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The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

the adventures of a tripod GSD

The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

Buster Health Update

September 22nd, 2016 · 1 Comment · Life after Sheba

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quick update on Buster. Not much of one because there’s been no change in the elimination problems. We’re finishing up round 2 of metronidazole and his poop is slightly more form than “cow pie”. Also still having incontinence issues and leaving pee pee puddles intermittently. Dr Moore wants to scope the urethra and get a bigger sample of the prostate (last one was too small) but we have to get the poop under control first. Clay has helped a bit, but still no normal poop.

 

He and Nikko are both still DEPRESSED.


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and life goes on…

September 6th, 2016 · 7 Comments · Life after Sheba

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Buster sadIt’s been a week and a half since Sheba died.  Us humans are still sad, but it’s taken quite the toll on Bruddah Buster.  He’s been visibly depressed in addition to having physical symptoms like diarrhea and urinary incontinence.  So we took him in to our family vet, who ran some tests then sent us to the internist that last treated Sheba.  Since Buster ate Sheba’s poop on a few occasions we’re going to have to watch him for symptoms, but its highly unlikely he’ll get a fungal infection from her poop.  Then again, it was also unlikely that Sheba would get a fungal infection in the first place!  We did learn that he’s got enlarged spleen and prostate, so they took biopsies yesterday.  He came home drunk and its just now wearing off.  They also gave him metronidazole for the diarrhea (he had an accident in the hall between exam rooms and the kennels!), and are testing for the usual suspects.  We have an empty pool (thank you, California Drought) with a bit of water in it.  Vector control comes out and drops these tabs in it, but I think they’re for killing mosquitoes, not things like giardia.  Nikko and Dolly are back to normal at least.  Hopefully this all clears up soon, we’re going through a lot of cleaning supplies!

IMG_5005

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Our Princess Has Moved On

August 26th, 2016 · 16 Comments · Neurology, Pathology

Sheba a crossed to the other side today.  She had been doing ok, starting to eat again (mostly baby food and deli meat), but something just wasn’t right.  She had bee having increasing difficulty getting around the house and outside to potty.  Last night she needed help every time she wanted to get adjusted in bed.  We didn’t sleep much and she was constantly panting.  This morning she got up OK for her car ride (highlight of the day), but by the time I got home around 3 and went to take her out to potty she was knuckling on the remaining rear leg and was unable to bear any weight on it at all.  I called the vet’s office to let the neurologist know we had symptoms.  He said we could bring her in or wait til the morning.  Sheba was adamant about getting into the car so we took her over to the vet’s office.  On exam Sheba had very little reflex in the remaining rear leg and cried out when he barely tapped her with the mallet.  Neuro said her symptoms were consistent with spinal cord infiltration.  Just yesterday we learned UofTexas identified the fungus as Rasamsonia spp. which looks and acts like Aspergillus and Penicillium but grows a lot faster.  With all this overwhelming information, we made the decision to end her suffering.  She fell asleep peacefully in our arms around 5pm.  A big thank you to everyone who has offered support and encouragement for the last few months, we really appreciate it!

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What do you mean I need to get out of the car?

August 22nd, 2016 · 3 Comments · Post Op

Car Ride

I think we’ve unlocked the key to Sheba eating: BABY FOOD!  She love the turkey with gravy and beef with gravy, haven’t tried the chicken yet though.  She also seems to like freeze dried liver treats, ostrich hearts, cheese, and goats milk.  We’re going to have a TON of baby food jars!

Since she stated coming up lame in February, Sheba has been getting car rides instead of walks.  Recently, we’ve had difficulties convincing her to get out of the car.

Finally got her out after an hour.

And half a bag of liver treats!

Obviously another moment of teenage rebellion

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MRI results – 3 fungal lesions

August 19th, 2016 · 6 Comments · Neurology, Pathology, Post Op

Long day at the vet for Sheba.  We went in for MRI at 8:30am.  Doc called around 11:30 to tell us she was awake and to please come by between 1 and 2 to pick her up and speak to the neurologist and internist.  When we got there the neuro showed us the MRI.  She has 3 lesions, the one big one between the dorsal spinal processes between her shoulder blades, then two smaller ~1cm lesions in the vertebral spaces further down the thoracic spine.

MRI sag

Then we waiting a bit to see the internist regarding meds.  He’s thinking even though the histopath says Penicillium spp. it could still be Aspergillus spp. and since that has a better prognosis and similar treatment with more empirical evidence, we’re going to pretend its Aspergillus.  He also ordered a galactomannan test which would be helpful to judge drug response if it is Aspergillus.  So, we’re going to double up on the itraconazole for a month.  Then redo the MRI and galactomannan to see her response.  Because we can only be on that increased dose of itraconazole for a month or so we will need to either begin amphotericin B infusions (potential kidney failure and other nasty side effects) or restart the terbinafine (MAJOR diarrhea!).  Terbinafine also doesn’t work as well in dogs as it does in humans or petri dishes.  With the spinal lesions we also have to worry about compression of the spinal cord and fracturing vertebrae.  At least the neurologist told us our Ruffwear WebMaster with BrushGuard is probably the best harness to have with her specific location of lesions!

And for those of you wondering, yes, Sheba’s medical costs are throught the roof (over $10k so far)!  But we’re not rich, we just happen to have insurance for her that pays 90% with no cap.  $72 a month sounded pricey when we signed her up at 9 months, but it has definitely paid off!

Here’s another MRI view marking the lesions:

MRI Markers

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