Elmo could use some good health vibes

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Sarah
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Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby Sarah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:47 am

Elmo has been getting pretty gimpy lately. He'll be 14 in July, and has a lot of arthritis in his back, so it wasn't surprising me. He started falling down rather frequently, which was a bit sad, but I figured he was just slipping on the tile floor. Until I saw him walking across the living room carpet, when suddenly his right front leg buckled and he did a face plant. I thought it was his rear end that was weak!

So, I took him into the vet on Friday. We decided to start him on Rimadyl, and did a geriatric profile to be sure he'd hold up well with it. I gave him the first dose of Rimadyl Friday evening, and when I got home from work Saturday morning, he seemed much more chipper and Elmo-like (though not any less gimpy). The vet called me later with the lab results, though, and they weren't as good as we could have hoped. He has some signs of inflammatory process, which could also be related to his mouth (he's got some bad teeth I hadn't noticed, but we don't want to do a dental because of his age). He is also anemic, the vet said it was a chronic type of anemia, and has rather low thyroid values. The vet said these things were indicative of an underlying issue, which we can't really pinpoint from the results. His kidneys and liver appear okay.

We could do more diagnostics, but the thing is, I'm not really willing to do a lot of invasive treatments on a dog of this age, so chances are that knowing exactly what is going on won't help us much. I am most interested in his quality of life. So, we've decided that I will continue with the Rimadyl, watching carefully for signs of gastrointestinal side-effects (if he has some sort of intestinal mass, Rimadyl wouldn't be the best thing for it). If he continues to tolerate it well, we will retest his kidney & liver values in a month.

So, we could use some vibes for whatever is lurking in there to continue to just lurk, and for the compressed discs to ease up and let Elmo move a bit more comfortably.

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Leslie H
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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby Leslie H » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:48 am

Good thoughts sent to both of you.

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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby BabyReba » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:31 am

poor elmo. good thoughts from us here! hope the rimadyl gives him some relief.

msvette2u

Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby msvette2u » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:34 am

Your dog sounds just like Blackie (the foster Cocker we had), infection in the mouth, low thyroid and anemic. His white cell count was 95 k when 17k is normal.
The good news is the dental and thyroid pills helped tremendously. If his liver and kidneys are fine I think it'd be safe to do the dental? Probably give him much-needed relief as well :)
Good luck!

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Sarah
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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby Sarah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:34 pm

Doing dental work would be fairly traumatic. It's not that his teeth need cleaning, he doesn't have much tartar. One of his canines looks to be dead and would probably need extracting. The infection comes in from a little pocket next to one of his incisors, which would also need extracting, and the pocket cleaned out. I'm cleaning it out daily instead, and flushing with an anti-bacterial rinse. He doesn't have hypothyroid symptoms, so there is no real point in thyroid medication, the lower thyroid values are a symptom, not the disease. (the classic hypothyroid symptom is weight gain. I've drastically increased his food in the last year to keep his weight up.)

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julie64
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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby julie64 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:02 pm

Lots of good thoughts to you and Elmo.
Hugs to Elmo.

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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby FBODGRL » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:14 pm

Sending good vibes.

Would an oral antibiotic treatment be of any help for his infected tooth? I know it did help my oldest cat and cleared the infection. She did then just have a dental and have 3 extractions anyway though.

msvette2u

Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby msvette2u » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:14 pm

In people it's weight gain, I don't know as it's that black-and-white for dogs, as Blackie was a skeleton upon arrival and we also had a Dachshund who came in hypothyroid and she was underweight too.
That said, it's not a given that's what the problem is, I think just being in bad shape (infection) may mess with the thyroid values :dunno:

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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby Meaghan Edwards » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:59 pm

Best thoughts sent. :hug:

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patty
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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby patty » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:18 pm

Tons of good health vibes for Mr. Elmo :pray and a kiss too.

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Sarah
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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby Sarah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:28 pm

msvette2u wrote:In people it's weight gain, I don't know as it's that black-and-white for dogs, as Blackie was a skeleton upon arrival and we also had a Dachshund who came in hypothyroid and she was underweight too.
That said, it's not a given that's what the problem is, I think just being in bad shape (infection) may mess with the thyroid values :dunno:


In dogs, the classic symptoms are weight gain and a distinctive patterned hair loss. The vet didn't believe that the low thyroid values were the issue, and did not suggest treating it, he said that the thyroid & anemia were symptoms of something else. My main concern with Elmo right now is the pain and severe lameness caused by his back issues, so my first priority is to get that under control.

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Patch O' Pits
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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby Patch O' Pits » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:57 pm

Prayers and good vibes for Elmo! Hugs for you both too!

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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby FBODGRL » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:01 pm

Isn't it possible that the low thyroid could be causing the muscle weakness?

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Sarah
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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby Sarah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:22 pm

FBODGRL wrote:Isn't it possible that the low thyroid could be causing the muscle weakness?


Don't know, but it wouldn't be causing the neurological deficits, which is more of a problem.

For reference, the X-rays we're looking at were taken in 2006, at which point a radiologist reviewed them and said if surgery were considered, she'd recommend an MRI first. I told the vet "surgery? I'm still running agility with him!", and she said they don't run on their X-rays, so if he was still acting sound to continue what I was doing. (I shortly thereafter did retire him, though, as it became obvious that the teeter was painful for his back.) The X-rays taken in 2006 were worse than those taken a few years previous, so I imagine if we X-rayed him again, the radiologist would be astonished that he's walking.

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Re: Elmo could use some good health vibes

Postby pblove » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:52 pm

:pray all that is good for you Elmo


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