Thursday, July 31, 2008

Logical Next Steps

A friend and I went to pick up Carmella from the vet's today and to discuss where we go from here in her treatment. Dr. Norwood was still quite worried about using the Baytril despite the various points I made from the literature I'd faxed him yesterday. The thought of possible joint damage seemed burned into his brain and the topic of the difference in dose between what was done in studies and in this protocol did little to change his mental block about taking that plunge.

I have my doubts that Zithromax is going to do the trick, and didn't honestly think he'd just give me the Baytril to take home with the Penecillin G to do it myself. The Zithromax still had not come in and so will probably be delivered in a day or so to my house. Although it's a broad-spectrum antibiotic it has its limitations. We will probably be revisiting this issue in a few days.

We discussed getting ahold of the neuro vet and Dr. Norwood said he thought he'd hear something tomorrow, but as we were talking a nurse entered to tell him that Dr. Johnson was on the phone right then! He left the room to get the phone and my friend and I waited with baited breath to hear the outcome. In about 10-15 minutes Dr. Norwood returned. I looked to see if the expression on his face gave any clue as to the answer but it appeared neither disappointed nor hopeful.

He filled us in on the conversation and said that the guy was on the fence about it, and understood that there were logical reasons to believe it would work, yet the fact that there had never really been a journal article written except one in '72 that was out of print now was a possible sticking point. Dr. Norwood told him that although he was not a specialist himself and that publishing was not really as big a deal to him, that to the board certified neuro vet it could be quite important, and that he must admit this was a very interesting case. He reported what he'd seen of Carmella's recovery so far with his own two eyes, and he said that although he was cautiously optimistic, there was no denying that the dog was/is showing improvement, and had really perked up in the days following the injection of NDV.

Seeing as that pad deterioration is classic for Distemper and not any other disease, and that Distemper is thought to be incurable by conventional veterinary medicine, there really was no other explanation as to why her pads had gotten so much better over the past 7 days. The antibiotics wouldn't have done it, and there were really no other factors that could be responsible other than the NDV.

Just to give all of you readers an inside look at what we're talking about I'll post before and after pictures below so you can see for yourself. Descriptions of symptoms can sometimes be open to interpretation, but pictures never lie. The difference is nothing short of dramatic, and I would venture to say, nearly miraculous!

July 22, 2008-Before NDV July 31, 2008- 7 Days After NDV
Right Front Paw Pads

July 22, 2008-Before NDV July 31, 2008-7 Days After NDV
Right Rear Paw Pads

The first picture clearly looks scaley, irritated, and crusty with overall hardening, while the second picture (the one taken after NDV was given) in both back and front paws is almost completely healed! Not only do they look better, but they are nice and soft again to the touch.

Dr. Johnson told Dr. Norwood to send over her complete medical records and he'd think about it once he'd looked them over. He has not seen these pictures, by the way; only heard Dr. Norwood's observations over the phone of the improvements in her pads, and her improved liveliness, improved apetite, etc.

When the vet tech brought Carmella to me she was very elated and wiggled her skinny body, tail and all, raised up on her hind legs and licked my face. My friend was petting her and Carmella could not contain herself from licking her too. She was so happy to be going home. I gave her a big hug and smoothed back her ears and top of her head. She seemed to be drinking it all in as though suddenly her senses were alive once more, like she'd been asleep for most of her young life, and now was discovering the world of sight, touch, and sound for the very first time.

Once home, she settled into my lap, and then chewed one of her favorite rawhide bones with bacon inside, consuming it within about 15 ninutes.

There was a spring in her step that I had never seen before, and she was riveted on me, and on every new curiosity in the environment she encountered (such as the wheel cavity of my friend's car).

or the crabapples that lay strewn across the driveway, which she attempted to down immediately every chance she got.

She has even grown a little taller in the past week she's been away, and I can really see what looks like German Shepherd and red Doberman showing now, more so than ever before. She is beginning to lose that little dog look and get a little longer as well as taller. Carmella has only gained a half a pound, but she is definitely bigger in size now. You can still see what appears to be Whippet, Greyhound, and/or Basenji, but the other two breeds I believe are in there are now becoming more prominent than they were when I first got her; as though her genetics are staging a competition among the various breeds to see which will win out. Her toes on both front feet seem to have grown disproportionately long, adding to her rather unusual brand of cuteness.

The next several days will be very important in determining where we go from here. I am really crossing my fingers that Dr. Johnson agrees to do the Central Nervous System procedure, and that we can get control of the pneumonia once and for all.

Carmella is on the mend, but it is crucial that she get the procedure as soon as possible, as she still seems to be experiencing some balance problems intermittantly, and clumsiness going up and down steps. Dr. Norwood wondered whether that might just be weakness, but both my friend and I definitely saw her stumble and get off-balance a few times after she came home.

My 10% sale has one more day left. If you usually give to animal shelters keep in mind that these places have alot more resources than the owners of these sick puppies do, and your money may or may not go to pay for the healthcare of the dogs. In this case you are helping a dog in need directly, not paying salaries, or for brochures, and in return you get a great piece of jewelry! Please make this a success so that Carmella can get all the help she needs. She deserves the chance at a normal life.

The ad slots on my blog will continue to be for sale at $5.00 apiece. Be sure to get some PR by going to the bottom of the list that says "Are You In My Top Spots?" and clicking on the little heart so that you can sign up.

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