Thursday, November 18, 2010

Misty's trip to a new vet

I took Misty to a new vet on Tuesday. After 3 months of treatment/tests, I wanted to get a second opinion, and make sure I have covered all my bases.

I made an appointment with the owner of a different facility, but he was way behind schedule, so I ended up meeting with their wholistic vet. Funny, because I had done some research on her previously, and have thought about switching my dogs to her practice numerous times.

She met with me for about an hour, did a thorough exam, ran new bloodchem/CBC, urinalysis, and looked over the records my vet had faxed.

New findings?

  • Misty has a heart murmur
  • Misty's last urine report from the lab came back with suspect cancer cells (my vet didn't tell me this)
  • Misty's bloodwork/symptoms suggest she may have Addison's disease (hypoadrenocorticism)
  • Misty's "lack of definition in kidneys", as indicated on her last ultrasound, concerns the vet

Her suggestions on where we go from here?

  • continue on antibiotics for another 6 weeks
  • run a test for Addison's disease
  • do a new ultrasound
  • continue with acupuncture

If Misty has Addison's disease, it could be effecting her immune system, and making it difficult for her to fight off infections. Obviously, bladder cancer could be the root of all sorts of problems.

Overall, I don't feel like my regular vet led me astray at any point. This vet indicated that this is a tough case. None of the reports/tests/values are leaping off the page. However, there is a reason why this infection was not clearing up, then turned into a drug resistant monster (there are only 2 drugs it is not resistant to), and we have to figure out why.

She told me to think about things for a few days, do inevitable googling, and get back to her about how I want to proceed.

It was a lot to take in, and I was hoping to leave with more answers. I understand though that medicine, no matter how scientific, is often a big puzzle that must be solved. I am hopeful that I now have a smart sleuth on the job.

In the meantime, we'll keep plugging along, and give Misty the good spot on the couch each night.


Priscilla said...

That's a lot to take in, and as shocking as ever. Poor poor Misty. I just hope what she has isn't as bad as what it could turn out to be. It's good that you could have a second opinion on Misty. Our prayers are with you and your beautiful girl. Hope she gets better soon!!

Lian said...

Oh poor Misty! My heart goes to her! And poor you too, all these months and now more for you to take in.

I don't know what to suggest but from my experienced with Sizzle; when my vet told me he had heart murmur and refer me to this specialist. The specialist told me when you have a heart murmur detected, that means something will follow, for example Addison disease and bladder problem. We have blood samples taken immediately and thank God Sizzle is fine!

Hopefully the anti-biotic and other medicine will help Misty. I don't think she is in pain. Big hug to my special girl x

Dawn said...

Bonnie had a heart murmur that we knew about for many years. She also had convulsions. But mostly she was a happy happy dog who loved us and had a blast her whole life. So giving Misty the good spot on the couch each night is probably the best thing you can do!

Hugs to you and her.

Sara said...

The heart murmur seemed to be the least of the doctor's concerns. She almost said it as an aside, asking me, "How long has she had a heart murmur?" It was the first time anyone had detected one.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Well you were smart to take Misty to another vet for a second opinion since she has been sick for so long and nothing has really worked. I am sorry about all the scary news you got though. It is so frustrating that medicine is still a puzzle - with all the current technology, you would hope to have some concrete answers. I hope the new vet can at least advise you on what to do next - you can't be expected to make that decision on your own.

Hang in there and know that we are thinking about you and Misty!

Sara said...

Ricky, she did advise me to run a test for Addison's and do a new ultrasound, but both are quite expensive. So, that's why she wanted to give me a few days to think it over my options.

Diana said...

Wow, that must have been overwhelming. I feel for you guys. I hope you guys can figure things out. Diana

new hip dad said...

thinking of you and misty.

madcobug said...

Sending up prayers for Misty and for you as you travel this journey with her.Best wishes for her. Helen

AC said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry about all the more questions than answers. I really admire your ability to recognize that Misty's case isn't straightforward and that medicine is, well, there's a reason it's called a "practice." I tend to want to get mad at someone when stressful things come up--blame the first vet, etc.

Sending good thoughts and crossed paws your way as you navigate the decisions for Misty.

Kathy said...

My Maggie the sheltie had a heart murmer her entire life and I have a small heart murmur. How do they test for addisons, when I was at my holistic vets last tuesday there was a doxie that had some test, she was waiting for them to freeze it so she could mail it off, it had to be frozen so that is why I wondered what type of test that was...she said it was a test for addisons. With a long standing thing going on I think it is cool you ended up with a holistic vet that was going to sit down and just really go over EVERYTHING. Tell Misty to hang in there and give her a big HUG from her southern Cal peeps that are thinking of her!

Sara said...

Misty is having an ACTH stimulation test. It takes an hour. I don't think anything has to be frozen for it.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Ok, I am glad the vet did give you advise on what you could so next - I went to a vet once for my sick cat and he told me about 5 serious things that it "could" be and left it for me to decide what to do next - that was awful! Needless to say I never went back to that vet.

The tests are expensive but what else can you do but pay for them. I would want to know and I am sure you do too. I know how tough this all is and we're thinking of you!

betty said...

My arm are around you, Sara. Misty loves her special place on the couch. She is comfortable and happy. We are all praying for a good solution and that she will be healthy. Misty has a lot of friends whose stories are helpful and encouraging. These shared experiences are like hugs, too.

Helen said...

Poor Misty, poor you!! I know how hard it is whe there is no clear diagnosis. Tucker's diagnosis was "SUSPECT chronic pancreatitus"; hopefully the meds he has been the last month have cleared things up but he no obvious symptoms by which I can gauge whether there's any improvement.

I hope that you are able to decide what's best for Misty and that you'll be able to clear up that infection.

K. Daniel said...

I know how you feel, I have spend thousands in the last 6 months or so with my boy - he started having seizures and had to have everything ruled out, he also had low cortisol levels but thankfully the stimulation test was negative, but he also has low thyroid levels. Its totally worth getting everything ruled out though! He gets acupuncture and sees a holistic vet for his epilepsy now :-)

Nicki said...

Good luck. I hope you get some answers. SOmetimes it's so hard when it's not obvious. Keep us posted!

Noah said...

Our prayers are with you. I know this must be a difficult time and we will continue to pray for a positive outcome.

LauraK said...

A lot this sounds so familiar! It's always hard knowing how much to put them through with testing, when it might not really "prove" anything. We decided with Penny to just keep her on the meds and let her continue to be her happy joyful self and enjoy life. The tests they were going to do with her were pretty stressful to the dog though, so we opted out of them. Sounds like you have a few options to choose from.

Hang in there, and I'm sure you'll make the best decisions for your Misty girl :) You have such a great attitude about it though- keep it up! Our prayers are with you, make sure you and Oreo give her lots of kisses and hugs!

Marie said...

Oh I hate it when I get behind in reading everyone's blogs. I'm still kind of in shock about the new news about Misty.

I really like the sound of the new vet though. She sounds very thorough and respectful of your decisions. I hope she is on the right track and is able to do something to help Misty.