Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: North Carolina
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A snotty mess.... what's going on?
I'm writing this mostly to vent... but if anyone has any ideas as to what could be going on, feel free to chime in! Warning, this is going to be a LONG one!
Jersey, who has always been a very healthy boy, has recently had a string of issues that we can't seem to pin down. This started back in October. At the time, I noticed that his eyes were tearing quite a bit and seemed to be irritated (one more than the other... I think it was his right eye that was worse, but I don't even remember at this point and I don't think it's relevant). He was also having these MONSTER sneezes... where he shakes his head 5 or 6 times while it's still going on. I tried giving him some Benedryl which seemed to help but didn't solve the problem. So I brought him to the vet to get things checked out. His eye pressures were normal. The stain test showed no tears in his cornea. We felt pretty strongly that it was being caused by some sort of allergy. Jersey has shown some very mild seasonal allergies... usually a little sneezing, maybe an episode or 2 of reverse sneezing, usually for about a week in early spring. Though this didn't follow his usual pattern at all.... the pollen levels were really high at the time after absolutely no "winter" last year and a very mild fall up until that point. The vet prescribed a steroid eye drop and told me to give it to him for a week. They cleared up wonderfully within the first few days. While we were in for that checkup, the vet found a cracked tooth and a lump -- both of which she recommended removing (the lump cytology came back as a probable basal cell tumor with signs of inflammation). We scheduled that appointment for mid-December.
So about 1 week after finishing the eye drops, his problem came right back. I gave it a few days, and when it was clear it wasn't going to resolve on its own we went back to the vet. Did a quick check on his tear production, which was normal. Still leaning toward allergies, she prescribed Temaril P -- a combination of prednisone and an antihistamine. Gave it to him over the course of 10 days or so (it was a tapered dose), finishing about 4 days before his scheduled procedure. Everything cleared up beautifully. We went in to the vet on the big day... and his lump was gone. The vet tech had asked me to help her find it so she could get him shaved. After 30 minutes, I was late to work and had to give up looking. The vet couldn't find it either... not with him standing on the floor, lying on the table, or sedated. We think the steroid cleared up the inflammation and what is remaining is either too small to find or was able to be processed by the body. So they went ahead and removed the offending tooth. It showed some signs of beginning to get infected so they put him on an antibiotic for 1 week. I had to put his food through the blender for about 2 weeks and wet it down so it was like eating soft food. All went well.
About 4 days after the procedure, I started noticing that Jersey was getting a bit... well... snotty. It was subtle at first. The discharge was clear, but he just seemed to have more of it than usual. This got progressively worse over the next week to week and 1/2 and the monster sneezes came back. I felt that he was perhaps inhaling some of his food (it kept getting stuck in the corners of the bowl and he was really digging in with everything he had to get to it). I stopped the soft feeding about 2 days early as his mouth looked well healed and the stitches looked to have dissolved. I had hoped that the problem would go away when he was back to normal feedings but it didn't. I tried Benedryl, which again seemed to help but only a little. After a couple of days we went back to the vet again. We decided to treat with 2 antibiotics (cipro and amoxitabs) since the tooth had showed some signs of infection (it was a deep rooted top tooth that could have affected the sinuses) and a steroid could be dangerous if that were the problem. I also gave him a low dose of Benedryl for the first couple of days to try to hit all angles, but stopped that after day 3. About 1 week in he looked GREAT! Had more energy than he's had in a while, bright and clear in eyes and nose. He was back to being my overgrown puppy. Unfortunately, about 3 days before he finished the round of antibiotics, the problem started to come back.
So we went back to the vet again. Since the problem was going on while he was still taking meds, we felt pretty confident we were safe to give the Temaril P another shot. He did great for the first few days (while getting it 2x per day), sniffled a bit when we went down to once per day and is now a mess having just finished the last few days of every other day. The monster sneezes came back and just last night his eyes started to get irritated again too. So now, for the first time, he has both problems at once.
I'm at a loss here. The problem doesn't improve when we hit below freezing (which sort of makes outdoor allergies seem unrealistic) or when we travel for the weekend (which leads me to believe it's not something in my house). Everything we try seems to work at first but then the problem comes right back.... which only confuses me more. Why would they all seem to work at first? If they are working, why is it coming back before we finish the meds? We are scheduled to go back to the vet again this Friday. I'm afraid that our only next step is to do a scope... though the vet really doesn't seem to think this is a growth or tumor. But it's the only way to rule that out, I guess. We have been to the vet almost as many times in the last 5 months as we have been in the past 7 years and I'm getting frustrated and hate seeing him feel crummy. The poor boy can barely breathe through his nose... he frequently compensates by breathing in through his mouth and out through his nose, making these sad little snot bubbles. He's still chipper and playful, though maybe slightly less than usual. It's been so long since I've seen him "normal" that I'm having a hard time discerning how badly he may actually be feeling. In short, it stinks.
Anyway, like I said... most of this is just me needing to vent a bit but I more than welcome any suggestions or sharing of similar experiences. Really hoping we get to the bottom of this soon. Thanks for listening.
Julie, Jersey and Oz
MACH Ambika's No Place Like Home CDX, JH, MX, MXB, MXJ, MJB, CCA, VCX, CGC/TDI (Jersey)
Oz The Great and Powerful CGC, TDI (Ozzie)
Lakota's Sailor Can't Hold His Licker (Banyan)
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