Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stella's Recheck Update

Just thought I would update everyone on where we are with Stella.  We had our two week check up at KSU, and we had mostly good news.  I guess the biggest news was that she seems stable on most values, like her RBC and the anemia issue, so my take away message is that the prednisone (pred) is working. She is up two pounds YIPEEEE!   While she acts almost completely normal, other than the obvious side effects from the high dose pred of panting, peeing and drinking tons of water, her kidneys are still dumping way too much protein in her urine.  To combat that, we are giving her a drug to help with high blood pressure, and to help her kidneys, so we don't damage them.  She takes that pill once a day, along with her pred still twice a day.  Since she is improving steadily, we will reevaluate post next week's visit as far as starting the taper of the pred.  The taper has to be so slow and careful to avoid relapse, so for now, I just do constant laundry to clean up the pee accidents, and thank my lucky stars that pee is easy to clean up on hardwood floor.
When we go back next week, we will repeat blood work, urinalysis, and look at organs on blood work values.  We didn't do a full blood work up this time, but next time for sure.  We had all hoped she would be so much better that we could avoid weekly visits, but her blood work wasn't as great as we wanted it to be.  She also has been released to do activity, so I am doing low throws with the disc, throwing the ball longer but keep it low, and starting timed walks.  The biggest issue that I am seeing now is her stamina, which is to be expected.  Even ten minute walks seem to zap her.  We will slowly increase those every day until she can walk 30 minute total and be okay.  Then we will start the couch to 5 K program.
I will be very honest in the fact that I had not managed my expectations very well, and after Dr. George's phone call, was a little crestfallen.  I know this disease takes months and months to get over, but I had this small smidge of hope that her previous fitness would help her rebound quicker.  Thank GOD for my vet for taking me into his office, and having a powwow about the blood work and results.  I really do owe him a case or more of beer for being so good about answering my questions, texts, and calming my fears.  He even gave me a really good article to read, written by the vet at KSU that this the clinician that my resident and students report to.  I never think of questions right away during my phone calls with Stella's student and resident, so he was able to help me figure out what it is that was bugging me about the recent results.  I think the biggest issue I am having is just a plain ole case of what if?  What if the diagnosis is not correct and we are chasing the wrong thing?  What if this really is cancer? I think he convinced me and also the article convinced me that we are on the right track.  I guess after we chased rocky mountain spotted fever (RMSF) for so long, I am a little gun shy, and based on the initial blood work, we were rightly so in chasing RMSF, but still.  I guess I should have retested titers two weeks on the dot.  Oh well, could have, should have, would have.  We are here now, and any progress is good, and I will try to quiet the little voices of doubt.

I will put up another post after our visit Thursday!  Keep your finger's crossed for even better news!

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