Sunday, January 24, 2016
Henry Health Update
We've been procrastinating about sharing an update on Henry's health. Mainly putting it off since there is not a lot of great news to share. We are biting the bullet and sharing now.
Henry's troubles started shortly before Christmas. He had an IBD flare up. He started having several rounds of very bad poops. On our 1-10 scale, it was ranging in the 2-4 area. And we know that when his poops are that bad that his protein levels also move down the scale to a very low number. And drop they did. We felt that the "better" food we moved him to had triggered this reaction. We made some vet recommended moves and also made an executive decision. Our vet put Henry on a very upped dose of Prednisone and another gut specific steroid (I forget the name). High level pred for a couple weeks and the other med forever. We had 2 options for a food change. We tried one and it was an epic fail and then we tried a second option and it seemed to work at least as well, if not better than the original vet prescribed food. The food changes were without vet consent.
After a few days on the failed food, we moved to the food that he is on now. It seems to be working (at least in conjunction with the change in meds). His poops were for sure getting better and for the first time since months before losing his kidney, he had his first 9 poop! (And has had a few 9's since then but mostly 7's with a few 2's thrown in there every once in a while). This is MUCH better than the 5's he'd been averaging over the year plus time we've been trying to manage this. However, here is the dark cloud portion of that silver lining. Large doses of pred are HORRIBLE for Henry's brain. Our neurologist would be upset to know that he has to be on such a high level of pred. Essentially, what is good for Henry's belly, kills his brain and what is good for his brain, kills his belly. So, this is the tightrope we have been walking for over a year now.
And it seems that the pred, while was giving him much better poops (even though his protein levels were not even increasing) has finally caught up to him. We believe that he has suffered another brain set back. The weekend of 1/9/16, we noticed the following: his cognitive issues have spiked (his confusion has elevated, he is getting lost in our home, struggles to find the front door both going out and coming back inside) and probably even worse, he is shaky on his legs (mostly just when on a slippery tile floor but also when on carpet, concrete or grass but not nearly as bad as when on tile). There was an episode that was seen on the camera when we were not home where he could not stand up from a laying position because he could not get traction. He howled for help and no one was there. It was heartbreaking. Peep #2 was on the way home and got there quickly to help but it was still a tough one to watch.
Since then, we have been able to lower his pred some (but no noticeable change just yet). He has been slow to rebound, is still kind of wonky both mentally and physically. We are hopeful that we can continue to do our best so that he can still maintain a solid quality of life. It's been a rough month or so for him, but he is still loving his car rides and getting his sniffs, so we will keep on keeping on until Henry lets us know what else he needs. We are often reminded that he is on borrowed time already and we intend on having a high credit limit as far as that is concerned. #HenryStrong #HIPPARulesDontApplyAtOurHouse #HenryHasThis