The purpose of this blog is to focus on Gracie’s health. Now that she has been diagnosed with a chronic health condition, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (not to be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is something different), we will be monitoring her health MUCH more closely.
I will begin at the first signs of trouble and continue in chronological order.
Age of Dog: 5 years and 11 months DOB 2/27/2002
Breed of dog Golden Retriever
Name of dog Gracie
Sunday, January 13, 2008
We had no idea what was wrong. She had been drinking so much water and needing to go out to pee every couple of hours. She got so dehydrated that she was getting weak and her eyes were red. Her head started shaking ever so slightly and we took her to the Emergency Vet. I got there around 11:15 this morning, and I got home around 2:15. The took blood, x-rays. The don’t know what is wrong. It isn’t straightforward. There was talk of a heart problem, a tumor, liver or kidney problems, not that the vet was mean or anything. Just trying to be thorough. The cost for today was a $300 deposit toward the estimate of $900-1500. They are keeping her overnight to do an EKG, give her fluids and get a urine sample. Her electrolytes and proteins are out of whack, and the red blood cell count was high.
When I called for an update the vet said that she is stable, and “looks good from the outside but has a lot going on on the inside.” She has ascites, abnormal build up of fluid, in her abdomen. They have run a number of tests and worked to get her stable. Her proteins are low, tomorrow we will have to get her to our regular vet to start the next steps of diagnosis: an ultrasound of her liver.
Monday, January 14, 2008
6:30 am a wake-up call from the Emergency Vet. We were already awake and ready to get her. We were certain that we were in for decisions about whether we’d have to say goodbye.
8:00 am We open up our regular vet’s office. Gracie is barely able to stand up, she is exhausted and lays down at the first opportunity. We see the vet at 8:15 and are immediately referred to a specialist. The liver and kidneys were “ultrasounded” with few noted problems. But, her proteins continue to plummet. They will be doing an endoscopy and biopsy of the intestinal tract tomorrow. She’s likely to be in the hospital for three days.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
We just got home from visiting Miss Gracie at the hospital. She is very weak, and was recovering from procedures and tests from today. They drained some of the fluid from her abdomen yesterday, poor thing.
Today, they did an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. The doctor told us “we got a lot of good biopsies.” I hope that this means they will find out what’s wrong and fix it. They also said that poor Gracie’s intestines are very diseased. They just don’t know with what.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The report from the vet today was that Gracie had solid food. Prescription food. They have been giving her some kind of digestive enzymes and she is feeling better.
Still no pathology reports, but they will know tomorrow by 10:30 am whether she’s coming home! I plan to take the afternoon to go up and 1) visit or (preferably) 2) take her HOME!
They are thinking this is a chronic condition treatable with prescription food and supplements.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Gracie is on the couch dozing off…it took us over an hour to get home from the veterinary hospital. She is very relieved, as am I.
Anyway, we have 5 medications and a vitamin B12 shot as our discharge meds. And, special prescription canned dog food. The poor thing is on a mega dose of prednisone…
The pathology reports have not yet returned, but the doctor thinks this is Inflammatory Bowel Disease and that most dogs respond well to treatment. It is still possible that this is some kind of Cancer, but she is certainly looking and feeling much better. Cautious optimism.
protein losing enteropathy
Suspect Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Prednisone 25 mg in the morning
: This medicine is a corticosteroid used to treat severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, and skin conditions. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Metronidazole (Flagyl) 250 mg every 12 hours
Common Uses: This medicine is an anti-infective used to treat infections.
Spironolactone/HCT 25:25 Tab 1 every 12 hours
Common Uses: Spironolactone is used as a diuretic to remove the excess fluid caused by congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease. It can also be used to treat elevated blood pressure in combination with other drugs and in resistant cases of low potassium (hypokalemia). Spironolactone is also used to counteract the effects of excessive adrenal aldosterone production. Aldosterone overproduction can occur from a tumor in the adrenal gland, or when enlarged adrenal glands produce an excessive amount of aldosterone.
Furosemide (Lasix) 12.5 mg tab: 1/2 tab (6.25 mg) every morning
: This medicine is a loop diuretic used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and swelling due to excess body water. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Famotidine (Pepcid AC) 20 mg twice a day
For tummy issues (poor doggie)
Vitamin B12 1000 mcg (1 ml) subcutaneously every 7 days for 3 more doses then every other week indefinately. Next dose 1/22/2008.
Friday, January 18, 2008
It isn’t cancer. It is Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We are to continue on the medications we were discharged with yesterday (listed above).
How was the diagnosis of IBD confirmed.:
Ultrasound of abdomen (kidneys, liver, etc.)
Ruled out Addison’s disease with ACTH stimulation test (was normal)
Endoscopy & Colonoscopy and biopsies which showed severely diseased small intestinal tissue.
Hill’s d/d venison and rice canned food – 2 cans per day
What diet has your dog previously been on
Iams which we stopped due to chronic itchiness (feet)
Solid Gold Lamb and Rice most recently for the past 3-4 years.