Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Leo Update

Because I know that you ALL care about and are worried about what is going on with my baby, Leo.

We went to a new vet yesterday; a specialist on internal medicine rather then a general practitioner in veterinary care. He reviewed all of Leo's medical records and films and took a look at my baby along with getting some oral history from me. He feels the issues are of two different paths (or possibly a combination of both of these):

First, he is immune deficient, which we already sort of assumed. However, he said that this is harder to get a confirmed diagnosis in animals because of there are any number of antigens that could be causing the issues. There is a blood test that can be done that could show a possible smoking gun, so we went ahead and did do that test.

Second, he may have Uncoordinated Cilia Function (although he called it some long technical name). When looking at the symptoms, this sounds pretty likely and even though this is something that normally shows itself in purebred dogs, one of the breeds that is listed is Staffordshire Bull Terriers, which I think Leo probably has a lot of in him. The symptoms are:

  • Moist, productive cough that may be elicited by exercise (check)
  • Bilateral nasal discharge with mucous and pus (check, I mean he is nicknamed Boogers McSnotty)
  • Rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and pale tissues may be observed (he often has rapid breathing and shortness of breath, which always is disconcerting)
  • Chronic sneezing and coughing - may produce copious amounts of mucous and pus. Despite dramatic response to antibiotics, patients may have continuous nasal discharge and will relapse after treatment is stopped. (check, check, check...we have gone through SOOO many antibiotics)
So, our next steps are that the vet is ordering material from the University of Pennsylvania where a specific test is performed to identify whether we are dealing with the cilia issue. Once the test kit arrives, we will schedule surgery for my baby. The vet is going to have to put him under anesthesia, do a lung and nasal biopsy along with a lung wash to identify if there are specific ickies in his lungs that we can point particular antibiotics at.

Okay, that is where we currently stand. If my baby had been left to his own devices out in the wild, he probably would not have survived. I love my little Boogers and am at the point where I just want to figure out what the issue is so that we can at least have a path of, if not curing it, at least provide him continued relief.