I spoke with Dr. Grear last evening reguarding Zeus’ test results. All of the results are in and they all confirm arthritis. The digital x-rays showed that his arthritis is moderate and they also showed joint lesions and joint degeneration. The joint taps suggest an auto immune desease, but are inconclusive because we cannot get him off of the prednisone for two full weeks (Without prednisone, he cannot walk after 3 days). Because he was off the prednisone for only 24 hours before the joint taps were done, the prednisone masked some of the results. Dr. Grear did say that his blood work was very telling though and there are a few things suggesting auto immune disease. She did not see any damaging sings from the prednisone in his blood work results. The biggest clue that his blood work showed is that his thyroid levels are really low, she said they are on the low side of low. His thyroid has pretty much bottomed out, which would explain whey he has not had much energy and has been sleeping a lot lately. Also, when the thyroid is this low, the body cannot matabolize medication properly, making the medication not as effective as it should be. Dr. Grear wants to run a more detailed blood panel for his thyroid and it should show the autoimmune component that is causing his thyroid to be so low. His appointment for this blood panel is this Saturday at noon. Once she gets these results back, she wants to start him on thyroid medication and re check it in 4-6 weeks. Zeus has been limping for about the last two weeks, even while being on the prednisone. Dr. Grear said that the 20mg a day that he is on, is not enough to supress his immune system and is a really low dose for his size. Before putting him on an immune depressent drug she wants to increase his prednisone to a dose that would fully supress his immune system to see if his lameness goes away completely. She wants to increase his dose to 80mg a day for one week. If the lameness competely goes away then she will be sure that it is the autoimmune disease that is causing all of his symptoms. After a week of the higher dose of prednisone, she will talk to me again and will most likely start him on an immune depressent drug and begin weaning him off the prednisone, hopefully for good. I will post any updates and info as soon as I get get it from the doctor. I will also keep you posted this week about how he is doing on the higher dose of the prednisone.
Zeus had his tests done yesterday! The vet did digital x-rays of his limbs and spine and joint taps on 5 or six of his joints. The joints were tapped with a needle and joint fluid was extracted and sent to the lab, these joints have little patches where his hair was shaved so they could see the joints better while doing the procedure. He looks a little funny with little squares of no hair on his knees, elbows, and wrists! We droped him off in the morning and picked him up around 6pm. He was a little groggy, but was doing well and even ate his dinner around 8pm last night. Dr. Grear said the results should be back within 7 bussiness days and once she gets those, she can begin a treatment plan.
I had a wonderfully generous person contact me a few weeks ago wanting to cover all of Zeus’ medical expences. She did pay for all of the testing he had done yesterday. I don’t know yet how much of his treatments she wants to cover for us. (Treatments include medications and maybe even a stem cell implantation surgery costing $3000. The stem cell procedure lasts about 2-3 years). Once the test results come back, Zeus will be put on medication, if that fails, he will need the stem cell. I don’t know how long the medications will take to see if they are working or not and I don’t know if there are different medications we can try either yet. I am still raising funds for the stem cell until I know for sure that Zeus’ “guardian angel” wants to cover that too if he needs it. I will keep all of you posted and up to date with Zeus’ test results, treatments, and how he is doing.
I can’t believe we were finally able to have these tests done, a few short months ago, they seemed so out of reach…. Thanks to a very giving person, his test are done and we are waiting for the results. Thanks to all of you who have also helped in a big way by contributing, and sharing his fundraising information, we almost have enough for his stem cell surgery if he needs it and we have to use the funds we have raised! If this special person decides to pay for that if Zeus needs it, then the funds you have helped raise will go to help another animal, maybe even more than one who needs it!
Thank you all for your help and concern for our boy Zeus!
A good friend of ours came to our house yesterday to take family photos of my husband and I with our boys. Here are a few that she took with her phone in retro mode. I can’t wait to see the ones she took with her camera! I will post them when I get them, I am sure you will enjoy them!
As you can see by the captions of these photos, our boys have nicknames…… There are many names that they answer to! These nicknames in these captions are my favorite ones. There are many more and some are pretty silly. Do you have nicknames for your dogs? If so, please leave them in a comment, I would love to hear what they are!
Home from our vet appointment that Zeus had this morning…. We really like this Doctor, she is very knowledgable in the genetic disorder that Zeus has and she feels she can help him. She sent us home with two medications and we are taking Zeus back on Thursday for his tests. Yay! The Dr already has a few treatment plans in mind depending on what the tests show. So glad we found her, I really think she is wanting to do what is best for Zeus! Now, we just have to wait until Thursday…..
My husband Craig and I are taking Zeus to a vet in Flatrock today for another opinion…. His appointment is at 10 am and the doctor will be giving him an exam and her opinion on what treatments would work best for him. We are hoping to start a test and treatment plan soon, although I am really worried about taking him off the Prednisone. I hope we like this doctor and her treatment options for Zeus (this doctor had a dog of her own with this same rare genetic dissorder except it was more severe than Zeus’)….. I will be glad when we can get him on his way to being a healthy boy again….. Thanks everyone who pitched in to make this possible! I will post an update when we get home to let everyone know how it went and what she said.
Zeus was so tired after his big day at his event on Sunday, August 26th….. He slept for the rest of the day and night once we got home except for getting up to eat his dinner and go potty. He had a great time and really enjoyed seeing everyone who came to show their support for him. Although he had such a great time, I think all the excitement was a bit too much for him. By Monday, the day after the event, he was limping a bit again. I increased his Prednisone dose Monday night and that seemed to help. I just increased the one dose and that seemed to do the trick… He is walking better now! This weekend, a friend of mine, who is a photographer, will be coming to take photos of Zeus, Lucky, my husband Craig, and I. I will post them when I get them back as I am sure you will enjoy them. Also, on September 8th, Zeus has an appointment with a new dr. This Dr. had a dog who had this same rare genetic disorder as Zeus, except her dog had a more severe case and had it in every joint instead of just the joints in the limbs like Zeus has. I am hopeful that she can give me more information and come up with a treatment plan of some kind. I am aslo hoping to get the ball rolling with his testing so we can start weaning him off of the prednisone. He is starting to get some muscle deteriation, which is from the prednisone. I am really interested in what this doctor has to say and her knowledge in this area. I will post updates as soon as I can! I have started back to school again at Schoolcraft, I am working towards a degree in nursing and I am also still working, so my time is limited. But I will do my best to get all updates posted on my blog for all of you who are concerned about Zeus in a timely mannor. We are still excepting donations to help pay for Zeus’ medical treatment, if you would like to help, show your support, and make a donation, please visit our donation website (there is a link for it on my blog page).