Monday, September 13, 2010

UPDATE Sept 10, 2010


Here's Corky today, feeling and looking great. He is on a maintenance of low doses of prednisone every other day along with the other supplements: Prednisone 10mg EOD alternated with 15mg EOD, azathioprine 50mg, doxycycline 100mg twice daily, niacinamide 500mg twice daily, Veterinary Immune Tabs 2 pro tabs daily 4x weekly, plus organic kelp powder daily.

Now that he is stabilized the next step is to slowly reduce the azathioprine and doxycyline. He will see the opthamologist this week and then his main vet for a check up and another thyroid test. Last lab results early August showed everything normal including all organs except the thyroid was very low at .4 (normal is 1 - 4). Although since he wasn't displaying typical hypo-thyroid symptoms we did not treat it. The vet said his low reading was extremely common for dogs undergoing intense prednisone treatment. If you review Corky's blog from March through July you will see the events of his relapse and the aggressive treatment we were forced to use.

As a result of the high dosages of prednisone during July, Corky suffered major side effects including shocking hair loss which is documented in the photos below. However, we were surprised at the speed of recovery as we expected extra slow hair regrowth due to the pred. This I lean toward crediting to the Vet Immune Tabs that he has been taking since the onset of symptoms back in December. At any rate, by early August it seemed the disease was back in remission, just prior our vacation to the High Sierra where we're originally from. We knew it would be a risk exposing Corky to the more intense ultra violet rays at high altitudes but I had made him a wardrobe of hats with visors and cooling coats to shade the bald spots all over his back and top of head. Well, right after our first fun hike with our long time friends and Cork's doggie buddies did he start to relapse with the same exact pattern of pigment fading across the nosebridge as what happened back in May (see earlier blog posts), along with a little blood from him rubbing his irritated nose against the grass. Okay, then... it didn't take long for me to discover that it is THE SUN! that triggers the symptoms. So, once I realized that I immediately modified his hat visors to extend beyond his nose and also decided to be vigilant about keeping that nose out of the sun for good. Which meant, sticking to shaded hikes, keeping those visors on him when in the sun, and continuing early morning and dusk walks. Once I realized that Corky is extremely sun sensitive I became adamant about his routines. And it worked.
Now, when he did begin to relapse second week of August I did what the eye doc suggested and backed up a step on the meds, meaning instead of every other day of pred I did every day at 20mg for a week. However, I was so nervous about a relapse like before that I decided to really stay on top of the process and hit him hard for one day at 30mg in the morning then 10mg in evening and tapper it down next day to 30mg, etc until we were back to 20mg daily. This course took 10 days. After that his nose pigment returned and we got back on the schedule of every other day 10mg alternated with 20mg. Today he is at 10mg EOD then 15mg EOD along with the other supplements and avoiding the sun. Whew! See below for photos of his hats. Double click photos to enlarge.

Sept 10, 2010:

July 23, 2010:

August 10, 2010


Sept 10, 2010:

May 27, 2010:


June 28, 2010:


Sept 10, 2010:


July 23, 2010:


Sept 10, 2010:

July 5, 2010:


July 29, 2010:

Sept 10, 2010:


July 29, 2010:


August 10, 2010:


Sept 10, 2010:

August 10, 2010: this hat covered his bald spot on his head and protected his eyes but the visor was too short to cover the nose so the sun aggravated it and triggered a relapse. Afterward I made extra long visors to shade his nose. Corky is also wearing a cooling coat to shade his bald spots. Needless to say he had a blast in the high country with his old pals.






These boots are made for walking and he loves them. They are by Ruffwear and have great traction and stay on. Best boots on market. His pads tend to get dry and cracked so I apply an organic foot balm then put his socks on before the boots. What a good sport!

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