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The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

the adventures of a tripod GSD

The Ongoing Adventures of Sheba

MRI results – 3 fungal lesions

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

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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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6 Comments so far ↓

  • hester

    So glad for you that you have insurance and can proceed without worry. I like the approach the internist has outlined – sound like what House would do (the TV character)!

    Best thoughts for Sheba and you.

    Lisa and Pofi dog

    • sheba2011

      We’re definitely lucky with our doctors having GSD and fungal experience! It also helps having a (human) medical background so I can read up on research articles and talk shop with the docs.

  • benny55

    Losa’s refernece to “House”‘made me laugh! Wish we had him treating Sheba!

    You and Sheba are in a battle, that’s for sure. You are both strong Warriors and you have your Tripawd Army backing you up!

    With every fiber of my being, hoping this treatment will bring about good results! It appears the vets you are dealing with really know their stuff and they are definitely holding out HOPE!

    Lots of love

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    PS. Thank doG for the insurance!

    • sheba2011

      I think with fungal infections being so rare, going with older doctors has really paid off. And they’re not super old, but late 40s and up, long enough to have handled a few fungal cases. This Army has been a huge help! From amputation recovery tips to love and support. You all rock!

  • pictishpunkgirl

    My tripawd cat lost her leg to fungal lesions in her paw and when her leg was amputated candida infected the wound. She is tiny but took 2 bottles of Itrafungol in her stride with no apparent kidney damage etc. It seemed like the fungus will never clear but it did and her wound has been healed for a year now

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