Sunday, September 27, 2009

Joe in Vegas, A Visit From Mom, & Drugs for Ava

Joe left for Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon. He and his boss went to a chiropractic conference at the MGM Grand. Even though I was sad to see him go (and even sadder I couldn't join him), I was hoping this would be a good time for him to relax and have some fun, but unfortunately, he woke up on Friday morning with a raging cold and has been fighting it ever since. He hasn't really been able to live it up as he would have liked.

The day he left, my mom called and told me that the woman she is dog-sitting for was coming home for the weekend because her grandmother had passed away. Mom needed a place to stay while the family had their time together. So, she came up here and stayed with me, which was great, especially because Ava has been going downhill again and it was hard for me to be all alone.

My poor little puppy. She has been going through such crap over the last few months and I really started to feel myself losing hope. I finally got in touch with the specialists I took her to, the ones who did all the tests, and they told me that her test results were inconclusive and they needed time to think about next steps.

Basically, all the vets were telling me that they had no idea what was going on with her and I needed to just wait until they could come up with other ideas to try. Well, I was sick and tired of just sitting around listening to Ava cry in pain and watching her lose weight and not eat. I started doing tons of research online and tapping all the resources I had in the Italian Greyhound world. As always, my iggy people rallied behind me and gave me some possible diagnosis. I heard things like Spotted Fever, Addison's Disease, Auto Immune Disease, and Lupus (this one especially seemed to fit with Ava's symptoms).

I called my vet yesterday morning and told him I wanted to come in so they could take more blood and test for all these possibilities. He agreed to see me and examined Ava again. He said he didn't think it was Addison's or Spotted Fever, but he would test for them just to rule them out. The blood tests would also be a good indicator of Lupus and Auto Immune. In the meantime, he decided to put Ava on Prednizone (a steroid). Prednizone is the treatment for about half of the possible illnesses Ava could have. Unfortunately, Prednizone will make the other half of the possibilities much worse. But in the vets words, "What have we go to lose?"

So, the best case scenario is that the Prednizone will actually make Ava better and once we get the test results back, we will see something that will indicate what she has. The other case is that she gets worse and we at least know that whatever she has is NOT one of the illnesses treated by Prednizone. Either way, at least I feel like I am doing something proactive and not just sitting here watching her die.

I'm still doing research and touching base with everyone I can. I just don't understand how I could possibly have two dogs in a row that have these crazy, rare, incurable/undiagnosable diseases! How fair is that??

Mom just left to head back to Annapolis and Joe should be back tonight around 6 p.m. It was really nice to have my mom here with me this weekend so I didn't have to be alone, but I'm really happy to have Joe back so our family can be together while we fight this.

Thanks again for all of your support and advice through this. I don't know what I would do without the love and support from my family and friends. :) Keep those good thoughts coming.

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