Champ's Photo Shoot!
Posted January 3, 2010 8:48 pm
Posted December 28, 2009 5:22 pm
Posted December 14, 2009 6:42 pm
Champ is doing great right now!
Posted December 11, 2009 2:28 am
Champ got his stitches out today! His incision is healing nicely!
Posted November 30, 2009 11:39 am
Posted November 25, 2009 10:55 am
OK so why is he testing positive on one but not the other? Once a dog has Ehrlichia, they will always be a carrier of it and test positive for it. So is this test just saying he is a carrier and there’s still something else wrong?
Champ's doctors had the exact same questions; so when the results came back to the office from the lab, Dr. V called the lab directly and spoke to a specialist there. The internist stated that the test indicated an active infection. So the treatment we started on Monday (an increased dosage of a treatment we attempted 2 months ago) was probably the right step. Champ has a headstart on his treatment and we will monitor him for about 4 weeks. If at that time, he has not improved or he has deteriorated, then we will need to do a bone marrow aspirate to test his bone marrow. It is possible that the Ehrlichia is now in his bone marrow. If it is, he'll have to start injection treatments. Examination of the bone marrow will also provide info on whether the bone marrow is healthy enough to recover.
“Ehrlichiosis can have three phases. Signs of the acute phase of the disease usually develop 1-3 weeks after the bite of the infected tick. The acute phase of the disease generally lasts 2-4 weeks. The Ehrlichia enter white blood cells and reproduce inside of them. In addition to the blood, these cells are found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and bone marrow. Platelets, the small cell fragments that help blood to clot, are often destroyed, as well. As a result of the infection, the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen are often enlarged. Anemia, fever, depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, joint pain and stiffness, and bruises are often seen. Many dogs will be able to fight off the infection. If not, they enter the subclinical phase.
In the subclinical phase the animal may appear normal or show only slight anemia. During this phase the Ehrlichia live inside the spleen. This phase can last for months or years. Ultimately, the dog either eliminates the Ehrlichia from the body or the infection may progress to the chronic phase.
The chronic phase can be either mild or severe. Weight loss, anemia, neurological signs, bleeding, inflammation of the eye, edema (fluid accumulation) in the hind legs, and fever may be seen. Blood tests show that one or all of the different blood cell types are decreased. One cell type, the lymphocyte may increase and be abnormal in appearance. This can sometimes be confused with certain types of leukemia. If a dog becomes chronically infected, the disease can keep coming back, especially during periods of stress. In some cases, arthritis or a kidney disease called 'glomerluonephritis' may develop.”
Champ, Post-op Update & Pics.
Posted November 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Posted November 23, 2009 10:18 am
The good news is- it’s not cancer. WHEW. The type of cancer they thought it was had a very poor prognosis and we had embraced the fact that Champ may only be with us a short time longer, even with surgical removal. Mommie Neely is certain that is because of all of your prayers that what they thought was cancer turned out to be something so different. Once they opened Champ up and got a good look, they realized that what they thought was a mass on Champ’s spleen was actually……more spleen. His spleen has enlarged to nearly 5 times its normal size. In fact, it has gotten SO large, that it ran out of room and had actually started folding over!! The “mass” we saw in the x-ray was actually part of his spleen that had doubled up and twisted into a “knot.” Ouch. Maybe this is our laymen opinion but “knot” and “organ” shouldn’t be in the same sentence. Sounds very painful; this is probably why he cried when pressure was put on his abdomen. They also found a significant amount of scar tissue on his spleen likely from past trauma. Not surprising considering they also found BB pellets inside him! This boy has been through his share of pain and suffering that’s for sure. The scar tissue could be from previous physical abuse that caused damage to the spleen. They’re not sure why it is so enlarged, but the size in and of itself is not life threatening. There could be a variety of reasons why it is so big. But the bottom line is, a big spleen is better than no spleen. So the doctors “unfolded” it, removed the scar tissue, and basically “cleaned it up.” It appeared to be in relatively good condition once it was “cleaned up” even though it was still HUGE! So now Champ has a new and improved spleen!…ok not new, but it’s definitely improved! This should help with his pain, but it doesn’t explain all of his other symptoms, especially the anemia.
Which leads us to the bad news- we still don’t know what’s wrong!!
The doctors ruled pretty much out auto-immune disease. It’s not completely off the table yet, but it’s unlikely. A call was put in to an internist (Dr. of Internal Medicine) in Coral Springs. Hopefully she may be able to provide some answers. We also did a more complete blood test to rule out other tick diseases. His 4DX tests keep coming back negative, but they’re not as sensitive as the one that is being done now. Results of that (and a urinalysis since one hasn’t been done yet) will be in by Monday. Hopefully we will have some answers very soon, so this sweetheart can enjoy his senior bullie years in comfort. Perhaps it is a rare tick disease that is not normally tested for. Whatever it is, we just keep saying “at least it’s not cancer.” We can work with anything else, right??? We hope…
Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive. Your support, kind words, prayers, and offers for financial support is simply overwhelming. I cannot thank you enough for taking such an interest in this little man. He is truly an example of what rescue is all about. He was abused by humans for years, and he still suffering because of it. Yet his soul is still so gentle he makes people smile wherever he goes. Dr. Baumwell kept asking me “Is he always this sweet?” Yes, he is! Always! To go from his past life of abuse and suffering to his life now could not be done without the love and support from all of you. No dog deserves the treatment that Champ has had to endure. Unfortunately, there are countless other dogs out there, the victims of dog fighting, puppy mill breeding, and just pure abuse/neglect of irresponsible owners. Thank you to those who have shown support, not just for Champ, but for all of the bullies who find their way to us at Adopt-A-Bull.
Bad news for champ... surgery tomorrow :(
Posted November 19, 2009 8:04 pm