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Jake's toe..again

 
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Jakelover



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject: Jake's toe..again Reply with quote

I haven't been here in awhile, thank goodness things are generally going ok. As I have written beofre, Jake has a recurring swollen toe(the same one every time). It happens consistently every 2 months starting last November. We have treated with antibiotics and even treated well after the toe looks healed.
I have taken him to a derm specialist yesterday who needs to rule out valley fever in the toe(the xray looks clear). None of us feel that is "really the cause" becasue it does go away with antibiotics. One of the other many things he is checking on is a deep furunculosis which is were the hair grows inward and the body attacks as if it is a foreign body. I truly feel this is what he has. It seems to me the cycle of the hair growth has something to do with it as it happens every 2 months. My question since it is may be unrelated to valley fever is if any of you have had any experience with this or know someone who has. I am feeling desperate these days. Financially, I am not sure I can go on much more but my love for him is so great and his spirits are still so great that I am really struggling with this. I took a loan from my parent's today for yesterday's trip -over $600 in one day! I feel if I am were dragging his life on to make me happy I know that I wouldn't do all of this but his energy and zest for life is still very strong. I hope that someone has some thoughts....
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grannydi



Joined: 13 Jun 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Fountain hills, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jakelover,

The first thing I would do is rule out VF in the toe. Even though it doesn't look like VF, I have seen it take on some pretty strange permutations, and the only way to know for sure is to culture some of the fluid and see what grows. Did your vet do that? (Could it be a draining tract, common in VF?)

If it turns out to be the boil/furunculosis, what is the treatment for it? To be honest, I didn't even know what a furunculosis was, so I did a quick google search. One thing mentioned repeatedly in the article I read was looking for a cause such as a compromised immune system. I think all here would agree that our dogs do have compromised immune systems, or they probably would have never acquired a case of VF that required treatment.

I completely understand your feeling of frustration, not knowing how much further you can take this, and yet your deep love for your pet and wanting to keep fighting. Sometimes it seems like a roller coaster ride, and I would hate to add up what I have spent in vet bills over the years. I have TWO with chronic, expensive to treat, conditions. One with VF, and one with a congenital case of Dry Eye and also a hormone imbalance. While these issues require constant treatment, they are not compromising quality of life to the point that I would feel justified in giving up and yet it seems overwhelming at times to keep treating, treating, treating.

If it were me, I think I would hang in there and wait for a definite diagnosis before I go further with my thoughts.

Diana
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Jakelover



Joined: 14 Jun 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Diana!
I have had a change of heart since yesterday. I am this far into it and his general overall zest for life makes me want to keep fighting for him. Yes, they did 2 biopsies. 1 to verify VF and the other will hopefully give us a better idea if it is not VF.
He is hypothyroid as well, that doesn't help!
Generally speaking from what I have read, furunuclosis is treated with long term antibiotics and is a one time episode. If it reccurs over and over, the scar tissue may be holding a piece of hair which consistently is being rejected by the body. That is all I know. I guess surgery would remove the scar tissue and hope that it doesn't happen again. I think I will pad that foot with something to insure that it doesn't happen again.
So, today is a new day...his perked up ears when I talk to him melts my heart and so I am on another adventure with him.
Thanks again for your thoughts, it always helps to chat with others in similar shoes!
Gail
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vfs_admin_Sharon
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grannydi wrote:
One thing mentioned repeatedly in the article I read was looking for a cause such as a compromised immune system. I think all here would agree that our dogs do have compromised immune systems, or they probably would have never acquired a case of VF that required treatment.

I didn't want this common misperception to be believed. Obviously, if one does have a compromised immune system, a case would be worse for any disease. However, it has been shown that it only takes inhalation of one spore to contract a serious case of VF. Immune compromised cases get a lot of coverage in medical literature, but the facts show that many more healthy animals and humans contract this disease than immune compromised ones.

Jakelover, I hope they are able to find definitively what is causing the problem for your dog and that it is treatable.

All my best,

Sharon
Founder
www.valleyfeversurvivor.com
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