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Leah's Diagnosis


Guest MyCody
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Guest MyCody

Good news is no tumors, but our vet and highly regarded cardiologist who did her ultrasound said she has Alabama Rot. They said her teeth are much better than most greyhounds but that is what they are thinking she has. They are both puzzled as to why she lost five pounds as her food has more calories than she needs.

 

The protein in her urine is of course another concern and so is her blood pressure still.

 

She is on ten mgs of benazepril a day and we have to take her in weekly to check her blood pressure. Also fish oil capsules.

 

My head is spinning as he said other things regarding her kidneys, we will get a written report next week.

 

I just read up on here about the pup that was lost in May due to this, so frightened for Leah.

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Guest goofydog

Does Leah have open sores? The reason I ask is that I thought Alabama Rot is normally a necrotising skin/muscle/tissue issue.

 

Prayers for Leah to get her BP under control and the other problems to resolve also.

 

 

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Guest MyCody

I need to sit down and write out questions for the vet, I was taken off guard and totally unprepared for that diagnosis.'

 

Hasn't been a good month, I have been diagnosed with an extremely rapid heart beat and my heart is skipping many beats, plus a nerve in my face is giving me excruciating pain and I have a growth on my liver that needs a biopsy, waiting for an appointment.

 

After reading about the poor pups that have experienced Alabama Rot, I am more concerned about Leah it sounds like such a horrific illness.

 

I took Cody to Boston for testing by a neorosurgeon, so wouldn't hesitate to follow up with Leah.

 

Thanks everyone.

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Alabama Rot=Idiopathic Cutaneous & Renal Glomerular Disease. That said I'm not sure I would go there-- PLN can have many causes.

Have you contacted OSU for their opinion? I would definitely shoot them some questions through the consultation form.

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Guest Scouts_mom

I would reallydoubt Alabama Rot based on what you have described. Have these vets ever seen a case?

 

I looked AR up in my copy of "Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound" and it says the following:

 

The onset of the disease is rapid and includes localized swelling (edema) most often involving a single leg but can involve the face or tail. Approximately 50% of these dogs will recover while the others go on to develop one or more sharply demarcated deep cutaneous ulcers that tend to involve pressure points but can also occur in the flank or obdomen. A subset of these dogs (approximately 10% go on) go on to develop the most sever and often fatal form of the disease that includes profound thrombocytopenia and acute renal failures.

 

Of a study of 168 greyhounds with AR, all but 7 showed the skin problems before or without kidney problems. Only 7 developed renal problems before the skin lesions became apparent.

 

Greyhounds with this disease must be aggressively treated. when renal problems occur the dog must be aggressively treated with fluid therapy and imentive care by a vet to save the dog's life.

 

Dr. Fenwick is considered an expert on AR. I hope someone has his contact info. I don't see you mentioning anywhere that your sweetie has any skin problems.

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Guest MyCody

Does anyone have contact info on Dr. Fenwick, I have googled his name and can't find anything. I am going to call my vet and ask how he came to this conclusion as I see no sores or other signs of it. He did mention her teeth but said she has better teeth than either he or the cardiologist that did the ultrasound see on most greys.

 

Thank you.

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Sorry you and your girl are having such a tough time. Did they rule out Protein Losing Nephropathy? My angel Holly was dx'd with PLN in July 2011 (had to say goodbye in December).

 

Long story, but after an intense hour of vomiting one morning off we went to the vet. Ruled out bloat. Abdominal ultrasound revealed an ulcerated area in her duodenum (most likely related to her kidney issues); lab work and urinalysis all pointed to PLN. Holly had also lost about 5 lbs or so over the course of several months and had protein in her urine.

 

Blood pressure can be problematic for kidney dogs so one of the goals is to keep the sodium intake under control - as well as low phosphorus (depending on the stage of the disease, some dogs can be managed fairly well with a special kidney diet).

 

Not sure how old Leah is? My Holly was 12+ when dx'd with PLN. Good luck to you and Leah. Happy to answer any Qs you may have.

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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Guest MyCody

indyandhollyluv, thank you so much for the info so sorry you lost your precious pup but grateful you shared your experience.

 

Leah is 11 and has been our healthiest greyhound out of the six that we have had, the only other illness was one bout of giardia about four years ago.

 

Just had a long chat with our vet and he said while she has very good teeth, that may be where it is starting and that it is in the earliest stage possible. He also said she has inflamed kidneys which is also a symptom. Reminded me that he was with a Chicago track at one time and that he saw a lot of these dogs in various stages of the illness when it was more prevelant.

 

He said the medication is the best there is for it, knows of Dr. Fenwick's study in '93 and he thinks we can stop Leah from having the horrendous outcome that usually ends up with horrible open wounds.

 

I'm so grateful for everyone's input and will keep you informed with updates and if anyone has anything else to share, it will be appreciated.

 

He did make me feel better that his diagnosis was done with much consideration by both he and his associate.

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He also said she has inflamed kidneys which is also a symptom. Reminded me that he was with a Chicago track at one time and that he saw a lot of these dogs in various stages of the illness when it was more prevelant.

 

Reading through this, as well as Leah's initial thread, I'm really not seeing where this diagnosis of Alabama rot is coming from. All the signs you've mentioned point toward PLN (protein losing nephropathy) and glomerulonephritis which are not uncommon in greyhounds. Alabama rot is very rare, and as others have mentioned (please reread post #7 by tbhounds and #8 by Scouts_mom), the swelling and skin issues are integral parts of the diagnosis of this disease. I don't understand how your vet can be saying that there's an "early" form without those signs. Without those signs, it's not Alabama rot.

 

Here's another article about Alabama rot. And a section on page 2 and 3 of this article with more info as well.

 

He said the medication is the best there is for it, knows of Dr. Fenwick's study in '93 and he thinks we can stop Leah from having the horrendous outcome that usually ends up with horrible open wounds.

 

What medication - the benazepril? That's a commonly used medication for PLN and glomerulonephritis. There is no medication for Alabama rot, which can only be treated symptomatically.

 

If you read the info about Alabama rot, it doesn't "end up" with open wounds. It usually starts with the swelling and open wounds, and only 10-25% progress to kidney involvement.

 

Please consider doing a free online consult with the OSU greyhound program. Here's a link to the Consultation Service. Is your regular vet a board certified cardiologist, or were you referring to 2 different vets? I'd recommend getting a second opinion from an internal medicine specialist.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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Guest MyCody

I can't get this to move down, he is treating her for PLN.

 

JJNG, I am so grateful for all the information, I am going to do he consult, thank you for the site.

 

The more I read about AROT, the more confused I am.

 

The other vet is a traveling vet who does ultrasounds and cardioligy consults at most of the vet offices in the area, very highly respected but I have never spoken to him.

 

Leah does have extreme redness and swelling of her upper gums on the left side of her mouth and now I'm worried about this being a part of it?

Edited by MyCody
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Leah's mom - just read the recent posts. With regard to Holly's journey with PLN, I recall researching and reading that mouth ulcers can be an issue (sorry, don't recall if this is true with all kidney dogs??).

 

Needless to say ulcers or sores can create a very tender mouth which, in turn, makes it difficult to determine if a kidney dog doesn't want to eat because it is feeling yucky or the food (particularly hard kibble) makes chewing no darn fun.

 

Also, with regard to your references to Leah's teeth -- my sweet Holly had gingivitis when I adopted her at age 2-3/4. She had red inflammed gums too. So Holly always had an annual dental and I did my best to get toothpaste into her mouth whenever I could.

 

Hugs to you and Leah.

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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The more I read about AROT, the more confused I am.

 

Now you see why the rest of us are confused by how your vet came up with that diagnosis. Leah's signs just don't seem to fit. So your regular vet is the one who used to work at the Chicago track? Who actually made the diagnosis of Alabama rot - your regular vet or the cardiologist?

 

Leah does have extreme redness and swelling of her upper gums on the left side of her mouth and now I'm worried about this being a part of it?

 

Dental disease and gingivitis are very common in greyhounds. Not something I would connect with Alabama rot. Mouth ulcers can be seen with kidney disease, but usually not until the advanced stages when the kidney values on bloodwork are very high.

 

Honestly, unless your vet can give you a good explanation of why he feels Leah has Alabama rot, I would just forget about that and continue treating her for PLN.

 

Glad you're doing the OSU consult - let us know what they say.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

gtsig3.jpg

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