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BoxerMad
05:53:45 Mon
Jun 6 2011

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More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Busta is doing really well with his moving around, most of the time he seems pretty much back to normal, sometimes a little stiff and always a little slower than he was, but he seems to be pain free in his joints and so much happier in himself.

He now has another problem though - last week we noticed that he was getting some sores on his ears and the bridge of his nose, they looked like blisters and if you rubbed them the fur came away and it left an open sore. We pointed this out to our vet and he took a scrape of one of them and passed it to their lab to check for any signs of mites, however we have never had a problem with mites. Over the weekend Busta has got more of these sores and they are also appearing on his lips and his paws.

I googled his symptoms last night and i think he may have Pemphigus. This is not good and i was in tears reading the articles. It is another autoimmune problem and the symptoms are identical to what Busta has.

The problem is the medication he is already on - Prednisolone & Metronidazole are the main treatments for Pemphigus and the problem is getting worse. The only other medication i can find mentioned is (Imuran -azathioprine), but looking at how quickly the sores are appearing, along with the fact he is already on an extremely high dose of prednisolone i don't think this is something we are going to be able to treat. The mortality rate for this condition is 60% and along with all his other problems and our financial situation at the moment I really am fearing the worst.

We already have an appointment at the vets booked for tomorrow afternoon, Brendan and i discussed trying to bring it forward to today, but Busta is doing so well in himself at the moment. The sores are not bothering him too much, I am smothering them in tea tree cream to help soothe them (and stop him licking the ones on his paws) and he is already on the medication which is used to treat this condition. We have decided to wait until tomorrow to take him for his appointment which is already booked (Unless anything else changes today) but unfortunately i don't think the outlook is good for him. I am not sure how quickly this condition progresses and the last thing we want for Busta is for him to be in any pain or discomfort - if we have to make this horrible decision for him we would rather it be sooner than later.

We are totally gutted!



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Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 
SashasMum
15:21:03 Mon
Jun 6 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Caroline I am just in bits for you, that's such awful news. Poor Busta and poor you two.

You know I am thinking of you and I am sure you will do what is right for Busta and he knows you love him and trusts you fully xxx

  
Jakes_mum
17:59:37 Mon
Jun 6 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Thinking of you all.

Liz

  
BoxerMad
18:11:48 Mon
Jun 6 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Thanks Karen & Liz

I changed our appointment at the vets to today - when i got home from work, the sores had got worse still, so i called them and asked them to move our appointment forward to today.

The vet agreed that the open sores do indicate pemphigus, although the only way to confirm it 100% is by doing a biopsy.

We had a very long chat with the vet about what options there are. Busta's urine results were back and he is also losing quite a lot of protein through his kidneys, which indicates yet another problem.

Our first option is for him to go in as a day patient and have his blood pressure monitored, a biopsy done and further blood tests - this may or may not take us any further towards finding what the problem is. This would cost around 300 - 400 which we could manage. Our vet is going to contact some specialists and discuss Bustas case with them to give an idea of whether this would be worth doing and also what further treatment could be given - if any. I have to give the vet a call tomorrow afternoon and we will discuss what the outcome of this is then.

Our second option is for us to apply to the Blue Cross or similiar organisations and see if they will take on Busta's case - these organisations are not means tested, so the fact that we are both working would not prevent us from being able to get help from them, our vet said due to our situation in having two dogs with serious illnesses we would most likely be accepted, however these organisations are heavily oversubscribed and it would depend if they had specialists available to treat such a rare case.

Our third option is Euthenasia, with all of Busta's problems combined it is really not looking good for him. Even if we were able to get the pemphigus under control, there is the problem of him losing protein through his kidneys which will eventually make him waste away and become weaker and weaker. There is no indication of what is causing this as he has had all the scans and other tests done to look for cancer and they have all come back clear - the only thing he has not had tested is bone marrow.

We are not going to make a decision until after i have spoken to the vet tomorrow. If is looks even a little bit hopeful, we will go ahead with the biopsy etc in the hope that he could be put on further medication to control the pemphigus.

The problem is that there is no clear indication of what to expect in the future, how far should we go? When should we stop?

Both Brendan and i have said that the most important thing is that Busta should not suffer and if his quality of life will be poor then we will have to make that decision that we so do not want to have to make.

The vet said there was nothing more he could give us for Busta today - he is already on the recommended treatment for the condition and all we can do with the sores is dab them with hibiscrub to prevent infection - although the vet said with all the antibiotics he is already on, infection is very unlikely.

We are praying for some good news tomorrow afternoon although it is not looking likely. If we do have to go with option three, then it will probably be Thursday or Friday unless things get seriously worse before then.

I still can't believe all this has happened with Busta, after everything we have already been through with Henry. It was only 3 weeks ago we took Busta to the vets because he was limping and a little lethargic - It's so not fair!!



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Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 
sandyc
06:36:34 Tue
Jun 7 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Im so sorry to hear of all of Busta's health problems.Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  
Polo123
10:42:20 Tue
Jun 7 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Aw Caroline this sounds absolutely awful, it's been one thing after another, think you all should be due some good luck for a change! Thinking of you all :bighug:



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HARIBOH
15:33:07 Tue
Jun 7 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

oh god.... what a blooming nightmare :'(


Does Busta's sores kinda scab over when they are starting to dry up... reason i ask is that we had a golden labrador that shot out the door one day and headed over to the building site along the road from us.... when i got her back in (i was only about 12 so it was a long time ago) she kept licking her pads and they were like little blisters that scabbed over...she lost all her hair except from on her face and down her neck...the vet thought she had stood on a chemical or something at the site and licked it off when then went right through her body....now remember im going back 30 years...she was eventually put to sleep and her bill was over 500 which was huge ... we took her to specialists at Paisley Vetinary college but they could find anything to help her.... is it possible that Busta has picked something up on his paws at the vet/hospital he was at?

Whatever the outcome i know you will make the right decision for your dog and if god forbid it is option 3 you can take comfort in the fact that you done everything possible for your baby

Shona x



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BoxerMad
17:43:26 Tue
Jun 7 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

:luck: There may be some hope!!

Our vet spoke to a specialist today about Busta's condition. The specialist had seen the immune issues progress in this order in two other dogs and both dogs eventually recovered:banana:

The process was very slow - one dog taking around six months to recover, but even if that is the case with Busta, he is only five and a half years old and could still have years ahead of him.

Our vet is going to find out some more information regarding ongoing costs of medication etc for us and we have to call him again tomorrow.

It is still going to be very hard financially, but if we can get him settled on a medication, it will be a lot easier to manage. It is all the ongoing tests that we will struggle with, but we will do everything we can for him if there is a chance.

Busta in himself is getting stronger each day, he has been playing with toys again today and is slowly getting back to his old self - I just really hope we can get the Pemphigus under control:luck:

Shona - I originally thought it was some sort of reaction to a chemical or something, however when the sores started to spread i googled his symptoms and the places where the sores have come up is identical to what i read in the articles about pemphigus - his ears, the bridge of his nose, around his lips and on his feet. They start out as a sort of blister / lump under the skin and then he only has to brush against something and they open up, the fur and top layer of skin comes away and they are open for about three days and then eventually start to crust over. When we took him back to the vets and i mentioned the pemphigus, the vet agreed immediately. Some of the sores don't look quite as bad today as they are starting to dry out a bit, however there are new ones opening up.

Things are looking so much better today than they were yesterday - maybe our luck is finally changing!

:luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck: :luck:



---
Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 
Polo123
21:15:27 Tue
Jun 7 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

I was dreading logging in tonight to catch up with how you got on this afternoon so breathed a huge sigh of relief for you all when I read your opening statement :cheering:

So pleased there's hope of a full recovery, cannot begin to imagine what you've been going through, fingers crossed :luck: :love:



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HARIBOH
07:02:19 Wed
Jun 8 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

thats great news.... the wee blister things sound similar to human empitigo?

Fingers crossed now you know what it is that his treatment works quickly.

Shona x



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Squeezeboxplayer
16:49:11 Wed
Jun 8 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Keeping everything crossed for you can't believe you have had yet more issues. Keep us informed



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sandyc
19:50:56 Wed
Jun 8 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Keeping you and your baby in my thoughts and prayers.

  
Katiesnowflake
02:04:33 Fri
Jun 10 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

How are things now?



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SashasMum
15:38:49 Fri
Jun 10 2011

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Glad to hear a more positive outlook xxx

  
BoxerMad
19:59:38 Fri
Jun 10 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: Had another appointment at the vets this evening with Busta and things seem to be looking up once more :luck:

On Wednesday i spoke to the vet on the phone and he had spent a couple of days talking to other specialists and trying to find out a bit more about all Busta's symptoms.

One dermatologist he spoke to suggested that he could be having a severe reaction to some of the medication he was on. This was initially ruled out as the problems did not start straight away on the medication. As our vet knows that we are limited as to what we can do financially, he suggested that the first step could be to reduce some of the medication and cut out some others, just incase it was due to a reaction.

He told me to stop two of the antibiotics and reduce his prednisolone from 50mg twice a day to 30mg twice a day. So now he is just on one antibiotic (Marbocyl) and the reduced dose of prednisolone.

Things are already improving since Wednesday:banana:

The sores on Bustas ears had spread quite badly, the fur had all come away and his ears literally looked like a piece of raw meat, very weepy, often bleeding and just looked so sore.

In just 36 hours since the change in medication they are already starting to dry up (We have to keep Henry away from him, as he keeps licking them and was just making them worse). Busta also had a load more lumps up the bottom part of his legs - this was how the sores had started out before opening up. These lumps now seem to be going down without opening up into sores.

Busta himself is getting more and more energy every day, the stiffness seems to have all gone, even on the lower dose of the prednisolone - I did have a bit of a scare last night as his belly seemed quite swollen and he was panting. But i sat with him massaging his belly and Brendan took him out for a couple of short walks and we now think it was just trapped wind!:waa: He was passing an awful lot of wind and once he seemed comfortable, Brendan came to bed - when i got up for work this morning, Busta was standing at the bottom of the stairs with a toy in his mouth wagging his tail:wink:

I mentioned to the vet about his swollen belly and he had a look (I was worried about fluid in his abdomen as he is still losing protein through his kidneys) and didnt think there was anything to worry about, he said if it happens again try giving him some Zantac or Famatodine which should help to ease it.

Busta is eating loads, tinned food, dry food and fresh tripe - he has put on a whopping 3kg since leaving the hospital just under two weeks ago:banana: He still looks very bony in places as he needs to build up his muscle again but our vet was absolutely amazed at the difference in him since Monday:love:

We are really hoping that it was just a reaction to the medication and that he continues to improve. We don't have to take him back again till next Friday - down to once a week now instead of twice a week as things are looking so much better.

We gave another urine sample in to be tested for protein loss and are now keeping our fingers crossed that there is also an improvement there :luck:

He still has a very long way to go and our vet does keep reminding us that although things are improving amazingly fast now, he is still a very poorly boy - we are prepared to do everything we can for him though and are just praying that things are now starting to turn around:love:



---
Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 
Jakes_mum
01:35:03 Sat
Jun 11 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Thats fabulous news that he is getting back to his old (tho somewhat windy) self.

Liz:biggrin:

  
hubblebubble
11:08:39 Sat
Jun 11 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Hurray,things do sound alot better and i hope he continues to improve for him,that is an awful lot to go through...wee soul. When i read the bit about him standing at the stairs with a toy it made me smile cause you know they are on the mend.
Sue and Bobby x

  
BoxerMad
11:35:21 Sat
Jun 11 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Busta seems really well again this morning - he has had his beakfast and morning medication and is now chewing on a pigs snout!!

I have taken a few pictures to show just what a state he is in at the moment - these were taken this morning and are not how it was at it worst - most of the sores are starting to dry out a bit now, but a couple of days ago they were all very weepy and bleeding - i just really hope they continue drying up at the rate they have been.

Busta having a nap this morning




A close up of his right ear - still a bit weepy but much improved on a few days ago




A close up of his left ear




The inside of one of his ears




Ulcers on the underside of his lips




His snout - the little pink bits are actually ulcers




His back feet - very sore




Swellings / sores on one of his back feet - these ones are still quite swollen and weepy





Our vet told us to use hibiscrub to keep them from getting infected, however Busta just wants to lick that straight off - The only way i can stop him from licking his feet is to put some tea tree cream on them, however we have to use that sparingly as although it is soothing for busta it will slow down the healing process - they basically just need to dry out. It all looks so horrible and i feel terrible as it feels like i am always shouting at Busta to stop licking his feet, but it is the only way they will heal.

As our vet said to us - he is still a very poorly boy, but even if the healing is going to be slow - I am just so happy it is going in the right direction at the moment:love:



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Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 
Katiesnowflake
18:26:22 Sat
Jun 11 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Poor lad, he is marvellous for coping so well.

Rosie had some terrible reactions to medications at times

Lots of healing vibes from us xx



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Jakes_mum
22:21:40 Sat
Jun 11 2011

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Oooo that looks so sore! Keeping everything crossed that he keeps on improving.

Liz

  
sandyc
02:22:54 Sun
Jun 12 2011

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Wow!Those sure do look terrible,and must be soo sore.Hoping things continue to improve!!!!!

  
Polo123
13:52:13 Sun
Jun 12 2011

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poor Busta, and you said those pics aren't when he was at his worst :crying: hope he continues healing :love:



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SashasMum
16:51:10 Sun
Jun 12 2011

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Poor Busta :crying:

Caroline, I use tea tree on Sasha's paws to stop her licking them, but what I have done is make up a solution of tea tree, lavender and hibiscrub and I spray it on regularly

xx

  
BoxerMad
19:41:06 Wed
Jun 15 2011

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Re: More problems Busta - Pemphigus

Thanks Karen - Thats definately worth a try:thanks:

Busta is doing really well - We were getting a bit worried about his ears as Henry wouldn't stop licking them and I had seen Busta trying to scratch them a few times, so on Sunday we went and bought him one of those big plastic collars to protect them a bit - He hated it. He eventually settled down on Sunday night, but by the time we both got home from work on Monday, he had got it off and Pepsi had chewed it up!!!:waa:

But his ears suddenly started looking so much better, cleaner and starting to heal - all down to Henry's magical healing tongue! They are really drying up now, Henry still licks them occasionally but he is also starting to leave them alone now. The sores on his feet are also drying up and the ulcers under his lips are slowly starting to get a thin layer of skin over them - as if they are sealing up.

We are so happy with the improvement and i can't wait to take him back to the vets on Friday to show our vet just how well he is doing.

He is pretty much back to his normal self in every other way - a little slower still but plenty of energy. We took him out for his first off lead run yesterday since he got poorly and he loved it - he looked so happy running through the long grass.:love:

He still needs to put on a little more weight and build up his muscle again - but i really am convinced now that he is going to be okay - it wasn't his time to go just yet - He is only just over 5 years old after all:love:



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Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 
sandyc
07:09:29 Thu
Jun 16 2011

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Glad to hear he's doing better!!!!!

  
Polo123
18:25:25 Thu
Jun 16 2011

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great news Caroline, so glad to hear he's doing so well, long may it continue :luck:



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SashasMum
07:13:12 Fri
Jun 17 2011

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I am so pleased that he is still doing so well! He has been through such a hard time, both him and Henry!

Hopefully you will have some stress free times for a while and be able to relax and enjoy your babes. Poor Pepsi must have wondered what's been going on all this time!

Xxx

  
BoxerMad
16:49:55 Fri
Jun 17 2011

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I am just about to leave for the vets with Busta. . . . . . .
I am looking forward to showing off my amazing recovering boy:banana:




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Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 
jilldemo
19:55:17 Fri
Jun 17 2011

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Excellent news, you need this upper.



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BoxerMad
20:32:50 Fri
Jun 17 2011

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The vet was really happy with Busta:banana:

The protein loss in his urine is still quite high, which is a little bit of a concern, but we are hoping with the reduction in dose of the steroids this will start to improve. Left another sample there to be tested, he has been on the lower dose for just over a week now so hopefully this sample will be better.

He doesnt have to go back for another two weeks and the plan hopefully is to start reducing the dose of steroids in about four to six weeks. He could possibly end up coming off them completely, just got to see how that goes - but still very very happy with the improvement in him. He is almost back to his normal self:love:



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Caroline, Henry Monster, Bustaroo, Pepsi and the not forgotten Tia baby & Kirei xxxx


 
 

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