With much sadness and pain in our hearts...
Posted March 11, 2009 10:56 am
... we had to make the decision we never like to make, but are at peace knowing that Bug is too. Among several other health issues (elongated soft palate, tumors in his back and side, severe upper respiratory and breathing complications) it has been concluded that BUG has Inflammatory Bowel Disease. IBD is a condition in which the stomach and intestine is chronically infiltrated by inflammatory cells. There is no cure for this disease, and controlling it can prove to be very difficult, (as is evident in Bug's case). In addition, being that BUG had very bad reactions to the few medications that may help control his disorders, alternate medications could run up to $150 a month. Any prospective adopter with a heart to adopt Bug would also have to be financially secure and understand that they will more than likely be a frequent client at the veterinary clinic of their choosing, spending lots of money to "manage" his issues that will never be able to be cured. The internist we took BUG to was very honest with us about his condition and told us that after reviewing the totality of all his medical problems combined, his prognosis was not good. (For educational purposes only, we recommend this site is a great resource to learn more about IBD: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1571&aid=305) R.I.P. Bug baby, we miss you lots.... we are so sorry it had to end this way. You are a great boy.... we never thought we'd have to do this....
Bug was discharged from the ER hospital...
Posted March 10, 2009 3:16 pm
... and we are in NO better condition than when we first entered. For the first time in over 4 weeks, Bug is in a home and not in a hospital or vets office. Unfortunately, after over $2100.00 ($2195.84 to be exact according to our book keeper) of treatment and testing on Bug we still do not have a definitive diagnosis. He continues to vomit (at least 3x a day) with traces of blood contained within and has very bad #2 that literally sprays out of his rear :( The ER hospital was quick to let us know how much of a mess he made during his brief visit with them, and sent Bug home with a bunch of meds.
Here are the findings so far: "There was evidence [from the review of previous x-rays] on February of this year that his esophagus was mildly dilated. This could be due to esophagitis or potentially a megaesophagus. These conditions tend to progress... Bug was sedated today and a complete abdominal ultrasound was performed. The ultrasound revealed that he has mildly thickened intestines. This suggests that he has either an intestinal infection, inflammation or early cancer. We have sent blood work out to look for signs of organ disease and to see if there are obvious changes in the blood suggesting an infection or cancer. For the time being, I highly recommend that we pursue de-worming and antibiotic treatment. In addition, she should be treated for severe esophagitis to see if his condition improves. Bug has a chronic disease which may need further diagnostics."
We were sent home with Famotidine, Sucralfate, Panacur, Metronidazole, Ciprofloxacin... more meds that we am not very hopeful about. We are coming to the end of our rope here, needless to say, we have limited funds as it is. To keep spending so much money on just one dog is making us all take a step back and think thru the next steps here. No matter how cute, or young he is, unfortunately BUG has major issues. We were advised that whatever BUG has is most likely going to be a condition that needs constant treatment and managing for the rest of his life (if it doesn't kill him). The battle currently is about managing his sickness, not curing it.... whatever it is.
We are still waiting for the blood results...
Posted March 9, 2009 2:42 pm
If there was any dog in our program that we were confident we would NOT have to start a blog on, it was BUG. It's amazing how a dog that seems to be in relatively good condition on the outside can go thru so much internally. It all started on Christmas Eve 2008 when BUG showed up at our local animal shelter. He was adopted out to a member of the general public only to be returned to the shelter a week later because he was "sick" (with typically kennel cough symptoms) and the adopters had a change of heart. Adopt-A-Bull now knows, this poor boy is more than sick... he throws up food, both digested and undigested constantly. It's evident he has some airway and esophagus issues. His labored breathing and thick flem/mucus that is heard with every breath is not at all typical of the standard breathing problems common to the breed.
Bug has been at out general vet for the past 4 weeks undergoing treatment and we still do not have a definitive diagnosis. It is very apparent he has severe soft palate issues and his vomiting not only includes food but very thick mucus (not the typically bullie "slime"). At this point we are more worried about keeping Bug alive, stabilizing his condition and making him stronger so he is able to undergo anesthesia and have the required medical procedures done. For two weeks, Bug was showing some improvement... he was being fed meatballs of wet Royal Canin HE prescription food every half hour and was not vomiting. But that didn't last for long. Bug weighed 41 pounds when we got him, now he's down to 37 due to the constant vomiting. Today BUG was transferred to a 24 hour care facility to see a specialist. (This is the same ER facility that Oscar was treated at and unfortunately they do NOT work with rescue organizations on the price) We have not lost all hope yet, but are very discouraged. Please keep BUG in your prayers. Here are some pics of him at the specialist today:
1-14-09 Welcome BUG! Thanks to Denise, Kevin & Lydia for making this rescue possible. Bug needs to be neutered and have a couple of masses removed after he gets over his kennel cough. Thanks to Uncle Tom for being able to foster him until he gets over his kennel cough. Boy, do we love our foster homes that have no other pets!
1-20-09 Foster Update: Everything with Bug is good. He does have an issue with the potty, but I am chalking that up to the UTI since it is not a large amount, he does hold the #2 for outside. He is still throwing up what seems to be all mucus cause it is normally fairly clear and when I wipe it up it all kinda moves together. He did learn how to go up stairs, though going down he has not mastered.... and really doesn't want to do, I have had to carry him down a couple times (actually this morning I heard him bark just a little when he was sitting at the top of the stairs, it was a cute quiet bark). We are working on sit, he doesn't like staying to well. He seems to be very food driven, the boy loves to eat. He does not seem to be food aggressive at all, I have taken his bowl from him, put my foot in front of his food (not my hand, I need my fingers) and he never minds, he just looks at me funny. He does very well on a leash I don't think he has pulled once, just kind of follows along besides me or slightly behind. I am loving having him around he is a good boy, if not for the puke and pee ;)
2-11-09 Update: Bug is back at the vet for constant monitoring. His condition has not improved with the vomiting and mucus discharge, leading us to believe this must be more than just kennel cough. Bug can hardly keep any food or water down and the vets are keeping him to try and diagnosis his problem. Updates to come.
2-16-09 Update: Bug has been at the vet for over a week now. His blood work is okay, but he now is having bloody soft stool. Bug has severe swollen soft palate tissue in the back of throat and the vets are not sure if this is a symptom of constant vomiting or perhaps an underlying birth defect/congenital disorder. As of right now, he is getting fed a liquid diet. X-rays, barium tests, blood tests, cerenia injections and liquid prednisone have all been administered. Once the swelling subsides and meds take full effect, our vet would like to do exploratory surgery to pinpoint the problem.
3-8-09 Update: Bug is still at our general vet. Exploratory surgery is out of the question. Bug is not healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Tomorrow he will be transferred to a specialist.