurts; April 24th, 2012 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Added info
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  #49  
Old April 24th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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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?
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Old April 24th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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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/articl...dummies01.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
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Old April 24th, 2012, 01:27 PM
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Ok, forget the Denamrin, the Zentonil looks to be the same thing!
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Old April 24th, 2012, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will2power View Post
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

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
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  #53  
Old April 24th, 2012, 06:29 PM
will2power will2power is offline
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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. 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. 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.
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  #54  
Old April 24th, 2012, 06:37 PM
will2power will2power is offline
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Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
We deal with allergies as well and have yet to identify everything, it's been going on since November of last year
Oh, dear. You've really run the gamut with illnesses, haven't you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
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
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Old April 24th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by will2power View Post
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. 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. 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.

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_predni...s_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....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

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!!

Robyn
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"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012
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  #56  
Old April 25th, 2012, 07:39 AM
will2power will2power is offline
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Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
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).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
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_predni...s_elevated_wbc
I would appreciate that. Sheesh. Of all things to go wrong with Nanook, he had to have something rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
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....highlight=sway
We will keep this in mind. I just read about Sway. 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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
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
It's so frustrating. 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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
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!!

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.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Oh she'll love the wild meat for sure! It's that stronger smell that will coax her to eat. I love the salmon treat idea too!
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:29 AM
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So glad she's holding her own and getting her pep and love for life back, will2power.
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  #59  
Old April 25th, 2012, 08:46 AM
will2power will2power is offline
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Oh she'll love the wild meat for sure! It's that stronger smell that will coax her to eat. I love the salmon treat idea too!
And it's that stronger smell that will stop me from eating dinner. Whatever it takes, that's what I'll do.

And thanks, Hazel. So far, so good!
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Old April 25th, 2012, 08:51 AM
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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!!!
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