Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ty's story...the history

Moving my posts about Ty from Facebook to the blog.  I want a place to capture it, and find it, should I need to refer to it going forward.  Below is a summation of where we have been with him, and where we are.  Further updates will be added as independent entries.  This is the history.  Scroll to the bottom to start at the beginning.

Before the Pemphigus Vulgaris outbreak, doing what he does best.

August 11, 2012:
Wake up to some welcome improvements.  Still a long way to go, but I note Ty is drinking water from the bowl without wincing, the nasal rattling is greatly reduced, and he looks a little brighter.  No face pawing yet this morning.  I feel hope.  For the first time in five days, I can smile, and feel that we might pull him through it and into remission.

August 10, 2012:
Talk to the homeopathic vet, and bring her up to speed.  Ty will see her at the end of the month.  The goal is to get on top of, and force the active outbreak into remission, then wean him off the institutional medications, and onto an immune boosting cocktail of Chinese herbs, and other natural modalities.  She prescribes Vitamin E, Milk Thistle and Sam-E in the meantime.

Ty is still in pretty serious pain.  I start to ask myself the hard question...if I can't get this disease into remission, then what?  I can't force him to live a life of pain.

In the evening:
He seems a bit more restful, and I note a slight reduction in the frantic face pawing.  Drinking water is still quite painful, and the nasal rattling persists.

August 9, 2012:
Vet diagnoses Pemphigus Vulgaris, and my research journey begins.

Prednisone is administered at a rate of 1 mg./lb., with the promise of double that amount if he is not responsive within 48 hours.  Also administering Cephalexin, 500 mg./day.

In the evening:
A bloody discharge starts to ooze from his nasal cavities, and heavy crusting in/around his nose is noted.  A distinct rattling sound comes from his nose, which indicates to me that he can't breathe with his mouth closed, or if he can, it's very limited, and air is not passing freely.

August 8, 2012:
Ty is in the yard, and begins to frantically paw at his face.  He is in some fairly significant pain.  He takes a drink of water, and is clearly hurting badly.  I open his mouth, and it's fully of ulcers and open sores.  They were not present two days ago.  I call the vet, and we take him in that afternoon.  He is in pain.

On palpation, the vet notes several more mouth sores, all very inflamed, and very painful.  Also notes a thickening of the nasal discharge, which is now bloody, as well.  Another large sore on his face erupts just behind his mouth.  These sores appear under his chin, and to the left of his nose, as well.

Also noted is a small sore between his toes, on his left front paw, and other similar sores inside his left ear.

August 6, 2012:
He just can't stop pawing at his face, randomly, throughout the day.  Again, I check.  I see nothing.  I push on all the teeth, nothing moves, no tooth fractures, no bloody gums, nothing.  Note just a slight drip from his nose.

July 20, 2012:
Scabbing seems to have passed.  Hair loss is observed, but nothing else abnormal.  Pawing at face is fairly constant.  Still unable to see anything abnormal.

July 14, 2012:
A couple more small scabs are noted on Ty's face, just behind, and below his eye.  They eventually fall off, and the hair comes with them.  Similar to what we saw last month.  Now I'm thinking beyond something random, like a scratch, or altercation with one of the other dogs.

Shot taken August 11th.  These spots appeared July 14th,
so are fully healed in the photo.

First thought I have is Dermatomyositis.  He's been on some medication for his back, for several months, and his immune system is surely not at peak performance.  It's an open door, so is DM possible?  I have to think so.  I decide to watch it for a few days.

I reflect back to when he was about a year old.  A tiny spot on his nose leather turns gray, and smooth.  I remember doing some research back then, and Lupus was one thing that came up, over and over.  As I recall (it's been 9+ years ago), it went away fairly quickly, and I never really worried about it again.  From then on, he was always in superb coat, skin looked good.  No other issues.

July 10, 2012:
Cliff is in the yard with Ty, and calls me to come look at something.  Ty's anus is very inflamed, and he has an open sore that's oozing toward the bottom.  Call the vet, and take him in.  Vet reports his anal sacs are full.  She proceeds to express them, and sends us home with a topical steroid spray, and some antibiotics to administer.  After several days, the sore is greatly reduced, and he appears to be returning to his normal self.

He continues to paw at his face, and I'm still unable to find anything abnormal.

June 20, 2012:
A small sore appears on Ty's face, above his right eye.  Looks like someone snapped at him.  He's pawing at his face a lot, and his mouth, in particular.  Perhaps he scratched himself?  Checked his mouth, nothing unusual.  Teeth look good, gums look good.  Nothing abnormal noted.  Will watch him for a few days.


  1. I am so sorry for Ty's suffering, but I know that there is nobody better to care for him than you and Cliff. I know that you both will leave no stone unturned. Thank you for posting your dogs journey it has changed my breeding practice. I will never again knowingly breed to a dog that has this type of malady. I know it is kept hush hush and swept under the rug, but we all know that the dogs that produce this should never be bred, and they have been bred repeatedly. This disease is so woven into so many pedigrees now, but I will do my best to not breed anywhere near it. This is something that didn't need to happen.

    1. I'm not going to blame anyone for what happened to Ty. I know that he was not bred with anything but high hopes, and the best of intentions. I can't reduce this to serves no purpose. If it heightens awareness of these kinds of things, then my choice to share Ty's story is not in vain. That's all I can hope for.