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Waving wildly from Phineas! (Update)

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  • #31
    Snow White Phin. I believe you are working miracles with this big man. So happy for the update, keep on trucking, Phinster!
    ~ Lisa & Rupert

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Sparrow View Post
      Snow White Phin. I believe you are working miracles with this big man. So happy for the update, keep on trucking, Phinster!
      Awww He has become quite snow white! We are looking so forward to his 8th birthday in April. While I try not to think too far ahead, I can't help but to remember that I never thought we'd even get this far. Being able to even have his 8th birthday in our sights, is just amazing.

      I'm not working miracles, we are just blessed we are able to give him the drug that is keeping his heart from progressing more swiftly. He just isn't ready to give up yet. We are struggling with his spine injury more and more each day. His mobility issues have never really improved, but instead plateaued for the last year or so. The muscle waste in his rear end from being unable to be really mobile, is taking it's toll. Phineas and I are going to venture up to our regular vets off this month and see if he has any ideas on what to do. Normally, we'd just have the discussion without moving Phin in the car, but he has some weird lumps and bumps that need a looksie by our vet. There isn't really much left to do, but we will put our heads together and see if we can improve his mobility, even just a little. He is still on the steroid and pain meds, going on 2.5 years at this point. Those will never change, but I'm hoping we can add something to the mix that might bring him a bit more physical comfort.

      Thanks for checking on Phin and following his updates. xoxo Happy New Year! Hope you and yours are well!
      Last edited by Angel7292; 01-01-2019, 09:50 PM.
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      • #33
        Thank you for sharing all of your details. Our baby Loki was diagnosed with DCM in October at 19 months when he went in for his neuter. They found an arrhythmia and then looked for and found the DCM. This was all just a little over two months ago. Since then we ran the 24 hour Holter test. He had just over 200 Arrhythmias, but he had three pairs, so he has started on a beta-blocker (Sotalol). Like Phin, he is asymptomatic, and we have no idea when that will change. I too held out hope for the taurine test since he had been grain-free his entire life and eating food with the suspected culprits... but it came back normal. We take each day as it comes, but it is heartbreaking to know where this all leads. Here’s hoping they both beat the odds for a long time!
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        • #34
          Originally posted by cag11 View Post
          Thank you for sharing all of your details. Our baby Loki was diagnosed with DCM in October at 19 months when he went in for his neuter. They found an arrhythmia and then looked for and found the DCM. This was all just a little over two months ago. Since then we ran the 24 hour Holter test. He had just over 200 Arrhythmias, but he had three pairs, so he has started on a beta-blocker (Sotalol). Like Phin, he is asymptomatic, and we have no idea when that will change. I too held out hope for the taurine test since he had been grain-free his entire life and eating food with the suspected culprits... but it came back normal. We take each day as it comes, but it is heartbreaking to know where this all leads. Here’s hoping they both beat the odds for a long time!
          I am sorry to hear about Loki. It's such a devastating disease. The fact that we can't heal it, hurts the most. It's been 17 months now and I still cry over it. I've just come to the conclusion that I'll never be ok with the diagnosis. Some days, it hurts worse, then other days.

          Did they start Loki on Pimobendan? We are 100% certain that it is what has prolonged Phin's pre-clinical status and well, his life. I don't know where you live, but Taylor's Pharmacy in Winterpark, FL compounds the medication. While it's still expensive, it's tons cheaper then anywhere else. At cardio or our regular vets office, it is nearly $400 for a month for Phin's size. I get it at Taylor's for $160 for TWO month supply. Phin has surprised everyone he has lasted this long and still doing so well. They ship quick too. I usually receive my order within a week and shipping is free. My friend, who has a dane with DCM, also gets all of his heart meds from Taylor's. Their prices are great. Roadrunner in Arizona also compounds Pimobendan, but they are more money then Taylor's. We've used them before too.

          If you haven't already seen a specialist, I would HIGHLY suggest it. You wouldn't see a dentist to get your eyes checked. Visit a cardiologist. Pimobendan is highly recommended from day 1 and I'm a bit surprised about the treatment of the antiarrhythmics. I'm no doctor and don't take anything I say as gospel, BUT.... based on what you said was the findings, I don't know that we'd have added an antiarrhythmic. It's a catch 22 situation because the meds can help with arrhythmias, but they also do damage too. They can accelerate heart disease and also cause other heart disease. Maybe it's exactly what Loki needs, but I hope that a Cardiologist prescribed this med and not just a regular vet. I trust my regular vet explicitly, but even he wouldn't treat Phin's heart disease. He knows he doesn't know everything a cardiologist does. If a cardio prescribed this med, then I'm sure it is warranted. In the end, you just have to do what is right for YOUR dog. I can only do the same too.

          I can only offer to you to fight like hell. Make sure you are tracking his RRR (resting respiration rate). Cardalis has an app you can download and it tracks the RRR. You just take it while the dog is sleeping. Not just resting, but sleeping. A graduating trend upwards of an RRR is a signal you are heading into troubled waters, and you need to contact your cardio. The impossible task of keeping a dog alive with a progressive, irreversible, and ultimately terminal heart disease, can hinge on you reacting fast to changes in his condition. I would bug our cardio every hour, of every day, of every week, if I thought something was going on. And I have. Phin's cardio always says that she can usually get a dog out of congestive heart failure (CHF), if caught in time. Since CHF is usually the end result of this terrible disease (exception being sudden death from irregular heart beat), keeping an eye out for it is valuable. Just pay attention and react. If Loki seems off, call the doctor. Let the doctor decide it's nothing or it's something.

          Lastly, and really the hardest of it all, is just to let him live a happy life. He doesn't know he is sick. Phineas knows when I'm sad / upset / anxious and it does him no favors. Sometimes I just have to have a good cry into his neck though. Otherwise, I try my level best to give him an amazing quality of life and spoil the hell out of him. I fully plan on doing anything and everything he needs for me to do, until his quality of life dictates that he is ready to go. In the beginning, I had to be reminded to enjoy him and worry less. What will happen, will happen. Give the best care and love him. That's all you can do.

          If you haven't already sent a blood sample to the great dane DCM study, please do so. The study information is at the beginning of this post, in one of the earlier posts. It will be a great help to future danes.

          Best of luck. Wishing you a long life with Loki.
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          • #35
            Wondering how the big man is?
            ~ Lisa & Rupert

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            • #36
              i'll send troy-leigh a message and have her update here. phineas is doing well!
              [SIGPIC]

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              • #37
                Glad to know, thanks!
                ~ Lisa & Rupert

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                • #38
                  she's slacking. i'll rattle her cage again! LOL
                  [SIGPIC]

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                  • #39
                    Cage rattled!

                    Phin's hanging in there! Thanks for asking about him. We see cardio in June, so nothing to report on that front except.. he is STILL pre-clinical. Yeaaah him and us! Next week, we will be 19 months since his DCM diagnosis. How awesome is that! And... On April 17th, he will turn 8 years old. Something I never thought he would ever live to see. I told my husband that we are throwing him a birthday party. He says I'm crazy!

                    He is completely exercise intolerant, his spine injury has caused tremendous muscle waste, so he has no mobility. He sleeps 20-22 hours a day. I had to take him physically into the vet twice in the last two months (broken toe nail (see next paragraph) and suspicious lumps). His last trip was so hard on him, he couldn't get up to get out of the van. By the time we did lift him up, he couldn't stand up under his own steam. It was probably the one time I was at the closest of saying, "He's done". The travel in a car, getting in and out at the vet, etc. is so hard on him. As long as we don't transport, he does well and can get around our house well. Some mornings, he is even a bit bouncy and playful. Going to the vet takes so much out of him physically, he just can't do it anymore. He has to go to Cardio in June, but we will no longer transport him for anything else. Our vet will either treat from pictures, or will come to the house. That last car trip about did him in. It also really taxed his heart and it took hours to get his resting respiration rate and heart rate down. SMH.. He is best left to snooze all day. Oh and suspicious lumps.... a couple lipoma, an encapsulated lipoma (the one I was worried about) and 2 cysts. None were anything to worry about or do anything about.

                    The only really problematic issue has been, that he broke his toe nail again. Same nail.. again. He ended up with a bone infection in that toe and we've struggled for 1.5 months to heal it. What starts out as a broken nail, turns into this dramatic non-healing issue. We did six weeks of antibiotics (two kinds) and I THINK we have it licked. We are waiting out this week and see how it progresses. It was puffy, swollen, bleeding for weeks, nasty and just angry and ugly. I THINK we have turned a corner. It's not perfect but our vet and I decided we were going to stop treating it and see what goes on. Worse case scenario, we go on an even stronger antibiotic. It's been 5 days and I think it's looking good. It just needs some more healing time.

                    Considering everything, Phin is doing very well. He has an appetite like a horse, begs for cookies many times a day, is full of spunk in his own way, and loves being kissed and cuddled. He is a very happy boy. He sleeps a ton, but we are ok with that. Outside of that really bad day he had going to and from the vet a few weeks back, we've not had to even speak of quality of life issues. He really is VERY good. I know it doesn't sound like it, LOL, but he is! While his heart could change overnight, I really don't see him going anywhere any time soon. Anything can happen, but truly, he is a happy boy today.

                    I'll post birthday pics in April and then will post an update in June after cardio!

                    How is your crew? Things well? What's going on with you? Fill a gal in ..

                    XOXO Thanks for caring about him.

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                    • #40
                      I just checked in after a long absence and can't tell you how happy I am that you and Phin are still making the most of things. Good for both of you! Wishing you and Phin the very best -
                      Lisa
                      sigpicLisa
                      Missing Mira (7/15/03-12/17/13)

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                      • #41
                        Oh, that is wonderful news! I am so happy he is doing well. I do think of you both often and always hope he is holding his own. Things here are mostly non eventful which is always nice. Rupert had a nasty skin thing going on this winter but I started him on Omega 3 and it had him healed up in a week, fur grown back in a month. I couldn't believe it worked so well. I also switched food since the taurine deficient DCM thing seems to have built some steam. Rupert will be 10 in June.

                        We lost one of our dogs in January. Had to put him down because of lymphosarcoma but he lasted 5 months post diagnosis, which pleasantly surprised me. I loved that dog so much and I realized that I do not want to get anymore animals when ours are all finally gone.

                        Well I can't wait to see the Phin-man's b-day pics. And sincere wishes for continued "all is well" with him! <3
                        ~ Lisa & Rupert

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