Author Topic: Brewster's Story  (Read 547 times)

Offline Brewstersdad

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Brewster's Story
« on: November 04, 2016, 06:44:47 PM »
First Name of Patient   (Helpful if used in the title) Brewster
Species (human, dog, cat): Dog (Boxer)
Sex   Male
Age at first symptoms:   5.5 months
Year of first symptoms   2016
Country   United States
Patient's Locality (town/state/prov)   Indianapolis, IN
Did this patient survive?   No, he died at just 7 months young.
Was there an official medical diagnosis of Blastomycosis?   Yes, but it was just hours before he died
How and where do you think this patient caught Blastomycosis?   We honestly don't know. Anywhere that Brewster went, our other dog went.
Symptoms
The symptoms started in mid-september. He began to cough, and then would make a choking noise. A few days after this his appetite went down, and he had a fever. I took him to the vet, and they prescribed a steroid and antibiotic. The cough went away, and the fever stopped. The following day he had hypersalivation (spelling may be wrong, but essentially there was an entire puddle of drool). About 15 minutes after this, he had no control over his bladder (he was house trained), and he vomited. I called the vet, and they told us to continue on the antibiotics. October 3-10, my wife and I went to Las Vegas, and my mother-in-law watched the dogs. She called us because she was worried about Brewster because his wasn't eating, excessive drooling started again. She gave him some yogurt and pepto for his tummy, and that seemed to calm his belly. Once we got back from Las Vegas Brewster seemed to be doing ok, but then on October 17th-18th the cough came back. We called the vet, and he prescribed another round of antibiotics, and the antibiotics seemed to work on the cough. On October 22, in the middle of the night Brewster began vomiting, but was fine on October 23. October 24 is when everything began to get really bad. He kept trying to eat, and would begin vomiting within minutes (I realize dogs do regurgitate food, but this didn't look like it was only his food) . We made an appointment for Tuesday, October 25. The vet did some blood work, and that's when he became very worried. Brewster's red blood cell count was down to 17, and he referred us to a emergency animal hospital. Once we got there they did more blood work, x-rays, and an ultrasound. On the ultrasound they noticed his liver and lymph nodes were enlarged. They were particularly worried about the size of his liver.

Treatment   
Based on the enlarged liver, they wanted to do a aspiration (sp) test to check for lymphoma. That test came back negative, so their initial diagnosis was that it was most likely a bacterial infection. They put him on doxycycline, and baytril, pepcid, and IV fluids, and a prescription diet that would be easy on his stomach. He began showing a little improvement (we think this was from the fluids). We brought him home on Thursday October 27, and he began improving up until Sunday night. My wife took Brewster in for his follow-up appointment on Monday, and his red blood cell count dropped again. She then ordered a urine and blood test for vairous fungal infections (which were due back on that Wednesday). On Tuesday Brewster was miserable and essentially stopped moving. We took him back to the animal hospital at 1:00 AM, and they told us that they had just gotten Brewster's test back, and it was positive for Blasto. At that time we were relieved because we finally knew what it was, and thought treatment could began. We got a call Wednesday morning thinking it was the specialist to talk about Brewster's treatment options. Unfortunately, it was a call that a parent never wants to receive. The Vet told us that Brewster had a seizure, they gave him valium and the seizures stopped. A few minutes later he stopped breathing, and they were trying to resuscitate him. This had been going on for over 7 minutes, and I had to make the tough decision to tell them to stop. My wife and I went to the animal hospital to say goodbye to Brewster, and to make arrangements for him. At that time the Vet told us his test came back and his blasto number was at 10.5, which she said is high (she normally see arounds a 3 for this particular test for infected dogs). Based on that number, it was her belief that the infection had spread throughout his entire body and into his brain. 

Cost of Treatment (optional)   ~$4,000

Additional Comment: My wife and I are absolutely crushed. Looking back, all the signs were there that something was serious. It was just hard at the time because Brewster was acting pretty normal up until the last 2 weeks or so, and it was simply to late at that point. This was my first dog to get as a puppy, and it just crushes me that he is gone at such a young age. Those that are dealing with this with their fur babies, I pray for comfort and healing. Blasto is a nasty nasty disease, and it has taken one more precious life far to soon.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 08:57:31 PM by Brewstersdad »

Offline Harleys Mom

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Re: Brewster's Story
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2016, 09:53:16 AM »
So Sorry to hear about Brewster passing at such a young age :'(
I'm kind of surprised your vets did not think to do a urine test earlier. Blasto's not uncommon in Indiana, plus the premier lab in the country that does urine testing for Blasto is Mira Vista Labs in Indy. Unfortunately, Blasto can incubate for a long time & really take hold before symptoms finally appear. Being only 5.5 months, Brewster may have become infected before you got him & not shown any symptoms. Blasto isn't contagious between pets, but you may still want to have the urine test done for your other dog, just as a precaution. If Brewster came in contact with the source after you got him, your other dog likely came in contact with the source too. Unfortunately for puppies, their ability to fight off infections & stuff isn't as developed as adults so they are a bit more susceptible than adults, but a urine test is pretty non-invasive & would let you know for sure your other dog is OK.

Again, sorry for your loss of Brewster-too many have been lost to this nasty thing :'(

Offline Brewstersdad

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Re: Brewster's Story
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2016, 09:12:00 PM »
Harleys Mom,
Thank you for your response. Yes, looking back I am disappointed that they did not test for this sooner. It would seem all of the symptoms were there, and that blasto was something they should have tested for. My wife and I are slowly trying to heal from this, and we have another boxer puppy coming the first week of December. We have also started a small fund in Brewster's honor, and we are going to donate it to another boxer puppy that faces this awful disease. We have also made it our mission to inform pet owners about fungal diseases. This may sound a bit off, but it seems when dogs are sick we always worry and test for cancer. In my mind I would rather my vet test for fungal, bacterial, and viral infections due to the fact a few days can make a huge difference when it comes to these types of infections. As sad as it is, if a dog has cancer I'm not sure a few days is going to have much of an impact on the dog's prognosis. I could be off here, and maybe I wouldn't think this if it would have been some type of cancer.

Either way, our other boxer does have a vet appointment soon and we plan on having her tested. She is at least acting completely healthy right now, but I do want to have her checked as a precaution.

Thank you again for the message, and wish you all the best.

Offline Harleys Mom

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Re: Brewster's Story
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 08:41:09 AM »
What a sweet idea to help out another boxer-parent to hopefully have a better outcome than Brewster. He won't be alone over the rainbow bridge for long-Harley beat Blasto but at 15ish, he's rapidly losing to Father Time.

The meds can be expensive & not everyone has the ability to afford them. One way I was able to keep Harley's med cost down was to go thru a Canadian pharmacy for the Itra. When he was switched to Flucon, I signed him up for a Walgreens pharmacy discount card. Don't know if Flucon is still on their list or if they still allow pets to be signed up, that was 2008-2009. A friend had a card for her diabetic cat's insulin then too & it was funny to hear the Pharmacy call prescription ready for Squeakers over the loudspeaker ;D

I know first hand how bad it can feel to not be able to help a 4-legged friend because of money. Last month I took my old horse to the vet suspecting colic. The initial diagnosis was a $10,000+ surgery to clear a blockage that the vets thought, even at 33-34 years old, he was otherwise healthy enough to recover from. A subsequent ultrasound showed the blockage was more extensive than originally thought so all we could do was let him trot over the rainbow bridge, but that initial hearing there was hope to not to lose my little old horse & knowing I couldn't give it to him was soul crushing.

Good luck with your new boxer puppy!

 

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