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Posts Tagged ‘skin issue’

The rest of December went well, eye healing up and skin was getting better.

After the surgery Otis started to gain weight and muscle. I think the eye was bothering him for much longer than we knew. Somewhere in the back of my mind I crossed my fingers that the tumor had caused all of the skin issues, we weren’t that lucky. They Pemphigus stuck around but was still improving.

January 13th vet visit we decided that Cyclosporine was not making much of an impact and would discontinue.

It was also decided to try modifying diet again. We started him on Royal Canin HP. This meant no more peanut butter, bread, treats, snacks or same food as his sister.

We were able to put his meds in mashed potatoes and he took them, thankfully!!

Down to Triamcinolone every other day, 4 tabs and Azathioprine.

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Surgery day, intense stress and panic.  He’d been through so much and it felt really unfair and yet like everything else he took it in stride. We decided with the risk of infection not to get eye implant.  With his skin issue he was never going to win a beautiful dog contest anyway. 🙂

We dropped him off and waited. Surgery went well.

We picked him up and for a few days held our breath while he bumped his way around the house. We had to keep him separated from our other Boxer which was the hardest part. No bleeding, no complications, he healed beautifully even on all the meds.

Best of all he was in less pain, even though it looked worse.

We have one tough pup.

Skin issues unchanged.

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Everything going great until December 6th.

Son and I are making dinner, I look down at Otis and it literally looks like his eye had sunk in. He looks as if he’d had a stroke. I freaked and yelled for my son to come look and immediately called our vet. Now to backtrack they had told me early on during one of the ER vet visits that he had a corneal ulcer but this all took a back seat. At one point I was concerned with the eye and told my husband I was sure it was something else but we had so much on our hands with the Pemphigus we just let it go.

I took him up to the vet right away and they did some tests and said it was most likely an ulcer, gave me drops and said that all the meds he was on could hinder the healing.

This is what he looked like….

We started the drops and that night nobody in the house slept. Otis tried for hours to get comfortable and never could. He spent the night going from bed to couch to floor, laying down for a few minutes and then spinning in circles to get comfortable. This went on all night. I knew he was miserable. We contacted the vet and he referred us to dog Ophthalmologist who, if needed, could do surgery that day.

Yet another doctor, and waiting.

Eye doc confirmed my earlier fears when looking at the eye, he had a melanoma in the eye and we would have to remove the eye. Not only that but this type of cancer, if it spreads, will go to the lungs/stomach.  The eye was so full of pressure that it was basically like the worst human migraine, thus the inability to sleep or get comfortable.

We had to make a choice about surgery but most importantly to get him out of pain and comfortable.

Tests would need to be done to see if he was healthy enough to withstand surgery and there was the concern of healing, with all the meds he was on. They also needed to know if the melanoma had spread. We decided at that moment if it was anywhere else, we would stop fighting and we wouldn’t put him through anything else. My heart broke again that day and there were more tears.

Xrays and scans showed he was all clear so we upped his pain meds and gave drops to relieve the pressure, and scheduled the surgery.

At home he curled up and slept, never though another creatures comfort would make me feel so relieved.

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Vet visit on November 16th.

Everything is good, fewer and fewer Pemphigus lesions with each visit.

Doc says we can reduce steroid if everything stays consistent.  Crossing fingers we can get to 4 pills every other day.

We’re taking less pictures these days since things are looking better.

Still on Triamcinolone, Azathioprine and Cyclosporine.  Not seeing much improvement after adding Cyclo but being patient.

Otis is eating like a pig but still not gaining much weight. Steroids do make him hungry allllll the time.

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Follow up

Infection gone

Started him on Cyclosporine in hopes that we could eventually replace the steroid. Expensive med and hard to find but we’ll make it work, additionally it takes time to make it into system so we have to wait to see if we get any results.

Reducing steroids to 5 and 2.5 on alternating days.

Starting to get cold and a dog with limited hair might need a coat. 🙂

Things looking good!

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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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