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Messages - BrookeR

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I feel heartbroken for you. Give Georgia lots of hugs.
You are both in my thoughts.

I agree. I really hope the increase in pred will show some improvement in Georgia. I found that pred was a much more effective immune suppressant with my girl than cyclosporine was. However, she needed a break from the high doses of Pred that she had been on for too long (due to my vet not knowing the correct protocol of treatment) and so the cyclosporine was necessary and does have its place.

I completely understand the cost factor, since my girl Pepper has been sick I have spent more money on her than our family suv car, which we brought new :(  Funds are very low now and we have come to a point where I have to really think about what tests are necessary and what is best for her quality of life, as well as the rest of our familys'.

Just a thought... are you able to call around and see if you can find somewhere else that is able to do a blood transfusion cheaper? I know this isn't the best case scenario trying to go somewhere else & could make things awkward for you. But the most important thing is what is best for your girl. If it's the best thing for Georgia to buy her some more time and you can find somewhere else to have it done that is cheaper & that you can afford, is that so bad? You only want what's best for your girl, and surely any vet that really cares about animals should be able to understand that.

Catherine is right. If Georgia weighs around 7 kg, according to michael j days protocol she should be taking 7mg of pred every 12hrs. You said she was having 5mg is that right? You did say that she had also started taking Cyclosporine, but that too (like azathioprine) can take some time to show clinical response.

Cyclosporine can make them feel unwell and not want to eat. My girl spent some time on Cyclosporine and she got sick initially and didnít want to eat. It took her a while to get used to it and then she still had periods where she would get unwell again and not want to eat.

Iím so sorry to hear your story. I wish I could help with some answers. But i just wanted to let you know that my thoughts are with you and Georgia. Itís a heartbreaking watching your best mate when then are are so unwell and you donít know what will help. Try keep your spirits up in front of Georgia, to keep her fighting. I know my girl feeds off my emotions,. Thinking of you both.

Hi Lynn,
I donít have any experience with srma, but my girl has impa (another auto immune disease).
When she was diagnosed we were incorrectly advised by a vet who did not have enough experience & knowledge of the condition & didnít advise us with the proper treatment protocol.
Sadly this led to my girl relapsing as we reduced the immune suppressant doses way to early. Which in turn meant that she had to continue on the high doses much longer than she should have. This lead to her experiencing drug induced cushings, incontinenance, muscle wastage & her liver levels becoming dangerously high. So we had to introduce another immune suppressant drug (Cyclosporine), which meant a whole new lot of problems & side effects.
After this I did the research and found this forum, Jo and Michael Dayís protocol. The best things that happened to us on our journey.

You are already in the right place being on this forum. Following this protocol is the most important initial advice that can be given to treat these ai diseases. I was in your position and had to challenge my vet. But when itís your furr baby/best mateís health that is at stake I believe it is worth it. I just wish I knew the protocol from the beginning so we didnít have to go through the relapse and aftermath.

We ended up finding another vet at the same clinic that was willing to listen to the info I would come to her with & if she was unsure she would look further into and do her own research. I know I drive her crazy sometimes with all my questions & proposals but she knows I only have my girls health & best interest at heart & im not trying to offend or question her experience.

Thanks Jo. Yes my vet said that it seems her kidneys are fine at this point. She has no increased thirst or increased urination. We tested her wee two weeks ago with the complete blood profile and have taken a sample again yesterday with bloods to check again. She does not have a lack of appetite, however she is still on pred but it is such a small dose (only 2.5mg once a day and she weighs 14.2kg), I donít know how much it would affect her appetite.
We ran her on a small course of antibiotics after she had her three rotten teeth removed which was a month or so ago. When I spoke with my vet yesterday she said we will see what the wee comes back and may consider running her another course.
My vet isnít keen on giving her things without knowing an actual diagnosis because of how sensitive she is.
Every time we give her antibiotics there is a chringe of worry. We only have one type that we are comfortable using with her. I have tried pushing to try digestive enzymes as I had been reading in the holistic community that they have been used in dogs other than those with epi. Dogs with cancer, senior dogs, dogs with auto immune disease, arthritis, recovering from injury etc. But my vet is more focused on traditional medicine and hard facts , she doesnít believe the science is there for use other than if we have EPI at play. I understand what she is saying from her position. Pep wouldnít be here if it wasnít for our fantastic vet, she has gone above and beyond for us over and over again, and we are forever grateful. I didn't think the enzymes would be a cure, I was just thinking they may have made her a bit more healthy for a little extra time. If she continues to loose weight I will become more desperate and feel the risk of pushing for such things will be worth it even without a diagnosis. Even with the ultrasound we may not even find anything anyway, and could be in the same unknown position. Over the years we have done so many tests on Pep and we never seem to get any accurate answers from them.

Iím not sure about vitamin b12 I will look into that. Thanks for the suggestion.

I have emailed Dr Rebecca Remillard from pet diets through the week asking some diet questions  (but have not had a response yet). Dr Remillard formulated a home cooked/ balanced diet for pep back after she was diagnosed with impa. It was at the beginning on my mission to research and give pep the best & most healthy environment I could for the best chance at good health.
I have been eagerly awaiting a response to see her opinion.

Iíll keep you updated. Other than the weight loss Pep currently has normal poos and no vomitting. She is a bit more lethargic than normal. Has a great appetite and has no increased thirst. She also has no limping or signs of arthritic pain (she is on 1 tramadol tablet a day). So she is not unhappy and therefore we will continue plugging on. Ever since the Ďplasmacytoma that has matasizedí diagnosis that we got before last Christmas (which disappeared) I have felt we have been living on borrowed time. So we are enjoying and being thankful for everyday we have.

Sorry I cannot get them to upload. Will try again later it keeps saying the download folder is full. Even though I keep clearing the folder?

This is a summary.
There was a moderate  Alkp increase, mild increase in globulins, mild non regenerative anemia, moderate leukopenia (due to mild neutropenia and lymphopenia).

Unfortunately we are having problems again.
We have had a number of things happen with Pepper since the start of this year, it would take me quite some time to document everything. But we are now at the point where she has lost a lot of muscle tone and is now frail looking. Even with increasing her food intake we have not been able to increase her weight.
My vet said maldigestion, malabsorption (intestinal wall), malassimilation (liver, kidney, cancers) ,and protein loss through gastro tract or kidney are all reasons for weight loss. She also has a low white cell count & my vet wants to investigate further if it persists to be low.

We did bloods, urine & stool sample 2 weeks ago and a weigh in and she had lost 400g since her prior weigh in.
There was a moderate  Alkp increase, mild increase in globulins, mild non regenerative anemia, moderate leukopenia (due to mild neutropenia and lymphopenia).
I have tried attaching her last blood results, but not sure if it will work. We took more blood and a urine sample today and are waiting on the results. Pep had gained 200g today. Which is not much, but its better than loosing more weight.

At this point I am not planning on going ahead with the ultrasound. I can't really afford the extra expense and anything we find on there is going to be something incurable (I will not put her through chemo at her age). I would also rather not know if she has cancer.
Due to her now being prone to pancreatitis if she has IBD we cannot really treat her by going up in preds. She also does not have consistent runny poos. Which has also led us to not feel that it is EPI. Multiple Myeloma is another thing that has been discussed. Just to list a few.

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas based on her blood results?

Thanks Jo. Back before Christmas when Pep got the diagnosis of plasmacytoma that had metasized there was possible suggestions going around from pathologists saying to amputate her toe, do chemo, X-rays, & ultrasounds. Iím so glad that I chose not to venture down those paths and went with my gut. Miraculously it disappeared! Although itís constantly in my mind that cancer may reappear again somewhere else. But Iím glad I didnít put her through any of that unnecessarily.

Pep has had so many possible diagnosisís over the years and so many tests have been suggested. Usually we wait a bit longer and things normally change anyway and the tests werenít needed.

Yes Pep is still happy in her self and seems fine other than being a bit more lethargic than normal (but she is 11 now) and she looks frail due to the muscle wastage. It has taken her some time to come to terms with having no treats. But I have now made her slow baked sweet potato chips that she enjoys.

I have been reading about supplementing digestive enzymes for senior dogs & other dogs with compromisesd immune systems. The idea seems to follow more of a holistic approach as itís been discussed in natural books & journals. I mentioned it to my vet but without the diagnoses of EPI she doesnít believe there is any proven evidence to back the use of them.
So I am going to wait until our follow up bloods and weigh in on Friday and see what that brings.

Iíll be interested to hear how diesel goes.

Iím sorry to hear about diesel. Unfortunately I donít have any ideas of what may be going on.  Iím in a similar situation with my girl Pepper at the moment. My vet is concerned it may be cancer or some other chronic disease. But we canít pinpont what. She has been slightly anemic for a sometime now but has now lost a lot of weight.  She is a staffy and has lost her muscles and now is very drawn. She had a bout of pancreatitis and everything has been downhill from there. I stopped feeding her all treats after the bout of pancreatitis and she was eating a LOT of treats (sheeps ears & carob drops). I have now increased her normal food intake by 40%. But she hasnít gained any weight. Albeit her normal food is kangaroo mince and veggies, so itís not high in fat.

She has had a bad breath & we found ulcers in her mouth and then she had to have three rotten teeth removed. Her breath has improved from what it was but it still is a bit odourous. She still has ulcers in her mouth which we can not clear up. Since then she had an occasion where she got the vomits and became dehydrated and had to have an overnight hospital stay on a drip. We reintroduced salmon oil back into her diet (as we had dropped all supplements when she had the pancreatitis episode) and then after being back on it for maybe a month she got frequent diarrhoea with lots of mucous. We stopped the salmon oil again & the diarrhoea & mucous cleared. Her alt & alp levels are the lowest they have been in a long time. We dropped her back to 2.5mg pred once a day when she had the pancreatitis episode. She now weighs only 14kg & used to be between 16-18. This is the lowest pred dose that we have ever been able to achieve. We did a stool sample, urine test, & bloods a week a go. Her lipase was slightly increased , & again slightly anemic.

She is the same as you say diesel is. Her appetite is good, no fever, peeing and pooping fine now. She's more lethargic than normal. She also has a bubbly stomach. No letting off of gas, just if you are near her in a quiet room you can hear soft bubbles in her belly.
There is a number of conditions that we are tossing up including cancer in the digestive tract/ pancreas , epi, ibd to name a few, plus other nasty muscle wasting auto immune disorders. My vet is also worried about her bone marrow (like you have said) & that since we have dropped the pred back we may have allowed other immune disorders that we have previously had kept in the back of our minds, to have now been allowed to progress. Particularly in hindsight of her muscle wastage.
We are going back for more bloods in a week and then deciding what to do from there.
My vet wants to do an ultrasound but I really canít afford it. We have spent more than a new car on her since she got impa and my partner is putting his foot down. Anything we find on an ultrasound i imagine is going to be not an easy fix and I would rather not know if itís something horrible like cancer. As she is too old to have treatment and I will not put her through that.
Also Pepper doesnít seem to give very accurate results in tests. We have ran so many in the past & never get reliable results. 

Have you had any other similar systems to us?
I really hope you get some answers soon. I too have been doing so much reading & research to try work out what is going on with her. But she is so hard to read. She never seems to follow the Ďnormalí with her symptoms that she displays for any of her health problems. So it is so hard to pin point anything. I was pushing for the diagnosis prior to her last bloods of EPI but then my vet said she should have regular loose fatty stools same for ibd. Which she doesnít have?. I wish they could talk and tell us whatís going on.

Best of luck!

This forum is the most valuable resource I have found. So many great people helping others in similar situations.

Yes I remembered you telling me about the heartburn that you got from the Chinese herbs and that was the first thing I brought up with my vet. I also rang the specialist vet that had prescribed them. They claimed that the herbs could in no way cause pancreatitis or make things worse, but recommended to stop using them until she is better. You just never know with Pepper though.

I have given away to rescue doggies all Peppers dried sheeps ear treats and do not think she will be eating carob drops again either. Itís looking like the sweet potato crisps that I make in the oven (with no ingredients other than slow baked sweet potato) will be her only treats moving forward. She is not happy about it at all. She keeps scratching at the pantry door at night. As that is when she would get a sheepís ear.

Iím still worried about her relapsing with the dropped steroid dose (lower than we have ever been). But keeping fingers crossed.

Thanks so much for the info Jo iíll Look into it further.

So far so good with the pancreatitis. Pep hasnít had anymore spews since the day of her diagnosis. We are still just having half size daily meals and no supplements. Just taking things slowly.

We retested peps liver levels 2 weeks after the drop in dose and they had gone from 6500 to 2700. 2700 is still very high but a fair drop from what it was. Her fat levels were very high when we took her bloods.
Pep was down to 5mg per day (her normal dose that she has been stable on for sometime) and any other time we had tried dropping below this she has relapsed. So we decided to stay at this dose, continue denosyl and hope the levels may drop some more with a little more time.
Tuesday morning pep vomited when she got up and then Thursday morning she vomited again when she got up. She has had times before when she has vomited, but I didnít fell like it was the same this time. I felt something was wrong and was worried about an ulcer. Took her to our vet to stay for the day and run some tests. She tested positive for pancreatitis :(. She was really dehydrated and so had to spend the day on a drip. She had the day without eating and then yesterday was allowed small meals. She has so far kept it all down without anymore vomits. I have had to stop her steroids and only give every second day. I also have had to stop all her supplements, (salmon oil, Rose hip joint supp, sunflower oil for linoeic acid, Chinese herbs) because my vet believes giving the pancreas time to heal is the more important danger at the moment. I am very worried she will relapse. We have tried every second day pred dosing before and she relapsed. I have asked if after today we can go to 2.5mg per day dose. It is such a little dose and shouldnít make a difference but Pepper always likes to do things different from the normal so Iíd prefer try this and hope she can remain stable from relapsing drastically. We are not sure what has changed to make her get pancreatitis. She didnít eat anything different or anymore treats then normal. We are still wondering if she could have full blown Cushings now (not steroid induced).

It feels like we are running out of time and all the bads are catching up to us. Options are getting more slim. If we have a relapse there is no where to go. Her liver levels are too high to go up and I cannot afford to go back to cyclosporine or the more expensive drugs. I also donít think she could handle them at this point in her life.
She now has a permanent limp in her front leg which came after falling in a bandicoot hole. Her joints are very grindy when you lift up each individual leg now. You can feel the grinding. We had summarised that her recent drop in mood was because arthritis (normal, not poly arthritis) has caught up with her. We had planned on trialing her on tramadol to see if that made a difference. But then this happened.

We will keep fighting, but Iím just feeling quite worried and out of options at the moment.
Trying to keep positive for Pep though because she feeds off my mood.

Thanks jo. Yes I had thought about stopping the herbs. But Peppers relapse, lack
of energy and down mood all started before we began the herbs. Ordinarily we would never have started Pepper on something new when she wasnít stable. But condsidering we believe she was relapsing and we were worried about her liver, and having nowhere else to go if her liver levels went up. My vet and I decided it was best to risk trying the herbs in case they helped.
They are supposed be a natural steroid (however the specialist said they donít interfere with blood alp & alt levels?), with potential to be able to lower pred doses. Also they are meant to be good for Cushings, liver support and antii inflammatory.
i keep thinking should we stop them? But then I donít want to because what if they are helping her enough to keep her walking and not in horrible pain and enough to support her liver so we donít have irreparable damage. If we stop they will take time to build up in her system again if we want to start again. Thatís time we wonít have. But the fact that she was already down before we started them is the main reason I havenít stopped giving them to her yet.

She has been slower getting about today. So I am getting concerned that the drop in pred dose is taking affect. She did do some short bits of running chasing birds today so letís hope thatís why she seems more uncomfortable :(

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