Zeus' Health

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by MaryK, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. MaryK Honored Member

    As many readers here will know my Golden Oldie Zeus suffers from Cushings and last year gave us all a big fright by nearly dying from a urinary infection, common to dogs with Cushings. That he recovered is a miracle and thanks to the unending care of my vets. Three days in hospital, with me feeding him by hand, loads of love of course and my vet's skill saw the boy back, healthy and his usual bonny self.

    He's been fine since. O.K. back legs are a bit wonky now, due to Cushings and Arthritis, but he's a gutsy, stoic dog who takes everything in his stride, albeit a bit of a wobbly one. He's going in for Acupuncture and massage, but latest development is holding that up a little.

    Three weeks ago took in his routine urinary sample and yes, once more the infection was back, but this time it was very mild. And his over all health was very good. Two weeks on medication and due for his urinary test on Wednesday this week. All seemed well.

    However last week (Monday) his stool had white 'rice grains' in it. So off to the vets with a sample which had to be sent to a lab for testing. The lab took five days to find a result, and I had rang the vets three times as I was very worried. Thought by friends to be tapeworm - gross! As white grains of rice looking things are usually caused by them, though I've never had a worm problem with any of my dogs despite this area (and apparently the entire Adelaide area) being run alive with rats.

    Finally, after threatening to cancel the test, got a result back very late Saturday morning, actually early afternoon and the results were NEGATIVE TO ALL PARASITE INFECTIONS!!!!!!!!! They had tested for over 20 parasite types - so a thorough test was made despite the dreadfully long wait.

    No tapeworm or any other form of worm/parasite. Now the stools are being sent to the Pathology Department of Adelaide University on Tuesday, it's another blasted long week end here, for further tests. What for I have no idea!!!!!!! His vet Kyle and others at the clinic have no idea what the white 'things' are and she's worked as a volunteer in Thailand with street dogs, so has pretty much 'seen it all'. They do look, best I can describe them, like grains of rice which move!! Totally gross. Plus he has a very itchy anus area, by the sound of his ablutions anyway!

    In the meantime, my normally easy going eat anything boy has been off his food. This has me more worried than the white things in his stool, as last time he went off his food he ended up almost dying!

    Do not want to take him to the ER as all they'll do is a quick fix and advise taking him to his normal vet. Which, of course, I cannot do until they re-open on Tuesday. I've checked his vitals, color of inner lips etc. and they appear to be O.K.

    But am worried, needless to say, as not eating isn't at all normal for Zeus. I've cooked his food, raw Kangaroo meat, because again long week end, the place where we buy his organic Chicken Casserole was out and not re-stocking until they open on Tuesday (tomorrow my time) but he had to be encouraged to eat the cooked meat.

    Please keep him in your thoughts, prayers what ever you're comfortable with, yet again. I know he's an old boy and already has Cushings but..........I don't need to say more do I?

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    I'm so sorry to hear that Zeus isn't doing well. I hope he pulls through this. He's in my prayers.:)
    MaryK likes this.
  3. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you Danielle:) Means a lot, as I know you're dealing with your own Golden Oldie Chase, who is in my prayers, you both are actually.:)

    I'm probably just being a 'worried Mom':rolleyes:
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  4. southerngirl Honored Member

    Thank you. We had planned on taking Chase to the Vet Saturday to ask the Vets opinion and go from there, but something came up.
    I'm hoping that you are just being a 'worried mom' than it'll mean Zeus is just fine and having an off week like oldies do at times.:)
    MaryK likes this.
  5. MaryK Honored Member

    It obviously wasn't Chases' time, he'll tell you. How he is?

    Thank you again Danielle, you're a real comfort to me.:) Yes probably Zeus is having an off week like oldies do at times.:) Partner is out now, scouring the town for chicken, cooked, uncooked any kind of chicken for Zeus to see if that will tempt his appetite.
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  6. running_dog Honored Member

    Sorry to hear Zeus isn't so well, will be thinking of you both.
    MaryK likes this.
  7. southerngirl Honored Member

    He cries a lot and growls. When he runs it's side ways because his back legs are so bad. My brother has to hold him up to eat because he can't stand for that long and reuses to eats sitting or lying down. Going to take him on a very slow short walk today.

    Good luck on finding chicken for Zeus.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Sorry to hear about Zeus, Mary... You both are in my thoughts and prayers, hope he pulls through and is just having an 'Oldie off spell'
    MaryK likes this.
  9. MaryK Honored Member

    Poor baby:( Maybe your could see your vet and ask for Tramadol. It's a pain killer with no nasty side effects and Zeus is now on it prior to having acupuncture (see my update after). The only small side effects maybe a bit 'spacey' and a slight loss of appetite, but no nasty ones, like damage to a vital organ etc. Zeus has only had two and I can see an improvement, for example, when he urinates he was just holding his leg back but this morning he lifted it off the ground - not a 'boy leg cock' but at least of the ground. Fortunately Zeus will eat laying down, he did last night, but this morning stood up for his breakfast.

    Good idea to take Chase for a short slow walk, I do this daily with Zeus, as Chases' muscles need that gentle exercise it does help to keep them moving, albeit slowly. Sasha's Blend is also very good for arthritic dogs. Zeus cannot go on anything because of the wretched Cushings, but I know people who have used it with grand results. I don't think it's overly expensive either, just not sure if it's available in the States.

    Yes, partner did find chicken, albeit an All Natural Chicken Roll with Veggies and Pasta, slow cooked and hand made!!!!!!!!!! Problem resolved there, as Zeus likes it and more importantly can eat it!:)
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  10. MaryK Honored Member

    Yesterday took in Zeus' urine sample. Unfortunately, as I suspected, the infection hasn't gone away, damned Cushings is the culprit it basically wipes out a dog's immune system. So, he's now on another different stronger type of anti-biotics, not full strength as Kyle doesn't want to over load/dose his system unless it's at the 'critical' point. She's very conscious of over dosing and very careful, consults with other vets etc. This medication is obtained over the counter from a chemists, Kyle wrote out the prescription and also one for the Tramadol, and we had to go and get it filled at the chemists. It's for six weeks this time but I have to take in a urine sample in 10/14 days time to see if it's working or otherwise. At Kyle's suggestion am taking it in on Friday 27th when Leaf goes in for all her injections.

    The 'white' things! Not too impressed with the lab, who's results came back negative to all parasites because when Kyle contacted the Prof of the Pathology Department at Adelaide University, he immediately diagnosed the 'white things' as Tapeworm!!!!!!!!!! Why couldn't the lab do that? O.K. no use bitching about it, though not impressed:mad:.

    So, it is tapeworm, I am so embarrassed, never had this problem before nor with fleas. But as Kyle said, with all the rats in the area it's a wonder my dogs are not run alive with fleas and are only flea free because I'm so vigilant. But, takes just one flea to jump on the dog and if it's carrying the lavea for tapeworms, that does it! Both dogs have had a tapeworm all wormer tablet. And unfortunately will have to have a dose every three months while we live in this awful area. But at least we know what we're dealing with now, instead of just wondering what the 'heck'. Thanks to my vet's care and the Prof(n)!

    Zeus is also now on a painkiller Tramadol for his arthritis. He's not able to have any form of arthritis medication, due to Cushings (Oh what an awful disease), but once we've got the pain under control, then he can go in for acupuncture. Kyle explained with dogs they need to be relatively pain free (unlike humans) for the acupuncture/massage treatment. Pleased to say that, once I'd persuaded him to get up he is managing a little better this morning. Actually lifted his hind leg off the ground, rather than just placing it back, not the full 'boy leg cock' but off the ground which is grand, saves his urine running onto his paws and me having to clean them.

    Kyle did discuss the 'final curtain' but wants to give him at least two months before we discuss that in depth, as she's seen and knows how Zeus can pull through the worst of worst illnesses. I admit to having a wee cry when I went to bed but pulled myself together, better be happy and positive, after all laughter is the best medicine and Zeus is so in tune with me I have to stay positive and upbeat!

    Leaf went in for a social visit, they love dogs doing that, but also had a wee examination - off the record type:)

    Her allergy, contrary to expectations, hasn't gone with the passing of Spring/Summer but is, if possible and despite her much hated weekly baths, getting worse. Kyle was very concerned and said that to the surprise of all vets there is a resurrection of Scabia (sorry not sure of spelling) an 'old' problem all thought was gone. She didn't want to do a scraping then, as it's not very pleasant for the dog, but now ALL the animals have to be on Revolution (I was using Frontline) because it kills not only the usual suspects, but works on killing the mites buried under the skin which cause Scabia and other such nasties. Hopefully we'll see an improvement today, not much if any last night, but guess it has got to be given time to work it's magic. Leaf will be further assessed when she goes in for her formal visit on Friday 27th. Her coat though is still fine, just the scratching and a red rash on her tum. Poor love, please let Revolution be the answer. And of course, ALL animals will have to stay on Revolution while we're here.

    Cats! Gotta take both in for a weigh in because my scales broke ages ago and never replaced them. Vet's are gonna need a lot o' luck, HRH Bites and Maeve Nips! My partner can do the dirty deed with the Revolution, as he does with the Frontline, because he can hold them better than I can and they even hate that being applied. Prima Donnas:rolleyes:
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  11. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you:) I've just updated on his health. Am thinking, get the infection cleared, ease the pain with the Arthritis so he can have acpuncture/massge, clear the tapeworms (so embarrassed) and he'll go on for a while yet. Gotta stay upbeat and positive I'm not kidding when I say Zeus is so in tune with me, he's always been affected by my moods.
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  12. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you:) Yes I think pain is a big factor. As I've said, clear the wretched infection, tapeworms (still so embarrassed over them) and ease his pain so he can have acupuncture/massage for his arthritis and well, the 'senior moments' may well lessen. He's a bit 'spacey' at times but we can deal with that!:)
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  13. MaryK Honored Member

    Just have to add. Leaf is an amazing little girl for, despite her very young age and desire to play, she totally respects Zeus is a mature Gentledog and cannot play with her. She's amazing, stands back for him to walk by and well is generally a perfect little considerate girl to her older and much loved Big Bro Zeus! It's like she totally understands what's happening and is helping all she can!:)
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  14. southerngirl Honored Member

    I'm glad to hear that everything under control know. Zeus is a real trooper, I really hope he pulls through all this.
    You have every right to be upset at the lab. That's ridiculous that they didn't figure out that Zeus had tapeworms.
    Poor Leaf I hope the Revolution works.

    Have fun with the cats.:cautious::giggle:
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  15. southerngirl Honored Member

    I would love to be able to get pain killers for him, but my mom really just doesn't have the money for them. And my mom just can't afford the food either. I just think it's his time, he's not the same dog really. He used to be the most patient laid back dog, but know he's always agitated. He doesn't like Piper anymore because with his movement being impaired, he feels vulnerable around her. And for some odd reason he Hates my little brother now, whenever he walks into a room Chase charges at him barking. Chase even bit him. In the end Chase just has too many problems(legs, eyes, ears, mind) for him to be comfortable. Even with pain killers he would still not have much control over his back legs and he would still get lost in corners. He's just not very happy anymore. Poor old boy barley ever wags his tail anymore.:(

    I'm sorry to hear that Zeus's Cushings is such a burden on him and you. I hate that because of it his life is harder and possibly shorter because of it.:(
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  16. Pawbla Experienced Member

    I hope he's 100% back up again soon! It's hard living with an illness :(
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  17. MaryK Honored Member

    I understand Danielle:) Tramadol isn't that expensive but it all adds up, I know we've spent deposit on our own home on Rakins and Zeus. It's so hard to meet the expenses that's for sure. And I know you understand Chase, and know how much HE can take, which is the important thing - The Dog's Prayer of course.

    Sadly, it does sound like he's ready to cross. I know just how hard it is and I'm not going to pretend it's easy, but when a doggy isn't himself any more, is biting (due to pain undoubtedly) and just 'wants to be alone' when he's always been used too and surrounded by everyone, that's a massive character change! Money cannot buy back health when it's time, so please remember that, it's not just money it's quality of life and it does sound like wee Chase has lost his. No tail wagging, that's so sad, he's telling you it's time. My offer to you still stands, I'm here for you.:)

    Cushings is one of those dreadful dis-eases for which there isn't any cure, only a 'holding pattern'. It basically destroys the dog's immune system, making them vunerable to infections, especially urinary ones, as the kidneys are the first organ to go. In some cases it can be operated one, very, very few and NO guarantees of success. In fact, even a specialist like the owner of my vet's surgery will not operate on Zeus. And yes, one of the awful things is that it does shorten the dog's life - due to the breakdown in the immune system. But we soldier on and I have wonderful a vet and my partner also deserves a mention for the amount he's paid out in bills.
  18. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you:) It is hard, especially as there's no cure and cushings breaks down the dog's immune system, leaving them open to other infections.:( Zeus is showing some improvement today though, thank goodness. I think the Tramadol are working, as he's definitely easier with his movements. We can only stay positive, pray and keep healing vibes going to him.
  19. Pawbla Experienced Member

    It's an awful disease... I don't know any other dogs that suffer from it, but I've seen it in humans. It's terrible! I've heard stress influences a lot on it, so keeping a positive attitude will help a speedy recovery!
    MaryK likes this.
  20. MaryK Honored Member

    You're so right Danielle!:) Zeus is a real trooper that's for sure! Everyone thought he was dying last time and he pulled through!:) He's definitely easier in his movements today. Got up - eventually o.k. it's hard in the mornings when you're not up to par - ate a hearty breakfast, standing up too!!!!!!!! Then snoozed, well he's an oldie so snoozes are fine, then after I came back with Leaf from her Hour Power Walk, Zeus amazed me! I just turned my back for a few seconds to hang up Leaf's lead and get Zeus' lead and he was UP ON ALL FOUR PAWS!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!! First time he's done that for a while - and of course barking his delight at going out!!!!!!!!! So big improvement there!!! And he can poop now without falling over! Just hoping this wretched infection clears this time, that's really now the biggest concern.

    So far no bill for the test! Yes, I was polite but said to my vets that I wasn't impressed with the lab(not my vet's fault of course) but honestly, there were the 'white rice grains' in his poop - no microscope or even test needed - and the Lab couldn't get it right!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Leaf seems to be easier, early days, as I am guessing it does take a little time to kill of the mites or whatever.

    Danielle, it's the poor vets who'll need all the help they can get when my sybaritic, none too cooperative ladies visit. The vets are showing a brave face now - ummm wonder if they'll look so brave afterwards!!!!!!!!!:giggle::rolleyes::oops::eek::cautious:
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