Today I am looking at my bright-eyed beautiful boy who is right now pestering me to throw the ball as I try to write. With great relief I notice that most of the pigmentation around his eyelids, nose and lips has returned. The white of his eyes are still a bit red but his eyes are full of life and he can see perfectly. His eye exam last week showed improvement and the eye pressure had even increased to a more normal level. At the start of this disease the eye pressure was dangerously low and measured 4 & 5 but now it is at a more normal level measuring 13 & 15.
This is a crucial time in the course of events as we are slowly decreasing the prednisone after a long period at a high dosage. He was on 30mg of pred twice daily for 18 days. Before that he was getting by on 5mg pred every other day alternated with azathioprine 25mg until the relapse late March when we gradually doubled and then tripled the amount but didn't get enough response. We had continued the niacinamide twice daily and eyedrops twice then 3 x's daily. I also continued the Veterinary Immune Tabs daily as always since December '09. I have not changed his food since his stools are consistently good: Taste of the Wild salmon/sweet potato.
When the disease seemed to be coming out of remission by late March we noticed some depigmentation around the face although this time at a slower rate as my photos will show. At this point since he now has some tolerance toward the drugs we had to get much more aggressive. Below I've documented the dosages given along with the photos. Earlier documentation is shown if you scroll down to older posts.
Since early December 2009 when Corky was diagnosed with uveodermatologic disease I started him on a nutritional supplement that I've continued ever since. I believe it has helped with his success. It is called Verterinary Immune Tabs found at Ramaekers Nutrition online ramaekersnutrition.com. You must talk to one of the website's veterinarians in order to purchase the professional strength tabs. The basis is made from Transfer Factors derived from colostrum which carry molecules that help balance the immune system. It also utilizes powerful mushroom extracts potent in the healing process along with omega 3's, amino acids, trace minerals, msm, and everything else good for a balanced immune system.
As for the side effects from the high dosages of pred, we have seen the typical raveneous thirst and appetite, hyperactivity, panting, excessive peeing. The skin rash and dry cracked paws and nostrils may be caused by the drugs if not the disease, or perhaps the extra dry air and allergens this time of year here in Tucson. I worry about the long term affects of the drugs but we really have no choice. This disease won't go away and can only be managed by drugs. The past ten months has been an emotional rollercoaster struggling to keep our beloved dog alive. If we can sustain him at low doses as we did in January through March, then he could still live a long quality life. As loyal as he is to me I remain dedicated in fighting this disease with all the persistance it takes. Meantime, Corky reminds us how every moment counts, none of us will be here for long. He's waiting for me to throw more balls so off I go. Today is all there is.
And oh, yes, I believe dogs do feel love.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
June 23, 2010 UPDATE
Labels: australian shepherd uveo, australian shepherd uveodermatologic syndrome, canine autoimmune disease, canine uveitus, canine uveodermatologic syndrome, canine VKH Syndrome, uveitus, uveo/vkh, uveodermatalogical syndrome, uveodermatologic syndrome, uveodermatologic syndrome dog