Category Archives: medication

1/21/17 NEW SUPPLEMENTS

I realized a couple weeks ago I realized that I have changed a few of the things I give Bailley and wanted to share these things with all of you as well as amend her medication page.

Cody brought a very mild case of Kennel cough home. He and Peyton were recently vaccinated. Peyton did not get it at all. Cody had a snotty stuffy nose. Phoebe (9) and Bailley (16) got it the worse. With Bailley being pretty bad. I had a couple days that Bailley did not want to eat. She had trouble standing and coughed so bad she could not sleep. Phoebe cough non stop. I am telling you this because these circumstances lead me to a couple new wonderful things.

To treat the kennel cough every one got nebulizer treatments twice a day for 10-20 min each. We have a human nebulizer with a mask that works well with the flat faced dogs. Ours is similar to the one below. I bought it on craigslist.

I used a saline solution which I keep on hand for different reasons. One for each treatment. The saline I buy is here https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XCQXXN0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have hydrocodone syrup on hand for Bailley when she has extreme attacks of coughing due to her heart. It was very nice to have but after a couple days I started to wish I could give them something else in the morning so they would not b groggy. A fellow breeder recommended this cough syrup. It worked with all the dogs and I have used it on the grand kids as well. The dogs got it twice a day. Morning and before bed. Bailley got Hydrocodone before bed as this helped her sleep for at least a few hours. You can give this syrup 1 cc every 6 hours.

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Another breeder friend told me about a supplement she used to get rid of Kennel cough. Vibactra Plus. I did some research on this and found it could be very useful not only for the distressed situation Bailley was in at the moment but also all the time.  Vibactra Plus

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It is around 30.00 a bottle. I got mine on ebay. About a week into using this I saw a marked difference in both Phoebe and Bailley. Phoebe was all but over it with a few coughs here and there and Bailley’s cough sounded more like it was a heart cough than a kennel cough

 

She was doing much better. As you can see in the video she started getting back to her old self. She was moving around like her body was not achy anymore. She started eating regular food (for her) again. We went through two rotisserie chickens over a two week period that is all she would eat. Since this video was taken she has shown more improvement.

After all seemed to be over with the Kennel cough, it seemed Bailley was left with a heart cough that was a little more often than before. Over the Christmas holiday her vet had to call in a new script for Lasix  (furosemide) For some reason the pill form was sent. She has always had the liquid. I noticed when she was sleeping there was a wheezing in her breathing. I suspected the Lasix was not doing its job. I had a little of the liquid left so the next day I gave her liquid just to test my theory. I was not sure if it was my imagination but she seemed better with the liquid. So I went to Walmart and had the liquid re filled. What did I have to lose? The script is around 11.00. It was worth it to me just to see if it would be better. There is definitely a difference in how her body responds to the liquid. She is almost back to her regular cough which is almost non existent. Only when she wakes from sleep or stress.

I thought it was important to tell the story about the Lasix because your vet is your dogs Dr but, you know your dog and your vet can be more effective with treatment if you are diligent at home with being observant.

So on top of all of this going on I realized Bailley was very gassy. I mean to the extent that every time she coughed walking down the drive outside to potty, she sounded like my husband when he gets gassy. For a little dog this was impressive but I felt like it might hurt her a bit. Not only that but it scared her. She would dart away from each one like someone was poking her in the bottom. Now she gets baby gas relief drops in the morning (if necessary) and after dinner. Her gas is much improved. I do believe the excessive gas is part of her health issues.

So one more thing I have to tell you about. Several months back I noticed she seemed to have chronic infection going on and it seemed to be bladder or urinary track related.  She has been on Ketoconozole for two years now as well as all the other medication she takes. Everything she is taking damages the kidneys and liver. I found a product called Renafood. She gets one every evening with her food. We hide it just like everything else. She has been taking it for almost three months and has not had infection since. Her bloodwork has never shown signs of kidney failure but I believe it is imminent with age and lots of meds.

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To see the modifications in her meds and supplements check out her meds page.

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6/12/2015 – METHOD TO MY MADNESS

Just a short post today. I have to get ready for a dog show. Another day of torture. Maybe if all of you cross your fingers really hard Tian Mi SHih Tzu will bring home the win.

I wanted to share with you how I give Bailley meds. Due to all the supplements and prescription meds she is pill wise. We have to switch it up A LOT. I use things I should not use but in small quantities, just enough to give the hard pills.

She is not a breakfast girl. Morning meds are the hardest. SHe has to have SAMe 1 hour before eating so I put it in a tiny amount of squeeze cheez. I know it has a lot of salt but its the only way. After an hour her morning meds are put in her food and she eats it. I always feed meds first. This meal is hand feed to make sure she gets everything. Her mid day pills (hawthornberry, Taurine, and L-Carnitine) are crushed in a mortar pestle and I add a tiny bit of hot water. Mix it into a paste and pull up in a syringe. I squeeze it down really quick and give her a sweet potato snack. She is happy and no issues.

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Evening meds are divided up. CoQ10 is put in a tiny piece of chicken Vienna sausage. The apricot seeds and Dasaquin are ground up and added to a small amount of food to be consumed first. Her three other pills are added to a tiny piece of Vienna sausage. I have a system now and it all works pretty well as long as she is eating. If she stops eating I have to pick and chose what she takes wisely.

05/08/2015 – HAWTHORN BERRY

After we got the cushing’s symptoms under control I felt like her heart was the bigger issue. I continued my search but this time I was looking for things I could do to help her heart function. We started at a grade 3 when this all began and in April It was changed to a grade 4!  I feel like my poor Bailley just can win for losing. It is my understanding that the Cushing’s is the root of all the damage.

I have read that research has proven hawthorn berry to be a valuable herb in the treatment of cardiovascular problems and promotes heart health. Hawthorn can also help to reduce the incidence of angina, which is a spasm of the blood vessels and improve the smooth muscle walls of the rest of the circulatory system, improve blood pressure, improving circulation and treating symptoms of mild heart failure and reduces atherosclerosis. Hawthorn works by widening blood vessels, especially heart blood vessels, which results in increased heart blood flow.

All of this sounds great to me. I have tried to read articles and learn about how and why Bailley’s heart is not working properly. I have tirelessly poured through tons of medical articles with pictures. The pictures are the highlight!! It is all quite mind boggling to a layperson. I think I have a general grasp on what is going on and I am thinking natural herbs can help.

A part of me thinks there is some slight improvement since she started taking Hawthorn berry. I will continue to observe and report. These natural herbs are not to replace prescribed medication but are supplemental measures of support that help bridge the gaps between what a body needs from diet and what it needs in terms of specific, added support.

DOSAGE: I started her on one 510 mg vcap a day. I am finding out that I should possibly break open the vcap and give her half in the am and half in the pm. I will start this today.

KETOCONAZOLE

You read it right. KETOCONAZOLE

My reasoning behind this was start with the small gun. If it doesn’t work you can always try a bigger one. Ketoconazole has less risk involved, my vet suggest it and said she had seen great results treating Cushing’s dogs and the topper was the expense involved.

Under vet supervision Bailley was started on 25 mg twice a day for one week. She was raised to 50mg twice a day after that. She was tested a month in and her test results confirmed the medication was working. She had not experienced any side effects at this point and I was feeling pretty good about my decision.

I noticed she was not eating as well and mentioned this to my vet. My vet strongly suggested since she was stable we should do a dental as this was a big part of why she went for an exam at the beginning. This could be why she was not eating as well. Her teeth were bothering her.

I scheduled the dental and she came through with flying colors. She had six teeth pulled. Her home recovery was not good. She was tired, weak, no appetite. She refused to eat at all. I thought all of this was because of the dental. It ended up being the Ketoconazole that was making her sick to her tummy.

I tried everything under the sun. Before I knew it weeks of not eating turned into a month. It was Christmas 2014 and all I could do was worry about my baby. My Gramma was in the hospital at the same time so I was running between Orlando twice a week and trying to take care of Bailley. Not a good time for me.

Things I tried to get her to eat: every different wet dog food on the market, home made satin balls (meat), rotisserie chicken, canned chicken Vienna sausage, ground turkey, ground beef, anything I made for dinner, raw dog food, freeze dried dog food, jarred baby food.

She would nibble on something one day and turn her nose up at it the next. Jarred baby food seemed to be the food of choice for almost two months. My vet prescribed a pill to make her hungry. It took about two weeks for this to kick in. She was getting thinner and thinner. I was losing all hope that Bailley would ever have quality of life again.  She lost about 2 lbs during this period.

DECIDING ON MEDICATION

Typically Cushing’s is treated with the choice of a few different meds. Lysodren and Veterol are the most commonly used medication to treat cushing’s  WARNING: Cushing’s is very expensive to treat up front.

Lysodren – is a  cancer chemo drug. It was the drug of choice for treating cushing’s dogs. The first 7 – 10 days are considered a loading period. include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, mopiness and coordination is an issue. These side effects are usually due to an excessive or rapid drop in the pets cortisol levels (too much drug) and they can be fatal. If you use lysodren, have your veterinarian give you  prednisone tablets or injection to give in emergencies when the vet might be unavailable. “Wow, that did not sound good to me!”  This drug actually destroys adrenal tissue and the dosage has to be tailored to fit each dog as to my adrenal tissue being destroyed will result in the opposite of cushing’s, Addison’s disease. additional testing is done every 7 – 10 days to get the dosage correct. It usually takes several months of dosing and testing to get it level and six months on Lysodren to see change. Common side effects are loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and  fatigue risk of Addisons  In a nut shell, Lysodren is about 7.00 a tablet. Your pet has to be tested every 7 – 10 days which is about about $200.00 – $500.00 a pop. The side effects are very scary and this is an old school drug of choice. Damages liver

Vetoryl – or Trilostane – This drug is more up to date for treating Cushing’s thank Lysodren. It is the only drug recognized by the FDA for the treatment of Cushing’s in dogs. This drug is very similar to Lysodren as the success rate is the same but appears to be a bit safer. The loading period is the same with the same amount of testing to get the dosage right. Common side effects are loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and  fatigue risk of Addisons  In a nut shell, Vetoryl is about $30.00 for 30/ 30mg tablets or 3.00 each, testing every 7 – 10 days is suggested until your dog stables out. The side effects are average and most dogs do quite well on this drug.

Ketoconazole –  is a drug generally dispensed for skin issues and is not the first drug of choice to treat Cushing’s. It has effects on the endocrine gland system. It is usually given when pets cannot tolerate the bigger gun. This medication is reported to only work on about 50% of Cushing’s dogs. Some sites report that when it does work sometimes it is only temporary. Usually pets are started on a low dose and if tolerated well the dose is raised to the proper dosage for your pet. Pets do not need testing every week but is reccomended after the first month to make sure dosage is working. Common side effects are loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue – no risk of Addison’s In a nut shell, there is a chance Ketoconazole will not work for your dog. The testing is much less of a burden, testing is only suggested after a month to ensure the dosage is working. Side effects are usually tolerated well and decrease with usage. It is claimed this is an expensive drug. Walmart sells 22/200mg tablets for $8.00

My vet immediately suggest Ketoconazole as she felt Bailley was to fragile to handle the heavier meds. I agonized over meds for two weeks. Bailley’s symptoms were getting worse. I have several friends who breed dogs as well as several friends who work for vets. I enlisted the help of anyone who was willing. Every vet consulted unanimously said VETORYL – I educated myself, devoring any and every article I could find on Cushing’s. Everything I read pointed to Vetoryl. I could not shake the advise of my vet. I would have done anything, including mortgage my home to save Bailley. In the end a conversation with a my very closest friend gave me clarity. I made a decision and it felt like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. – see next post