Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Luna just started a dose of steroids and she is suffering from a severe case of roid induced hunger pangs. I don't think I have discussed Luna's recent health issues much on the blog - mainly because denial sometimes is wonderful place.
A few months ago, Luna was "unofficially" diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. I say unofficially because we have not gone through the full battery of tests needed to make the diagnosis official. Essentially, Luna is suffering from many of the symptoms and we have ruled out pretty much all the other possibilities, so we are going to treat her accordingly and see if she improves.
Luna's main symptoms are a nasty cough and labored breathing. We have experienced quite a few different coughs around here with Sol and Benny, but Luna's cough is very different. It's like a cough mixed with a sneeze and a wheeze. Not the same goose type honk that Solsey suffered from.
To treat her condition, Luna went on a pill to help her breathing and a diuretic. That combo of meds worked very well for her the last few months. The frequency of her cough was severely reduced. Her breathing was still labored, but not quite as labored as before. All that changed last week, when Luna's pesky cough came back nastier than ever.
We took Luna in to the vet and had a chest x-ray done in the hopes that it was some sort of upper respiratory infection (not great, but certainly better than the alternative). The chest x-rays showed that Luna's lungs looked clear, so the respiratory infection was ruled out. We started Luna on a round of steroids in hopes that it would clear up her cough. If it does, chances are she will need to remain on the steroids long term. This is not ideal. However, as the vet described things to us, this really is the lesser of two evils.
In addition, Luna has also started on a special prescription food that is meant to be very kidney friendly. Luna's last two blood tests have revealed that her BUN is on the high side and is on the rise. Hopefully, the special diet with help lower her BUN levels to a normal level.
Through all this, Luna has proven time and time again that she is tougher than nails. We have to keep a close eye on her because she never really lets her discomfort show. Our vet explained to us the pulmonary hypertension can be very uncomfortable. It seems like no matter what is stacked against her, little Luna just keeps on trucking.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
It took us a while to get Luna on right drop regime, but after years of trying different combinations of medicines we finally worked everything out and Luna's eyes have been the best they can be for her for a few years now. However, the last two weeks Luna's left eye has been super dry. I'm not sure what is going on with it. We have been following her drop schedule and have even increased the frequency at which we give her her lubricant drops, but nothing has seemed to work. The recent cold spell might be to blame, as that seemed to dry everything out, or I suspect the diuretic we just started her on might be the culprit. I'm going to run that one past the vet and see what he thinks. If that is the case, I guess the diuretic is really working if it is even drying her eyes out!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Another week has passed and Benjamin is just starting to get a little bit of hair growth in his shaved spots. For the curious, Benjamin does have a thyroid condition that he gets medicine for, so we are aware that this will contribute to the amount of time it takes for his fur to fill in.
At this rate, I'm thinking it is going to be months before Benny's fur is completely grown back. On the bright side, summer is coming and maybe this little bald patch will help keep him a tad bit cooler in the FL heat. We'll just have to make sure he doesn't get sunburned!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
It is standing joke in the OBP household that none of the pugs' fur grows as fast as Solsey's grew. Whenever Benjamin, Henry or Luna have some sort of procedure and get a patch of their fur shaved, we always joke with them that they better channel their inner Sosley so their hair grows back quickly. Or, in Benjamin's case, we tell him how Solsey is laughing at him because his fur grows so slowly.
After Benjamin's CT Scan two weeks ago, we have been teasing him non-stop about his missing fur patches. He has two wristbands and big shaved rectangle on his back. With as slow as his fur grows we are planning on needing to put sunscreen on his bare patch on his back. We have even been taking bets on how long we think it is going to take for his fur to fully grow back. What do you think? When do you think Benny will have a full coat of fur again?
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Benjamin's CT Scan last week revealed some interesting results. The CT Scan showed that Benjamin's spine and discs are in great shape, however, he has an intradural arachnoid cyst. I had never heard of an arachnoid cyst and the specialist informed me that it is actually a pretty rare condition. In the 13 years that our specialist has been practicing, she has seen this condition in less than 10 cases.
It's my understanding that arachnoid cysts are also hereditary. There is a good chance that Benny has had this condition since he was a puppy. It was probably so small at that time that it did not cause him any discomfort. Now that the cyst has grown in size, it is putting pressure on his spine and causing him a lot of pain.
Surgically removing the cyst is a possibility, but not our best option. The specialist informed us that arachnoid cysts are very slow growers. However, removing it surgically causes its growth rate to drastically increase. So, in the short term, surgery is a great option, but it is not the best in the long term.
Right now, Benny is on a course of steroids to help with the inflammation caused by the cyst. Hopefully, that will help him feel better and increase his mobility. However, staying on steroids is not a viable option either. So we need to figure out the smallest dose that keeps his inflammation to a minimum and most likely cycle him on and off that. This treatment with require a lot of trial and error to get the right dosage.
Right now, the first round of steroids has Benny feeling better. He is walking much better and is back to lifting his leg when he pees which is a great sign! Benny not lifting his leg to pee was definitely something that raised a red flag for us. The only thing that would be more out of the ordinary for him is not eating. And now that he has been on steroids for a few days his appetite is stronger than ever!
The other piece of news that has me very concerned is that a chest x-ray revealed that Benjamin has a collapsed trachea. When I spoke to the specialist she described it as more of a "narrowing", but when I read collapsed trachea on his diagnosis sheet I almost hit the floor. I learned all I need to know about collapsed tracheas from Sol and I can't imagine going through that again.
Right now we are adopting a wait and see approach to see how Benny responds to the steroids. I will keep you updated as we know more.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Last friday we took Benny to the vet because he was having some back trouble. Our vet recommended that we take Benny to the specialist to have things checked out. We got an appointment with the specialist for Monday and we had our initial exam / consultation. They wanted to do a CT Scan and myelogram the same day, but they had a few emergencies so they asked us to bring Benny back on Tuesday. We dropped Benny off bright and early on Tuesday morning to have his CT scan. However, they had another emergency surgery and Benny was not able to get his CT scan done. So, we needed to bring Benny back on Wednesday. By this point, Benny was quite perturbed because he had gone 3 days without any breakfast!
Ben finally had the CT scan yesterday and we received some interesting results. Don't worry. Emergency back surgery is not in his near future. I will go into all the details in another post, but for now, we are happy to have Benny back home. And Benny is very happy that he will get to eat breakfast tomorrow.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Luna's 3rd sonogram revealed that the mysterious spot on her bladder is 95% gone! We are very relieved with the good news. The thinking is that the inflammation was caused by cystitis. We have to keep an eye out to make sure this condition does not reoccur.
While Luna has been on antibiotics for almost a month, her cough has not cleared up. This has me very concerned because I was thinking that she also had some type of infection in her chest. We decided to do another chest x-ray to take a look at things. The spot on her lungs was still there, with little to no change since her last chest x-ray a few weeks ago. Since we know more about the bladder now, our vet is diagnosing this as bronchial disease. She has been put on medicine to help with her cough, but there really isn't anything we can do to cure it. It is more of a maintenance thing.
While bronchial disease is not great, it certainly is better than a collapsed trachea. Sol's trachea issues have me super concerned about trachea issues in Benjamin, Henry and Luna and I was very glad to see that the x-ray showed that Luna's trachea is in tip top shape.
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