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  #31  
Old February 14th, 2014, 04:55 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Well, now I am slightly upset because I went ahead and read about bladder cancer.

She hasn't been straining to urinate, no blood in urine but it takes her a very long time. She doesn't mark her territory anymore on walks so this may suggest it is uncomfortable. There are two sac like lumps on the inside of her left legs which makes me think enlarged lymph nodes and this is the leg that suddenly went lame. I read that the cancer can spread to the urethra and eventually block it or to the bone and cause lameness.

I know I have no diagnosis here but I certainly feel worried. I will get a complete blood count if that will show something. Her slowing down and "old dog breathing" which is how the vet described it, could be all related now.

She just had a blood panel done last Spring and everything looked good with the exception of slightly elevated pancreatic enzymes but nothing serious. I really hope it's not this but now I am thinking about it more and more. I always wish I could have gone back and been more observant or really took my gut instincts seriously that something was wrong. I have actually been thinking something was wrong for awhile but have been trying to reassure myself that it is just old age.
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  #32  
Old February 16th, 2014, 03:07 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I sure hope that it's not bladder cancer

Senior years are so difficult. Nearly a year before Max died, I knew something was terribly wrong. I even told a vet that I thought he was dying, and I knew that she thought I was a crazy owner (she was a vet new to us). It turned out that he was very ill, though we never found an exact diagnosis, just things that were wrong here and there, but no exact issue. I had bloodwork run, abdominal ultrasound then xrays, then a heart echocardiogram, and then a few more tests. I fought very hard to save him, I'm not sure I've ever fought harder for anything in my life. They even let me bring him to work every day because he couldn't be left alone. A combination of 3 antibiotics, and a bunch of supplements (including IV vitamin C infusions) kept him here for quite awhile.

It was a bit similar for Indy, who left about a year earlier than him. Just that I knew that she was very ill, but we couldn't find a cause, and I could just support her, until everything fell apart.

That's all really depressing to write, and I'm sure to read too I guess my point is, that we look for what we can find, but we might not find out what is wrong, even if we know something is wrong. And we can't be too hard on ourselves, because, even with humans, it's hard to know something is not right, and it's so much harder for dogs. Even if our gut instinct knows, sometimes the rest of us still can't get it figured out.

There is a saying that an ER vet told me once, that no dog should die without the benefits of trying steroids. Personally, I believe that that drug should be changed to antibiotics. I am having a heck of a time with my new-ish girl here - she's been here almost 2 years now and has a file at the vet's thicker than my other two dogs. And in spite of everything we've tried, it's still the antibiotics that work the best at managing weird conditions.

Please keep us posted, I know how very hard and frustrating this is!
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  #33  
Old February 18th, 2014, 03:00 PM
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Thanks again MaxaLisa.
We had a good visit with the holistic vet today. She made me feel better by letting me know that bladder cancer is rare while vaginitis is not so she thought that if she had cancer she would be straining more or have blood in her urine. I pointed out the swollen lymph nodes and she felt that they were too low on her leg. Thought it might just be fat so what do I know. She said her hamstrings were very sensitive and did acupuncture and physical therapy again. I have continued to give the Chinese herbs which are supposed to strengthen the hind end and the other one is a anti-inflammatory which is good because conventional vets want to give me metacam and I'm really not comfortable with that.

My regular vet is also back in town so she also called and said she was just at a vet conference that said to extend the antibiotics one more week. She is feeling better 6 days in so I hope it was just a bad case of vaginitis. She will also come and do some testing when she is off the antibiotics. Not sure what she said now, some sensitivity/culture test? Can't exactly remember.

The holistic vet said a lot of what you mentioned in your previous post. Diagnosis isn't always easy, even with advancements in medicine. It seems that in vet medicine it is still the same old treatments like steroids, metacam, antibiotics. Sometimes they work great but other times it's not the right thing at all. She mentioned a story of a dog who had some type of hind end limp and the owners decided to go to a vet in the US for surgery and that causes paralysis. I always think it's terrible I live where there is no access to CT scan or MRI but maybe these things don't always give you the answers either.

I'm sorry you are having troubles with the health of your girl. You work so hard to help your pets (and other peoples pets) get well. She is lucky to have you.

I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Last edited by SuperWanda; February 18th, 2014 at 06:03 PM.
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  #34  
Old February 21st, 2014, 01:23 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Thank you SW

I'm really glad that this is looking more like vaginitis, along with joint issues, rather than the dreaded C word. I think that in this day and age of being careful with abx, many vets don't give a long enough course of the antibiotics, so I'm glad that they were extended. When Jazz here had some urinary issues, the vet said to give her meds (cipro) until symptoms were gone, then a week longer. (Jazz was born with some remnant tissue in her vagina which has since been removed.)

Jazz's vet is an internal medicine vet, and is very good about what tests to use. He's very hesitant about MRI's, because they are very expensive (about $2,500 in this area), and many/most things there is nothing you can do even if you know what is happening.

I will continue to hope that the abx help *a lot*
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  #35  
Old March 17th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Well, we finished the 28 days on Clavamox and that cleared up the vaginitis. Still having some rear weakness but I believe something has helped, whether it is the sashas blend, chinese herbals, acupuncture or all of the above. The only thing I am now trying to investigate is how to get her to sleep at night. I think there may be some slight cognitive dysfunction going on. Dogs that don't sleep well and wander around is certainly a symptom. She also seems a little distant at times. It looks like you can add things like choline or sam-e as well as some herbs like gingko, bacopa, gotu kola etc. I will ask the holistic vet about that the next time I visit.

I don't want to get older
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  #36  
Old March 17th, 2014, 04:51 PM
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Also waiting for blood panel on both dogs so would be nice if everything else looks good!
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  #37  
Old March 18th, 2014, 01:58 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperWanda View Post
I don't want to get older
I hear you! I'm dealing a lot with parent care now, and it really makes one think about what is ahead...

I know of a few dogs that have responded well to cholodin, to help with the night time wandering and restlessness. You might also try some melatonin in the evenings and see if that helps?

I'm really glad that that she is better - I bet all of it helped! Sure hope that the bloodwork turns out okey
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  #38  
Old March 18th, 2014, 10:44 PM
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Dee-O-Gee Dee-O-Gee is offline
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Hi SuperWanda.

It sounds like we're in the same predicament. My Gryphon was diagnosed today with a rupture cruciate ligament and have been watching youtube videos on symptoms and diagnosis along with reading information to better understand this.

My Gryph is a 10 Y.O. English Springer Spaniel and it just broke my heart today to find out his hip joints are displaced along with this rupture. Surgery is SO expensive and am trying to look into alternative remedies too.

A friend of mine steered me onto Tri-Act H.A. about a week ago. It has the Glucosamine ingredients but also has hyaluronic acid which is good for Joint discomfort.

I'm hoping that by not walking him, limiting his exercise and is on an anti-inflammatory and the Tri Act supplement, we can kick this problem out the door.

I don't want to get older too.
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Rest in Peace Bailey: 12/10/95-1/9/09 (Golden Retriever)
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  #39  
Old March 20th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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it's just so hard to see loved ones age, human or pet.

I am slightly emotional because I just had maybe two hours of sleep. When she was on the Clavamox she had perfect poos. Not sure if after stopping has caused a bacterial overgrowth but she has the worst gas and burping. Last night she went out every half hour until 1am and then again at 3am when she finally had a loose bm and finally seemed to settle after that. I have taken her off all supplements and am just giving chicken with rice but I think she needs some type of digest aid. It's just so hard to try and balance all these issues. I am slightly overwhelmed.

Thanks for the info Dee-O-Gee on the Tri-Act HA. Where do you get that from? I hope your Gryphon continues to improve. It does seem to take a few months to see any improvement. My understanding is that without surgery, the body tries to stabilize the knee by forming scar tissue but the scar tissue easily tears. the first few weeks I really limited any walking but now I find a small walk is better than no walk but it does take time. Going up stairs is really hard on the knees. I imagine she will always have a limp on that side and when you see how much weight they put on the other side, you are worried the other knee might go. Maybe some acupuncture or physical therapy would help your guy since he also has hip issues. I hope things get better for you.
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  #40  
Old March 20th, 2014, 09:22 PM
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Well, I hope we have a better sleep tonight. Blood results are in and everything looks fine. Just some elevated sodium and potassium. Think she had that the last time and our vet says maybe some dehydration. Everything else is normal. So that is great news, just dealing with old body, old mind and old intestines.

Timber had elevated lipase, ALT and AST and elevated urea so she suggested a urine test. Not sure the exact numbers but she said it was not high enough to indicate liver or kidney disease. Two years ago, Timber had elevated liver enzymes so nothing new I guess. Just helps to know and perhaps I can add some milk thistle and keep fluid intake up. I was just reading about a supplement called DMG - might try that as it is good for the immune system and helps the liver.

MaxaLisa, I hope your girl is doing well. I looked up the cholodin and find it difficult to try and find some of these things in Canada but I might try human choline supplements and phosphatidylserine (ingredient in senilife). Perhaps that will help her brain rest at night I thought about melatonin as well. I might experiment with a few things.
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  #41  
Old March 22nd, 2014, 10:19 PM
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Dee-O-Gee Dee-O-Gee is offline
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My colleague/friend who suggested I get Gryph on the Tri-Acta H.A. recommended I double dose him for a week. The container said to do this but was reluctant to do so at first. We've double dosed him for the past 3 days now and have seen a big improvement with him not limping as bad and, he's charging (slowly) up the stairs at night to his bed, unassisted.

Hope it's okay to post this link for the Tri-Acta H.A which is made in Canada and recommended from this supplier's website site: http://www.integricare.ca/can_produc...a-ha-info.html

If you do decide to try this, make sure you go with the Tri-Acta H.A as it contains Hyaluronic Acid which is not in the regular Tri-Acta formula. The Hyaluronic Acid assists with reducing inflammation and it lubricates between the joints and so far--so good with our big guy.

Hope all goes well with your girl tonight SuperWanda. We can only take it one step at a time and...day by day.
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Rest in Peace Bailey: 12/10/95-1/9/09 (Golden Retriever)
Rest in Peace Kitty: 7/1/2000 - 10/7/2013
Gryphon (sounds like Griffin): 10/14/2004 (English Springer Spaniel)
Bella: 3/09/2005 LHD Cat adopted by/from Child
Mollie: 6/2/2009 (English Setter)
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  #42  
Old March 23rd, 2014, 10:23 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I think experimenting is about the best we can do in these circumstances....

How is Shiloh (do I have that name right???)? I had to treat Jazz here for some urinary problems with cipro, and then after that she had a flare-up of clostridium, and then all sorts of issues, so I completely understand how frustrating this is. I just posted about this in another thread, but the key for Jazz, eventually, was apple pectin (introduced slowly and increased) with probiotics, though she has remained on antibiotics (thankfully only on one now instead of two).

Did you look at the bloodwork to see if anything else was near the "edges" of normal?

You know, with timber, when I see those liver enzymes go up, I'm going to worry about the tbd maybe coming back (I am paranoid that way ). I hope that the dmg helps. Max didn't do well on it, it made his paw swell, oddly. I think it was too immune stimulating in the wrong way. I use Country Life's Liver Support Factors, but, again, harder and more expensive to get on that side of the border, so you might find a better alternative. I know someone in Canada that found this product to be a better deal: http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swans...ation-120-caps

I am a big fan of HA, it has worked well here. I have been trying to figure out some of my own allergies and stopped taking my glucosamine and chondroitin, which created a lot of joint pain for me. I started the HA alone and have been doing well. I've used it for all my dogs. In Canada, they have the injectable Carrophen Vet (not available in the US), which is supposed to be very helpful. We have Adequan, which many say is not as good, but is essentially injectable HA.
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  #43  
Old March 25th, 2014, 08:51 AM
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Thank you for the link to the Tri-Acta Dee-O-Gee. It sound like you are getting good results. I am currently through a half tub of Sasha's blend and I wouldn't mind trying the Tri-Acta to see if it helps more than what I'm doing. I'll make sure to get the one that contains HA.

Last night was a great sleep for all of us so that really makes a difference

I hope Gryphon continues to improve!

Thanks again for all your advice MaxaLisa. Shiloh is doing okay. It's my worrying about everything that doesn't help although it really helps your psychology when you can sleep through the night!

Funny, I was just reading about apple pectin. It is in a product called amber technology Carticil Plus. Supposed to help joints and digestive issues.

Thanks too for the Swanson's link. I was also looking at Standard Process supplements. Again, hard to find in Canada but there is a holisric vet in Vancouver that sells some products online and he is always suggesting the liver cleanse called Livton. They are pretty pricey supplements though.

I hope Jazz feels better. I love what antibiotics can do but hate the side effects.
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  #44  
Old March 25th, 2014, 10:23 PM
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Dee-O-Gee Dee-O-Gee is offline
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The Tri-Acta HA along with Rimadyl has made a significant improvement with Gryphon over the past few days. A few weeks ago, we had a few nights where we were carrying him up the stairs to bed and these past few days, he's just charged right up and down them by himself.

We're also cutting back on the Rimadyl (by Vet order) to once every 3 days and it was suggested by a colleague of mine that we throw in a tablespoon of plain yogurt on the off days to replenish the probiotics from taking the Rimadyl.

My vet has suggested that I come into the office so we can research stifle braces but right now, I'm feeling very confident that with the double dosing of the Tri-Acta for a few more days, anti inflammatory medication, short 100 yard walks and....yogurt, we're on the right track for now.
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Rest in Peace Bailey: 12/10/95-1/9/09 (Golden Retriever)
Rest in Peace Kitty: 7/1/2000 - 10/7/2013
Gryphon (sounds like Griffin): 10/14/2004 (English Springer Spaniel)
Bella: 3/09/2005 LHD Cat adopted by/from Child
Mollie: 6/2/2009 (English Setter)
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  #45  
Old March 26th, 2014, 04:19 PM
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That's great news Dee-O-Gee!

When this first happen to Shiloh she seemed so depressed, I think it was very painful. We were given a prescription for metacam, not rimadyl but I was too scared to use it so gave her aspirin. I know that aspirin can also have side effects but for some reason I felt worried given her age. But a strong anti-inflammatory is very helpful and recommended. It is good we are both over the worst part

Shiloh had another visit with the holistic vet today for physical therapy and acupuncture. I am going to continue with the Chinese herbals and finish up my Sasha blend. I was reading that the Sashas does contain HA so that is good. I think it also takes some time for these things to build up in the body but if I think back a month ago, we have really made some progress.

Let me know what you learn about the braces. I researched them but as I started seeing an improvement, wondered if it was necessary. We don't have a resource for the braces here so think it would have to be ordered online and I would be worried about the proper measurements.
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  #46  
Old March 26th, 2014, 04:19 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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If you end up trying an NSAID, there are all sorts of them. My internal medicine vet prefers to use Previcox. I would always combine any nsaid treatment with liver support.

I'm glad you got some sleep, I know how helpful that is!!
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  #47  
Old April 26th, 2014, 10:07 PM
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Dee-O-Gee Dee-O-Gee is offline
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We looked into the braces SuperWanda and since my last post, Gryphon has had great improvement. Reviewing the braces on line was very confusing and basically, the cost for a brace would be equivalent or near the cost of surgery.

We've kept Gryph on his regiment of the Tri-Acta HA, Rimadyl (once every 3 days) along with plain yogurt and have entered short walks around the block back into the routine. The short walks have really helped with his mobility and keeping his muscles exercised. Its kinda sad that we can't do the 2k + walks we use to do but just getting him out around the block does a world of wonders.

Hope your Shiloh is doing good too.
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A dog wags his tail with his heart
Dogs have Masters--Cats have Staff

Rest in Peace Bailey: 12/10/95-1/9/09 (Golden Retriever)
Rest in Peace Kitty: 7/1/2000 - 10/7/2013
Gryphon (sounds like Griffin): 10/14/2004 (English Springer Spaniel)
Bella: 3/09/2005 LHD Cat adopted by/from Child
Mollie: 6/2/2009 (English Setter)
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  #48  
Old May 2nd, 2014, 12:02 PM
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SuperWanda SuperWanda is offline
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Glad things are going well!

We're not doing too bad either. Short walks for us as well. I also miss those days when we could go for longer, faster walks but given her age, I can't complain.

We just went for another acupuncture/ physical therapy treatment and continue with the Chinese herbs and Sashas blend.

Does your Gryph's hind end get droopy? Shiloh's bum seems to sink down when she is standing in one place for too long. Car rides are especially hard as she doesn't seem to want to sit but stand the entire time. I wondered if it is her knees only or a combination of things. She does have some muscle loss in her legs so imagine continued exercise is the best thing. She seems to be sleeping better too but still goes out at least once in the night but I can deal with that. The odd time she gets up multiple times but that seems to be happening less often. We are all getting outside more now that the snow is gone so maybe the extra sunshine is helping!
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  #49  
Old May 6th, 2014, 11:30 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I'm glad that Shiloh is still doing pretty good
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