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UPDATE -- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17: Vet called with biopsy results this morning. The mass that was removed from his right shoulder was a nerve sheath tumor. The vet said that since it came out without attachments, that she was confident that the margins were clean, and we could proceed with a watchful approach from here. The lump on his metatarsal-phalangeal joint is spindle-cell sarcoma. She said that the risk of metastasis is low, but that this is known to be very aggressive locally, and the location of the lump is awkward. She recommended an oncologist consult at this point. Leave it to my buddy to get creative with his maladies, yet again I could have sworn we'd be dealing with a mast-cell tumor..... I am gathering records from the vet's office now, to send to either OSU or Dr. Couto for consult. I left a message with GHWP@OSU asking if they still do online consultations, before heading to their website and noticing that they still have the online-consultation request form up. The form mentions that it may take three days or so for the OSU team to respond. Has anyone contacted Dr. Couto under his independent consulting header? Would I get a quicker turnaround there? Meanwhile, Aston was still feelin' good this morning, which is the whole point. Onward and upward. ---------------------Original post from 10/15/13------------------------ Here's an update on Aston, carried over from this thread: http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/301947-down-the-rabbit-hole/ The oddball, SEVERE hock-down swelling that showed up on Sunday morning (October 6) in Aston's left hind leg (corn-foot leg) lasted in full effect for about three days, despite soaks and antibiotics. We took him in for a recheck the following Tuesday (with followup phone-calls to vet in-between), and since the swelling hadn't gone down at all, the vet took blood from his toe to send out for a culture, gave him a Baytril injection, and gave us 1x/daily-Baytril to start on top of his already-ongoing Clavamox. She recommended a biopsy of the toepad, but we held off in fear that it would only worsen an already-painful healing process -- plus, she wasn't familiar with the nature of the corn that was removed, and thought it was an unknown growth. I left a message with the vet who removed the corn on Sept. 23, requesting that he consult with this vet about what he had removed. On Wednesday, the swelling started to "soften up" just south of his hock, and the blood pooled and hung with gravity when Aston laid on his side. The vet called me to check in on Aston as soon as she started her shift that day, and recommended that I gently massage his leg to try to get things moving, on top of the soaks and abx. The corn-removal vet then called me later that morning to get up to speed on what was happening. He recommended waiting on a biopsy, saying that if things continued to be "weird" once the infection resolved, then perhaps we should consider removing that toe completely since Aston has never shown any signs of corns on other toes/feet. However, when I brought this up with the vet we were working with at the e-clinic, she reminded me that in the xray taken on Sunday, a bone spur and severe arthritis were present in the (also weight-bearing) toe adjacent to the corn-toe, making a toe removal a fruitless option. On Wednesday night, my husband came home to be greeted at the door by Aston, waggy He'd had a rough time getting up/lying down due to his inability to use his painful, bloated leg, but the swelling had reduced to a more forgiving level. He was much more perky, scarfing his un-fancied kibble, even. He then greeted me at the door when I came home and proceeded to bug me for pets and cookies. Thursday showed steady improvement. Easier time for Aston in his ups/downs, continued good appetite. Poops not great, but not horrible considering the prednisone and two antibiotics. Friday was still steadily better. Foot started looking almost greyhound-normal (skinny, stick-toes ). He started to touch it down briefly during our very-short walks. I got a call from the vet that evening -- the blood culture came back. Pseudomonas AND staph. Sensitivity pending. I was finally able to inspect the hole from which the corn was removed, since the foot was no longer painful for Aston. The corn had almost completely returned, the new exterior surface already nearly flush with the rest of the toepad. This at under three-weeks post removal, down to the flexor tendon within the toepad. Saturday evening, after a day of more promising foot use by Aston on walks and around the house, the vet called to say that the staph would be covered by the Clavamox, but the pseudomonas would require Zeniquin. I stopped the Baytril per her instruction, and drove to the office that night to pick up the Zeniquin (it is SO handy that this practice is open 24/7). Started him on it as soon as I got home (woohoo, extra meal for buddy!). Sunday, Aston bounced around after us when we announced that it was walk time, and continued to get better on his foot -- still limpy even with use, though, as it likely will be in perpetuity with the corn's return. Yesterday (Monday), Aston was a goofball. Super-happy to see us in the evening, even had a slow "zoomie" in the backyard Swelling basically gone, with the exception of the toe itself, which was a bit pink. I called and left a message with the office of the corn-removal vet, to ask whether he'd had a chance to run any tests on the corn that he removed from Aston's toe on the 23rd, since a biopsy was still hovering for us. (The vet asked to keep the corn when he removed it.) This morning, Aston followed me around the house in anticipation of our walk, helicopter-tail and rubbing his face all over my jeans. Leaned over to put his martingale on, and noticed a new, warm, ~half-inch-diameter, hairless red lump just above the metatarsal-phalangeal joint in his bad leg. It didn't seem to affect Aston as he limped along on all four legs, alert and sniffy in our short AM walk. (Not a lick-wound, as I have been sleeping two feet away from Aston at night to make sure he's okay / not bothering his foot.) Soooo.. I packed up my things for work and yelled WHO WANTS TO GO FOR A RIDE?!?! and nearly got mauled by the giant blob of fur that streaked past me to get to the car in the garage . Met our vet upon her day-shift start at 8am. She examined him and noted that the lymph node directly above the affected foot was enlarged. I left Aston there for a biopsy of the lump, and drove to work. The corn-removal vet called me right after I arrived at work, and I brought him up to speed on what was going on. He hadn't done any tests on the corn yet, but did still have it stored in a test-tube. He requested that the other office send him all results of the various tests flying around, and I told him I'd also keep him posted. The first vet called me as soon as she had finished working on Aston. She had taken a punch out of the new lump, then felt around and also found a marble-sized mass in Aston's right shoulder. She removed that mass since he was already under -- she said it actually fell out of him once exposed -- and sent that for testing along with the punch. We'll get the results back in about three days, which will coincide with his bandage/suture checks and a recheck of his blood values (his liver values were elevated when bloodwork was done last Sunday, likely due to pred -- he's on Denamarin now). Right now, Aston's snoozing away. He was standing within a half-hour of being taken off anesthesia, and was completely alert when I picked him up this afternoon. He took the world's most satisfying pee in the back-office of the vet while we were discussing after-care after the fluids he received during surgery, and the receptionist saw him and said, Just let it go, buddy. That looks like it feels great! I feel weird calling on the powers of GT, but any good thoughts would definitely be appreciated Aston has been such an outstanding patient... If nothing else, I was heartened to see him come back to feeling 110% these past few days, so at least I know it CAN happen. We'll see what Friday brings, but only positive thoughts. Why worry about crossing bridges when they may not even exist? The patient: (his chest is apparently waaay bigger than mine... had to fancy-up a t-shirt to fit )
Hey everyone, Joel and I have been stalling, we've reached a point where a biopsy has been recommended for Maya and neither of us want to do that to our little girl. Below is just a synopsis of what her condition is and what we've tried so far. I guess we're just looking to hear from folks that have gone through the same thing and how the recovery was. I think we'll do it soon so she can heal while it's still too hot outside and be all set for camping season once it cools down. Previous posts on this topic can be found here http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/299770-good-poop-bad-poop-what-on-earth-was-that-poop/, here http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/299927-food-changes-have-begun/, and here http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/300775-update-on-mayas-stool-issues/. Maya's Condition: Maya has always had soft stool. When we adopted her in 2004 (18 mo) we found that Science Diet Sensitive Stomach yielded the best results (not great but acceptable) out of many other brands. Probably within the last 6 mo her stool has become worse. Usually the first poo of the day is the best with any additional poos being the consistency of chocolate milk. She is now just over 10 yrs and is quite lethargic, developing arthritis, has a dull coat, and is very skinny. We believe she is not getting the nutrition she needs out of her food and are assuming this is the cause for the previously listed conditions minus the arthritis. Steps taken so far: 1) Stool: tested for parasites and came back negative 2) Diet: We tried to change her diet and tried all of the vet options (about 5 different types) and also the Iams green bag because so many on here have had luck. None of these options yielded firmer poop. 3) Ultrasound: An ultrasound was performed and a portion of the small intestine was observed to be inflamed. 4) Urine Test: Histoplasmosis is common in this area so we tested for it as that was an easy/non-invasive test to perform. Results were negative. What's Next?: 5) Biopsy: This is the next recommended step in an attempt to diagnose the cause of the inflamed small intestine. The portion that is inflamed lies smack dab in the middle of the digestive system and a biopsy is recommended to access this area over other methods. We are stalling. This test is going to cause her a lot of pain. Maya has a low tolerance for pain and I fear a long road to recovery from the incision. Thanks for listening.......... leigh