Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Homecoming from the Animal Care Center

Mom and her friend Peggy came and picked me up today from the Animal Care Center. I was soooooo happy to see Mom and get into the Volvo! Then when I came home the other doggies were delighted to welcome me back. Even Elsa the Meanie. Mom helped me outside and I did a great big pee in the back yard to celebrate.

My diarrhea is gone I'm happy to report. I still need to recover completely from the effects of the steroids. Then I will come back to the Animal Care Center for an MRI.

Mom read me some of my medical records. Neither Mom nor I know exactly what it all means but we have trust that Dr. Pedroia will help me.
Assessment (when Sam checked into the hospital 2 days ago):
T3-L3 myelopathy. IVDD considered most likely. Neoplasia and degenerative myelopathy cannot be ruled out. Hepatopathy likely secondary to Prednisone administration or may be primary in origin. Regenerative anemia likely secondary to blood loss (GI).

Assessment (when Sam checked out of the hospital today):
Sam is BARH, pink moist oral mm. Heart and lungs auscult wnl. Abdomen is soft and non painful, no masses or organomegaly palpated, large bladder. Non ambulatory paraparetic. Decreased CPs RPL. Absent CPs LPL. Able to support minimal weight when placed in standing position. Appears comfortable. Eating and drinking great. Urinated on own outside. No diarrhea overnight.

Of course the doctors wrote a lot more stuff about me but it's all pretty boring.

I'm blogging right now while I am waiting for my dinner. Apparently I have to take some medicine (Metronidazole) and then wait 1 whole hour before I can eat. Mom says we have to follow the rules so that I don't have any more diarrhea.

I can smell the dinner Mom is cooking for me. Chicken and rice. Mmmmmmm. Plus some regular doggy kibble.

I love to eat. It's my greatest joy in life.

Below are just two photos from today's trip home. Mom wanted to take more pictures of me but I got scared so she had to stop. No wonder I am scared -- in the last photo Mom took of me I look like a black hamster! I hope this one turned out better.

Thanks to everyone for your caring comments.



At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Ker barked...

Yay! Sammie you're home. I hope you had a good dinner. Chicken & rice, yumyum. I'm sure you are pooped from all the travelling, have a good rest at home tonight. I look forward to more updates. You're in my prayers.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Cal the Wonderdog barked...

that's great you're home! I don't understand all the terms your doctors wrote about, but you just keep going day at a time and enjoy that great food too. Sometimes I get chicken and rice and non-kibble food too, definitely a highlight of my day!


At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Max barked...

Great to see that you're home now, Sam. I've been thinking about you every day and sending positive vibes. Don't tell any one that I said this (after all, I'm supposed to be a rough, tough guy), but I think that you're the most beautiful GSD I've ever seen.

Your Buddy,

Max the Wonder Dog

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Timmy barked...

Hi Sam. I know you're not keen on cats but this one just wanted to say that he's very happy to see you are home with your Mom. It's rough having to spend time in the hospital. I did it for over two months last year. Stay well and eat your yummy dinner! Take your meds and rest well!

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Heidi barked...

You will find info on the medication above.

Basically Sam's report saids he probably has Degenerative Myelopathy but it's not conclusive. An MRI should reveal more. If white spots are on the MRI he will be dx with DM. A spinal tap and other symptoms may reveal more too. There is no conclusive test for this so it's a matter of ruling out everything out.

Is Sammy paralyzed from the waist down or is he not able to bare weight in his back legs?

At 7:25 PM, Blogger Sam the beautiful all-black German Shepherd Dog! barked...


Thanks for your interest in me and my condition.

I'm not fully paralyzed from the waist down but I cannot bear any weight at all on my back legs. Mom has to use a harness to get me standing...then I walk with my front legs and she carries my back legs. I weigh 80lbs so it's kind of hard for Mom to help me. Plus I do not like my back legs to be touched and I growl at Mom when she puts on the harness. Since I have a pretty hefty set of teeth and powerful jaws Mom is careful to always put a muzzle on me before she puts on the harness. I can crawl pretty fact I just crawled thru the doggy door which I am not supposed to do.


At 8:17 PM, Blogger Heidi barked...

As you know DM is MS in dogs. This topic intrigues me because there is a correlation between dogs and MS. Has Sam had any other dog deseases?

If he can't bear weight my guess is that he's suffering from some type of nerve damage. This is a common symptom of MS, but there are several mimics. That's why he must be tested for everything before he's dx with DM. As I said there is no test for it.

My marie does not have MS but her brother does. Marie has Tarsal Tunnel syndrome, it's considered to be a rare and uncommon disorder. It's a mimic of MS.

At her worst she is not able to bear weight....MS is the same. My Marie suffered with incredible pain for several years and was in a wheel chair for much of it. Her brother is not in pain but cannot bear weight.

Locating the right physicians is extremely important with any type of nerve damage. There are medications that help the nerves connect more efficiantly. I don't know if dogs can take neurontin but that's what I'd ask the doc next visit. It's an epileptic medication but was OK'd by the fda for nerve damage. It helps the nerves communicate and helps a little with the weakness.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Sam the beautiful all-black German Shepherd Dog! barked...


Wow, you know a lot. You could be the first Dr. Dog :-)

I'm sorry your Marie is ill but glad she is doing better. I hope that I will also do better. Mom says I have the best vet neurologist in N. California, maybe the whole wide world.

Mom is going to ask about the neurontin when we see the neurologist again. Thanks for the tip.

Mom is also going to ask the members of the Yahoo Group called degenerative myelopathy about the neurontin.



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