Friday, December 16, 2016

Stella Recheck: Changing drugs

Another recheck and more decisions.  I will admit, she has been doing pretty well, but sometimes on the morning after her 0 dose of the roids, she will be lame.  It isn't horrible like three legged lame, but I can still tell she hurts and with no go to pain meds now, I have no way to help her through till she get the 15 mg dose the next night.  It also seems on the bad days for the steriods to kick in if you will.  Anyway, I had been in email contact with her Internal Med doctor and we had discussed some plans of attack.  Here are my previous thoughts about things, so I don't have to type them again.   The gist of my questions was and is, can we use human drugs, is the cyclosporine working at all, and can we use dexamethasone versus prednisone.

We both agreed that the cyclosporine was probably not doing anything since she relapsed again.  Dr. S also thought that she would not have any lameness at all if the cyclosporine was working.  He agreed that we could try another popular immunosuppressor Azathioprine.  It is a much cheaper drug (about a dollar per pill), but it comes with a drawback of blood monitoring for the period of time that she is loading onto the dose.  Hopefully the loading dose will last for 2 weeks before she goes to an every other day dosage.  At that time, if she is tolerating everything well, we will attempt to remove the steriods again.  The main goal here is NO STEROIDS PERIOD.  I understand it and I hope we can achieve this goal, but I am also prepared that we may not be able to or it make take a very long time.

I also was very concerned about her growing midsection.  She pretty much looks preggers at this point.  I have been monitoring her food and making sure she isn't sneaking snacks or eating other dog's food and she isn't hers (well unless you count the crayons she has probably helped Deuce eat lately).  His comment was that this is part of the prednisone doing it's job and we can't really counteract it with food or exercise.  

I feel confident that at least we are trying something different, instead of trying again to just lower the dose of the roids.  Yeah, it's going to suck to have to take her in once a week for blood work, but I am so hoping this works and will be all worth it in the long run!  I am cautiously optimistic!  I did try and convince Dr. S to start a clinical trial and he just laughed.  It was worth the try:) . 

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