Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stella recheck: Last one in 2016 (alternative title is FU 2016:(

I am beginning to hate the year 2016.  Lots of great people left this world.  Lots of great dogs left this world.  This has been the year of Stella's illness, the year of bleeding money, blind faith, and wavering hope. Sometimes i feel like I just need to put my big girl panties on and stop whining and posting about this shit. Sometimes I obsess and this is all I think about.  Yeah, it's just a dog, I get it.  But she is my dog.  My heart and soul.  My kiddo before my real kiddo.  And it fucking sucks to see her suffer.  Let me back up a bit.

We started her new drug combo on Monday, December 19th.  Azathioprine plus the steriods she was already on, prednisone (15 mg every other day).  Her last relapse we thought, was due to her going down to a level of pred that was too low (10 mg every other day) and the fact that the cyclosporine was not doing anything to help.  We dropped the cyclo in hopes that a new immunosuppressant would do the trick.   Fast forward to yesterday.  The day after Christmas, a beautiful day in KS.  Stella, my iron gutted girl woke up and had diarrhea.  Odd, but well, shit happens.  We had not noticed anything missing food wise or crayon wise, so the cause of the upset tummy was a mystery.  She had been super active after starting the new drug combo, and that made us super hopeful.  I had not started walking with her again, but was tempted to.  She seemed like the old stella, the pre illness stella, and I was super hopeful that we had finally found the magic bullet.  I didn't dare breath a word on social media for fear of jinxing it.  Yeah, I am superstitious like that, stupid right?  I had however posted about stella's tummy to try to get information about pumpkin. You see, I had a can of 100% pure pumpkin that tony was intending to make pumpkin bread with, but I had no clue how much to give or how often.  I went to social media to get some answers, because most dog people I know carry that stuff around like it is gold.  I got lots of great answers, so I gave her a 2 tablespoons and hoped for the best.

Well, for a while, all was right with the world and she stopped gushing brown water out of her butt (which is a good thing, aussie butt hair likes to trap that stuff and I was tired of washing her butt with wet wipes).  We decided to throw the ball a few times for her and deuce as she was FULL of energy.  They were over joyed and raced after each throw.  She was fine during our session and looked great!  Now fast forward again a few hours later, and you have a dog that couldn't even walk.  It was like her hind end wouldn't work at all, like an old dog.  The pain seemed to be in either both back legs, as she would pick one up and put it down and then the other,  or in her hips.  She walked with a stiff gait, with both legs stiffly straight out.  I felt like the pain must be further up.  Of course the codeine she was prescribed doesn't do anything for the pain, but does knock her out.  She was panting constantly, with what appeared to be a stress pant, although she was not running a fever.  Her gums were pale, but her cap refill time was right at 3 seconds.  I decided to give her the codeine and pray it knocked her out and lessened her stress.

Lucky for me, while the codeine didn't really do anything for her pain, it  did knock her out, and she slept all night, no accidents.  I had given her a cup of rice with her pumpkin (2 tablespoons again) for dinner.  We were headed to KSU in the morning at 11 anyway, and my vet had said to wait and see what KSU wanted to do about her tummy, so no meds that night. Of course while I was running, she pooped all over the dining room, but at least runny water is easy to clean up.  An aside though, never have witnessed a dog poop pure rice.  Kept having to remind myself it was NOT worms, just undigested rice.  Had flashbacks to when I worked in a kennel and a dog pooped and puked up roundworms.  I digress.

At KSU we saw our normal guy and the student she saw last time.  They were both dismayed that she had a flare up.  They felt like the tummy issue was unrelated, although I am still not so sure.  She is on canned food for a few days and metrinidizole.  She of course had a slight fever and had pain in three joints, so full blown flare up.  We danced around the word relapse, but I am betting if she has a high white count in her blood work, that will change and we will be in relapse.  Here is where I am going out on a limb and trusting.  We all felt like because she was only one week into the loading dose of the Aza, that we could not conclude it was or was not working.  We are going to stay the course, get another week of the drug in her system, and then re evaluate.  I have been given the green light to do three or less days of 15mg pred dose when she has flare ups, to try and minimize the pain, since nothing really works to reduce her pain (last night was a 0 dose night and it killed me to not give her anything).  No more exercise, even thought I was previously told that exercise does NOT cause this disease to flare up.

I feel like we are having so many inconsistencies right now,  relapse versus flare, under control versus out of control.  As she lies next to me while i type and cry, she looks peaceful and pain free.  I feel like she is worth it, worth fighting for, worth every penny of re checks and blood work, and all of the  heart ache and worry.  I honestly spend more brain space on her most days than my own child.  My picture of normal and expected keeps changing.  I know for sure that this is a long drawn out fight and that there is no rule or reason to this disease, that each immune system is different and you can't really have expectations, but I want to have them. I want to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I am hoping it isn't a freight train coming my way (thanks metallica for that one).  Please let us find the magic bullet, please????

1 comment:

  1. I pray we find something that works for Stella and she regains her "normal"!! I hate hearing about the bad times...especially when there has been several silver linings that end up being thunder clouds... Sweet Stella, feel better babe!