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Discussion Starter #41
So, after Dr. Allen called today I decided to run away from home and clear my head for a couple hours since my husband was home and he could watch Flash for a little bit. I should have known, think again Jennifer and stay home. When I got back it looks like the lump on her neck is almost as big as it was before they drained it when they did the biopsy. I took these photos so I could send them to Dr. Allen so she could let me know what I should do if anything before Monday. I thought I would post them so you could see when I say a lump you can see what I’m referring to.

My additional concern is it getting so big that it opens up a stitch or two.

Jen
 

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Disclaimer: I am no vet, but I am in healthcare......if the lump came on suddenly it may be a hematoma/seroma or a collection of blood from the trauma of the surgery etc. See what your vet says. It probably could be drained out if done relatively soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I wish it was that easy. If you check back at the start of the topic I've been updating the full progress of this hoping that someone has heard of what we're going through. You'll see the surgery was for a biopsy to send samples to the USDA – they are checking for mycobacterial infection.

The good news - I just heard back from her doctor and she thinks with hot packs will keep it in check till Monday when they can drain it again. Because of all the nerves around it they have to be extremely careful every time they go in.

Here is some info Flash's doctor sent me on it
Bassets are also prone to mycobacterial infections (similar to TB. This infection is hard to find but special stains can be done on biopsies and there is one human hospital in NY that will culture for them.

Tuberculosis in five basset hounds
J Am Vet Med Assoc. June 1988;192(11):1563-8.
J L Carpenter1; A M Myers; M W Conner; S H Schelling; F A Kennedy; K A Reimann
1Department of Pathology, Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, Boston, MA 02130.

Article Abstract
Five Basset Hounds (2 females and 3 males) under the age of 5 years, acquired systemic tuberculosis. We suspected tuberculosis in one dog, because it had histologic lesions similar to those in 4 dogs in which bacteria were identified as Mycobacterium avium complex. A review of canine tuberculosis revealed a similar diagnosis in a Basset Hound. The association of this infection in Basset Hounds suggests an inherited immunologic defect. Results of our survey suggest that the defect might exist in cell-mediated immunity.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
I wish I could be posting no news is good news, but I can’t. Dr. Allen called early afternoon to let me know she has talked to the USDA and has all the direct numbers. They told her they might get back to her by the end of business. Well, 5:00 has come and gone without my phone ringing. This is driving me absolutely crazy. I’m jumping every time the phone rings and Dr. Allen sounds as stressed and frustrated as I do. Her lump has gotten a little bigger and is almost the size it was when we started, but Dr. Allen thinks we’re ok not doing anything else till we hear back. Knowing her, I wouldn’t be surprised if I get an email later tonight as I’m sure, she’ll keep checking websites for updates on all the locations that have samples of Flash for testing.

The USDA also told her if they do hit a positive for what their looking for – we’ll be guessing on the first two weeks of medication. It’ll take them two weeks to grow to determine the correct strength – but at least we can start something. That’s the hardest part, feeling helpless not being able to do ANYTHING!!!

On a positive note – Flash had a couple good days over the weekend. She was outside under the tree in the front yard watching all the goings on of the neighborhood and got lots of belly-rubs from everyone that came by to see how she was doing. She also took a couple walks around the cul-de-sac both days. Today being a work day, she was behind me in her bed all day but appears happy and is still eating well.

I’ll post as soon as I hear anything. Until then, thank you again for the positive thoughts and prayers being sent to Flash.

Jen~
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I’m sorry I haven’t posted an update for a couple days. The stress of this has gotten to me and I’ve been down with a full blown migraine. Dr. Allen called yesterday to let me know that surprise, surprise the USDA didn’t have a result yet. She asked them to have the Pathologist get back to her. And what we found out is nothing. Dr. Allen is out of town at some kind of convention or something – I’m not exactly sure where because she called me when my migraine was at its worst and her flight was boarding so we didn’t get much of a chance to chat – what I do remember her telling me is she’ll be with over 1,000 vets and she has all Flash’s records, test results and photos with her.

Below is the results that she sent me tonight from the USDA – I’m still very concerned because the lump is getting bigger again and it’s warm to the touch. I’ve been doing warm compress’s on it – but not sure it’s helping. I’ve also had to take her off all her meds because if it’s one thing they think it might be – she has to be off the other meds a few days before she can switch. I’m praying her neck doesn’t start not being able to move again – because three of the meds I had to take her off was for pain. The other two were antibiotics. Is this nightmare ever going to end?


Animal ID: Flash Sample: 1 Specimen Type: Fixed Tissue Species: Dog, Basset Hound
Histopathology Analysis
Tissue Examined Skin
Diagnosis See below
Pathologist

Morphological Diagnosis:
Pyogranulomatous Dermatitis, Unknown Etiology
No acid-fast organisms were observed in sections of tissue examined using special stains.
Mycobacterial cultures are pending, and these results will be reported separately.

Jen~
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Below is a message from Flash’s vet sent last night at 2:00 am so I didn’t see it till this morning – I forgot to mention in my update last night that she was having the USDA send samples down the street to Iowa State University for additional testing.

As we still don’t know what the “problem” is – at least I feel a “little” better knowing we are at least doing something while we wait. I think I’m going to take Flash in with me when I go pick up her new meds – the right side lump has really gotten bigger it seems overnight – and I’d like to see if Dr. Brown can check it out when I’m there – and possibly have her stitches removed if it’s time for them to come out. I don’t remember my name anymore much less how long ago something happened. So I guess I’ll have to call first.


Will check in with Iowa State tomorrow.

Idexx special stains (local lab) negative too but pathologist said still couldn't rule out infectious cause. Consulted with several internists at ACVIM and still think mycobacteria still possible so pend cultures. I am recommending that Flash start doxycycline as has some efficacy against mycobacteria and would also cover L-forms - a weird form of bacteria that is hard to grow. It still could be sterile nodular panniculitis but let's see what the ISU folks think. The docy will be ready for you to pick up tomorrow. If you need more of the other antibiotics, you can pick those up too.

Julie

Julie Allen BVMS MS MRCVS DACVIM
New prayer for the day? Please let the new meds make a difference and her not have a relapse with not being able to move her neck till we get this under control.

Jen~
 

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I hope you can get some answers for your poor baby. Sounds like you have a great vet working to do everything she can for you. Please keep us updated. Sending drool your way.
 

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Oh my,I'm writing this and my breathing is labored with the suspense of it all. Cover her with kisses.Have your husband take you out for dinner. It couldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
I wish I could be reporting something good or new for that matter – but… no such luck. Flash has had three doses of her new antibiotic while we STILL wait for the rest of her lab work from the USDA, Iowa University and anyone else to come back. In my gut, I’m not feeling good about anything. The lump has gotten a little bigger, but a plus is she did a little happy dance a few minutes ago. But then again, she’s not eating as much. For everything good there is always a negative. She’s always been an extremely finicky eater so while we’re dealing with this I’ve been just giving her the wet foods I know she loves. And until the last couple nights its worked but she’s not finishing one can. But… She is still loving her treats though. We have a buffet of different treats for her, one of the many nick names we’ve dubbed her is treat bandet She’s real good about going out and doing a U-turn just for her teat. So I’m going with as long as she wants’ her treats I’m calling it a good day.

My husband usually takes her for her little walks through the cul-de-sac – I did tonight so I could see exactly how she was on it. He sometime has a problem understanding the difference between can and should when it comes to the kids. So anyway, what I noticed was that at dusk with cool weather, she was panting at the half way point like she had enough. We were going extremely slow, instead of a walk, I like to call it reading the paper because of how they have to smell every blade of grass to see just who was in their neighborhood. Her body is weaker, but she is still trying to do things. This afternoon she was out in the backyard for almost an hour just looking around – so that was good – she hasn’t wanted to do that for a while. What I’m getting out of this is she’s not giving up – so either am I. As long as she’s doing what she enjoys, I’ll keep doing whatever I can for her.

Dr. Allen is still in Colorado (I think) at some big Vet convention or something and she’s taking every opportunity to talk to everyone she can in regards to Flash and we’re still at a loss – and of course all her lab work isn’t back and wouldn’t be for a while now because the testing they’re doing takes a while to grow.

I spoke with Dr. Brown before I went to pick up the new meds to see if I should bring Flash in with me so she could take the stitches out and maybe drain the lump since it’s getting better. The long and short is – stitches come out next week and she doesn’t want to keep poking and stressing Flash when we know it’s just going to get bigger again unless it starts to effect her breathing or swallowing. The topic did move to surgically removing it again. And how that’s just not an option because of all the nerves that are wrapped around it. Plus, even if we we’re to remove it – she still has the smaller one on the other side and the two in her belly that are hidden behind things.

So for now my prayers are these new meds do something good for her even though we’re guessing what she should take since we don’t know what she has - that the pocket doesn’t rupture because of it growing and that she doesn’t relapse with her neck again where she can’t lift her head. Every time I look at her and she’s holding her head down my heart stops. This is so scary – I think the last time was two weeks or maybe three when she had her relapse. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. And… It’s the weekend. I’m always more nervous on weekend of what could happen and that I might not get her somewhere on time.

bubbad, you’re so right I should get away but I’m afraid to leave her alone. Even though I have two girls they’ve always been inseparable except when Flash had her spinal surgery. I had to finally lock Lucy out of the family room unless I was in there which was almost 24/7 since I sleep on the floor with her for three months and just moved my computer in with us. The only time I left her was for a shower. On three occasions Lucy attempted to attack her, and if I wasn’t there, I shudder to think of the damage she would/could have done. If Lucy were to smell weakness in Flash I don’t trust what she would do. So far she’s been ok, but I just don’t have the same trust in her anymore.

Thank you again for all your prayers and positive thoughts you’re sending Flash – It truly does mean a lot. Fingers crossed that other than getting test results back I won’t have an update till Sunday – We’ll see how her weekend goes.

Jen & Flash
 

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Poor you and poor Flash! We'll keep the positive thoughts coming your way. Doppler and Virga have been saving up a week's worth of healing drool and are now sending it your way. Keep us posted...
 

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Your family has been through so much. Maggie and Daisy send drool and prayers for you all.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
I wonder or I don’t know – I wonder how many times I’ve started a sentence this way in the last couple months?

This wasn’t a great weekend for Flasher – I don’t know if it’s the lump on her neck, the enlarged back end or if she’s going to again not be able to lift her head soon. Yesterday she was moving a little on the slow side and could only walk down a couple houses when she put the brakes on letting us know she wanted to go back home. But today is worse – I don’t think she is so much in pain, more that she can’t get comfortable at all. I can’t put my finger on it – but she’s just not comfortable – when she walks, when she tries to sit or lay down, she just has this look about her that I’ve become all too familiar with unfortunately. Today she could only make it across the street – and then just stand – no movement. So home it was.

She also does this thing now – not so much panting but – she breaths with her mouth open quick deep breaths and her cheeks / jowls are sucked in. The first time I saw it I panicked because it looked like she was having a hard time breathing – but she’s not.

Her not eating has also gone to a new level – we we’re finally able to get her to eat yesterday and today, but only because we spoon feed her with Lucy next to her – one spoon for Lucy – one spoon for Flash – that was the only way she would eat. I first tried to spoon feed her by herself and she would turn her head or look down – but put Lucy by her side and she ate. Lucy loves it :D

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day and a miracle happens that we get actual results back from one of the places that have her samples.

Again, thanks so much for all the prayers, drool and positive thoughts you’re sending Flash’s way.

Jen~
 

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Hoping you get some answers tomorrow. And, slinging healing drool.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Once again I wish I was able to update with something other than – we still don’t know anything more. Dr. Allen is back and we’re in the process of phone tag. From what I’m able to gather thus far is everyone that she was able to talk to about Flash at the Vet conference and her in the Chicagoland area still thinks whatever she has is either a mycobacterial infection or in the family of. The antibiotic that she’s currently on can help with this even though it’s not the recommended treatment. But until we know exactly what it is we can’t give the recommended treatment – because of the pus in the all the pockets. The testing from her biopsy samples that the UDA, and Iowa University is doing takes two weeks to grow. I’ve lost track – maybe someone here will have a better idea – I think sometime this week will be the start of week two. But I really don’t know. It makes your head swim if you try and think about it all so much because it’s like going in circles or a maze without an opening.

She is still showing signs of discomfort or being lost but not all the time – a couple times a day she’ll run into the family room and do her little happy dance. And the rest of the day she appears lost. Yesterday a friend came over and not the one that always brings treats – and Flash run up to her to say hi (which is also out of character for her because she’s the one of the group that has people walk to her – she don’t go to them). She also didn’t want to even attempt to go for a walk yesterday. Just wanted to lay in the front yard and watch the goings on. Today it’s too hot to take either of the hounds – just Rickie, so I wouldn’t have that kind of gage of how she’s doing.

She’s still not eating without a lot of coaxing. One spoon for Lucy – one for Flash. I know it’s not the food because yesterday I opened four different kinds and all got the same results – a turn of her head or looking down. She does still love her treats though – and the cream cheese with her meds in the ball she takes without issue. I know she’s in “some” pain but can’t find where – she was on the floor next to me in the kitchen so I got one of the beds for her and tried to help her in because she looked like she was having a problem figuring out what to do – just by lifting her front end a little over the rim of the bed she let out a cry – but I can’t tell where it’s coming from. In my gut I think it’s her neck again – because most of the day when she’s walking she’s carrying her head low – but she’s able to lift it when asked. Heck, I have no idea. I’m also not noticing her muscles tensed up like they are when she’s in full pain with her spinal problem / neck.

Thursday or Friday I’ll be taking her to the vet to remove the stitches and while we’re there they’ll take blood to check her liver again. She’s off the two different antibiotics she was on when her liver level was well over 800 and we want to be sure it’s still down now that she’s been off the meds for a week. So fingers crossed on this.

If I find something new when Dr. Allen and I are able to connect I’ll be sure to post it. Till then, have a great day, enjoy every minute – and last but no way least – thank you for the continued prayers, drool and positive thoughts you’re sending Flash’s way. She’s showing herself to be a tough little cookie – and who knows, she may be able to pull though this.

Jen~
 

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Discussion Starter #60
And here we go again. Another day passes without knowing any more than we did the day before. I’ve quoted the latest message from Flash’s vet – We desperately need someone / anyone to have a light bulb moment and know what this is. I’m just grateful that her doctor wants’answers as bad as I do and she’s doing everything she can.

I spoke to the pathologist at Iowa State today - same thing pyogranulomatous inflammation, unsure of cause. Did see some bacteria but only a few and did not look like mycobacteria. Culture for mycobacteria still pending.

I'm posting all her info on various message boards for more input now the that mycobacteria is looking less likely. It does suggest it's infectious so if she's sore, use the rimadyl (I told Brenda to call you yesterday - hopefully she did) as I don't think we'll be trying steroids any time soon. Do you think the mass grew since stopping the clavamox or the rimadyl?

Julie
If anyone has the type of relationship with your vet that you can give them a call and direct them to this posting – could you please? I’m starting to lose hope that we’ll find out what it is so we can treat it correctly before it can cause more damage and/or grow in more areas than the other three growth’s she has.


Thank you again for you're continued prayers for Flash.

Jen~
 
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