Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nose to tail

The Banks boys went in for their procedures yesterday and much was learned - so much that I have felt really tired at the idea of writing it. This is the breakdown.

- Dental cleaning, but no excisions because the ones that needed to come out fell out during the exploratory; abscesses under treatment
- Ear flush to get rid of a lot of debris and infection; Saylor has no left eardrum and only partial right eardrum; infection under treatment twice daily
- Bloodwork has high AlkPhos but nothing else remarkable. Thyroid okay, so problems with thermoregulation are probably due to the constant exposure of tongue and mouth tissue.
- Full body x-rays indicate no other particular concerns

- Bloodwork basically okay except high AlkPhos
- Dental cleaning, removal (and a cosmetically beautiful removal) of gum tissue overgrowth which does not appear cancerous
- Ears were actually rotting from the inside, despite constant treatment since October. Doc was amazed at the amount of impacted debris that came out and says he can't wait to show me the video. Luther has evidently had serious ear problems all his life; ear canals are scarred and are only 25% the width that they should be. Both eardrums are gone. Ears were not surgically closed at this time because we need to treat them further first; they may not actually have been completely cleared despite all the time spent on them. This boy has been miserable for a very long time with no complaint.
- Left lung cloudy and scarred, possibly from a serious aspiration at some time in the past
- Heart is enlarged and elongated, but cardiac blood values were ok. Not sure what this may portend for him, if anything
- X-rays revealed shot pellets around his ribcage
- The most recent, large hot-spot-that-doesn't-look-like-a-hot-spot isn't a hot spot, it's a deep pyoderma. On high dose Cipro to see what that gets us. Ron felt this whole area should probably be excised, but after spending so long on the ears and knowing that was going to be painful and traumatic for some days to come, he said he didn't want to send him home with a 6 inch incision to manage too. This may have to happen at the same time as the ears get closed up. They tried some laser therapy to see whether that might help. Looking at it 24 hours later, I think it may have.
- Now the real problem. Spinal x-rays show severe spondylosis encompassing lower thoracic vertebrae, all lumbar vertebrae, and sacrum. Large bony growths at the lumbar/sacral junction. Causes? (age, trauma, overcompensation - did he get hit by a car and lose the leg as well as bust his back?) Arthritic hips but the issue of intermittent lameness in the right rear leg is diagnosed as neurological due to spinal degeneration. None of this has a good outlook (will his leg quit before his back finally snaps?, etc). He'll be on pain meds for the duration now.

Luther came home from the doctor acting like nothing had happened, but is rubbing his ears a lot. Saylor had a few hours of post-anesthesia psychosis and we just weathered that until he was done and we all got a small amount of sleep. Both boys seem to feel relatively well today and soldiered up for their ear cleaning tonight.

Followup in two weeks. More surgery for Luther likely. Discount on all services and drugs, and they did the laser treatment for free. (I love my vet.) My client and friend Dr. Kufel will take a look at Luther's radiographs to see what he may be able to contribute to his comfort. (I love my chiropractor too.)

Peg and kids