Thursday, October 07, 2010

Robin has Valley Fever too

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I'm sorry. It seems the only time you ever hear from me is when I have bad news. Robin has been diagnosed with Valley Fever, and it is quite advanced already. Unlike Sam, she never had any lung problems or vomiting, so we never knew anything was really wrong until she went totally lame over the last 6 weeks. It has gotten into her spine and gives her neurological problems as well as pain. She staggers when she walks and doesn't seem to have a lot of feeling in her feet. I actually first took her to the vet saying that she had started acting like she has fibromyalgia. The original diagnosis was a pinched nerve in her neck but they did a Valley Fever test just to be on the safe side since she hasn't been tested since she was about 6 months old. And she will be 4 in December.
Giving her meds has always been a traumatic process since she wont eat anything with a pill hidden in it and if there is too much powdered med mixed in with her wet food, she wont eat that either. But I think we finally have that problem licked, by putting a dab of peanut butter with a pill in it on the roof of her mouth. She has no choice; the medicine goes down with the peanut butter and she cant spit it out. I have been at my wits end trying to doctor her before discovering that; she HAS to have pain meds and prednisone to keep her comfortable, as well as the fluconazole to kill the spores. I was getting very close to putting her to sleep, with her in so much pain and the only way to doctor her was to shove each pill down her tiny little throat with my fingers. Now I hope we can see see some improvement soon, although my vet says she may have to stay on the prednisone. I don't think she will ever return to normal activity but as long as she acts happy that's livable.
The vet actually gave me a referral to a veterinary neurologist who will immediately order a CT-scan to judge the extent of spinal involvement but I don't think we will go. The last few years have been very scary financially (we were both laid off in late 2007) and I have only since June gotten back my health insurance and a good job in the ER at a Banner Hospital. Bill turns 65 tomorrow so he finally has Medicare. Things are looking up finally except for this. Sam is still in remission; we had a titer done on him because of all this but he is still in remission. Thank goodness.
And its not like a CT-scan is needed to make a proper diagnosis. The blood test made the diagnosis. I cant spend $1000 to find out something I already know, and darn it is too late for pet health insurance. You can bet I will carry it on any future dogs; I can even have a payroll deduction through my employer.
I hope you and yours are all fine and thriving.

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