Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hopeful for a Full Recovery

Cross your fingers, knock on some wood, put a rabbit foot on your key chain… anything to prevent me from jinxing things here, because I think Maisy might have a full recovery.

As you know, September was a hard month for us. First she landed in the ICU for what turned out to be immune-mediated inflammation of the spinal cord. Then, just as she was starting to recover, she ended up back in the ICU with some pretty bad bladder stones (and a very uncomfortable procedure to remove them). It’s been almost two weeks, though, and over the weekend Maisy started showing signs of being herself again.

She has more energy and stamina again. She’s enjoying her (short, for potty breaks only) walks again instead of plodding behind me like we’re on a death march. She’s even asking for longer walks. Her coordination seems to have returned as well. She’s not tripping over her own feet when going up the stairs anymore.

Her enthusiastic naughtiness is back, too. She’s bringing me tennis balls whenever I’m… well, awake, really! Last night she shoved open the bathroom door and insisted on sitting on my lap while I was in there. She’s joyfully nipping at my heels and running circles around me in the morning.

And, instead of sleeping in the other room or at the far side of the bed, she’s back to sleeping pressed up to me, and last night she slept in my arms for at least half an hour. Oh, I missed that! Perhaps of everything, I missed that the most.

I’m optimistic that she will have a full recovery. Visions of hiking trips and dog shows have returned, and I’ve begun making plans again.

Of course, that isn’t assured. Last night we did the first reduction in her steroid dose. She had been on 7.5mg twice a day, and now it will be 5mg twice a day for a week or so. We’ll see how (if) that changes things. She sees the neurologist next week, and I assume that we’ll discuss steroid use then. Worst case scenario (I think/hope!) is that she’ll be on them for the rest of her life. Since they don’t seem to be affecting her behaviorally, that’s just fine. After all, I take steroids twice a day, too.

The bladder stones actually seem to be the bigger issue at this point. She’s on a prescription diet that I hate, but that I also have confidence in. I’ve had a hard time not giving her little extras; she’s not supposed to have any treats at all. I have always shared everything I eat with her. I wasn’t able to do it cold turkey, but I’ve really cut back, and each day it’s a bit easier. I still plan to consult with a nutritionist at some point.

She will also need pretty regular monitoring, at least for a while. The U of MN Urolith Center actually has a lot of good info on it, with recommendations on how often to test and what parameters to look for. She will need a follow up urinalysis every 4-6 weeks until the specific gravity is less than 1.020, the pH is 6.5 or ungder, and there are no crystals. After that, follow up UAs should happen every 3-9 months. They also recommend either x-rays or ultrasounds every 6-9 months to evaluate for stones. Since none of the billion x-rays Maisy had last month showed any stones, I’ve decided to do ultrasounds.

For now, though, I’m just going to enjoy having my dog back. 

1 comment:

Chris and Mike said...

Great news that Maisy's getting back to her normal perky self! Fingers crossed right along with you.