Update on Patch

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SUNDAY SEVEN #3

Update on Patch

(For those of you that don’t know the story: Patch is my 11 year old dalmatian who has been on a roller coaster ride for 3 months with various health issues and we still haven’t quite figured out what is going on. If you would like to catch up on the story, just visit my Dogs Page and read the posts about Patch.)

  1. Patch does not have lymphoma at this time. We are going to a New Vet~Doc C, who is closer to us and is wonderful! He actually biopsied a lymph node (necessary for true diagnosis of lymphoma) and determined it isn’t lymphoma~woohoo!
  2. Patch is not taking prednisone (for swollen lymph nodes) or tramadol (for pain)anymore. He is now on tetracycline for infection. He will be on it for two more weeks.
  3. His lymph nodes are not swollen at this time. He has fatty skin hanging around in weird places~possibly where the nodes were swollen~it looks kinda funny.
  4. Patch has been shaking/trembling again. That is how all of this started. He has been doing this since last Wednesday night. When he does this it is so pitiful because I don’t know what I can do to help him.
  5. We took Patch to the Vet on Saturday. It was snowing out and I wasn’t going to drive, but the lady had an appointment available for after Jedd got off of work. We went there but Doc C wasn’t there~I forgot to mention to her that he has been seeing Doc C. So we saw Doc M. He wasn’t sure what to do or what had been going on. Anywho he gave him a non-steroid shot to see if it would help.
  6. Patch was still shaking last night and today. Last night, I laid in bed with him to try and comfort him. I was going to start reading Dear John by Nicholas Sparks, but I was in a sad mood for Patch and the book started out sad~I had to put it down. I just laid there with Patch rubbing and hugging on him.
  7. I will be contacting Doc C in the morning. I am thinking he might want to keep Patch for a little while and if he does they want Patch there between 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Jedd works both mornings. I might have to call Dad and have him break away from my Granny for a bit. I sure wish we could pinpoint what is going on. I am going to mention/ask Doc C if we need to do any x-rays or ultrasounds.

I love Patch so much! I am thankful that he has stayed with us through Christmas, New Years, His birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Jedd’s birthday.

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More Sunday Seven

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The Results Are In

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Finally~I have received the results of Patch’s biopsy.  For those that don’t know what is going on: Please see my Dogs Page to read posts about Patch and the up and down roller coaster ride we have been on. Patch in Review really sums up this roller coaster ride. I am going to show you the read out from the lab. There are many terms I do not understand and I will link these terms to my Internet research. This is Chinese to me. I hope you can understand this-LOL!

Biopsy

Description: The submitted lymph node is infiltrated by macrophages and the paracortex and medullary cords are expanded by medium to high numbers of plasma cells. Multifocally, infiltrates of low to medium numbers of neutrophils are also present.

Diagnosis: Lymph Node: Lymphadenitis, granulomatous, diffuse, moderate, with multifocal suppurative inflammation.

Comments: The submitted specimens was most consistent with granulomatous lymphadenitis. The cause was not evident. The low numbers of neutrophils might also have supported pyogranulomatous inflammation that is a finding associated with canine ehrlichiosis. Correlation with the patient history and other clinical findings is suggested to rule out that condition. I did not find any neoplastic lymphoid cells, but continued close observation of this patient would be prudent. A fair and good prognosis is suggested.

Also~during more research, I have found that there are numbers of reasons dogs have enlarged lymph nodes~not necessarily lymphoma.  IMO-just like humans. The diagnosis is much better than the first diagnosis we received: lymphoma.  At this point, it IS NOT lymphoma!  Patch is OFF of the Prednisone and has been for almost three weeks.  Doc C and many others said not to give him Ibuprofen anymore. Patch took Ibuprofen for the very first week this sickness started.  Doc also said not to give him Tramadol right now either. Patch has been off of it for a week.  Doc C prescribed an antibiotic, Tetracycline-100mg, to take twice a day for three weeks. I just want to call Old Doc and ask him some questions, but I believe I will leave it alone.  Your thoughts on this?

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers during this wild and crazy journey. We really appreciate it and you mean so much to us! I am still researching this because it is really confusing to me. I will add links when I find more. I would appreciate any feedback or more info anyone has on this diagnosis.

                      

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Crazy Friday

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 Hello! Sorry I haven’t posted this earlier. I fell asleep at 8:30 p.m. and didn’t budge until 12:30 a.m~Yesterday was a very hard day~nervous~school-wild~and Patch coming home. This is an update on Patch (see Dogs Page~Patch~ to read the whole story) and his  biopsy of a lymph node to determine if he REALLY does have lymphoma.

Thursday Night,February 8: First of all~We scheduled Patch’s biopsy for Friday because Jedd was off that morning.  Well~Thursday night he informs me that he has to work Friday morning. Great! He works from 7:00 – 10:00 a.m. (He has the best hours-Store Owner-lol). Patch is supposed to be at the Vet before 10:00 a.m. Jedd says he can get him there by 10:30 a.m. I tell him there are probably reasons why he is supposed to be there before 10:00 a.m. I am wondering what to do. I call Dad (of course-he’s my right hand man) to see what he can do to help me in case I need him.  Luckily he is coming to town Friday morning anyway to see my Granny (she has been in the hospital all week-she’s 91 years old).  Dad says he can help if necessary. I have to call the Vet to see what I need to do.

Friday Morning, February 9:

7:30 a.m.: This is Patch when I left him to go to school. I loved on him for 5 minutes telling him it would be ok and how much I loved him. He never changed positions~or wagged his tail. *sniff* It was like he knew what he was going to do today. I took this with my cell phone~so I could send it to Dad and show fellow teachers at work.  My phone doesn’t take the best pictures or the operator doesn’t know how-lol.

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7:40 a.m.:  Ok~so I am driving to school and call my Dad at to tell him they that I will probably need him (called Vet and no answer~will call back after 8:00 a.m. after I do talk to the Vet) and he starts talking away~I have to cut him off and say I gotta go~school starts now…The beginning of my crazy day!

7:45 a.m.:  I go in school and pick up my kids (supposed to pick up kids at 7:45 a.m.). We go to the classroom and the clock says 7:46 a.m. I am in panic mode because we have announcements and I tell the children doing announcements to drop their things and get in line-panicking thinking we are late. Then I realize we have 5 minutes~or do we?~what time are announcements? I ask a teacher passing by “My mind is blank what time do we  have announcements? 7:55 a.m. I’ve done this every school day for 6 and 1/2 years (minus six days). I am a crazy wreck knowing I have to call Vet in a bit while I am with the kids that I just went delirious on morning routines-aaaahhhh. Plus a child that left on Thursday to go to another school happened to return on Friday for his last day instead of Thursday.  This is great~I have already removed his name from everything. He’s not gonna be happy. I believe I ate a “Bowl of Stupid” this morning. Anywho~announcements~then we go to the restroom.

8:10 a.m.:  I have to stay in the boys’ restroom each time because I have 4 boys and sometimes 2 more that do the most amazing things in there-lol. I ask them to be very quiet as I call patch’s Doc…and they did-WOW! Called Vet and she said it was important that Patch be there before 10:00 a.m. to be sedated and have biopsy before lunch when more appointments arrive. She said to let her know if he had to be late. I called Dad-he didn’t answer-while the boys were being so quiet-oh boy.

8:30 a.m.:  Dad calls while we are in the classroom~children didn’t freeze like they should~wild and crazy this morning. Anywho~I tell Dad I need him to take Patch and I am telling him where the Vet is (that night I realized I  had told him the wrong street) and stumbling on my words-told him to call Jedd if he needed to. Dad texts me in a bit to tell me Patch is at the Vet and he would be ready at 3:30 p.m.

Friday Afternoon: I leave school before the buses leave so I can go home and get Patch’s car and go pick him up. I get to the Vet and I hear him immediately. I tell the lady at the desk that I will get him in the car and then take care of business.  She says that we can do business first and then they will get Patch. Other lady comes out and I tell her “I hear Patch”. She says, “Are you sure, there are a lot of dogs back there. Which one is yours”? I tell her, “The dalmatian”. She says, “Oh, yes your right”. I tell her, “He usually doesn’t bark or even howl that much”. She says, ” Yeah, I believe he started the howling and the rest followed. He was a really good patient”. Then she goes in the back and returns with him. Aaaaahhh~still haven’t taken care of business. I tell the other lady I would be right back.

Getting in the Car: When I took Patch to the car, he tried to jump in and didn’t make it. I was about to go back in and ask the Vet to help me get him in the car when he tried to jump in again. He fell half in and half out and I had to help him in. Aaaahhhh! So I went back in and paid for the visit and waited to speak to the Doc.

Talked to Doc:  Doc came out and told me that Patch was a great dog and patient. He said that in his opinion, if it were lymphoma Patch’s lymph nodes would have enlarged since he had been off of the prednisone for a week.  He informed me of what they did and that the stitches would dissolve. He said to keep Patch on tramadol (he has been taking for pain) and call if I needed anything. We also chit chatted about some of his old school buddies that my Dad is great friends with now. He said the results should be back in about a week and to call in a week if he hasn’t called me.

Drunk Dog: While driving home I kept hearing Patch fall into the seat. I finally looked back and he had decided to sit down and hang his head out of the window. Only took 11 years-lol. When we get home, he jumps out of the car hitting his side on the way out.  Then we walk around the yard so he can go to do his business.  When we come into the house, he stumbles in and about misses the steps going up to the kitchen (2 small steps). This is when I realize that he is “drunk” from the medication.  He walks around and his back legs give in a few times. He runs into his bedroom and tries to jump on his bed and falls off.  He immediately tries again and falls off. Aaaaahhhh. I close all of the bedroom doors so he won’t do this again and he gets on his ottoman after 3 tries and I sit with him so he will not be up and around.

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Patch is doing fine. This post has taken me all day-lol. Went to a wedding shower at my Aunt’s house. Then I went to my Granny’s to see her and my Dad.(she just got out of the hospital). She is catching up on rest since you can’t sleep at a hospital. My Dad is staying with her. While I was there, I got to visit with my Uncle who has cancer. He wasn’t at my Aunt’s either because her husband is sick and my Uncle is taking chemo and doesn’t need to be around sickness. TMI-I know…rambling on and on. Fingers crossed for Patchy Poo!

Patch in Review

SUMMARY OF PATCH

Symptoms~sickness~vet visits~diagnosis’~and my ramblings

(I created this document to take to the New Doc)

  • Thanksgiving 2007: Patch is sick. He begins trembling/shaking (assumed it was pain)
  • VET-Monday, December 3, 2007: Doc H 
    • Said Patch has arthritis/pinched nerve in back
    • Gave him shot for pain and prescribed one 200mg ibuprofen a day
    • (Nose was slightly bleeding but I thought it was where Patch “fixes” his bed with his nose)
    • Monday night and Tuesday: nose is bleeding more and more when Patch sneezes
    • Wednesday: Patch is sneezing violently and blood is spewing out
  • VET-Thursday, December 6, 2007: Doc H was out-saw Doc R
    • She said might be something lodged in his nose or maybe grass seed…possibly a tumor
    • She prescribed Clavamox-said try first because Patch won’t like tests they might have to do
  • Friday, December 7, 2007: Called Doc H to make sure of what to do-Patch wasn’t doing too good. Doc H said to continue Clavamox (powerful meds) and try to tough it out over the weekend and call on Monday. He also said Patch could take two 200 mg ibuprofen a day.
  • VET-Monday, December 10, 2007: Patch still isn’t better and now has sores on his legs/feet where the bones/joints are. He has already been through staph a few times. Doc H at 8:30 a.m.
    • Called Jedd at 10:30 a.m. and Jedd tells me: “Patch has fatty tumors-Doc H said the one on his neck had grown the size of a golf ball. Has to have x-rays, biopsy of fatty tumor, blood work and a scope in his nose”
    • Tests performed that day:
      • Anesthesia injection-telazol
      • X-Ray Basic – what did it show?
      • CBC with differential
      • Histo/Blasto Lab
      • Tick Serology Panel
      • Jedd brings Patch home and he says: Doesn’t look good…he mentioned a mass in his neck. I’m not sure if he meant another mass or the fatty tumor.
      • Doc H prescribed one 20mg prednisone a day along with the clavamox-no more ibuprofen
  • Following few days: Patch seems to be doing better. Nose isn’t bleeding as much. Still having trouble getting around: arthritis? pinched nerve? medications? Sickness? Does he have various health problems all at once? He seems to have a hard time swallowing and breathing
  • Friday, December 14, 2007: Doc H calls at 4:30 p.m. and tells me this
    • Histo/Blasto test negative
    • The “thing” in his nose is a tumor (cancer)
    • Wants Patch to come in on Monday so he can biopsy sores and biopsy the growth on his lymph node (I thought he said lymph node)
    • Surgery in his nose is really not an option-due to the severity and Patch’s age
  • VET-Monday, December 17, 2007: Doc H
    • Biopsy of shoulder/neck area (shaved with incision)
    • Biopsy of sore on foot (bandaged)
    • Continue prednisone
  • Next few days: Patch seems to be doing worse-incision oozing and more sores with bleeding, still sneezing with blood. He mainly sneezes when he goes outside. Isn’t jumping on bed or getting in car (favorite thing to do). Hard time going up and down stairs. Some difficulty breathing and swallowing.
  • Friday, December 21, 2007: I called Doc H and he says:
    • Sores are not cancerous-just don’t know what they are
    • Tumor (is it a tumor, fatty tumor, tumor on lymph node?) on neck is not cancerous and still waiting on another test result on it.
    • Tumor in the nose-can’t really biopsy it-too difficult and shouldn’t put Patch through it
    • Patch has been in a lot of pain-stayed up two nights with him crying in pain-he couldn’t lay down.
    • Doc H called in Tramadol for pain-50 mg pills-can give one or two twice a day-we give one 50mg Tramadol twice a day.
  • Next few days: Patch has diarrhea. Not sure if it is from the sickness, the meds, or the food we switched him to (canned food)-he was having a hard time swallowing hard food. We switched the food again to chewy kibbles and that seemed to fix the problem. Still sneezing with bloody nose. He is jumping on beds now.
    • I called Vet back to see if the last test result came back and lady said results are the same-what does that mean?
    • Thursday, December 27, 2007: still has sores
  • VET-Wednesday, January 2, 3008: Doc H-5th visit in a month
    • Confirmed it was lymphoma
    • We had felt spots in his neck that were growing (lymph nodes)
    • Doc H felt behind legs and in groin area where more lymph nodes are and confirmed growth there too
    • He also felt Patch’s spleen and liver and informed us they are enlarged too: what does that mean? Shouldn’t an X-Ray be performed to diagnose enlarged spleen and liver?
    • Patch has lost 5 pounds in the last month
  • The following week: Patch improves tremendously. No more nose bleeds-sores are healed up-jumps on beds and goes up and down stairs fine-is getting in car and riding now-walks us instead of us walking him-playing with his babies. I am still confused: Why doesn’t Doc H persuade me to seek an oncologist-maybe because of his age. When I research lymphoma there are different types. Patch has enlarged lymph nodes, something wrong with his nose, and skin problems. Are these all related? What does it mean if his spleen and liver are enlarged? Gotta get a second opinion.
  • Thursday, January 17, 2008: Patch can’t poop. He goes out every 15 minutes and gets in position but can’t poop. I was up with him all night doing this. He did vomit once-outside-thought that might help-didn’t.
  • Friday, January 18, 2008: Called Doc H-spoke to a lady-told her about Patch’s no-poop situation.
    • She said to put grease on his food-bacon-vegetable oil.
    • She said Doc H was going to have surgery-two hernias-he would call if he could
    • Doc R-other vet there-called me that afternoon
      • I asked her: Why hasn’t Doc H told me to pursue other treatments? Is it the stage of the disease? Is it because of Patch’s age? Cost?
      • She explained that I could pursue other treatments but there isn’t a cure and treatments can be costly and have side effects too (went into more detail)
      • Then she asks me: Is it B Cell or T Cell? I don’t know. I told her when she found out to let me know.
  • Next few days: Did the vegetable oil and it worked. Patch can poop now. Researched more. Studied prednisone and prednisolone. Should Patch be on prednisolone instead since prednisone can be hard on the liver and his liver is enlarged? Whatever that means? Called Vet back and asked was it B Cell or T cell. The lady said that Doc R looked at the tests and she couldn’t read them (she is the one that asked me about this and put the question in my head). Lady said when Doc H checked in he would look again and let me know. I have not heard from them since.
  • Monday, January 28: Called new vet-Doc C
  • VET-Thursday, January 31, 2008: Doc C-1st visit:
    • No test results of cancer or lymohoma (went into great detail describing the tests and results) We decided to do the following:
    • stop prednisone and take antibiotic-come back in a week to biopsy a lymph node (necessary to truely diagnose lymphoma)
  • Following Week: Patch is snorting more (not really sneezing)-has had a hard time taking pills a couple of times. Wednesday and Thursday: seems to not be feeling so good. Got sick Thursday night.
    • Nose-snorting
    • Some difficulty breathing (throat?)
    • Has a few sores and two dark spots in lower abdomen/groin area
    • What kind of diet should he be on?
    • Breath and teeth look and smell horrible (had them detailed-cleaned last year I believe) possibly medication?
  • Friday, February 8, 2008: Doc C-biopsy of lymph node and any other tests necessary…to be continued

Praying for Patch now~going in the morning to have a biopsy.

*edited 2-10-08: Continuation~See: Crazy Friday

New Doc for Patch

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This is an update about my dalmatian, Patch, who got sick at the end of November.  On January 3 he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  About a week later he miraculously improved. Then we went through a few nights of “I Can’t Poop” and fixed that problem so “I Can Poop“.

Whew! Ok~here goes. 

Monday: I called another Vet in my town.  I told a lady a short version of  Patch’s story and told her I just wanted to have another Doc look at Patch’s test results and explain to me exactly what is going on.  I explained that I wasn’t going to pursue chemo.  She explained to me that they send their tests to the same lab and that they wouldn’t perform the same tests.  I told her I knew that and I didn’t want to put Patch through all of that again (DUH!), but I wanted a second opinion to ease my mind. She told me they would call Patch’s Doc and have them fax over the info. She got my number and said she would call me back.

That afternoon after school I called back to inquire if they had received Patch’s info.  I talked to another lady so I had to go through the same speech.  She also took my info and number and said she would call back.

Wednesday:  I had a short break away from the kids.  I was making copies and had about five minutes left before picking up the kiddies.  I called the new Vet back to see if they had any info for me~surely they have the info by now.  Second lady answered the phone and said she is so glad I called because she somehow misplaced my number.  She was reading info from Patch’s tests results and said “This isn’t cancer…there are no signs of cancer with these results”.  I began to cry a little and told her “Please do not say that, unless you are absolutely sure.  Let the Doc look this over and he can explain this when we come in”.

I made an appointment for the following afternoon for Patch to visit New Doc so he could look at his ears and give me feedback on the info from the previous Doc.  Second Lady wanted me to just drop him off on the a.m. and I could come back that afternoon to pick him up.  I told her “No~Patch had been to the Doc 5 times within 5 weeks and 2 of those times had to stay all day.  I wasn’t gonna just drop him off for the day at a New Doc…not just yet”.

Thursday: I met Jedd and Patch at the New Vet.  Patch went on in-lol~didn’t realize where he was at.  He also went on in the examining room.  After I shut the door behind us (a habit now) is when he realized something was up-hehe.  Anywho New Doc was talking away in medical terms about there are no signs of cancer…I was like-slow down-in english please.  Anywho~I actually got to see pieces of paper (proof of tests) with the results.  New Doc explained to me what everything meant. 

He said there are no signs of cancer and to diagnose lymphoma, you would have to aspirate, or biopsy, a lymph node.  I said “Well, I’m not a docter, but uh-duh~that makes perfect sense”.  I explained to him how things got started with his nose and the bleeding and he explained the possible reasons/causes of this.  He also said that if it was a tumor in Patch’s nose~this wouldn’t be lymphoma~it would possibly be nasal cancer. New Doc explained so much more about these results, but don’t want to babble on too long.

I am dumbfounded with all of this info and I am prodding the doc to suggest to me what to do.  I said “So shouldn’t we biopsy a lymph node”?  He says “if he were my dog I definitely would”.  Thank you~straight up answers!  Of course, the whole time Patch is just wandering around the room and in the back talking away…dragging Jedd around-lol.  I ask Jedd what he thinks~you know Jedd~just there.  He says “I don’t know, whatever you want to do…yada-yada”. 

To make a long story shorter~New Doc says to take Patch off of steroids (prednisone) for a week.  Put him on an antibiotic for a week.  Come back in a week and he will perform a biospy on a lymph node.

My Analysis of the Whole Ordeal:  Why did Previous Doc diagnose Patch with lymphoma? Maybe he is that good~he can just feel the lymph nodes and knows.  Maybe he ruled out all other issues and decided it was lymphoma.  He still may be right~but I have to know for sure!  If this isn’t lymphoma, Patch has been on steroids for almost two months and that can’t be good for him.

I still feel bad for going to a New Doc, but Old Doc is out recovering from hernia surgery and I also need peace of mind knowing I did get a second opinion.

Oh ya~the ear problem~normal for Patch’s age~an autoimmune thing.  I am also gonna get a copy of these results for myself.  We also weighed Patch and he gained 2 pounds~yeah! (Not that it matters for him-little overweight anyway-but we sure didn’t want to lose more right now).

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Fingers crossed for a week! Things that make you go hhhhhmmmmm.

Great Dog Sites

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For all of you dog lovers out there~here is a great site: Dogs Naturally!

I really like the author of this site, Dianne Schuller.  If you leave a comment on her blog, she responds in a timely matter.  She has also emailed me personally to discuss issues I am going through with Patch, my dalmatian.  I really appreciate the advice that she has given me.  I like this site so much that I wanted to make sure everyone here knows about it.  I hope you enjoy!

Here is another great place, dogstuff.com! I recently shopped here for various dalmatian items and received my purchase in a timely matter with no difficulties.  They have so much for so many breeds of dogs.  Check it out for yourself!

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I Can Poop, But…

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Hey All! Thank you for your concern about Patch inI Can’t Poop!Here is an update:

I called the Doc and talked to his wife.  She said to put grease on his food: bacon, vegetable oil…She told me that Doc was going into surgery (HE is having surgery) in a bit: two hernias~probably from lifting animals.  She said if he had time (he was leaving in 30 minutes) he would call back. 

Another Vet there called me later that afternoon.  I asked her the question that had been on my mind:  Why hasn’t Doc told me to pursue other treatments?  Is it because of the stage of the disease, Patch’s age, the cost???  I like to try to analyze things all the time.  She explained that I could pursue further treatments~but there isn’t a cure~and treatments can be costly and have side effects too (she did go into detail).  She also asked me what type of lymphoma is it-B-Cell, T-cell?  I don’t know?  I told her when she found out, to let me know. I really love Doc and trust him, but do I need to see another Vet right now?  I really would like to just sit and talk to another Vet-talk and ask and ask and talk…Anyone? Anyone?

Ok~so I get home and put vegetable oil on Patch’s food.  This helps tremendously! Patch CAN POOP NOW!  BUT, when he gets in “pee” position (he squats now) and he isn’t peeing (when he does pee-he floods-side effect of the meds I think) blood is coming out-not in a stream either.  The blood is thick-phlegm-like.  GREAT!  What do I do now?  Patch has had urinary infections before where he had blood in his urine-do I need an antibiotic or is this disease related?

I have met another friend, Patty, via wvcobere’s blog (my friend that lost her precious Bill two weeks ago) that is going through the same thing.  She has told me about the meds her dog is on.  He is on Prednisolone, Tramadol, Amoxicillin, and Theophylline. At first I thought Patty misspelled prednisone~prednisolone.  NOPE~that’s right.  So I begin to research prednisolone-researching now.  I just came across an article about the side effects of prednisone (the drug Patch is on) and read this:

Prednisone must be converted to prednisolone in the liver. Animals in hepatic failure should receive prednisolone rather than prednisone.  GREAT!  Doc had said at the last visit that Patch’s liver and spleen are enlarged.  I don’t know what this means-if Patch has liver problems or what. Should he be on prednisolone instead?

OK! I am one to talk about too many things at once, talk to myself and answer back, and always asking questions out loud.  I hope I haven’t thoroughly confused everyone now.  Especially with the prednisone and prednisolone-I know I am REALLY confused-aaaaahhhhhh-lol.

Bottom Line: Patch is doing better~pooping now.  Friday night and last night were much more peaceful-sleeping now-both of us.  Thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers.

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Do you have any ideas, thoughts, or suggestions for me?