11/16/10 by Lisa We got Emily's results back. It's less bad than before, but another change in medication - her levels are still too low. The worst thing is that we have to go back again for another level check in 6-8 weeks. I am not looking forward to that, and I predict at least one more adjustment and round of checking. She's still hanging in there. We'll see how this adjustment works. Fingers crossed everybody!
11/7/10 by Lisa So, it's that time again. Emily goes in to get her levels checked tomorrow morning. She's been on the lower dosage for quite a while, so we'll see if that has worked for her. She seems to be feeling good and is happy (for now, since she doesn't know what's coming tomorrow). We still need to pick her up or set her down a lot, but she makes uppies and downies on her own quite a bit too. She's adapting well. She even offers up her leg (we call that her "helper leg") when she consents to be picked up or placed down - it helps us avoid the large lump on her chest, which is sensitive. Wish us luck for her test results and that the visit is as stress-free as possible. I'll post again when we know more.
9/6/10 by Lisa Emily is as usual being a little trooper. We kept her off of her leg, which involved a lot of carrying and waking up several times a night if she wanted to go out, but she healed nicely. Every once in a while, it seems to bother her, but otherwise, it looks to be in good shape. She still manages to bolt out the door for the evening walks.
We convinced the doctor to try a different method for her semi-annual blood draws. Emily and I go in, she gets her exam, blood draw, and injection, then I take her home for 2 hours. We then go back just for the 2nd blood draw. She seemed to handle that much better (I certainly did - there's nothing worse than sitting there for 2 hours while she's miserable and just wants to go home). Her results, however, were not as good. Apparently, it was very unusual for her to stay so stable on her medication and not to start moving toward having too little cortisol (Addison's disease). Her levels this time have dropped, so they have adjusted her medication and we have to go back in 6-8 weeks for another set of blood draws. Hopefully, the new dosage will stabilize her. We caught it very early, which is good since this can get out of control relatively fast in dogs. If you don't catch it and adjust, it snowballs and she can get into serious trouble quickly. We're all over it, so while that change worries me of course, I feel confident that we're giving her the best treatment and taking the best course of action. Thanks for everyone's good thoughts for her. :)
5/31/10 by Lisa
Emily has finally started to put weight on her back leg. She has graduated back to the "big girl bed", so no more sleeping on the floor for me. We're still picking her up whenever we can, but she does go up and down the stairs at night. So far, she seems to be doing pretty well, so fingers crossed!
Emily has her appointment to get her levels tested again on Wednesday, so that will be rough on both of us, but there will be 2 hours of just sitting quietly until the next blood draw. I hate to do that every 6 months! But, it's good to be sure her treatment is working and no adjustments are needed. Emily will forgive me after we get back :)
5/4/10 by Lisa
Emily, as usual, is being a little trooper. She's been on an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic for 7 days so far, and there is some improvement. I've been sleeping downstairs on the couch with her so she won't have to go up and down stairs, so she hasn't had to use it as much as normal. Her walks are very short and she gets tired very easily, but she's still in good spirits. She may just get used to being picked up and carried a lot, too. She's happily sleeping away in her little bed right now. I'm going to try sleeping upstairs in the bed with her tonight (cause there's only so much I can take!), so we'll see if she handles it OK. If not, back down on the couch we go!
4/27/10 by Lisa
We had been lucky that Emily was getting along well and not much happened with her until recently. She gained some weight after her teeth were done, but that seemed to have normalized. She recently started having some trouble with her back right leg, though, which she was holding stiffly and she had some minor limping. We thought she had just strained a muscle, but it kept getting worse. Over the weekend, she stopped putting any weight on it and by Monday, she was noticeably limping. She couldn't make the "big uppies" anymore, and I slept downstairs with her so she wouldn't have to go up and down the stairs. We got her an appointment for Tuesday, worried that it was worsening. The vet immediately said it looked like the ligament in her knee, which can strain or rupture in older female dogs especially. We decided to go ahead and let her take radiographs and put her under so that the vet could feel the ligament and move her leg with no resistance from an awake Emily. Of course, that meant 3 long hours of worry at the vet - however, they know the deal with me now and let me stay there with her until the last minute she had to go back and they brought her out as soon as they could. They gave me regular updates, and luckily, it looks like the ligament is only strained, but not ruptured (or just a small rupture) - so no surgery needed. She's on 2 more medications and we have the daunting task of trying to keep her off of that leg for 7-10 days. Right now that's not a problem since she's still feeling the effects of the anesthesia. Emily is still not quite herself, but she is less frantic than she was when she first came out of it (she tries to escape and is unsettled). She fell asleep by the door, so she's got a blanket wrapped around her where she "plopped", and I think she's going to stay there for a while. Hopefully, time and the drugs will work, and she'll be back to her old self in no time. Meanwhile, she'll get carried a lot, and she gets to sleep downstairs, which she thinks is a treat, I think. In another 6 weeks or so, she's back to the vet to test her Cushings levels again, poor thing.
1/8/10 by Lisa
Well, Emily's weight sure isn't declining any more. She's been an absolutely unstoppable eating machine. We had to soften her kibbles with water after her teeth cleaning (where she lost 2 more teeth) - and she's been going crazy ever since. Apparently her teeth were hurting her before, and with two removed and with the newly softened kibbles, she just can't get enough. It is sad to see her try to eat some that aren't fully softened, though - she doesn't have all that many teeth left. We may have to keep softening them for her from now on. She's already gained 2 pounds, so now we have to be careful she doesn't get overweight. She is already showing her new girth - but it of course looks cute on her, with her little poochy belly. Her bloodwork also came back fine, and she's through with her antibiotic and pain medicine, so she's good to go!