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Frustrated: Jack is not well and we cannot figure out why
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17 May 2018 - 3:15 pm
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Hello everyone. I've been away for too long again - we have a foster kitten that was extremely sick for months and Jack hasn't been doing well. The kitten is finally cleared for adoption, but Jack keeps getting worse and I'm afraid I'm at my wit's end. I think we're going to go see a specialist at Penn if she doesn't improve by next week, but we just have no clue what we're dealing with here. Does anyone know of any services where you can have a vet review a pet's records for a second opinion? I'm including my notes below in case anyone has any thoughts. The normal blood work throughout the past 6 months rules out a lot of what would normally be suspected here and my vet doesn't have any more ideas. 

I know that we need to have an answer before making any decisions, but I have a feeling I know where this is headed. Based on advice here, we picked non-negotiables for Jack last year. She loves sitting in the park to sniff the wind and looking out the window and life is only worth it if she can do those things. We carry her to the park now and she sniffs the wind with pleasure, but she hasn't looked out the window in weeks or been interested in playing or sleeping next to us. She just sleeps by herself on the floor, something she hasn't done her entire life. 

November

-Started drinking 3 times the normal amount (7-9 cups of water per day). Blood work showed nothing obvious.

-Fell and was sore for approximately 2 months. Had a lot of difficulty walking. Examined by vet, sore along her spine. Started on occasional Rimadyl (37.5 mg, 2x/day)

-Nausea (ran away from food bowl at each meal) + disinterest in eating

December

-Found small potato-sized mass in abdomen. Removal via surgery. No biopsy done - smooth and white, right below spay scar. Not likely to be malignant. 

-Full blood work-up. Everything is in the normal range.

-Slight sign of UTI, antibiotic (7 days cephalexan)

January

-Started leaking urine in sleep if not taken out every 4 hours, unaware of leaking

-Still sore and not walking

-Not doing anything except sleeping + very short walks, not interested in companionship

-Very grouchy, biting

March

-2 seizures in middle of night during the same week

First seizure:

11:30 pm on Friday 3/2. She had been asleep for one hour. Lasted about 90 seconds.

-Flea and tick and heartworm the day before

-Rimadyl that morning and evening

-Normal walks and food

Second seizure:

1:30 am on Thursday 3/8. She had been asleep for two hours. Lasted about 3 minutes.

-Rimadyl that morning

-Normal food, no walks.

-Started Proin

-Started Zonisamide 100 mg 2x a day

-Stopped all Rimadyl

-Still lethargic, nauseated but no longer sore

-Still drinking an enormous amount

-Normal bloodwork

-Slight sign of UTI on 3/9  (7 day course of cephalexan)

New symptoms:

-Complete unwillingness to eat

-Shivering

-Trouble drinking

-Lost control of bladder

-Waking up in the middle of the night every night multiple times

-Fell down stairs multiple times (had never happened before)

-Biting + grumpiness

-Eating dirt

April

-Blood work: 27k white blood cell count (wbc)

-Urinanalysis: slight signs of UTI 4/15, 7 days cephalexan prescribed

-4 days later, full blood work showed 24k wbc, no sign of cancer or anything else (liver, kidney, pancreas or other issues)

May

Down to 32 pounds from 45 pounds

Not interested in eating more than a small amount of boiled chicken when hand fed, but sleeping through the night now. No more shivering.

New symptoms:

Severe pain in neck. Screams when moves head to the right, even when moving her head herself.

-X-rays of chest and neck normal

-7 days of rimadyl prescribed, 7 days of doxycycline in case it is a tick-borne disease

-Instructions to come back in 3 days if pain is not improved for blood work, 2 weeks for a weigh-in

-If no improvement in 2 weeks, go to a specialist at Penn

Livermore, CA
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17 May 2018 - 8:26 pm
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I'm sorry Jack has been feeling so bad.

What jumps out at me is a kidney issue.  You said blood work was pretty much normal- I assume there have been urinalysis done for the UTI's?  When Maggie was diagnosed with kidney failure she had many of the symptoms that Jack is showing but Mag's blood work and urinalysis clearly showed failure.  When I was reading about kidneys I remember reading that kidneys can get infections, I don't think the blood work is off for that except maybe the WBC. Since she has had chronic UTI's I wonder if there is a deeper infection.

The seizures sound neurological- but I do think seizures can happen when the body is fighting infection.  And the neck could be an injury due to falling?

It must be so hard for you to go through this with Jack, I wish I could offer more.  It does sound to me like more than one thing is going on. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia
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17 May 2018 - 8:46 pm
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Oh sweet Sarah, you must be out of your mind with worry.  I was kind  of hoping "no news was good news" since your last post.   You've  got your hands full.

I hope you don't  mind, but I'm  going to put a link to this post over under Ask A Vet.  She may have some insight  or may know of someone who will do a consultation  based on Jack's records.

To state the obvious, I'm  sure Jack has been thoroughly  checked out for Addison's disease.  So many of the symptoms  seem to fit amd I kmowmot can be very hard to diagnose.  

It's  almost as though she could have several different  things going on all at once, as opppsed to one specific thing. 

Just gonna throw  out completely wild   made up scenarios, okay?  Maybe she could have Addisons..... maybe she  could have separate unrelated  uti,.....maybe she could  have vestiticular (sp).....maybe she coild have pulled muscles  innher neck, shoilder, or back......maybe slipped discs....MAYBE all these things together add up to the issues she's  having .

Jack is one tough cookie and, goodness knows, she has no better advocates than you and your husband!!     By posting here you just  may find some answers...or certainly  some guidance towards finding the right answers. 

It was such an honor to meet her in  person last year right around this time.  Such a beautiful  gal.   And she seemed to be perfectly  comfortable with all the commotion and didn't  shy away from it at all.  If I recall though, she didn't  like her Starbucks!  

You know we are all sending  healing  pawsitive energy and hoping for some good solutions soon💕💕

Lots of love

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too 

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Michigan
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17 May 2018 - 9:34 pm
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Has Jack had any sort of rehab therapy?  When Murphy's back hurt, massage helped, but going to the chiropractor helped so much more!  Laser would help with inflammation a little bit, but I would think that acupuncture & chiropractic adjustments would help the most.  

Our other dog, Max, hurt his neck a few months ago - he yelped, shaking, whining, (believe it or not, it was probably from barking!  ugh) he got pain medication, steroids, and laser therapy.  The fact that the x-rays are clear is good - it means that it's muscular, not disc or vertebrae.

The increasing white count worries me … on the x-rays can they see her spleen?  is it enlarged? Has she had a fever at all?  The shaking could have been a fever, but it also could have been pain … hard to know.  

The weight loss - part of it is obviously from not eating.  Murphy became a really picky eater.  He did really like canned food, which I've never fed any of my dogs, but whatever he wanted, we did.  We started it when he had 9 teeth removed after a cleaning, he gobbled it down!  So once he felt better, we started mixing in some of his dry food in with it, but mostly the canned food at the end.  Part of the weight loss, though, is probably muscle wasting, too.  If she's really not walking much or getting around too much, her muscles are going to atrophy some - that will also contribute to more pain.

heartDonna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

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18 May 2018 - 4:31 am
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I'm so sorry to hear Jack is still having problems. I know how stressful and upsetting this must be and I really hope you can get some answers soon. My one suggestion would be a brain scan, if you haven't already done this and a referral to a neurologist. Inevitably, we see these things though the lens of our own experience, but that would be my suggestion. 

Please keep us updated. We are thinking of you, and sending every positive wish,

Meg, Clare and Angel Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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18 May 2018 - 2:07 pm
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Thanks, all. It means so much to me to hear your thoughts on this (as well as Pam's - Sally, thanks so much for posting and getting her attention). 

Karen, I had suspected the same but urinanalysis and bloodwork ruled kidney problems out. Sally, I have been concerned about Addison's but I felt silly for asking about it. I'm going to follow-up on this as well.

Donna - we've become the same way. Anything she will eat, we will supply (right now it is only freshly boiled chicken). We have also stooped to the level of hand feeding her each bite. She sits on the couch with me for an hour or more each meal and I will feed her tiny pieces. We were gone on our honeymoon last week and I had to contain my embarrassment when showing the dog sitter the depths we've stooped to. 

Thank you, Clare. Pam said the same thing so I think we're going to go that route once we get a neuro consult set up at Penn. 

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25 May 2018 - 12:47 pm
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Thank you again to everyone for the support. It's a brain tumor and there is nothing we can do. Her body is shutting down and we have one or two days at most until it will be time to say goodbye. To say I am sad is an understatement, but I am committed to making sure Jack's time with us is comfortable and filled with love. 

Michigan
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25 May 2018 - 1:25 pm
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Oh no ... I'm so very sorry.  Words are just not enough, I know.  Please know that we are thinking of you, and give Jack a kiss from Glenn & I heart

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

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25 May 2018 - 1:47 pm
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Sarah,

I am so very sorry to hear your news. I lost my Rosie in a similar way and it was just one of the toughest things I have ever experienced. Our thoughts are with you, I just cannot tell you how sorry I am. I hope you can find some peace, and I hope you are able to just share some one on one quality time. Your girl knows you love her, she has a piece of your heart that is all hers and you have a piece of her heart that will be forever yours. 

Sending warm hugs, they are a little damp with tears, and lots of compassion for what you are going through. Please take care.

Jackie heart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......ipawds.com

Virginia
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25 May 2018 - 2:38 pm
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Oh my dear Sarah...my dear, dear Sarah.  My heart is broken and it just sickens me ro hear this.  Believe me, our tears fall with yours.  

One thing I KNOW with absolute certainty,  no one, NO ONE, could EVER have given DC Jack a more loving home and NO ONE  could jave done anymore than you have to to be Jack the best possible care her whole lofe, especially  now.

Right now, at this moment, Jack is with you and, no ,after how hard,,  our tears need to be shoved into the background.  YES, you will stay in the moment with Jack.  Your love for her is that strong.    You will continue  to surround her with your loving heart, just like you have every second of her life with you.

Know this with absolute  certainty , Happy Hannah, along with all the other Spiritual Beings, will be there to greet her with Starbucks and ice cream!  And they will give her her space as she enjoyed her rewards for a life well lived.  They know Jack likes her space!

For now, all we can so is surround you with our love, our strength  and the "knowing" that release is welcomed by Jack now.  She has no fear.  She knows her Being of Light is eternal.  And she knows she is ALWAYS with you, just in a different form.  But you already know that.

With love,

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too 

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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25 May 2018 - 2:59 pm
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Sarah my heart breakes for you, I am really, really sorry. We can never prepare for something like this, but all we can do is try to hold back the tears until our beloved pup's spirit is free from the burden of cancer, and know that we did our best. You have absolutely done that for Jack, what a role model of a parent you have been to her. 

I'm so glad we got to meet last year, almost a year to the date. Truly an honor. Please know we are keeping you close in our hearts. And we will light a candle for her, may she have a peaceful transition.

If you want to talk or need anything at all, remember we are here for you. 

Many, many hugs coming your way from all of us. xoxo

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25 May 2018 - 7:09 pm
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Noooo! I am so sorry to hear your latest news. So.Not.Fair. Sarah, I wish there was something I could do to ease the pain that is coming for you. I hope you can find some peace in knowing that you went to the mat for Jack time and time again. You have given her an amazing life and given her only the best of care. Letting her go will be your final gift to Jack, and a gift it is. Jack has been an amazing Tripawd Warrior and an inspiration to us all. She will always be in your heart, and ours. 

Sending you much love and peace, please remember that we are here for you in this darkest of times......

Martha, Codie Rae, and the OP

Woohoo! Tripawds Rule!

Regulator of the Oaktown Pack, Sheriff of the Oaktown Pawsse, Founding member and President of the Tripawd Girldogs With 2 Names ROCK Club, and ... Tripawd Girldog Extraordinaire!

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26 May 2018 - 6:27 am
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I’m so sorry, Sarah. I was hoping against hope that it wouldn’t be this. Jack knows she is loved. Your commitment to her has been absolute in the face of many challenges. She’s a lucky dog to have known your love and care. This is so cruel and I am just so sorry but I know this precious time will be filled with the love and devotion you have always shown her and that Jack will always live on in your heart. 

Sending love, strength and a massive hug,

Meg, Clare and Angel Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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26 May 2018 - 7:22 am
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Oh Sarah ... my heart breaks for you as you and Jack have to part 😔

You know you’ve done all you could and Jack has had the most marvellous, loving life but even so it is heartbreaking to have to let her go 😔

Please know we are holding your hand and Jack’s paw as she enters her new life 🌟

She will be welcomed by all of our Angels and will be forever by your side, pain free and happy 🌟

Sending you the warmest of hugs and thinking about you both 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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26 May 2018 - 4:27 pm
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I'm so sorry Sarah, I was so hoping there was a treatable source for Jack's issues.

This is such a hard part of the journey.  I know that when the time comes Jack will run for the Bridge surrounded by love and peace.  She will always be in your heart and so will always be by your side.

Karen and Spirit Maggie

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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