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8/11

 

Rocky got a lot worse overnight. Even with the super-duper massive cancer pain killer drugs by this morning he was shaking and crying from pain. He couldn't stand up to pee. Unbelieveable how fast he's gone downhill in the last few days.

 

Ken and I lovingly said goodbye to my bubby this morning. I will write a proper Rememberance for him when I can muster the strength. :brokenheart

 

8/10

 

Rocky has steadily declined over the last few days with increasing pain levels. They were prepping him to do a second MRI today on a different section of his neck and one of the surgeons suggested doing an xray first (Xrays were done by our vet just a few weeks ago). Unfortunately, the xray showed what is probably cancer in one of his vertebrae. They can't know 100% for sure unless they biopsy, but because of the location a biopsy is not really possible. The other possible diagnoses are extraordinarily unlikely due to the area of the country we're in, so it's a defacto cancer diagnosis. Everything has been sent to Dr. Couto (the oncologist here went to vet school there and knows Dr. Couto well) as well as to a radiology oncologist at NC State Vet school. Our 'best case' scenario is palliative radiation which could give us 4 more months, possibly. Most likely we will not go that route, but I want to hear what Dr. C and the NC State vets have to say.

 

They've upped his pain meds and added another.

 

:cry1 All this time I've wanted an answer...this was not the answer I wanted, though. Thanks for everyone who's kept up with this thread. We appreciate all your good thoughts and prayers. I wish this would have been one we could have won :grouphug On top of it all, his vet lost her greyhound this week, so we had a lot of tears flowing in the exam room today.

 

Here's a picture of the Xray, if anyone is interested. It's the vertabrae in the middle of the picture...you can see the darker area where the bone is less dense. The Xrays from just a few weeks ago looked completely normal (didn't get a picture of those though).

4879558165_910657c79b_z.jpg

 

8/4

The PCR tick testing came back from NC State completely negative. Rocky has some good days and bad days...for the most part he's not needing but one tramadol a day. After talking with the doc today, we're going to start him on an alternative to prednisone, due to his family history of sensitivity to it. He'll start that tomorrow. Hopefully that does the trick, but I'm a bit nervous...

 

7/31

Thought I'd post an update on Rocky - he's doing well. The current episode seems to be subsiding...he's down to just one or two tramadol a day. He even started trotting a little bit yesterday and looking for poop to eat. He's still a little hunchy but is holding his head higher. We've seen his symptoms wax and wane, so I don't think we're out of the woods. We're continuing on the doxy for now and waiting to see what comes back on the tick testing at NC State. With symptoms subsiding (hopefully for good), I can't see us starting any prednisone in the near future.

 

7/27

We had a really long meeting with the vet. She addressed our concerns about the lack of information and understands where we're coming from with our complaints and issues. We went over everything in his file, including the MRI images in detail. She apologized and explained a few things on her end that caused some of the communication issues. She also said that most owners don't usually care about nitty gritty details, esp on negative tests. She now understands that we are not "most" owners ;)

 

So, we are satisfied with that and decided to keep her on as his primary vet at the moment. We are sending off blood to NC State for PCR testing to make absolute, triple checked sure there's not some weirdo TBD thing going on. We're starting him on doxy today and, depending on how he responds, we'll phase in prednisone. Depending on the tick panel test, we may do a joint tap to see if he has (big long word for a joint auto-immune type issue). At least now I feel like we have treatment plan in place that I understand, so that's a step in the right direction.

 

7/26

Well, the spinal tap came back normal. The vet that's been seeing him was out sick today, so it took me calling a BUNCH of times for them to even have a vet tech call me and let me know that. They called the doctor at home and she said she'd call in steroids and antibiotics. UM....OUR VET OFFERED TO DO THAT A WEEK AGO. W. T. F. :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire

 

That poor vet tech now understands exactly how frustrated we are with their practice and that this is simply not acceptable. I'm not normally one to kill the messenger, but I was in Mama Dog mode. I got off the phone and let off a string of expletives that would make a sailor blush. Then I cried. These are supposed to be the experts and I feel like the only thing they give a damn about is our freaking credit card.

 

If the MRI is normal, they ruled out a tumor. If the spinal tap is normal, it's not meningitis. So, at 10:15 tomorrow this vet is going to sit down with Ken and I and explain what in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks she's treating my dog for. And then we're going to switch doctors, b/c I just don't trust this lady. I'll take "stab in the dark" treatment from a regular vet, but not from someone who's board certified and charges $100 just to lay hands on a dog...no ma'am. You need to give me a little bit more the same damn guess our regular vet came up with....A WEEK AGO.

 

 

7/23

***update***

Ken went to pick up Rocky...the spinal tap stuff has to be sent to Atlanta, so that will happen tonight. We might hear some preliminary stuff tomorrow afternoon, but the final report might not be ready until Sunday or Monday.

 

*******************

The radiologist said he didn't see anything on the MRI to account for his symptoms. Dropped Rocky off this morning for his spinal tap. Poor bubby was whimpering and shaking in pain early this morning as the tramadol wore off. God help the vet if they don't have SOMETHING to offer today. I can be patient and understanding, but having been to three vet offices and spent over $2500 SO FAR and STILL have a dog in pain with no freaking clue what the problem is, is pretty much going to be my breaking point if there's no progress today. I just want my dog fixed. :cry1

 

Deep breath. Deep breath. Deep breath.

 

7/21

****update***

Well, they did the MRI and they didn't see an "obvious tumor" but there was a questionable area at the base of his brain. They are waiting to hear back from the radiologist to see what he thinks. Since it's right in the area where they'd do the spinal tap, they didn't want to go poking something if they weren't sure what was going on (ie, a nice little pocket of infection or something).

 

I'll pick him up as soon as Ken gets home from the dentist, but he may have to go back tomorrow for the spinal tap, which she said they can do with the propofol (?) sedation rather than full anesthesia like he had today. Even though tramadol doesn't seem to be super effective at curbing the pain, she wants to avoid NSAIDs in case he does end up on steroids.

 

Still no answers :(

 

**********

Rocky saw the internal med doc yesterday and they brought in the ortho surgeon for a consult...they believe the pain is, in fact, in his neck. They recommended an MRI and possible spinal tap and possible myelogram. I dropped him off this morning for his MRI. Hopefully they find something. Potential diagnoses at the top of the list: tumor, some flavor of meningitis or a disc issue. My poor babe is in so much pain, not even tramadol seems to make a big dent in it anymore. This episode isn't waning like they have in the past.

 

7/19

Quick check in with our regular vet today and she gave us the referral to the internal medicine specialist. He goes tomorrow. Poor bubby...he's having a really bad flair up of whatever it is yesterday and today.

 

7/14

Hey guys...sorry I haven't updated. It's been crazy here lately (when isn't it :lol ) As usual, Rocky's episode on Sunday passed and he was fine in the evening. Monday morning I called the vet and we decided to just wait and see what happened. As has happened in the past, Monday evening he had another episode and today he had two. He's pooping and peeing normally. Poop is formed but a tad soft...nothing terribly unusual. Quantity was normal.

 

The primary vet that's been seeing Rocky on on vacation this week, but the other vet in the practice has seen Rocky before and examined him that last time he was in as well...just as a second 'in house' opinion. So, we're kinda in a holding pattern right now. Though having two episodes today means I'll be calling the vet tomorrow to see if we should go ahead and get the referral to the internist or if they want to see him again... oh...he's still on the antibiotics.

 

7/11

Well, I thought maybe whatever it was had run it's course or responded to the Clindamycin Rocky's been on for a couple weeks now. Even this morning he was his old self...goofy, tiggering, shaking his head like dogs do when they get up and shake off a nap.

 

And then a little while ago, Ken and I watched a stiffened up, hunched Rocky sloooowly walk out of the bedroom with great trepidation. I think we're at the point where we need to see the specialist if our vet still has no ideas...Here's a short video and a couple pics from today.

 

Rocky

 

4783137829_ef1a648e45.jpg

 

This is Rocky about a month ago at the e-vet...you can see his stature is pretty much the same

4757652455_ee521f71a5.jpg

 

6/28

Our regular vet xrayed Rocky from stem to stern this morning and found nothing unusual. Ruled out discospondylitis. Snap 4DX test was negative and bloodwork looks good (from earlier this month) so we're tentatively ruling out TBD.

 

She is leaning away from GI issues and more towards spinal/back and/or deep infection somewhere. Canine Meningitis is also a suspect...As we looked back through his medical records, he has had off and on issues with various infections and slow-to-heal wounds. We started him on Antirobe and sent out more bloodwork. She'll also call the vet who did the ultrasound a couple weeks ago and consult with him on his findings.

 

Basically, Rocky is still hurting and no one knows why. The bulge Ken and I found she believes is just muscle, maybe more pronounced b/c he's lost weight or because he's tensed up on that side more than the other.

 

****************************

6/27

Well, Rocky's been having the same symptoms off and on since we had him at the vet. It's been pretty bad this weekend with a lot of hunching and even yelping, holding his head low. He's going to see our regular vet tomorrow...they should have copies of the myriad of things they did at the last (emergency) vet.

 

I haven't seen him poop recently, though there was a couple piles by the back door overnight which I suspect was him but can't be sure.

 

:(

 

afternoon:

After a really close head to to inspection on Rocky, Ken found a large swollen area on his right hip. Like, really obvious...He screams every time he gets up now, which he wasn't doing this morning, so I loaded him up on tramadol to get him through the night and see if that even helps. At least now we know where to focus. :(

 

***********************************

6/11

 

My boy is home. After quite possibly the world's most expensive gas bubble, he's resting comfortably at my feet and he looks worlds better. Apparently he had some explosive Big D today at the vet...hey, that's almost worth the entire bill not to have to clean that up :blink:

 

****Thanks for the advice, everyone! Hopefully, we can resolve his gas issue**** :goodluck

 

6/10

I mentioned it in my tattoo thread but I now need to start a new thread. I hate starting these b/c it means a hound is not well and the vets aren't finding anything...so I turn to the experience and expertise on GT.

 

Nutshell: He's been "off" for about a week...eating fine, but his spark is just not there. More lazy than usual. He has times where he gets kinda hunched up with an arched back but then it passes. The last poop saw him have was Tuesday afternoon. I may have missed one yesterday b/c sometimes he does his business behind the kennel building. We decided he needed to go to the vet and he was supposed to go tomorrow...but you know how that goes. Last night he was really hunched up, head held really low and trembling all over so we decided go ahead and take him in to the emergency vet.

 

Findings:

Pain when you palpate his belly

very slightly dehydrated

bloodwork: all within normal limits

urine: normal

stool: normal

ultrasound: nothing unusual found

test for pancreatitis: negative

xray: they're doing it now.

 

Any ideas? Vets are stumped. He's been on fluids since 10pm or so last night. He's feeling better but still showing pain in his belly and is a little hunchy.

 

eta: Rocky is an avid connoisseur of yard brownies, though we usually keep the yard pretty clean, he wears a stool guard off and on when he goes on binges but it is a possibility he found some old poop in the wooded section of the yard when we've been less than diligent about putting his poop muzzle on him. Other than poop, he's not one to eat or chew on things.

Edited by KennelMom
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when a friend's GSD was hunching up like that, he had a really nasty UTI. Hope it's something as simple as that and that antibiotics will knock it out. Good luck.

 

Ah, crap - I see you ran urine already. Could it be an infection they're not picking up?


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Guest KennelMom

UTI...I'll mention it. They drew the urine straight from his bladder, if that makes a difference in looking for a UTI. I have a feeling he'll come home on some kind of antibiotics....

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Geez, I was going to say HGE but he's not vomiting and you don't know if he's had the big D or not? HGE is what got Emmy very sick (from eating pooh btw). It took 3 days at the vets on an IV drip to get her over that one. My other guess would have been something going on in the liver but since the ultrasound was clear, I'm pretty stumped too.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest KennelMom

HGE was definitely on the table last night, though he's had no vomiting. He's had good poops as of Tuesday afternoon, not sure about Wednesday since I didn't notice him pooping all day. I think they've set that aside from now due to lack of symptoms.

 

Frustrating when things are so vague :(

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Ai yi yi. You're sure covering all the bases.

 

Zema's 1 episode of similar was a big ol' gas bubble, accompanied by a high white count.

 

Joseph's was of course foreign body.

 

Fingers crossed .......

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest KennelMom

Gas bubble and obstruction are what's in my mind right now. I can deal with a really expensive greyhound fart right about now :lol

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Guest Samantha

Poor Rocky, I was going to mention gas too, or maybe eating old poopies, since i had one the same who would find poop even after you had cleaned the yard!. Hope he is ok xx

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Well, I started to post this but changed my mind. But now I will post it...you'll see why :)

 

Ben was very lethargic but couldn't get comfortable, was kinda hunched, etc. So we took him to the evet, just in case. The tests were ok, nothing showed up on the x-ray but he was very dehydrated. The evet went to get the fluid pack and while she was out of the room, Ben let out a huge gigantic burp. Once he was rehydrated, we went home and the next day he was fine. We call it the $500 burp.

 

Hope this is something very simple for Rocky and he's feeling better.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest Samantha

Poor Rocky, I was going to mention gas too, or maybe eating old poopies, since i had one the same who would find poop even after you had cleaned the yard!. Hope he is ok xx

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Guest larock

Our girl displayed simular symtoms to what you discribed; we even took her in for an amema thinking she may be constipated. Neg for UTI, Neg stool, Blood/Urine good so they precribed Tramadol and Pred for a few weeks, she seemed to improve but not 100%. Two months later it started again and with fluid accumulateing in her gut. We took another x-ray - large mass in the abdomen/intestines, and what looked like all air in her intestines, and lots of fluid in her tummy...I'm sorry but my story does not have a happy ending.

 

Hugs for your baby, I hope it's nothing and that he feels better soon...

 

 

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Guest KennelMom

Well, the xray came back clear. Sounds like the vets are leaning towards gas at the moment. We're going to switch foods to a different protein...maybe the food isn't agreeing with him...and a poop guard at EVERY turnout! Hopefully he keeps getting better... :goodluck If not, it'll be back to the vet for who knows whatever other test they can do.

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Piper had repeated bouts of back hunching. It was due to gas. But vets could feel the gas on palpation and see it on the x-ray. One vet was also concerned about a possible spinal tumour, although they later concluded that the pain in her back was referred from her belly. Just BTW, the medicine for gas made her back legs tremble.

 

Her story doesn't have a happy ending either, but that was a few months and several more crises later.

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Guest KennelMom

Piper had repeated bouts of back hunching. It was due to gas. But vets could feel the gas on palpation and see it on the x-ray. Just BTW, the medicine for gas made her back legs tremble.

 

Her story doesn't have a happy ending either, but that was a few months and several more crises later.

 

 

Would you mind telling me more about Piper? I didn't know gas could be potentially fatal. :(

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Guest Swifthounds

You've covered a lot of bases. :)

 

My thoughts would be:

gas (which sometimes you can palpate and sometime not, and can sometimes see on xray, sometimes not), pinched nerve int he spine (could radiate the pain down to the belly), or a pulled muscle or ligament along his belly or in his groin. I might culture the urine if you don't have a likely suspect (if you haven't already).

 

Oh, and gotta say it...whatta handsome boy! :wub:

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Guest LindsaySF

My guesses would be gas or UTI. You could culture the urine to be sure. These aren't common UTI symptoms, but a friend of mine has a female that acts exactly like this when she gets a UTI.

 

Rogan had a gas episode a few months ago, when he was still a foster, and I was up all night with him. He kept pacing, was hunched over, he would try to lay down but couldn't get comfortable, etc. I was freaking out that he had bloat and I was going to bring him to the e-vet, but he is also a drama queen with a very sensitive digestive system, so I gave it a little more time. He found a comfortable position and went to sleep. He ended up going outside to potty several times that night and the next day, stool was a little loose but not too bad. He never burped or farted, and he does tend to fart a lot at night rolleyes.gif, so I'm pretty sure it was gas. It hasn't happened since and I'm not sure what triggered it in the first place.

 

I hope it's just some simple gas for Rocky! Good luck. :goodluck

 

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Hugs for Rocky and his expensive gas! Hope he continues feel well!!

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Guest PhillyPups

So glad he is home. Rocky a healthy :fart: is good for the soul. Ironic story, the first medmal case I ever worked on the biggest thing that the staff did wrong was not get concerned at the lack of bowel sounds (no gas).

 

I am sure I am not the only one here that knows how painful a gas pocket can be.

 

Give Rocky extra scritches from us.

 

:yay for gas. :yay

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Sounds like a big tummy pain. Hopefully the explosive big D cleared everything out and he'll feel better in the morning.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Heather I'm glad he's home. While his vet visit was no doubt expensive, I'd pay that kind of money any day to be told it's just gas :) I hope he will be feeling better soon. Can greyhounds take beano?

 

My Fritz is my "bubby." I call him that all the time. That or "boober." Mark always makes fun of me for calling him bubby...now I can tell him I'm not the only one who uses it! (Your bubby is adorable, BTW.) :)

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Just seeing this, Hoping Rocky is on his way to feeling better... soon!

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

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