Archive for April, 2012

Follow up blood work, things starting to turn around.  Infection was almost gone and he was really drying out.

Otis looked pretty wicked. He had dried up and all of the skin where hair was lost had turned an ugly gray. We got some fun reactions in the car on way to the vet or at the vets office, needless to say people would move to the other side of the room.

He also had lost close to 20 pounds at this point, and being a Boxer that was all muscle. He looked pretty scrawny and sickly but he was feeling better. He was eating again and had some life back.

We also started him on a medication called Azithioprine, an immuno suppressor.

We were on the road to hopefully reducing steroids.

Possibly the first really positive vet visit.


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Staph bacteria was resistant to Clindamycin so we switched to Chloramphenicol but of course the Chloram was really potent and could have all kinds of wicked side affects so we had to watch him closely for any weakness in back legs.

It was also determined that the Clindamycin was most likely causing the swollen feet. And as per life about this time Chloram was expensive, toxic to handle and the pills were huge. It was around then that we figured out Otis would eat anything wrapped in bread and slathered in peanut butter.

Thank you universe for peanut butter, I love you Skippy.

We felt some renewed hope, positive again that NOW things would be on the right track.

I just wanted my friend back.


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After several calls to the vet we stopped the Pentoxifylline due to the feet swelling, Otis now looked like he had baby bear paws they were so large. It was painful for him to walk.  The swelling did not go down and in fact had spread up his leg.  Scheduled a return visit to vet on August 10th.

At that time we did a culture test again to determine if his Staph infection was resistant to the antibiotic, he still had infection present in his skin scrapes. He was still not eating very well and was generally feeling rotten.

My happy dog who would run and snooze in the sun and jump up to cuddle with me in the bed could no longer do these things.  He was too weak to jump anywhere and sun is off limits to dogs with Pemphigus.

Every day I questioned still if I was doing the right thing… was this the life he would want…would he ever get better…were we delaying the inevitable?

Our house was covered in sheets because every time he would shake blood would fly. Bathing him looked like a murder scene and I would cry each time. We hardly left him. We had to prop his legs apart when he slept because around this time his groin area was sticking together the skin was so raw.  We did find out that Gold Bond powder is a life saver for that. It was rough.

But we pressed on.

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Confirmed Pemphigus, those words made me feel like hell after everything I had read.

We continued on the medication and at some point a few days later Otis started acting like it hurt to walk. We noticed his paws looked a bit swollen and called vet, nothing to be concerned with yet.

It was also around this time that he started to almost refuse to eat.  With a dog talking almost 12 pills a day, food was the only way to get meds into him.  Forcing so many pills down his throat was nearly impossible.  It resulted in alot of tears, both out of frustration and from back of the jaw bites to the hand.

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