Nodular Panniculitis, Auto Immune Disease

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by stdpoodad, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    This is just an FYI post, Seamus is pretty balanced now (after years of fiddling with meds)
    if you have questions about this, or if your dog is just being lethargic, have him/her checked for Nodular Panniculitis! It's not a common disease, my vet didn't know about it.

    Seamus is 7 1/2 now. When he was about a year old, I was in at an agility trial about 300 miles away. Seamus wasn't running, I take photographs.

    I got back to the hotel with my sister and our 5 dogs, Seamus didn't eat or drink. He was very lethargic. We drove back home so I could take him to my vets.

    I took him in, she did blood tests. Nothing was really sticking out, she gave me antibiotics for him. This was a Monday. I made an appt to take him to a town 120 miles away for an ultrasound by a specialist on Wednesday.
    However, Tuesday morning he was worse, so I took him back to the vets. She examined him and told me that another day was too long, we needed to find out right then what was wrong, so he went in for exploratory surgery. His spleen was enlarged, but nothing looked really wrong.
    My vet also does acupuncture, this was in the summer so I didn't have school. Seamus and I spent the next 2 or 3 days in an acupuncture room, he was sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
    Without going into details, the next 2 weeks were hell! I was running an IV at home, night and day. After a few days I'd take him for short walks around my cul de sac. I'd walk slowly beside him as I was wheeling his IV pole. All I can say is after those 2 weeks, I could almost be a vet tech.

    After he recovered from his surgery, he still wasn't well. I was able to drive him to the internal med specialist who does the ultrasounds. He examined Seamus, did some research, and came up with a diagnosis of Nodular Panniculitis. Literally, inflammation of the Nodules, he gets bumps on his skin (it's a dermatological disease), they sometimes get inflamed.

    The specialist put him on Pred. At first it was a fairly high dose to knock the infection down, then I had to spend a few months tapering.

    After *years* of finagling, here is what he takes for meds now.

    Prednisilone (7.5 mg's every other day_
    Milk thistle (to support liver because of the pred)
    Niacinimide (to support liver because of the pred)
    sameE (to support liver because of the pred)

    EPA 360
    Vitamin E

    Soloxine (he also has thyroid issues)

    Metronizadole (every other day, when he doesn't do Pred) for digestive issues.

    Ester-C (for hip dysplasia) He showed symptoms once years ago, she x-rayed him, but nothing since then.

    I *think* that's all he takes. He takes several multiples, morning and night, so winds up taking about 12-14 pills daily. He's really good, I just tell him "treats", he runs into the kitchen and sits. I give him a pill with a treat chaser.

    Despite all of the procedures he's had at the vets, that is still one of his favorite places to go. In fact, I took him yesterday (we didn't have school), just for a special treat.

    My agility pictures...

  2. running_dog Honored Member

    Interesting and helpful to know. Thanks for posting.
    I hate the nebulous lethargy sort of illnesses.
  3. running_dog Honored Member

    I've been wondering about milk thistle for Zac because he has liver/bile duct problems and he takes ursodeoxycholic acid which (on the vets recommendation) we are trying to cut back on, the problem is I just can't see us ever getting Zac to be well on less than half a tablet a day (he started on 150mg and he's now on 3/4 of a tablet mot days and occasional days he has half).

    Did your vet recommend milk thistle to you or was it something you decided to use with Seamus?
  4. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    My vet recommended milk thistle, but I also did research on it. I just read an article yesterday (I'll try and find the link), that suggests that all dogs should be on milk thistle.
    I give Seamus 3- 150 mg tabs daily. I've also given him liquid, but he seems to be doing well on the tablets.
  5. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

  6. running_dog Honored Member


    The article is very interesting. All being well I will read up some more so I know what I'm talking about and then ask Zac's vet about milk thistle next time we are there (hopefully not until he needs a check up though).

    It's frustrating that so many people (especially the medical world) are terrified of herbal remedies and seem convinced they'll kill our dogs (or us). But then there are other people who say a particular herbal remedy is fantastic. Hard to know who to believe so it is nice to find real people who have tried things out (y)
  7. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    My vet is great! She does acupuncture, chiropractic, and chinese medicince as well as conventional.

    When Teaghan was about 4 months old, she had a raging bladder infection. Peeing in the house, etc.

    I took her to the vets. Most the time, antibiotics are used for a bladder infection.

    My vet told me to use something called D-Mannose. It's an inexpensive, simple, natural sugar. It cleared up her UTI in a couple of days. I always have D Mannose on hand just in case.
    As you can see from the reviews, it's mostly used for UTI's in people; with amazing results. mannose#customerReviews
    running_dog likes this.
  8. running_dog Honored Member

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  9. running_dog Honored Member

    Zac had his trip to the vet and I asked about the milk thistle. It took the vet about half an hour (while the waiting room filled up :rolleyes:) to say that he thought milk thistle was worth trying with Zac. The half hour was mostly about the vet explaining that he's happy with homeopathic remedies as a support to normal medication and how he thinks acupuncture theory is ridiculous but something about acupuncture works so he uses it a lot. It was quite an entertaining conversation :LOL:

    I'll see about getting Zac some milk thistle of an appropriate dosage, it'll be interesting to see if it helps.
    stdpoodad likes this.
  10. stdpoodad Well-Known Member

    Milk thistle is, in my experience, excellent. There are a couple other herbs to support the liver, but I'm not remembering the names right now. Probably best to start with milk thistle. I'm glad that your vet (even if skeptical), is open to trying other remedies.
    The biggest miracle "cure" that I've run across is the D Mannose for a Bladder infection. I would urge to to look it up, look at Amazon reviews and others. The stuff was amazing for Teaghan's UTI, it fixed it within a couple days with no harsh medicines with potential side effects. I'd be interested to know what your vet thinks about it, or if he's heard about D Mannose.

    One thing I slightly disagree with is this part..." vet explaining that he's happy with homeopathic remedies as a support to normal medication"
    It sounds like anything outside the realm of Prescription meds is, according to him, "homeopathic" Milk thistle isn't homeopathic. It's simply using something natural to treat a malady. In my experience, there is no need to "support" normal medication. In other words, if something like Milk thistle or D mannose does the job, why do you need anything else?
    Does Zac get regular bloodwork to check his liver/bile duct problems? Has your vet considered having him just on milk thistle for a while, then checking his blood levels?
  11. running_dog Honored Member

    To be fair to the vet "homeopathic" was my description (as I didn't want to have to describe the entire half hour conversation), you are right it was a sloppy choice of term on my part. The vet actually was saying that he did not like the use of the term "alternative medicine" he would much rather it was described as "complementary medicine". He was not really sceptical, he described various situations where if people came in and said they used a particular natural remedy it would have sounded silly to vets in the past but the reality is that now drug companies are extracting active ingredients from these same remedies and marketing them. I think he used the example of oysters or some other shellfish, I might be wrong and I can't remember what they were a remedy for... it was a long conversation! He also pointed out that cod liver oil was used as a natural remedy for arthritis long before anyone knew it contained omega 3.

    He used the example of acupuncture and quoted a study in the USA where they looked at dogs with ear infections and treated some with acupuncture, some with antibiotics and some with both. He said the dogs that did by far the best were those which had both acupuncture and antibiotics. However I do agree with you that there are some natural remedies that do the job without the aid of standard medication or even do a job that standard medication has no answer to. But I didn't think it was worth arguing with him over it, he is a very good vet who puts the comfort of the animals before his scientific convictions so I'm confident that given time and a few living examples he will come round more to our way of thinking. He also said people who are disappointed with alternative/complementary medicine often don't give it enough time to work so to be sure to give milk thistle a fair chance over several weeks (from my experience the effects of milk thistle can be felt within days but I don't know how Zac will respond so I'll wait until the next time I see the vet to tell him).

    In Zac's case, the vet is keen for me to cut back on the dosage of the tablets he's prescribing but I find Zac gets ill if I cut down to below 3/4 of a tablet a day. There is no way I would stop them and just try milk thistle because once he has a severe attack it can take months for the damage to heal up properly inside him - and until it heals up he is more likely to have another attack which makes it a nasty downward spiral. The vet suggested starting Zac on milk thistle and then trying to cut back on the tablets again. That seems logical to me. I don't get regular bloodwork done for Zac, I can't really afford it and also Zac gets really stressed by the vets so his blood tests are a bit weird anyway.
    stdpoodad likes this.

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