I am so sorry about your dad's passing, and your mum's struggle. Life can be so tough at times. I understand why you have put your life on hold but it can take its toll, both emotionally and physically.
You are doing all that you can to avoid 'triggers' but sometimes the trigger just can't be identified, and so many dogs have an AI disease when they are young and do achieve long term remission. I hope this is true for Elsie.
Last post by Catherine - May 08, 2023, 08:28:35 PM
Can you not take Elsie with you on holiday or would she get worried away from home? Perhaps a weekend with family or a friend or someone with a dog Elsie gets on with who can share the responsibility and let you have some time to relax, even if just for a few hours?
Thanks Jo, and thanks for your help. I am glad Elsie is currently okay. I do worm counts, check her for fleas etc. That is quite hard as we have cats which hunt..but I treat them. You mentioned stress. I haven't had a holiday in 3 years because I have been afraid to leave her but I am worn out ( dad died, mum developed Alzheimer's) and I don't know how I can leave Elsie. We usually have a house sitter who looks after the animals. Elsie is good to leave whilst I am out but she expects me back. I am afraid to go away for fear of her getting stressed. 🙁
It is such good news that Elsie has reached remission and has been well for 8 months. What you have to limit now are the 'triggers' as she will remain in 'normal mode' unless she encounters something that will trigger the immune system into targeting its own body. The triggers that you need to avoid are unnecessary drugs, regular flea treatment, wormers etc, vaccinations, stress, hormones (which is not easy when a dog is entire) etc.,etc.......
I asked the top Vet at the RVC if a dog that has had an AI disease should ever be vaccinated again, and his reply was No. He continued to say that the risk/benefits have to be considered, and the risks to a genetically predisposed dog is too great. Do your own homework on the and a good website is WSAVA vaccination guidelines.
My whippet, Elsie, had SRMA has as 7 month pup. She responded badly to the high dose steroids and I believe we reduced them too quickly and she relapsed whilst on a low dose. Elsie was put back on the immune suppressing dose and I held my nerve, took each day as it came, keeping her on this dose for 3 weeks. Elsie can't tolerate omeprazole as it gives her diarrhoea and makes her sick. This was difficult in the beginning as the vet thought it was the steroids making her sick. Elsie has been off the steroids now for 8 months and has been fine. I still worry about her and watch her too intently. She eats well and is very active. I haven't vaccinated her again against the vet's advice. She isn't neutered which is a minor concern. Good luck.
Im happy to report that Oliver is recovering from whatever it was and he is able to raise his head and his temperature is now normal. He is slowly being allowed to go for walks and will be monitored closely. He has taken ten days to recover from the gastrointestinal issue, which really made him poorly. The neck/ head pain remains a bit of a mystery but we will just keep an eye on him to ensure that he remains ok. Im happy to report that hes being naughty again, which is always reassuring!
Thank you so much for your reply. Our vet called this morning and I have discussed everything. They want him to finish his meds but if no better in 48hrs he will go in for imaging of his neck and after that if nothing shows up we are going with the Dexamethazone injection. Vet said it would not be right to have the injection if we haven't ruled out a neck problem. He's still quite sedated and quiet but he is eating better. He is insured so am not worried about spinal tap in terms of cost but would rather not put him through an invasive procedure if the vets are willing to treat speculatively if that makes sense. Oliver is a very small, dainty boy who is a bit of a baby so I don't want him to undergo too much stress in case it triggers other issues.