Author Topic: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick  (Read 388 times)

Offline Taylorjeansteve

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • New Member
Hello to whomever might read this... i found this forum miraculously after 3 days of frantically googling "blastomycosis prognosis, treatment, what to expect", etc... this forum has been the most helpful thing i've read yet.

Simon, our sweet 2 yr old golden retriever (he is actually 3/4 golden and 1/4 poodle, but you'd never know it by looking at him), has been so sick for the past 6 weeks. it all started when i noticed one evening he didn't finish all of his kibble in his bowl. this i found to be highly unusual for a dog so obsessed with food 24/7. next day came the limping, but only slightly. still not finishing his kibble. made an appointment at the vet's office but canceled it because he seemed to be doing better. next day we took him on a small hike to see how he did-- we ran into some people we knew, Simon laid down to rest. when it came time to get going again, he did not want to get up. we ended up taking him to the emergency vet, where they tested him for a tick disease and it came back negative. they also performed a full tick panel, which we would not get the results of for a few days. at that time he had a low fever, somewhere in the 103 range. the vet performed x-rays of the chest and abdomen, showing enlarged lymph nodes. the vet suggested we let him stay the night there so they could get fluids in him and monitor him. the next day, the vet started him on doxycycline and sent him home.

simon didn't improve, but didn't really get much worse for a few days. the tick panel ended up showing a very low count for rocky mountain spotted fever, which Simon had likely been exposed to and fought off on his own. the vet began talk of immune-mediated disease, added a second antibiotic Baytril, and Simon still did not improve. We returned to the vet after his fever spiked over 105, 48 hours after he had come home the first time. they kept him for 2 days this time, during which they stabilized his fever, gave more fluids, and put him under anesthesia and performed joint taps, before they sent him home again.

simon's fever was back within 48 hours. we called the vet in desperation, not wanting to come back and repeat the same financially devastating overnight stay if it wasn't going to be any different. the vet understood and called in a prescription for 30 mg of prednisone once a day. we were relieved when simon's fever broke and he seemed to feel a little better, but still very lethargic. the vet attributed this to the pred. after 2 weeks of being on 30mg of pred a day, the vet had us wean down to 20mg. it was during the week of 20 mg that his fever returned. of course, the vet wanted to "recheck" him, so i brought him in, spent some more money, and didn't get any further. the vet felt confident we were dealing with immune-mediated disease. he suggested adding azathioprine (a chemo drug) to Simon's med routine, but wanted to send him to a specialist first.

thank god we did that -- because Dr. Raghu, the internal medicine specialist at CareCenter (a different veterinary hospital), immediately thought Simon had all the signs of blastomycosis. She performed another x-ray on our baby, and this time his lungs showed the tell-tale snowstorm pattern across them. Two days later, she called and said Simon tested HIGH positive for blasto, and she started us on the medicine right away. (At this point it had been 6 weeks without proper treatment).

The diagnosis and beginning of treatment happened on Wednesday, June 20. She prescribed our boy Fluconazole twice a day. She warned about the "scary first month", and stated he would get worse before he gets better. She told me something I keep going back to in my mind, and that is "I've never lost a dog to blastomycosis that didn't have it in the brain or CNS." she feels confident he will do well in treatment, she doesn't think its in his brain or CNS. i haven't seen any drainage or anything weird with his eyes. no lesions on his skin. but his lungs are sounding very bad.

i guess what i'm losing my mind over is not knowing exactly what to expect. The first 4 doses of the drug seemed okay, but day three (today) has certainly been more difficult, and i can see he will probably get worse. I just gave him his 6th dose, and am trying to keep my wits about me. has anyone else had the misfortune of having an incompetent vet neglecting to diagnose the blasto early? i'm so worried about his lungs -- they sound so raspy and labored. he obviously feels like total crap. tonight was the first time he seemed like he didn't want to eat, but he ended up eating. i can definitely see his appetite is going to be affected. he just lays on the floor, looking very sad. what i want to know is, how much worse does it get after day 3?? does it plateau and just stay the same degree of "bad" for a while? will it continue to get worse with every dose i give him?

also, i've heard about oil of oregano for immune and respiratory support, and milk thistle for liver function. has anyone used these supplements in conjunction with Fluconazole?

I made him some chicken broth tonight and mixed with his water and he appreciated that. I also froze some chicken broth ice cubes.

Any guidance, advice, tips, or love would be so very much appreciated. i am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, and i have never tolerated stressful situations very well. i've been sober for 3 years and 6 months, but i have a very hard time talking myself out of major anxiety and panic. Simon is our baby, as you can imagine, and i am literally worried sick about him. Please help, and thank you so much in advance.

Offline oakes cove

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Member 2013
Re: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 08:02:22 AM »
Hey how is Simon today.  I also sent email back to you. But thought i better post as well. What i have experienced with Mable for the disease was she would seem to get wee bit better than relapse. 
We gave her the milk thistle and oregano at same time as  Fluconazole as well.  3 pills daily we use to stager them but then we dosed all at the same time. The first 7 days or so are basically to get the meds in and to start the healing.  You should see some improvement after ten days.   It will be up and down.  Make sure the dog stays hydrated well.  Offer water often.   I just have to say to mable drink and she will now.  Is Simon eating.  Strength is key to this fight.  Lots of high vitamin foods even if its mouthfuls every couple hours.  Keep him cool and well ventilated.  Shade outside is good. Long as mosquitos are not getting at him.  Fresh air for his lungs to help dry out.  Do you have access to oxygen.  We used to tap gently on mables chest area to help loosen up flem.   We also used prednizone which is really a no no. But it stopped embolizeisms and increased appetite we used 5 mg. Ibut they must be weined slowly off of prednizone because it can shock him otherwise.  Oh one last thing keep him quiet. No excersive. He needs his strength to fight. Does he have any lesions or swelling on him.   Well i hope that helped.  CD

Offline oakes cove

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Member 2013
Re: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 08:07:33 AM »
Opps i need to say more about eating.
If it takes a medicine dropper to get food and water into him so be it.  Gatorade , water , baby formula tsp peanut butter.  All bad for blasto but he needs to keep his strength up and you have to take over. I did this every half hour. When home and before i would have to leave.  Its quit time consuming but thats life. Ok. Like i said i did send email as well.  Take care. 

Offline oakes cove

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Member 2013
Re: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 08:15:05 AM »
Opps again. Sorry this is really important but i never paid no mind to it.  Your dog needs you full on and sober right now.  You have to take yourself out of your own head and focus on getting him better. Calm sober and collected.  Its about him and you can do this. No matter the outcome you are doing your very best by the sounds. I can just tell by the post. Take all of the knowledge you are learning and put it to use. It will all work out the way it is suppose to. Please let me know in post or email how Simon is doing.   

Offline Taylorjeansteve

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • New Member
Re: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 01:33:16 PM »
hi carla & kurt, thank you so much for your emails and replies to the post. i figure i may as well respond on the thread in case anyone else is going through this and sees this. Today is day 4 of the blasto treatment. Last night he seemed so pitiful, like he had no strength. Today he has been a a little bit better. He is holding his head up more and seems more comfortable than yesterday. He is walking on his own, and seems to have the drive to go on. His appetite is also better today. I guess from what i've read, he will have good days and bad days. SImon weighs about 70 pounds and gets 200 mg twice daily, for a total of 400 mg daily. The vet prescribed him 15 mg of prednisone for 2 weeks only, then we are stopping cold turkey. She told me it is not an immunosuppressive dose, it's an anti-inflammatory dose for a dog his size.

Carla, could you help me understand better how you and your husband tapped on Mable's lungs to loosen mucus? Simon has barked a few times yesterday and today, and it kind of sounds like when a human has congested cough. we don't have access to an oxygen tank, unfortunately.

simon spent most of last night sleeping on our screened-in porch with my husband, trey. he has also enjoyed being out there quite a bit today, too. we live in cincinnati and we have hot and humid summers. thankfully today has been a bit cooler. i wonder if the humidity is helping his lungs, or if it could be aggravating. either way, today he seems a little better for sure.

also, no skin lesions. is that something that happens after treatment begins, or would that have happened before?

about the oil of oregano and milk thistle -- do we give that to him once a day? twice? it hasn't arrived in the mail yet, it's supposed to be here tomorrow.

finally, about my sobriety -- i am absolutely not even thinking about sabotaging that. i know my boy needs me at my 100% best for him! i don't ever want to go back to using drugs and alcohol, ever. i am just trying to paint the picture of how i'm feeling right now with all of this -- very anxious, very panicky, very sick. i can't thank you enough for your kind words of encouragement and advice. i really need it right now.

Offline oakes cove

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Member 2013
Re: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 05:04:01 PM »
Hello again.  Glad there is some light at this time. Oil of oregano and milk thistle can be done twice aday.   It will not hurt.   
As far as lightly pounding his chest.  Just cup your hands and lightly tap around his rib cage where his lungs are. We did sides and undersided.  Just gently though. 
We read the plan for prednizone. And i would really watch how you wean him off.  We are not doctors in anyway however when Mable was weaned off it almost seemed like she relapsed.  So be prepared for those changes.  Talking with your vet and watching Simon closely you will know what he can and can not handle.  We did 5 mg and it took us months to wean mable off.  She was very ill from the disease though.  If you record everything on paper for even yourself it will help keep things in perspective.   
And sleeping outside in the day or evening near the fresh air is good.  Moisture i dont think is a good thing for his lungs.   
The fungus needs to dry up.  Fresh air will help.
Sounds like you are going the right way.  And it will be normal to be up and down for few months. That seems to be part of disease. Im glad you dont have lesions.  Hopefully youse have caught the disease before that. 
Stay strong and read this site there is endless amounts of information and some older members with much knowledge as well.   It truely is a great site.   Take care keep us posted.  CD KA  northern ontario canada

Offline oakes cove

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Member 2013
Re: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2018, 03:36:30 PM »
Hello.  How is today?

Offline dhrdgrec1

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • New Member
Re: SIMON: day 3 of blasto treatment in 2 yr old golden... worried sick
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2018, 12:04:11 PM »
There is light beyond the tunnel.  Our standard poodle Maxwell has been battling blasto for 5 months.  After serious staph infection under his skin ,  ear infection( caused by having to wear a cone to prevent him from biting at the skin lesions and meningitis he is blasto free.  Will get another blood and urine test in August.  He is recovering from meningitis with 105 degree temp.  During this time he has lost 20 pounds.  But he never stopped eating or drinking and we never stopped fighting the battle.  He is coming back to his normal.  I know this seems so hard to see your pet go thru.  But they are aware you and the vets are trying to help.  Max will need a ACL repair but need to wait on this till next test results.