Author Topic: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .  (Read 7975 times)

Offline DeeDee

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After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« on: June 21, 2015, 05:38:23 PM »
The emergency hospital that Vlad will be released from this evening as long as they've got his potassium and sodium levels straightened out thinks that Vlad probably has Addison's Disease.

Tomorrow morning, ANOTHER day at the regular vet's office to get all of the testing, etc. started.

Did I mention I have a migraine? Hope the Zomig kicks in SOON because I can't handle much more of Barkly's emotional upset. There are some really sick dogs there, so they wouldn't let Barkly go back to see Vlad, and he's hooked up to an IV when we left an hour ago.

We can probably pick him up at 8:00 p.m. tonight. Might be a bit later. Have to call at 7:00 p.m. to see if we can go back down there.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2015, 06:58:48 PM »
Oh No! Dee I'm so sorry!  I must have somehting somehow I did not know Vlad was ill!

And you with a migraine, how terrible.  And poor Barkly missing his beloved friend and companion.

Gosh, sending out lots of love and hugs and vibes.  :-* :-*

Offline Pookie

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2015, 08:09:03 PM »
grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes  to all of you
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2015, 08:50:49 PM »
Oh No! Dee I'm so sorry!  I must have somehting somehow I did not know Vlad was ill!

And you with a migraine, how terrible.  And poor Barkly missing his beloved friend and companion.

Gosh, sending out lots of love and hugs and vibes.  :-* :-*

grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes grouphug GoodVibes  to all of you

Thank you both! It would have been hard to know since I didn't say anything to anyone, MC. I had no idea what was going on, and I have the tendency to shut down until I get a handle on something. Today's the first time anyone's offered any kind of definitive idea at all. After seeing the 4th vet this week, we finally got someone that got a light-bulb moment.

He's home now and feeling a lot better than he has since this past Wednesday, but I think he's kind of peeved that we left him there. I know Barkly is. They're snuggled up right now--comforting each other I think.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2015, 05:48:30 AM »
Oh I'm glad Vlad is home and feeling better. 

So what happens next? I don't know anything about Addison's. I've heard of it though and it seems bizarre that a vet couldn't diagnose it, is it really that difficult to pin point?

Offline DeeDee

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2015, 06:48:34 AM »
When I paged his vet last night and told him what they thought, he said, "Oh. Addison's is the 'great pretender', and it's not always easy to diagnose." But yes, they're right." After everything I've read yesterday afternoon and last night, the roller coaster we've been riding since April DOES point that way.

So, now we get a blood-test and wait. That's the most I know at this point. I have to have him there at the vet's at 8:00 a.m. b/c hubs has something big going on at work this week, and told me to not actually expect him to leave work any day before 5 at the earliest and 7-8 at the latest. He'll just call as often as he can between the different meetings.

I just know I can't wait till afternoon to get Vlad to the vet's in case he crashes again like he did this weekend. I can't get him into the car by myself when he's that way. There's one steroid that they can have and still have the Addison's test, and they gave it last night at 7:00 after I gave them permission when I called to see if we could head that way again to pick him up. It's like that other steroid shot Tuesday. It won't last forever. That one lasted about 24 hours before he started getting bad again.

Right now, my goal though is  to keep as much potassium out of his mouth as I can since it's built up, and they couldn't get it and his sodium completely back to "normal" levels yesterday. Dangerously high potassium and low sodium levels. He still won't eat. He sporadically ate rice and cottage cheese bland-diet-mix this week, but refuses food for the most part, and refuses their canned ID stuff also. Yes, I was willing to try ANYTHING since he's lost so much weight this week--5 pounds.

After the vet's today, I'm going to go get some low-potassium veggies and fruit for him, and let him have some "normal" food once I get him home, because Vlad wants Barkly's food, but he for sure can't have the veggie-fruit mix since there's a lot of potassium in greens, and I've got to keep him away from the beef and venison right now since I read that has a lot of potassium too.

None of his siblings or half-siblings has Addison's. It's not in his family-line, but his breeder told me last night that it's more common in Rottweilers and a few other breeds, and therefore BRTs since their DNA is mainly 1/3 Airedale, 1/3 Giant Schnauzer, and 1/3 Rottie.

Quote
On the BRTCA.org page, it says:

Addison's Disease -  Auto Immune disease of the adrenal glands. While  Addison's Disease might not be hereditary, various autoimmune diseases will  appear in the line.   Without proper treatment Addisons is fatal.  Main symptoms  are vomiting, loose stools, lethargy, depression, weight loss.  Electrolytes  become unbalanced. 

Blood work will show renal failure.  Treatment is daily  prednisone to replace cortisol that the adrenal glands are not producing and  once a month shot of Percorten-V.  With treatment a normal lifespan is expected.

I've also read that it deals with the pituitary-gland somehow. The only thing on that list that he's NOT had was loose stools. I've dealt with a much-younger Juvenile-diabetic sister and niece, and a growth-hormone deficient son. I can deal with this too. Just have to stay on top of it, and get Vlad stable.

I do know this much. It's a relief to have ANY idea of what's wrong with him at this point. I can give pills and make sure he gets monthly shots. The not knowing this week had me more than a little upset.

I won't lie to you. I thought we were losing him this weekend.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 06:50:16 AM by DeeDee »
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2015, 07:14:46 AM »
I do agree, any diagnosis is better than not knowing.

I like that line about with treatment a normal life can be expected.  All paws crossed here

Offline Pookie

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 08:31:36 AM »
Sending major hugs to you, Dee.

If I remember correctly, egg whites act as a potassium binder, but I would ask the others here to confirm that as I'm not 100% sure.  I know there are potassium binders that can be added to food, but I think you would get them from the vet.

I'm so sorry for what you all are going through.  I hope Vlad feels better and they're able to diagnose and start treatment for him ASAP.   fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed fingerscrossed

grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug grouphug

(((((((HUGS)))))))
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2015, 09:49:36 AM »
Thank you, MC & Pookie. You're the best!

Well just got back from Vet's. He kept him for the day. He wants to see the results of the test this afternoon and observe him after this weekend's events before he lets him leave again. I've got a list of low potassium foods for his veg and fruit, and he has to quit eating the beef and venison for now. No more glucosamine for now at least. Might have to find some other alternative joint supplements. I think I can still give him the MSM though, because I've found a small amount of info that people that are potassium and calcium deficient shouldn't get MSM. I've got that on my list for questions this afternoon.

He can have the K10+ since the firework playing has already started out here--because it's mostly B vitamins.  Coconut and Olive oils don't contain potassium. No more milk products like yogurt, so he'll have to depend on probiotic capsules now. I've got to ask about his vitamins since they contain some potassium.

I just looked it up. Egg whites contain some potassium, but they bind Biotin. I can't find anywhere that says it binds potassium. I'm going to ask about potassium binding medicine this afternoon.

Vet wasn't impressed when I told him that I told the other vet which steroid she could give him last night since she couldn't remember if it was okay for the Addison's test (dexamethasone).

He asked, "You really looked it up and told her which one was safe for the test?"
Me, "Yes, because she said she couldn't remember if it was safe to do before the test since they don't deal with those tests, but she didn't want to send him home without something in him again."
He looked at me and chuckled, then said, "That's bad."
Me, "Not anywhere remotely as bad as what was going on Saturday night." (Yeah, he got an earful of how much they freaked me out there this time.)

They're not the BEST vets there on earth (young), though at least one got a clue about what's wrong with him--but only after I wrote down an exact timeline for her. (They don't do well with intake-notes there whether given in complete chronological order or not.) Saturday night we ended up taking him home after being re-hydrated and given a buprenorphine shot for pain.

The vet Saturday was just too wishy-washy and all over the board. ("It could be this, so I'd like to test for this, but I really won't be able to completely tell. . ." with a mile-long list that essentially wanted complete carte blanche of my credit card.) Vlad seemed to be in pain so I took care of that part, came home and thought about what I wanted, and took him back Sunday morning and told another vet what I wanted--which was what my vet does step-by-step. In our minds, SOMEONE had to have a true plan. It's one of those cases of you'd just have had to have been there to understand how crazy she sounded. Poking on his spine seemed to indicate pain though. Then he's been fine with being poked on since Sunday.

Poor thing's down from 102 pounds in April to 94 pounds this morning. He looks SCRAWNY! I've got to go to Kroger. Going to have his new-regular food ready for him when he gets home.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 09:56:49 AM by DeeDee »
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2015, 12:15:07 PM »
Hi Dee,

Sorry about that info on the egg whites, I knew it was used as a binder for something, but I'm not home now so I don't have access to my usual source materials.   :-[

I just sent you a pawmail with some links that may be helpful.  One mentioned a group on yahoo, k9addisons, that sounds like it has some knowledgeable people that might be a good resource for you.

Sending lots of purrs and hugs . . .
grouphug grouphug grouphug

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Offline DeeDee

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2015, 01:38:12 PM »
Thank you so much, Pookie! It really helps to have others doing research too since right now I was told to concentrate on changing his diet.

I picked Vlad up a bit ago, and he actually seems to be feeling better. He went ahead and started treating him for Addison's anyway because the 23-28 day injection that helps remove potassium & other things won't hurt him since his was still high last night.

The vet and I talked while I was grocery shopping, and I'm steaming his new veggies & fruit before pureeing since he's been off his diet so long. Just start out easier steamed and once he's better, go back to normal raw with the new vegetables. Hopefully putting a couple of bouillon cubes in the steam-water will help with the change.  He was already eating some of these veg & fruits, but I've got to get rid of the greens, brussel sprouts, and some other things he really likes. No more pumpkin, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. No more things like yogurt & cottage cheese either, so it's probiotic capsules only now. He said he might not really want to eat until tomorrow, but I should see a difference in his appetite within the next 24 hours, or call back.

First text mix will be green beans, cabbage, yellow crookneck squash, a small amount of carrots, cauliflower, blueberries, and rehydrated dried cranberries steamed in the bouillon. Finding what he really likes is like starting all over again. *sigh*

He went ahead and started treating him for Addison's today. The Percorten-V won't hurt him because it will help remove more potassium from him, and we already have proof that the steroid shots he's received in the past 6 weeks makes him feel better. IF it's not Addison's when we get the test results back, then we'll start looking more, but for now, let's just treat it like what we think it is, and let the steroid shots and pills get him to feeling better like recent evidence.

"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline DeeDee

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2015, 02:21:00 PM »
Questions I have:

It seems that green tripe is low in potassium, but I think other organ meats might be REALLY high in potassium?

What do I do about organs? Do I need to give him a taurine supplement if he can't have any organs other than green tripe?
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2015, 03:39:31 PM »
Questions I have:

It seems that green tripe is low in potassium, but I think other organ meats might be REALLY high in potassium?

What do I do about organs? Do I need to give him a taurine supplement if he can't have any organs other than green tripe?

I'm by no means an expert, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.  That said, from a vitamin standpoint, I think the organs provide the fat-soluble vitamins and omega's that are needed in the diet.  In raw, bone is the mineral part, muscle is the protein (lots of b-vitamins, amino acids, heart is considered muscle and is high in taurine, as is the dark meat in chicken), so it seems to me that the organs provide the fats (omega's) and fat-soluble vitamins.  If I'm correct, and hopefully the others will correct me on this if I'm wrong, then you might need to supplement the organs with something like cod liver oil in order to provide the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K, etc.) and the healthy omegas.  You can certainly add a taurine supplement -- I don't think it's something that can be over-dosed.  I don't know how much potassium is in cod liver oil or other fish oils, though.  Or if fish in general is high in potassium.   :-\

I don't know if this helps you at all, and I hope I'm not making you crazier that what you're already dealing with.  grouphug

I just found another website that might be helpful, but I only glanced at it so I'm not sure yet.  It does have a support group:  http://www.addisondogs.com/addisons/comptherapy/diet/
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Offline DeeDee

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2015, 05:16:35 PM »
Thank you for the sites again, Pookie! This is great. I can read without having to find it!

His breeder also found this from someone else she knows in the show world:

http://www.midnightriderbrts.com/canine-addisons-disease.html


A LOT of that dog is Vlad, and he HAS had a few personality changes over the past year. I guess we're lucky in that it seems he's being caught faster than that dog or most dogs in general. I guess it pays to be attached at the hip and know them so well as I do.

Which is lucky because I went in at the beginning of last week saying, "I don't know what's wrong with him, but THAT is not Vlad!" 

All he could do was agree with me since he knows him pretty well, but was still puzzled because, at that time, the blood work was within normal ranges except for a couple of things that were just slightly elevated or low and could be attributed to dehydration, and there was just nothing on the x-rays.

*LONG typing pause*

Just talked to the vet again. Vlad IS "Addisonian." He thinks since he's gotten steroids 3x now this week though, and he's gotten the Percorten, that he can remain home with me watching him closely. Usually he'd be in their hospital for 2-5 days on an IV (left alone at night), but he thinks that he's been straightened out enough that he can stay at home for now at least.

Barring anything else happening, we go back in about 25 days and have more blood tests and see where all of his levels are at. I hope he eats tomorrow though, or he'll have to go back, and they'll keep him.

If that happens, I think they can just keep Barkly too so both of them can quit stressing over each other.  >:D
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

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Re: After a lot of time at vet's offices this week. . .
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2015, 06:33:38 PM »
Actually letting Barkly stay with Vlad is not a bad idea at all, if you can spare him. The discussion is a bit over my head in general but I am following.....

PS Egg whites are used for CKD cats who need reduced phosphorous.  I'm not sure if the egg white binds the phosphorus, I was more under the impression it adds healthy protein with out phosphorous so reducing the phosphorus overall. RAW egg whites inactivate biotin, but not cooked.

None of this of course helps with your need for reduced potassium.

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