Well, settle in and get comfy, because this will be a long post.
To say we were devastated and disappointed on Friday when Corbin's pain returned would be a complete understatement. With the lack of occurrences, we were hopeful that the pain was being managed by the 5mg of Prednisone every other day and would no longer be an issue. The thing that makes diagnosing him so difficult, is he doesn't show a single symptom while he's at the vets office. So, this past weekend I started videoing him at home and sending clips to Dr. Mike. It was torture watching him move around in pain, but we're pretty close to being out of options if our vets can't see this going on. However, I do think his condition can't be something terribly awful if his adrenaline is enough to override the pain during a vet visit... but we still need to get to the bottom of it, because seeing him in pain like that, I don't care how infrequent, just isn't okay.
Momma, you're making me snooze already.
We've had a lot of new readers since the pain began last year and instead of tagging every single post we did on it, I decided to consolidate and post the time line that I've been keeping to document Corbin's pain, medications, treatments and diagnostic testings. Plus, even for those who do read regularly and have been with us for the whole thing, it's hard to remember it all. So, I'm going to get it out there, post it and pray that someone reading has experienced or has known someone who has experienced a pain similar to Corbin's. We're pretty sure it's somewhere in his middle back, but with near perfect spinal MRI images and spinal fluid, we're left pretty baffled. Anywho, here's our time line if you want to read it, if you don't, there's a summary at the bottom!
Corbin’s Pain History:
- 1/28/12 –Pain began, abdomen x-rays at Latham Emergency Clinic. X-rays clear. Physical exam, no apparent problems –weight @70lbs
- 1/29/12 – Lethargic, pale gums, emergency visit w/BHV. Physical exam inconclusive. Blood test for pancreatitis, positive. Hospitalized for IV fluids and medications. High anxiety, so discharged to be treated at home, given fluids.
- 1/30/12 – BHV for recheck & fluids
- 1/31/12 – BHV for recheck, fluids, start Tramadol (50mg) 2 pills, twice a day for pain
- 2/1/12 – BHV Tramadol for pain, Metacam
- 2/2/12 – BHV for pain, retest pancreatitis (negative)
- 2/3/12 – Prednisone for suspected pinched nerve in back, restricted activity, Acepromazine to tranquilize and keep calm. Stop Metacam
- 2/5/12 –Start 1 Prednisone (20mg) twice a day, 2 Acepromazine (25mg) three times a day, 3 Tramadol (50mg) three times a day
- 2/7/12 – Pain stopped
- 2/9/12 – Decrease Prednisone to 1 (20mg) pill twice per day
- 2/14/12 – Decrease Prednisone to 1 (20mg) pill once per day
- 2/20/12 – Stopped Prednisone
- 2/22/12 – Pain returned
- 2/23/12 – Restart Prednisone, 1 (20mg) pill twice a day
- 2/27/12 – Decrease Prednisone, 1 (20mg) pill per day
- 2/29/12 – Stopped Tramadol
- 3/5/12 – Decrease Prednisone 1 (20mg) pill every other day
- 3/22/12 – Stopped Prednisone
- 3/23/12 – Pain returned
- 3/29/12 – Neurologist appt with Dr. Todd Bishop, MRI of back and neck, Spinal Tab, x-rays of hips and hind legs, thorough exam by Dr. Bishop –weight @68lbs. Physical exam inconclusive.
- 3/30 - 4/1/12 – Severe pain, was up every 45 minutes throughout the night, could not get comfortable and yelped every time he got up from laying down, yelped going up stairs/ramp, yelped squatting to urinate, yelped reaching to the ground while sitting or standing, yelped getting on furniture, yelped reaching down to eat or drink.
- 4/2/12 – Restarted Prednisone 1 (20mg) pill twice a day for 8 weeks.
- 4/14/12 – Found bump on flank area near hind left leg
- 4/19/12 – BHV for check on bump, aspiration analysis showed scar tissue –weight @65lbs
- 4/19/12 – Yelp getting up from laying down
- 4/24/12 – Yelp reaching down for treat from standing position
- 4/28/12 – Notice severe weight loss
- 4/30/12 – Pale gums, labored breathing, lethargic
- 5/1/12 – Yelped getting up from laying down during the night
- 5/1/12 – BHV, abdominal ultrasound clear, possible enlarged heart -weight @60lbs
- 5/2/12 – BHV all day for testing, full heart ultrasound showing an enlarged heart, start on Vetmedin (5mg) 1.5 tablet twice a day, 1 Enacard (5mg) twice a day
- 5/3/12 – Recheck bump, lyme test (negative), decrease Prednisone to ¾ pill, twice a day
- 5/10/12 – Recheck bump
- 5/11/12 – Yelped in crate –possibly bending down to nibble up treat crumbs.
- 5/14/12 – Cytology for skin lesion, Mupirocin Ointment (22g) apply 3 times per day
- 5/17/12 – Yelp free
- 5/24/12 – Decrease Prednisone to ½ pill, twice a day
- 6/7/12 – Recheck bump, add 6tbls Welnectin supplement per day
- 6/14/12 – Decrease Prednisone to ¼ pill, twice a day
- 6/26/12 – Decrease Prednisone to ¼ pill, once per day
- 8/16/12 – Decrease Prednisone to ¼ pill, every other day
- 8/21/12 – Yelping, getting up from laying down, attempt to get on bed.
- 8/22/12 – Increase Prednisone ¼ pill every day.
- 9/20/12 – Decreased Prednisone ¼ pill, every other day.
- 10/11/12 – Stopped Prednisone
- 10/16/12 – Yelping
- 10/17/12 – Restarted prednisone, ¼ pill, every other day.
- 11/7/12 – Decreased Prednisone to ¼ pill every 3 days.
- 11/23/12 – Yelping, increased prednisone to ¼ pill every other day.
- 12/6/12 – Yearly check up, found broken tooth on right side, infected molar on right side.
- 12/10/12 – Follow up heart ultrasound. Heart stronger than it was in May, still slightly weaker than should be. Discussed decreasing heart medications to see if Corbin can be stable on a lower dose
- 12/14/12 – Surgery to remove broken tooth and infected molar. Tail amputation. Heart remained stable during surgery. Infected tooth was severely infected, started Clindamycin: 2 (150mg) pills, twice a day for 28 days. Mushy food for 10 days, Tramadol as needed for tail pain.
- 12/20/12 – Recheck exam for teeth and tail. Stitches removed from tail. Back molar healed, broken tooth still healing, mushy food for an additional week. Tail rewrapped. Decrease Vetmedin to 1 (5mg) pill, twice a day.
- 12/22/12 – Emergency vet visit, Corbin got his neck brace off and reopened his tail incision. Stapled tail, started on Acepromazine (25mg) 2-3 pills when left alone.
- 12/24/12 – Emergency vet visit, Corbin ripped out the staples.
- 12/26/12 – Second tail amputation surgery. Started Gabapentin (100mg) 2 pills, 3 times a day. Continued 3 Acepromazine (25mg) when left alone. 3 Tramadol twice a day (additional if needed for pain).
- 1/3/13 – Recheck exam for tail, half stitches removed, tail rewrapped. Continue with medications.
- 1/10/13 – Recheck exam for tail and heart. Remaining stitches removed. Tail rewrapped, continue with pain medications. Heart sounds good, decrease Vetmedin ½ (5mg) pill, twice a day.
- 1/11/13 – Yelping, pain returns. Yelping when getting up from lying down, yelping when walking, yelping going up/down stairs, yelping when squatting to urinate. Seems comfortable while laying down, pain gets worse as the night goes on.
- 1/12/13 – Vet visit. Corbin acts crazy and shows no sign of pain until we return him to the car to go home. Dr. Knapp increases prednisone to 20mg twice a day. Took videos during yelping at home and sent to Dr. Mike. Seems tender on his middle back, at the bottom of his ribs. No stairs, no couch, limited activity.
- 1/14/12 – Yelp free since 8am
Momma, you're boring my readers.
Told ya it would be long.
So, to sum it all up...
Corbin is currently on 1 Prednisone (20mg) twice a day, 1/2 Vetmedin (5mg) twice a day 1 Enacard (5mg) twice a day, 2 Gabapentin (100mg) three times a day, 3 Tramadol (50mg) three times a day, 1 Glycoflex (600mg) twice a day and 3 Acepromazine as needed when left alone.
He has had an MRI, spinal tap, x-rays of his abdomen, hind legs and hips and a handful of blood tests testing for lyme and lupus.
Skeletally, he is perfect. There isn't a part of his body that causes concern for any vet (which, by the way, he's seen 5 vets and 2 specialists: Neuro and Ortho). If I didn't have such a great relationship with Dr. Mike and if he didn't trust me to know my dog so well, we'd totally be flying down a river with no paddle.
Thanks to everyone who has already offered up advice. I won't post the videos on here because, well, they're heart wrenching to watch and I don't know that they'll do any good
Momma... this post megaly lacked Corbin pictures.
I made up that word, megaly, to make this post more interesting.
We have discussed going to Cornell or Tufts University. They're each about 3 hours away and I'm not concerned about the drive as much as I'm concerned that we're going to get there and also get no where because Corbin will not show his issues for them to assess. And, as far as I know, neither university will look at his history without seeing him in person.
Okay, this is long enough, so I'll leave it at that. If anyone has any ideas or clues to help us, it's all very much appreciated!!!! He is stable now and we'll hopefully decrease his Prednisone on Monday. The increased dose causes concerns for his heart, so it makes me nervous...