You may or may not remember my story -I posted a good few months ago about my black Lab Vito, who was diagnosed with demodectic mange just over a year ago. Well since then he has ruptured both cruciates and has had surgery on both legs, first op being in March and the second op at the end of June.
All the while his skin symptoms have gotten worse, more and more crusts and sores, hair loss, skin flakes. I have been following callie's regimen for this, but always with the idea in the back of my mind that it was being exacerbated by the pain in Vito's legs, the stress of two operations, and in actual fact even my vet suggested that we should really concentrate on repairing the ruptures and the rehab after, and THEN concentrate on his skin problem.
Two weeks ago I woke up to find a huge pool of blood under my bed –Vito was bleeding from one nostril. Rushed him to the vet –vitamin K jab and some tablets for a week. The bleeding stopped that evening, although by now it was only little dribbles. He was referred to the University Vet Hospital where he was kept for five long days; in fact I just collected him today. He has had multiple blood tests, skin scrapings/biopsies, including his nasal cavity, scans and x-rays. All his organs are clear. He is anaemic. Turns out that it is probably not demodex, I will get confirmation on Wednesday but the vet suspects lupus, or severe immunosuppression caused by, well, he has no idea. We have been discharged today with Antirobe antibiotics and a high dose of prednisolone, 30mg a day.
Does anyone here have any experience of dogs with auto-immune disease? My mind is racing at the moment, and I need to do everything I possibly can to help him.
A friend of mine has a lab w/ low cortisol production. She had battled allergies, demodect, ear issues, etc, until she finally got a full panel of *all* the glandular "stuff" done thru MSU. If you haven't done that, it'd be worthwhile. In her case, a tiny booster of cortisone in her daily regime was all she needed. If you have a holistic vet near you, it may be worth a shot.
I personally was Dx'd w/ lupus (SLE) in the late 80's. I've been in remission for 14 yrs or so now. It's a nasty disease. I don't know what they recommend for dogs, but with me, I had to change my lifestyle, take care of the bad stressors in my life, and rest whenever I got fatigued. And eat well...
Good luck. I'm sorry you and your boy had to go thru all that. -Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Very sorry to hear about Vito's illness. I'm sure the university vet hospital is very good but you may want to consider consulting a holistic vet with experience treating immunosuppression. Here's a link to some articles written by Holistic vets and researchers concerning vaccines affect on the immune system of dogs:
A short excerpt from this link:I've had very good success going to a holistic vet when I couldn't find effective treatments from conventional veterinary medicine (in my case, all they could do was cover up the symptoms with lengthy doses of strong drugs). At the very least, I would make sure no further vaccines or boosters would be administered until all these problems are resolved.Do Vaccines Disable the Immune System?
Randall Neustaedter, O.M.D.
Two research models have been used to discover the possible adverse effect of vaccines on the immune system. Laboratory researchers observe whether vaccines have any negative effect on white blood cells, the body's primary immune defense system. Clinical researchers study illness patterns preceding and following vaccination. All of these investigative channels have reached the same conclusions--vaccines can trigger immune system suppression.
It's heartwarming to know that there are people such as yourself in this world that are willing to try everything to bring an animal back to good health. What a wonderful act of love and kindness. I'm sure Vito knows this and is eternally grateful for all you are doing for him.
Here's a good resource to find a holistic vet near you-- http://www.holisticvetlist.com/ -Anne
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Thank you so much for all you comments - I am absolutely determined to do the very very best I can for my dog, no matter what the cost to me. I am a bit of a nervous wreck though, waiting for wednesday to speak to the vet about his test results. Yesterday I was on tenterhooks waiting for his nose to bleed, as I was told it was a possibility after the biopsy, but thank goodness it was fine. His stools have been a bit darker than usual, but not black or tarry, I hope it is a result of what he has been fed at the hospital for the last five days and nothing more sinister, I will check his poo tomorrow again and then call the vet if it is not an ok colour.
Vito has perked up a bit, I'm pretty sure it is a combination of being back home and the prednisolone.....but even so it was great to hear him bark at the front door. I have been doing a LOT of research on the web, and have come across a good few articles highlighting the the high incidence of SLE sufferers -I was, would you believe it, diagnoseed with lupus 15 years ago -I suffer with joint pains and inflammation but no skin symptoms -who have dogs with auto immune diseases! Very very odd. I can post some links if anyone is interested.
I can hardly sleep at night -he is beside my bed and I keep waking to check on him.This morning he seems sparky -ate all his breakfast -first time in ages that he has finished all his food -and jumped up from the sofa when he heard his collar and lead jangle.I am ecstatic, though I'm not 100% convinced it will last Checked his poo this morning, looks ok, normal colour and consistency. I suppose I just have to wiat until I speak to the vet again. His poor skin is falling off in CHUNKS -his elbows are so sore and raw, it breaks my heart.I'll try and put up a pic later -it is unbelievable.
So sorry you are dealing with all of this and the stress and worry involved.
I don't have any advice as I've never dealt with this disease.
I do agree with seeing a holistic vet.
I'm like you - do what ever has to be done for our babies.
Prayers you get some answers and he is feeling better soon.
How is he doing today?
This morning he seems fine -I went to bed early last night and he usually sleeps on the floor beside me, but last night he stood at the end of the bed wagging his tail, looking at me in that sweet way,so I asked him to come up and he did! Lay next to me with his head in the crook of my arm -I was in paradise.Cold nose and hot breath is heaven.So I bought him a new squeaky toy today, and he seems interested, wheras a few weeks ago he was not in the mood to do anything. I will be onto the vet first thing tomorrow morning to find out the test results, and I'll have to take it from there.
I just hope and pray that this turnaround in him isn't temporary. Thanks for asking about him!So many of my friends don't understand -one even suggested I have him euthanised and get a puppy I will never ever ever love another dog again as much as I love Vito, never.
So glad to hear Vito had a good night. Please let us know about his results tomorrow.
Trust me - I know how much you love him - I have had more than one "heart dog" in my life.