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Old 06-25-2012, 06:12 AM   #1
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Default Cassie is in trouble

Hello all,
I am posting this in hopes that someone will have some words of wisdom to guide me. Recently I had to take Cassie to the dentist because my doctors felt a couple of teeth needed to be extracted, as she was getting constant upper respiratory infections. The surgery went well and she seemed to be doing okay when she all of a sudden came down with pneumonia, I think it was aspiration pneumonia. She was in the ER for a week and we didn't think she was going to make it. Thank god she did make it, but I had to take her back several times for a recheck and during the X-rays and observations the doctors presented me with the following: They think she may have hydrocephalous, they say she has a very small liver and may have liver shunt (small possibility) or micro displasia ? something which may or may not cause her trouble over the years, and then they had a surgeon speak with me about AA instability? It seems her neck and spine are deformed and that is why she hops around instead of walks. They say she could die if she hit her head the wrong way, but the surgery to correct it is very risky. She is only 2lbs and 5 years old. I am waiting to talk with my wholistic vet about all this, but in the meantime I am very worried and feel very much alone. She hasn't called me back yet for a consult, an appointment or t/w the ER doc about the findings yet. I am afraid for her to shake her head, to hop jump like she does or for her to get too excited. I'm so upset, I don't know which thing to address first. They think by far the most dangerous thing is the AA instability, and that if she does have hydrocephalus, it is mild. Also they can't see a liver shunt on the tests, but she was not really holding still for them. They think there might be something with the liver, but probably not as much to worry about as the AA thing. I'm sick with worry. I'm terrified of doing the surgery, and terrified of not doing it. Any words of wisdom would be welcome.
TIA Shellie

Last edited by broodizt; 06-25-2012 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:27 AM   #2
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I can only imagine how devastated and in shock you are about this news....OMG!! after the first couple of things they gave you, your mind just sort of goes numb.....If it was me, I would be fleeing to the nearest vet school for a work up and consultation....I would take all the findings, reports, xrays, etc these vets have given you, and run!!!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:34 AM   #3
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Your vet is right. AAI is very dangerous if left untreated. I lost an 18 month old with this problem and never knew he had it until an emergency and then it was too late for the surgery. The surgery can be very successful if done in time. If not, death is imminent. Run to the nearest vet hospital.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:58 AM   #4
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Cry I can't stop crying

I am crying night and day. I am shaking. I am sick deep into my soul. I am going to call my holistic vet yet again. I know she is busy, but this is an emergency. I'm finding it difficult to breathe. I am in such a panic.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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Hi. Sorry to hear this news... Hugs to you...

The Hydrocephalus is very much caused by the AAI. Meds can also control it, but the AAI may require at least casting or surgery.

She's 5 Years old? These are congenital problems, so she's had them since birth. For the Liver, you can feed her a low protein diet, Hill's prescription L/D is highly recommended. Denamarin will help her liver to function a bit better too. Were her Liver enzymes okay on the pre op bloodwork? No trouble coming out of the anesthesia? These would be signs of Liver Shunt. Has she had any recurring UTIs? Also a symptom.

I recommend getting her to a teaching hospital asap. What state do you live in?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #6
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Never mind... California... are you near UC Davis?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:14 AM   #7
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If not, a Board Certified Orthopedic specialist would be the next best thing.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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Calm down... she's had this for a while... no need to panic. Easier said than done... I know. But she needs you to keep yourself together so she can get treated asap. Take some deep breaths, sit down. We need to find a vet for her... we here can help. Going to look now.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Hi. Sorry to hear this news... Hugs to you...

The Hydrocephalus is very much caused by the AAI. Meds can also control it, but the AAI may require at least casting or surgery.

She's 5 Years old? These are congenital problems, so she's had them since birth. For the Liver, you can feed her a low protein diet, Hill's prescription L/D is highly recommended. Denamarin will help her liver to function a bit better too. Were her Liver enzymes okay on the pre op bloodwork? No trouble coming out of the anesthesia? These would be signs of Liver Shunt. Has she had any recurring UTIs? Also a symptom.

I recommend getting her to a teaching hospital asap. What state do you live in?
California. I've been to the VSH in Sorrento Valley in San Diego with Muffin. Yes she is five years old, so the surgeon says she has been living with this for a long time and has compensated for it, so far. They are not sure about the liver shunt, as the the doctor did not see a shunt during the tests, but Cassie was not holding still for them. Her numbers were elevated on the tests they did, before and after, but...the doctor says they were quite low even though they were elevated and she has never had a problem recovering from anesthesia, so the doctor is not very sure about the liver shunt. She might have some other lesser condition with the liver, I forget the name, micro something or other, but they really can't tell anything without a liver biopsy. She has been through so much already. I am so very sad for her. The thing is she is just soooooo tiny. So very tiny. I keep thinking surgery oon such a tiny thing is certain death. I just can't stop crying.

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Old 06-25-2012, 09:26 AM   #10
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I would go to a vet school and let them do a work up on her. I have a foster who has AAI along with multiple other neurological issues and his is not operable. He is older and has managed for many, many years.

AAI is a surgical condition BUT not always. It depends on the pup and what else is going on. You would need a specialist to make that call. I like the vet school clinics because they look at the whole dog and they have the best "toys" (diagnostic tools) in most cases.

I took Sammy (my foster) to Texas A&M and after all of the testing, they recommended no surgery since he had too many things and was way too high risk.

I will keep you and your Cassie in my thoughts and prayers.

Last edited by ladyjane; 06-25-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
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California. I've been to the VSH in Sorrento Valley in San Diego with Muffin. Yes she is five years old, so the surgeon says she has been living with this for a long time and has compensated for it, so far. They are not sure about the liver shunt, as the the doctor did not see a shunt during the tests, but Cassie was not holding still for them. Her numbers were elevated on the tests they did, before and after, but...the doctor says they were quite low even though they were elevated and she has never had a problem recovering from anesthesia, so the doctor is not very sure about the liver shunt. She might have some other lesser condition with the liver, I forget the name, micro something or other, but they really can't tell anything without a liver biopsy. She has been through so much already. I am so very sad for her. The thing is she is just soooooo tiny. So very tiny. I keep thinking surgery oon such a tiny thing is certain death. I just can't stop crying.
No, not certain death... if they can do a dental on her she should do fine.... if it's even necessary. I wouldn't worry yet so much about the liver, the AAI is more important to have evaluated first.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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I would not do a dental on her until she is seen by a neurologist! They have to turn them around quite a bit during dentals and it is very risky with AAI. When Sammy was at A&M recently because he had an issue with his hernia, I spoke with the vets and they felt that a dental was extremely risky for him.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:48 AM   #13
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I hope the doctors are able to help your baby. I understand why you are feeling so panicked, and I am so sorry that Cassie isn't doing well. My prayers are with you and your little girl.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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VSH looks good they have a Neurosugical Department and Emergency Dept (24/7) there, and the Vets are DACVIM.

Veterinary Specialty Hospital San Diego - Veterinary Specialists and Services

Do you have someone to go with you?
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I would not do a dental on her until she is seen by a neurologist! They have to turn them around quite a bit during dentals and it is very risky with AAI. When Sammy was at A&M recently because he had an issue with his hernia, I spoke with the vets and they felt that a dental was extremely risky for him.
They already did a dental... she did fine.
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