I have some slivers of progress to report, and while some things are a bit worse, a few things have improved. A long conversation with Dr. Karen yesterday gave me framework for where we are within the progression/treatment of the disease, and while I didn't love everything she had to say, there is value in knowledge, and I gained a fair bit yesterday.
- Last night Ty had a good rest. He was not up and down, panting and pacing, like he had been the night before. This meant I slept, too, and I sure needed it.
- Late yesterday afternoon the panting was a bit less, and he had extended periods of breathing through his nasal passages that were clear, and free of gurgling and whistling.
- There are no new mouth lesions in the last 24 hours, which is the best news I have to report this morning. There is no question any halt in progression is a very good sign, and we are holding onto the 'good' in that.
- His spirits are up, though I see that he is not his usual self, the happy dog is still will us. This tells me he wants to fight on.
- NO eye discharge in 24 hours!
- No blood in the stool in the last 24 hours. He has had very good stools through it all, and while we did see some blood day before yesterday, it appears to have been a 'one off' thing.
- Nasal passages are a bit more clogged this morning, but I could *almost* put this on the 'good' list, because I *think* the clogged passages might be the formation of more solid discharge vs. oozing, which might indicate some healing of the lesions. I'm really guessing here, but this is my take (hope?).
- A slight recession of his eyes. While very slight, it draws the inner lid up a bit. I understand this can be a product of the medications vs. the disease, but until I better understand what's going on, I'm putting this on the 'bad' list, though it may not be a precursor of anything bad, but rather part of the process.
- He is slow to respond to the medications, which indicates the disease has a pretty significant head-start.
- He is occasionally refusing to jump up on the sofa, into the car or up on the bed, and appears to have a bit of rear-end weakness. I'm not sure what to think of this, and it could be a by-product of many things. For now, I'm not forming any opinions, just making observations.
My call with Dr. Karen yesterday was informative, and sobering. She told us that some dogs start to respond to treatment right away, and others take a bit of time. She prefers to have medications on board for a full 6-8 days before drawing any conclusion, but at that time expects to see stabilization, at a minimum, and preferably progress. The current symptom re-emergence put us about 4 days behind the 8-ball, so we have some catching up to do, and she noted that yesterday
Because Ty's system is so suppressed by the medications, Dr. Karen put him on Baytril yesterday, and he had his first dose last night. He had been through a course of Cephalexin, which we finished a few days ago, but concerned about secondary infection, she chose to put him on the Baytril. I'm past the point of challenging her. The goal is to stop the progression of the disease, and keep any secondary infections at bay. We can re-build him when he stabilizes, but if he doesn't stabilize, all the re-building in the world won't amount to a hill of beans, and his situation is precarious right now.
Dr. Karen inferred that his prospects would not look good if we could not stop the disease progression in the next 4-5 days. Dr. Leslie, Ty's homeopathic vet, inferred the same thing. In her words, "this is an aggressive auto-immune disease...we are walking a fine line, with few options."
Both Dr. Karen and Dr. Leslie are in agreement with one another. This does help, in some way, as I don't question an 'either/or' strategy. They both see the current path as the right one, which takes some of the guess work out for me.
Yesterday was a hard day, and I cried a lot. Talking to Dr. Karen, while sobering, in terms of what we are facing, was informative, and gives me something to work within. I think that helps.
As an aside, I have gotten several private emails from folks who are following Ty's story because they are facing auto-immune challenges with their own dog, and they report the updates give them some hope, and a connection to someone facing the same thing with a beloved dog. For me, that's enough to keep it up.
Thank you, again, for all the support. It helps...a lot. I thank you. Cliff thanks you, and I know Ty would thank you, too, if he had the words.