8.12.2005

buster news

The biopsies came back. No lymphoma cells. Hooray hooray!

Medical details for those who are interested.

It's definitely inflammatory bowel disease, which is causing a malabsorption syndrome, meaning Buster's system has not been absorbing nutrients properly. Even though he's eating, he's malnourished. His Vitamin B levels and pancreatic function are extremely low. Normal B12 levels for a dog are 600-700. Buster's are 150. Normal pancreatic enzyme levels: 20-30. Buster: 5.

In addition to a full course of Prednisone for the inflamed intestines, we'll be giving him Vitamin B12 injections. That is, I'll be giving Buster injections while Allan holds his head. Only one of us is brave about those kinds of things. The vet is going to teach me how to do this, but Dogsled_Stacie, if you have any tips or tricks, I'd be happy to know them.

The doc is hoping that if the intestines get healthier, the pancreas will come along for the ride. We'll have his pancreatic functions checked in a month, and if they've improved, we'll continue the same course. If they haven't, we'll start giving him pancreatic enzymes, too. I don't know what the pancreas does, but it seems one cannot live without it.

The doc is also researching veterinary internists in the T.O. area.

Here's the best news of the day. Of the week. Of the year. With the proper treatment, Buster can live a normal life span.

I'm all teary-eyed again, but this time with relief.

17 comments:

Wrye said...

Awesome! Good dog, Buster. Good dog.

The pancreas, I do believe, is important in the production of insulin-maybe not as essential in a carnivorous cutesy wutesy doggie woggy like Buster as in us primates, but still pretty important.

James said...

We have to give our geriatric cat Tigger (20 years and counting) shots for his arthritis. Fortunately, they're simple subcutaneous shots -- just up under the skin, no need to hit an blood vessel. I don't really have any advice, though, as Tigger doesn't complain or put up a fuss, so it's really easy. But having two helps a lot.

redsock said...

That is, I'll be giving Buster injections while Allan holds his head.

The shots freak me out a bit, but just to clarify, it will be *Buster's* head I'll be holding.

G said...

Glad he's okay.

Redsock, thanks for the clarification. Wasn't sure on that one.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

We have to give our geriatric cat Tigger (20 years and counting) shots for his arthritis.

20 years? My cat's 11 now, and I know it sounds cruel, but I'm hoping she doesn't make it past 15. She was my brother's cat, and she fails to meet any of the cat sterotypes (clean, graceful, quiet, and litter trainable). She couldn't stay with my parents when they moved to Halifax, so I ended up with her.

L-girl said...

Thanks guys. I appreciate it.

We have to give our geriatric cat Tigger (20 years and counting) shots for his arthritis.

Wow, he's old! I'm glad he's hanging in.

Fortunately, they're simple subcutaneous shots -- just up under the skin, no need to hit an blood vessel.

Right, I know about that. I'm not sure what ours will be, I hope that's the extent of it. My friend AWE (who I mentioned below) gave her cat insulin injections for a long time, and she managed ok. So I see that it's possible.

I don't really have any advice, though, as Tigger doesn't complain or put up a fuss, so it's really easy. But having two helps a lot.

Yay Tigger. :)

Buster is also very good about all the procedures and whatnot we do to/for him. He's been having stuff done to him since the day we found him, covered in mange and infections, so he's very used to it and very trusting. You're so right, having two people does help a lot.

L-girl said...

My cat's 11 now, and I know it sounds cruel, but I'm hoping she doesn't make it past 15.

Well, it's not cruel unless you help him along by starving him or leaving him out in a blizzard or something. Cats do live to be much older than 15, though. Does your fiancee/partner/whatever like cats?

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Actually, she despises the cat, which is another reason I'm hoping the cat doesn't live a long, long life. I can put up with the cat's faults, but the cat drives her nuts when it has an accident.

L-girl said...

Oh, that's a drag. Maybe you know someone who's just dying to adopt an old cat... Yeah, right.

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

She's too old to adopt out, and my brother would be mad at me for getting rid of her anyway.

So, I just have to wait until she dies of old age.

L-girl said...

That's what I figured. Ah well...

gito said...

these are some great news L! He is going love Toronto even better when he gets back to normal!
Gito

L-girl said...

Thanks Gito! I'm just so happy he'll be coming with us...

dogsled_stacie said...

Woohoo for Buster!

Tips? Well... I've only done the usual sub-cu shots (vaccines and stuff), but not an every day kind of thing. That said, what DOES work with dogs is TREATS!! And making those first few times pleasant with your reassuring words, pets and food treats will make Buster enjoy this experience. Or, at the very least, not bolt out the door when you come running with the needle!

From what you've described, it sounds like Buster won't be bothered too much with the shots - however, it sounds like Allan is another matter! :)

Distraction works well too. While Allan is holding his (Busters) head, he can also be rubbing his head, petting him, talking to him, telling him how wonderful he is, etc, etc. That touch seems to work wonders. All the while, you quickly insert the needle and it's all over before you all know it.

It'll be a breeze after a while. Also - make sure you are calm and don't appear nervous. My dogs pick up on that stuff instantly. Recently, with my pup, I had a heck of a time taking out staples from her abcess. It was at a point where they had to be cut and all I had were these gigantic shears. So I layed her on her back, straddled her and cut these things (and they were on her throat!). I was a bit nervous, but acted like I did this everyday. She stayed there, really still for about 15 mins letting me work on her. It was like she knew I needed her to be calm. Pretty amazing!

Good luck and let me know if you need any more info.

L-girl said...

Dogsled_Stacie, thank you so much for your reassurance and advice. Everything you said has been exactly our experience with Buster. It's good to have the validation!

Buster's always been really good about procedures, pills, shots, etc. - all the things we've done to/for him since the day we found him. There's a deep level of trust. Plus I think alpha dogs are easier to deal with. (Cody screams bloody murder over the slightest thing, can't stand bath, pills, shots - a big baby.)

Treats and distractions are key. Big time! I should remember that.

Also - make sure you are calm and don't appear nervous. My dogs pick up on that stuff instantly.

Yes! Definitely. Buster (also known as Mr Anxiety) is super sensitive to any anxiety coming from us. Well, me. This was hard for me to learn, but I did eventually learn to chill out for him in these kinds of situations. This is a good reminder.

they had to be cut and all I had were these gigantic shears. So I layed her on her back, straddled her and cut these things (and they were on her throat!). I was a bit nervous, but acted like I did this everyday. She stayed there, really still for about 15 mins letting me work on her. It was like she knew I needed her to be calm. Pretty amazing!

WOW. That is amazing - both of you!

Thanks again for the reassurance, it's very helpful. We pick up the new meds on Monday - and have his eyes re-checked one last time before we move - and the doc will show me how to do the injections. I'll report back. :)

David Cho said...

Good luck, Laura.

Buster looks so healthy, so all that stuff about his health problems seems hard to believe.

L-girl said...

Thank you, David.

Really though, in person (in canine?), he doesn't look so healthy anymore. He's lost so much weight, his coat is dull and flaky, and he is soooo lethargic. I hope the B12 injections perk him up a lot. We miss the "real" B!