My 10 year old girl is hitting the wall of problems. I know that with age, comes the risk for more health problems and we're now staring down several. I've searched the threads for more information, and hoped that putting it all together would help me and I know that members here have a wealth of experience as well.
In late May, she was having loose stools (things had never been "good and firm" since she had been on Blue Buffalo, but at the time she had been vomiting her previous food and it was the only one she would eat, so I kept her on it).
We had a checkup with our regular vet (#1) to check the stool. As a precaution, she was prescribed flagyl until the fecal exam came back. I also had a them run a urinalysis from a free catch sample as a precaution (her urine looked darker, but no other symptoms). During the exam a cataract was discovered. However, because of a likely cancerous mass, we were referred first to a local surgeon and told to deal with the cataract later. At the meeting the morning of the surgery, the local surgeon referred us to a teaching hospital because of the location of the mass.
In the meantime, the fecal came back negative for parasites and bacteria, but no change in the poop...everything from liquid to formed but too soft to pick up. So we upped the flagyl. The urinalysis showed blood and bacteria, so we had a sterile sample drawn from her bladder during the cancer surgery. The mass was removed and, although they did not get a clean margin, it is a slow growing tumor and we are doing monthly checks for regrowth instead of chemo or radiation. They also submitted another fecal. The results of the fecal were all negative and the urinalysis showed some elevated numbers, but "not enough to worry about" at the time.
In discussions with the oncologist, he suggested we see a dermatologist because of her more atypical allergic reactions and general history. He was thinking autoimmune disorder.
The loose stools continued so we got a second opinion (vet #2) who suggested we drop the flagyl and started us on probiotics. We had a slight improvement for 2 days and then right back where we were.
We recently had a check for a vaginal discharge, recheck the stool, free catch urinalysis and then vet #1 referred us to have her blood pressure checked. Free catch shows high protein. The vet (#3) we were referred to did a sterile draw and also checked the blood pressure which was about 150 (?) and they want to do it again when she's calmer. Friday afternoon I learned the urinalysis protein/creatinine ratio was 1.8, but they gave me no more information except they think it is glomerulonephritis. Vet #1 said if it's kidney disease I will need a referral, but the Vet #3 said I didn't need one and they could prescribe medications.
We're addressing the loose stools now as a food intolerance and she's been on a new diet for two weeks now and we do have improvement. Maybe 70% normal. If no permanent improvement, we'll look at digestive enzymes, etc.
Past history....She's had allergies problems since she was a few months old - not just itching & breakouts, at times her feet were so swollen the pads would start to peel away from her toes. Vet #1 has always handled this problem. Around two, she started allergy shots and within a year, combined with steroids and antihistamines, she began to have a real quality of life. (I cannot afford Atopica and she has had to remain on a low dose maintenance steroid.)
A few years ago, her thyroid was tested. In order to show a reading on the thyroid panel, we worked up to 3 times the basic dose and she hit the lowest reading. Unfortunately, this sent her allergies into overdrive and I was having to increase the prednisone so much that she was miserable. I opted to taper her off the thyroid medication.
Around the same time she had ACL surgery and during recovery, her skin infection finally cleared up. We tried rounds of antibiotics, but she would have a skin infection within a few days - so she's on a maintenance antibiotic too.
I feel like the priority is the kidneys since the cancer care is a monthly lump check. Even though it's a drive, I want everything to be going on at the teaching hospital. At least that way, the oncologist, dermatologist and internal medicine doctors are in the same building and can/will freely talk to each other. Of course, everyone's off for the holiday weekend, so I'm stuck waiting until Tuesday for phone calls to be returned.
I can't change any decisions I've made in the past, but each decision was made with love and with her in mind.
If you've read this far you are incredible!.....Anything I should be asking about as we head forward?