All Faith’s new meds!

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We spoke to Laura at Massey on Thursday, and had a meeting with Brendon at Patea Vets Friday. All the tests have confirmed Faith has Endocardiosis (degenerative heart disease common in smaller breeds, in her case left Mitral Valve) and Cushing’s Disease which is caused by a benign tumour of the pituitary gland which causes an increase on Cortisol.

We had a good chat with Brendon about the medication benefits and risks, life expectancy and all the terrible detail. The Vetmedin for Endocardiosis was a simple decision, but meds for Cushing’s less so as there are some real risks. On the other hand, so has the Cushing’s Disease and we’d rather be proactive. She has also started on anti-itch meds today as there’s a tangential impact from the Cushing’s to do with her skin, so the itching is chronic!

Over the years Faith  as had a lot of medication and, despite Brendon’s rather hopeful suggestion, she won’t consider Vetmedin a treat. (For Kiwi readers – Tui moment) It’s meant to be taken on an empty stomach but that ain’t gonna happen!! Last night I shoved it down her neck in two bits as it’s quite big for a small dog, and one bit came back out. This morning I tried it, in two bits again, in Brie and she sniffed the cheese to see if it was medicated then ate carefully round it. I got it down her latter on by speed feeding her a cheese slice, some of which had tablet mashed into it. I can see this is going to be quite a trial at 5 or 6 pills a day…

She’s her normal happy self. Massey said to let her set the pace in terms of exercise, but we never exercise her. She chooses to go outside and wander round, and also when to play, how hard, and how long – easy! We’re fine. It’s worrying that she is unwell yet again but we have good vets, good insurance and Tony is with her al day to keep an eye on things. So really, we’re in a very fortunate position.

FAith blood tests july 2017

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My medical (mis)adventures

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This week Dad took me for a 2 hour drive to Massey Veterinary Teaching Hospital for some tests because, well, lots of things really. I travelled in my doggie car seat so I could see out the window and it makes me a much happier passenger. No shaking or anything!

They did an ultrasound of my heart and tummy, and  blood tests, and I peed on Dad while I was still woozy from the sedation. I got spoilt all day by the staff, who think I am cute.

I have an enlarged heart, enlarged liver, a gallstone, collapsing trachea and infected anal glands. Mum and Dad already knew some of this; it goes with my dodgy left eye and two Luxating Patella. The Drs are not sure of the right diagnosis for my heart so have sent for a second opinion from Australia before starting any medication.

Despite all this, I’m my usual happy self so we’re just continuing on as usual. I sleep a lot, play hard in short bursts, and watch food like a hawk. #SituationNormal

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How my family is doing

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Well, things have been tricky around here. Mum is meant to have more surgery but it must wait because she has a totally paralysed vocal cord so her airway isn’t safe. Dad had surgery three days ago for a blocked artery between his heart and groin, and is home and doing well. Mum’s friend Sharon came in at lunchtime every day while Dad was in Waikato so I could go for a pee – I like her and her son because they play with me! I wouldn’t eat any of my biscuits though, so when Dad got home I ate and ate and ate! I miss him when he goes away…

I have (finally) started standing up to the cat a bit. Now that I’m 10 years old Mum said it was time I grew some backbone! This morning I was tucked up between Mum and Dad for warmth and the cat tried to shove her way in. Normally I move straight away but this morning I turned my face from her and stayed where I was. Mum said I was *very* brave because the cat can be awful sometimes.

This is an old photo of me and Dad – I hated that jersey so much Mum had to get rid of it!

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Small dog life

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Mum’s been sick again so hasn’t been able to blog for me. Things have been busy, in a small dog kind of way.

I hate pills; if I need pills they have to be well hidden in food or shoved down my throat. Because Mum’s been very sick she has to take a pill called Creon, which is a pancreatic enzyme to make sure she gets all the possible nutrition from her food. Somehow she dropped one and didn’t realise. Guess what I did? Yep, I ate it (well, most of it)

I spent 2 hours throwing up constantly on the end of the bed at 5am. Mum said there was no point in moving me, it’d just been something else to wash! I went and saw my vet Rebecca and she gave me an injection of pain relief and something to settle my tummy. Mum had to inject me two more times and I’m still taking Prednisone every day. Mum says I’m a little horror…

Winter is here; we had hail yesterday and there’s snow in part of the country that wouldn’t normally have it yet. It’s COLD! Thank goodness all the heaters are on, and Mum’s got a mohair rug on her side of the bed. Right now it’s sunny but cold, so I’m lying in the sun in the back porch.

My friend Zak got sick and died. There’s a photo of us together at the bottom of this post; we didn’t play but were happy to hang out near each other. His Mum, Sandra, is my Mum’s best friend so we all got very sad. She has a new puppy called Bruno. He’s a Malshi – a Maltese Shih Tzu cross. He’s 6 months old and weighs about the same as me. Because he’s little Mum and Sandra hope I learn to play with him when he comes to visit.

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Little Miss Fluffy

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Mum had me groomed pre-Christmas and, now that summer is finally here, my coat is growing – typical! I’m looking very fluffy and my coat is a bit wavy, so I’m looking very cute. Pity I’m also hot again…

I’m having eye problems again. Dad took me to the vet for a routine check-up and Rebecca discovered I’m not making any tears. I’ve been getting drop in my eyes twice a day, which doesn’t thrill me, but my eyes are doing much better now. At this stage Mum and Dad think the eye drops are a long term proposition.

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Christmas Eve 2016

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It’s Christmas Eve here and Mum’s feeling better so she thought she’d update my blog.

  • I’ve been well for quite a while now, except for a sudden vomiting session – the very first time Mum put the new rug she’d been given onto the bed!
  • I got groomed for summer by a professional, because Mum was finding my coat hard to manage, and I love me new look. I’m cool and not as itchy scratchy.
  • The cat has been especially wicked and I’ve been scared of her lately because she attacks me when I go outside for a wee. Mum says I need to harden up and attack back but the cat has *very* sharp ends.
  • Mum’s been sick a lot since early September so I have spent a lot of my time lying on the bed with her keeping her company.
  • My ball skills get better as I get older – I turned 10 recently – and I spend a lot of time practising getting the ball to go in just the right place.
  • I know there’s a couple of presents under the tree for me. One’s from Auntie Ailsa and the other’s from the vets because I am such a good patient.

Have a great woofie (or in my case yappie) day tomorrow everyone.

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Life’s wee dramas

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My Mum has been slack about sharing all my news, so here’s a catch-up. Back in December I had some health dramas but my shoulder healed ok and my lungs etc seemed to be alright once we’d done the x-rays etc.

Dad had his 7th surgery on his leg and it’s doing well. I know not to jump up or trip him, and was a very good girl, I did a good job of looking after him and making sure he rested enough.

I’ve had the occasional tummy problem but about 10 days ago things got really bad. Fortunately, Rebecca could provide pain relief after hours and to get us over the weekend. We tried a new drug for me, Tramadol, and it worked well. It’s a tiny piece of tablet instead of Mum giving me an injection and it didn’t make me too sleepy.

I had a whole bunch of tests and they shaved my tummy – just in time for winter – and did ultrasounds. I have something weird with my gall bladder, scarring from previous pancreatitis, kidney stones and an enlarged abnormal liver.

The next step would be a biopsy, which is invasive and $700+. Mum and Dad are thinking it over because unless it’s going to give us info we can actually do something with it’s a lot to put me through and a lot of money. They think it might be best to just keep managing the pain when I feel unwell because sometimes I go for months with no problems.

So, that’s me. I’m snoring on the mohair rug at the moment; it’s not a bad life!

Quick catch up

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My Mum’s been a slack blogger, so here’s a quick catch up:

  • I have had my summer haircut. Much cooler but Dad says I look like a dork!
  • The cat and I had a BIG wrestling match, rolling in the dust; I hit the garden edge with my shoulder and couldn’t walk properly. Vet visit…
  • At the vet visit my lungs sounded weird, and my heart looked enlarged in the xrays. $500 of tests…and
  • The tests showed I may be developing a heart problem. Watch and wait.
  • I am happy and yappy, and still keeping Dad company while Mum’s at work.