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About ArmyDoc

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  1. As a policy, I try not to discredit holistic remedies out-of-hand since I don't know much about them, what they do or how they might work. However, I can tell you from good authority that steroids do not stimulate the immune system as Northof49 states. Steroids (specifically corticosteroids, not anabolic steroids which build muscle) are immune system suppressants. They interact with the genetic machinery in the nucleus of white blood cells to shut off the production of many different proteins that collectively produce the immune response (including antibodies). In the case of bullous pemphigoid, the white blood cells have "imprinted" on the skin cell proteins and produce antibodies to attack those cells. By shutting off this process at the level of gene transcription with corticosteroids, inflammation is suppressed. There are other immune system suppressants which are not steroids, most of which work in similar ways. Many persons rely on these drugs to keep their immune system from attacking and killing their transplanted organs, allowing them to survive when they otherwise wouldn't. I do not know what an adaptogen is, nor what role it or holistic remedies might play in the treatment of this disease. -kevin-
  2. Just out of curiousity, does 100mg Benadryl daily make your BC sleepy? That would be enough to lay out most any adult. More importantly... does it work to suppress ball drive? -kevin-
  3. This entity is rare in humans, I've only ever seen one case. As the article mentions, it's caused by your own antibodies attacking the skin, causing blisters. Drugs to suppress the immune system, of which steroids are but one type, are the required treatment. In humans, there tends to have bad episodes between periods of remission - maybe you can get away with treating the flare-ups with aggressive steroids thereby sparing some of the side effects of chronic treatment. That would depend on the frequency of flare-ups and the overall impact and chronicity of the disease. A recent research study in humans found that a potent steroid cream applied to the skin actually works better than oral steroids while sparing the side effect issues. Perhaps worth a try. But if your dog licks the cream off, it's going to be oral steroids anyway. I'll have to leave it to the vets to determine if any of this can be extrapolated to your BC. I am not a vet, and dogs are not necessarily treated the same way as people would be. Good luck, -kevin-
  4. Like seeing people circle the parking lot at the shopping mall to get the closest parking spot to the door... then they go in and buy an exercise treadmill. Only in america - I hope. -kevin-
  5. Thanks for the info. Our two are on monthly Heartgard, I suppose if they were having neurotoxicity it would be readily apparent. They seem normal and healthy and do not look or act like dogs suffering from any sort of toxodrome. I read the brief WSU article with interest. It reminds me of a project I was peripherally involved with in college, investigating cell surface transport glycoproteins in human cancer cells. The wiley and sinister cancer cells had acquired the ability to pump chemotherapy agents out of the cell, leaving the normal cells more affected by chemotherapy than the cancer cells...the opposite effect of what is intended. I believe similar pump mechanisms have been found in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A good example of how an esoteric research interest can turn out to have broad-reaching importance spanning many fields of science and medicine. -kevin-
  6. What is the concern regarding ivermectin in herding breeds? And why specific to herding dogs? -kevin-
  7. A couple of threads from the General discussion got me wondering... is chemical contraception for dogs not feasible, practical or possible? It seems some folks aren't ready to cut the tubes just yet, but don't want a pregnancy either. And in one instance a pregnancy may have happenned despite reassurances. Seems like a depot contraceptive would suit the situation very well - does it exist? kevin
  8. A few years ago I lost my dog for three days after he was spooked by a freak thunder cloud. Really, there was one cloud in the sky, over our head, and from it came a random huge boom of thunder. Andy ran like hell. I went and looked for him in that park every morning and evening. I thought he was gone for good. I guess he finally got hungry enough and presented himself to another dog-walker, who called us from the number on his ID tag. Now I have him microchipped, which I recommend in addition to collar ID tags. He still has a dislike of thunder, but has never had another event like this. When it's really bad he goes in a dark closet and stuffs his head into a bucket until it passes (I mean that literally!). He has enjoyed the move out to the desert, there isn't much thunder here compared to back home. kevin
  9. Can you do digital nerve blocks on dog toes? -kevin-
  10. Boo-Hiss, Dog Doc said the "M" word. There are some causes of proteinuria in humans that are just plain silly; like benign positional proteinuria. For some reason, some people leak protein after being upright but not supine. You'd think this would select against men (who can pee standing up) but it's benign so no such luck. It's just a factoid, and has no particular consequence... unless you sleep standing up. I imagine that in dogs as well, one could produce a very long list of reasons to have a little proteinuria other than cancer. The "M" word would not be at the top of my list. I betcha this will turn out to be True, True and Unrelated - the dulling of Occam's Razor. -kevin-
  11. ArmyDoc


    In my work, I am occasionally put in the position of having to recommend death as the kindest measure when medical efforts have failed to change the outcome. It is not easy to hear yourself do this, as you would have to be completely uncaring not to be affected by the room full of family members sobbing at your recommendation. From doing this a number of times, it seems to me that in the western culture, our acceptance of death as the natural end to life is poor. We are sheltered from death as much as possible and we try to protect our children from it. This leaves us ill-prepared as adults to know what to do and how to feel when someone close to us dies or is approaching death. Perhaps beneath the surface none of us really want to consider our own death. When we do, the image we have of how each of us would like to die is peaceful, tranquil, pain-free, in the beautiful setting of our choosing. Nobody ever imagines their own death as occurring in some ugly hospital, with all kinds of needles in your body and connected to all manner of life-support devices. Sometimes this vision of a peaceful death that most of us have is radically different from what plays out when family members insist on keeping their loved ones alive inappropriately and forcing the use of aggressive interventions that are not medically meaningful. Saving a life and preventing a death are two different things. The suffering of the pet you love is your suffering too. I think you will know when that burden has become too great for both of you, and you will find some relief in bringing a moral end to her life. The hardest part I think is coming to grips with the fact that there is only one possible outcome, the one that we don't want. I have had to see several pets die in my life, one of which I had to put down; it was really, really tough. Of course the grief diminishes in time, leaving a million fantastic memories and warm feelings when you reflect on a full and wonderful life well-lived, that did not end before its natural time. You will both be ok. Mercy and courage. -kevin-
  12. When my BC Andy lived on property with a pond, he used to go for a swim even in winter; he'd come back to the door with ice crystals in his coat. I could never understand why he would do this voluntarily, but wasn't so keen on a warm bath. Just another of his amusing neuroses I guess. -kevin-
  13. Does anyone know why humans can metabolize theobromine from chocolate without any apparent consequence (hip expansion notwithstanding) but dogs apparently cannot? -kevin-
  14. Point well-taken. I didn't mean to suggest that one can simply ignore the financial burden of additional dogs (or children) before entering into such a responsibility. -kevin-
  15. Our two dogs, Andy and Maglore (aka Rude-Dog Magoon) get along famously; so much so that they seem to have developed a co-dependeny. I suppose that's not entirely good, but certainly not all bad either. When they are separated and then reunited they go through a ritual celebration as if they'd been apart for years. I do still spend time with each dog individually although most of their time is spent together. Andy, my mild-mannered BC, especially appreciates the "me" time, as we are able to play old favorite games that Maglore prohibits (instant jealousy). In the big picture, having two dogs who really like each other, get on well and readily play with each other has made things somewhat easier and worth the additional cost. More to the point, they are my family, my kids, and I don't think of them in terms of their maintenance costs. Perhaps not all two-dog combos would be as smooth as this, but having these two characters together has probably been less work than either dog alone would be. -kevin-
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