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Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue, and CH (cerebellar hypoplasia), or brain damage.
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chupacabrabliss
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Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by chupacabrabliss » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:08 am

Hello! I'm so glad I found this forum. I have a foster dog with severe valley fever. She has bone lesions at pretty much every major joint and cannot move independently because of them. I work in the clinic at the amazing animal shelter that took her in and fell in love with her as soon as I saw her. When I first met her she was unable to move any of her limbs, she had to have her bladder expressed, and she was severly emaciated.

It's four months later and shes responded well to treatment but still has pretty nasty lesions. She is still unable to move independently, and I got her a walkin wheels chair a few weeks ago to help her. She can't move in it at all yet. She is able to stretch out her legs and move all four of them while laying down which is a huge improvement. She can also wag her tail now and loves being carried around or sitting in her chair! She is still bored most of the time though and is still in lateral recumabcy 4 months after we started treatment. I really love her but I just feel like I'm not doing enough with her. Progress has been so slow and she has a really hard time keeping on/gaining weight. I do physical therepy with her daily and try to get her to eat 3 times a day and bring her everywhere with me but her progress is just so slow.

I'm mostly just looking for support and success stories! I know her rehabilitation could take years and she may never be able to walk without a wheelchair, but I would really like to see her have at least a little bit of independence and an appetite. Does anyone have good stories about rehabing an animal that is in lateral recumabcy for a loooonnngg time?

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critters
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Re: Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by critters » Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:15 am

:whale: I gotta go research that...

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CarolC
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Re: Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by CarolC » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:26 pm

Hi chupacabrabliss,

You may find some information here that will help, though there haven't been a lot of dogs with Valley Fever. I can think of a number of dogs that were down on all 4 with other conditions. The longest one might be Phoebe, who had a cervical injury and was a quad dog. I think it took them about a year for her to be able to walk, but the final results were amazing, especially considering she wasn't a small dog. Here is a link to the thread about Phoebe, and if you scroll down you will see the owner posted a video that tells her progress.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=15592

This is an example of a dog who had a different condition, Coonhound paralysis, and the timeline is different than your dog but in the beginning the dog could not even stay sternal. I think their description of the course is helpful, you may like it.

http://scoutshouse.com/2009/03/10/case- ... s-in-dogs/

Do you think maybe she still has some pain with the joint issues? Could that be why she seems a little down and you have to encourage her to eat? I wonder if there is any medication they could give you to try for that, to see if it makes any difference.

Does your dog have a quad cart (4-wheel wheelchair) or a regular 2-wheel wheelchair? My dog needed full support due to age and I got him a quad cart. Even though he could not move around in it a lot, it let him be upright and was good for his circulation. I would think just getting her in a standing position for part of every day, even if she's not weight bearing, would lift her spirits. If your wheelchair is only a 2-wheel model, they make an attachment to convert it to 4 wheels.

Also, if you need bedding to help prevent pressure sores, I can get a link for that, too.

I'm a huge believer in hydrotherapy if you have a pool and she's a size where you can manage to get her in and out.

Wish I could be more help. There used to be a dog with Valley Fever who went to the same PT facility as my dog (I'm in south Texas). The owner was very dedicated and the dog still needed PT but looked fairly happy.

:fireworks:

chupacabrabliss
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Re: Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by chupacabrabliss » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:38 pm

Thank you so much for those stories! I'm mostly just looking for reassurance for those days where I feel at a loss for what to do. I've fostered a lot of valley fever dogs and know that it can take a LONG time to see improvements but I've never seen a case as bad as Daisy's.

I didn't have time to post everything about Daisy and her care last night, but we're already doing a lot of those things so I'm glad that I'm already on top of your suggestions! It makes me feel a lot better about her quality of care.


Daisy is a VERY fortunate pup. I work in the clinic where she came in and she comes to work with me every day. She has a full team of vets that I communicate with daily, and is on joint supplements, oral valley fever meds, and a variety of pain meds. She recently finished a series of IV VF treatments and IM joint support treatments. We are lucky to be a no kill municipal shelter with a lot of money to spend on dogs like Daisy! It's Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson AZ if anyone is curious. All of her physical therapy is crowd funded through the amazing volunteers that I work with - including her quad.

She has a quad and is completely supported in it. She even has a head bar that helps support her head, and is getting a better one that was custom made this Friday. We have been building up her stamina and she is able to stand in it for about 20 minutes 3-4 times a day without being too painful. I think it's great for her mental state above everything else! It allows her to play with toys and eat upright and that is the best part to me. She is unable to place her feet on her own or move in it at all, Im not sure how to encourage her to move more. She isnt very food motivated, it's hard enough just to get her to eat. She is very uncomfortable sitting sternally and is only able to sit sternally assisted for very short periods of time (like while drinking water).

She also has a dog physical therapist that fit her for the cart. She showed me how to do PT on all four limbs which I try to do twice a day but I'm a full time student and I have a 40-60 hr work week so sometimes her PT only happens at night. She has another appt this Friday to discuss hydrotherapy and hopefully she'll get in the water soon!

Shes doing surprisingly well with bedsores! I rotate her several times a day and while she has developed a few sores on her shoulders and hips none were very bad and they all resolved within a few days. I just use very thick fluffy blankets as bedding as they are easily washable and she urinates on them quite a bit. She isn't incontinent and will occasionally ask to use the bathroom but usually she just goes on the blankets if I don't get to her in time. I would love any recommendations for better bedding though!


I dont have a better way to upload pictures but if you want to see Daisy in her quad and playing with my other fosters there are a lot of pictures and videos here: https://www.instagram.com/chupieandfriends/?hl=en


Thank you so much for your advice! If you see anything that can be improved upon here or think of anything else I could be doing with her please let me know! With how slow her recovery is I just don't feel like I'm doing enough for her most days. It's really inspiring to see other people with dogs who have gotten better even if it's taken a LONG time.

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critters
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Re: Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by critters » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:17 am

Even though she's not incontinent I wonder if expressing her might help? Any number of people express largely for convenience so that poop and pee are more controlled. Or maybe diapers? Wet bedding fosters sores. Maybe a SleePee bed? https://www.handicappedpets.com/sleepee ... nent-pets/ You could use a mesh-type regular dog bed with a pee pad underneath, if the SleePee bed is too much. Just thoughts...

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CarolC
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Re: Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by CarolC » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:45 pm

I love the look on her face when she's standing up in the cart, she has a sweet expression. :)

The bedding I was thinking of is recommended to prevent decubitis ulcers. It sounds like you don't need it because you have a system that works, but if you ever do, here is the link.

https://www.usaknit.us.com/category-s/75.htm

The advantage of the fleece is the urine should travel down through it and the surface that is against the dog's skin should remain dry.

Another idea is to tuck an open disposable diaper or Ultimate Poise pad under her tail area, it will catch some of the urine if she wets and keep it off the blankets. This works best with a dog that does not move around. Washing blankets is no problem, but wetness tends to travel to the lowest part of the bed, which is often under the hip, and with her being skinny and the hip bone projecting and lying in wetness (if that ever happens) there is a big risk of a nasty, weeping sore. People call them pressure sores or bedsores, but they are really a sore that started with a urine burn, that just happens to be on pressure point. In my experience, a dog can lie on bedding for many months and not get a sore as long as the bedding stays dry. It's when there is a urine burn on the tissue that it gives a headstart to a so-called pressure sore.

Disposable underpads/potty pads are not absorbent enough to keep the dog dry. Glad you are not using them. A dog lying on a wet potty pad or underpad is a wet dog. But if you can flatten a thick absorbent diaper or Poise and tuck that under her, it may trap the moisture. In order to flatten a disposable diaper (like Depends or something) and make it smooth enough, you may need to do some snipping and trimming with the scissors. It is important that she is not lying on wrinkles, whatever is under her needs to be smooth. I wouldn't tuck it under her any farther than necessary to keep it in place, then feel it with your hand so you can feel whether any bumps will be pressing up against her skin and irritating it as she lies there.

She really is a lucky dog. It sounds like she has an amazing care team. It was so nice of you to foster her!

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FYI
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Re: Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by FYI » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:53 am


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critters
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Re: Looking for support - Severe VF foster dog

Post by critters » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:01 pm

Cute! :thankyou:

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