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Old 06-01-2011, 04:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Desperate need of help for one of my hounds

I have an 11 year old hound that has had some medical problems in the last couple years, such as spine surgery and Hip Dysplasia and a few minor problems.

In the last couple months we’ve had a few new issues arise. About two months ago we had blood work done on her in preparation of her dental surgery she was going to have. The blood was only done as a preventative because she’s 11 and having surgery – she had no signs of anything being wrong at the time it was taken. The blood came back with high level in the liver so we started her on antibiotics to bring it under control. After a couple weeks on them we re-took the blood – number was still higher than normal but they didn’t think it was too high to proceed with the dental surgery since the condition of her teeth could have been the cause of the increased level. She’s always had bad teeth. Poor girl.

Anyway, fast forward I think about a month, and late at night we noticed that she was having a hard time lifting her head off the ground and she was moving even slower than normal. Considering that we refer to her as the sloth – she was hardly able to move and her head wasn’t an inch off the ground. So we ran her over to the vet. They started to do a neurological examination but because of the pain they could see she was in they couldn’t or wouldn’t do much. Because it was so late (by then it was almost midnight) there was no one at the vet to do an MRI. I even called the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove where she had her spinal surgery – no one there either at that time of night – they just said they could make her comfortable till morning when someone was in to do the MRI. So… We decided that she would be most comfortable at home with meds to keep her still and I would bring her to the Veterinary Specialty Center first thing in the morning since they already had a MRI of her for history.

Long story short – her spinal disease has moved up to her neck but because of where it’s located there is 1.) No guarantee on this surgery like there was on the first one she had and… 2.) Because of the location they would have to go in through the throat and with all the nerves she could have a lot of complications. Our only other option is to pray that she takes to the medicine – after three weeks it appears that she is doing well as to her neck – she’s on almost complete puppy bed rest – we carry her up and down the stairs at night and in the am – and only goes out to do her business. Or just to get her afternoon sun bath -

Now on to our current problem. – I’m not exactly sure when it started but to say that it was after the neck problem because she had three different vets checking over every inch of her body and there we’re no enlarged parts anywhere on her.

Friday May 27th – six days ago – I was sitting at the table and looked down at her and saw the right side of her neck was extremely enlarged, and when I felt it – it felt like a tennis ball size – I immediately called her vet and got her right in. When we we’re doing the examination of her we noticed that her right back side was also extremely enlarged. I’ve been so busy looking to see if she’s able to keep her head off the ground that I can’t remember the last time I looked at her back end “cute as it is” – I’m just noting this to say – we have no idea what came first – the back end of the throat.

Samples were taken from both parts – back end was “fatty” the throat pocket was full of a pink puss – my vet was at a loss – never seen anything like it. She took blood and sent it out with the samples she was able to draw and we put her on antibiotics to hold her over the holiday weekend till the results got back. The next day it appeared that the one on the throat was larger so Saturday night I ran her over to the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove where she had been just a few weeks ago and where she had her back surgery – she also took samples – the back was still a fatty substance but now the pocket on her throat was no longer puss – but fatty. No one there had seen anything like this either. I told them the plan that was in place and the results we were waiting to get back – she just recommended that I get the planed scan and X-ray’s on Tuesday – she felt Flash would be fine until then.
Tuesday has come and gone – she had the scans – and X-Rays’ – and most of the samples have come back. The only thing they could tell is she’s had a fractured rib at one time – and she now also has hip dysplasia. Oh, and they were able to rule out lymphoma – but not cancer altogether. Also her liver count is own over 800.

They took more blood and urine are now looking for a mycobacterial infection in her – I’m at a total loss – my brain is mush – and I’m totally drained – has anyone heard or seen anything that is remotely like this?
They said that after the antibiotics are gone and she still has the enlarged parts – they would take larger samples of both and a sample of her liver for more testing.

I'm sorry about such a long post - but I wanted to give as much information as possible.


Any help that anyone can give would I would be extremely grateful
Jennifer

I attached a few photos of her back end - When hubby gets home I'll get one of her neck - I can't without help because of the ears and extra skin.
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Desperate need of help for one of my hounds-dscn0739.jpg   Desperate need of help for one of my hounds-dscn0741.jpg   Desperate need of help for one of my hounds-dscn0746.jpg  

Last edited by houndmomma; 06-02-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow Jennifer, sorry to hear about Flash and I wish you a speedy recovery. My boy had a bout of what they called pancreatitis with elevated liver enzymes about a year before he developed lymphoma. His levels I believe were as high as Flash, they prescribed Denamarin (milk thistle). His levels were down in a month or so. Happy this isn't lymphoma, hope not another cancer. Does she have a fever at all? Is she eating OK or any vomiting?
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the Reply Kathy - hope your little guy is doing well. I should have mentioned - just a "slight" fever and she's always been a finicky eater - and not a big one at that - she's eating ok for her - nothing to write home about and nothing yet to really worry about if you know what I mean. But I do think she’s drinking a little more than normal.


Jen~
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Be prepared .Your girl being 11 this could be the beginning of the end.I don't mean to sound uncaring but she has something going on that they cannot locate and you have had almost everything done that you possibly could have done. Be aware of when you are doing all these things for her or for you.I hope she rallies and she is with you a while longer.You may be upset with me for saying that but I'm only thinking of your best interest as well as hers. Try to know when you've done enough and are doing much for her sake and yours.I pray they find out what the problems are soon.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No Worries Babbad - I know it sounds hard - but it’s something I do look at. Her quality of life is what's most important to me. I've had Flash talk with a pet physic this weekend - not sure if anyone believes in them - but I've had my kids talk to them a few times and it’s amazing what they tell me about them. The first one I spoke with I asked her why my other hound Lucy would walk around the house and just bark at nothing – just woof – woof – woof – woof moving her head back and forth. She told me that Lucy liked the way her voice sounded because of my high ceiling. Now, this woman would have no idea that I had 20 Foot ceilings. And when we moved to the current house we live in with normal height ceilings – the barking stopped cold.

Anyway, she assured me that she wasn't in pain - just more on the uncomfortable side. I also wanted her to assure Flash they were only going to look inside her when I took her for the scans yesterday. Since her spine surgery she's been a nervous wreck and just shakes and trembles as soon as we walk out the front door. It was amazing – She didn’t shake and no trembles – she sat in the car and looked out the window all the way to the vet and when I got there they couldn’t believe she was the same dog – she was so calm. It was like having my old girl back with me. I’m praying that Flash will tell me when its time. And until she does – I’ll do everything in my power to find out what the heck she has and fix it if there’s a way. She is too special to do anything less.

Jen~

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Old 06-01-2011, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Houndmomma, I'm sorry Flash is having so many issues. I hope the vets are able to help her. I have to tell you, I had an "animal communicator" out to talk to my aged horse a few years ago. I was worried that he would be in a lot of pain but I wouldn't know it. The communicator told me that my horse would tell me "in no uncertain terms" when his time had come. So a couple of years later I walked outside one spring day to find him dead as a doornail in his paddock. As horrible as it was back then, I'm now able to look back and say that he definitely let me know in no uncertain terms that his time had come! I don't want you to think that I'm forecasting the same for Flash--I just wanted to let you know that I too believe in pet psychics, or at least some of them. Good luck to you and Flash, and I hope you at least have answers to what's ailing your puppy soon.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So sorry to hear about Flash! I hope they figure out what's going on with her. We'll keep you in our thoughts and Doppler and Virga are slinging lots and lots of healing drool your way.
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I know how worried you must be. You're in my thoughts.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I wonder if one of these pet psychics could tell us anything about what kind of situation Anabelle spent the first 7 years of her life in. Then again I'm not sure I want to know.

Hoping the best for Flash whatever that may be. I'm glad she is in good hands with you all.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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About 11:00 last night I received and E-mail from one of Flash’s vet. While detailed. We still don’t know what she has. In addition to the message were pages and pages of medical descriptions of different bacteria and everything else that she mentions is the message.


Quote:
Apologies for the delay. Flash's ultrasound report is still pending due to technical difficulties at the radiologist's end.


Upon reviewing all of Flash's information we have the following issues:


1) The mass under the jaw. Aspirates revealed pyogranulomatous inflammation with no organisms seen. There were also some cells that looked atypical i.e. could represent cancer but not definitive.


Things that can cause this type of inflammation:


a) Infections - bacterial - so far the aerobic culture is negative, the anaerobic culture is still pending. There is also an infection called bartonella which is hard to grow so a blood test is pending for this. Some information:


b) Certain forms of cancer such as a histiocytic tumor (I had one of these a few months ago in a similar location that also abscessed) or salivary tumor. I am probably most concerned about this.


2) The other issue we have is the increased liver value (ALT). Some of the above infections can also involve the liver and cancer can obviously spread to the liver although nothing obvious was seen on the ultrasound. There were however some unidentified structures in the abdomen that may be enlarged lymph nodes near the major vessels - we will see what the radiologist thinks of these.


If the culture comes back negative, the blasto and bartonella tests are negative and the mass does not improve then I would recommend biopsy and culture of the mass and possibly an aspirate/biopsy of the liver. We may also consider biopsying the large mass on the back leg.


Flash's urine was also a little dilute with a trace of protein which we will need to watch.


I'm sure most of this did not make much sense to you but I will call you tomorrow - hopefully with some results.


Regards,

Julie
Julie Allen BVMS MS MRCVS DACVIM
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