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Trooper Update

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Hi all! I figured this might be a good time to give a recap on all of Trooper's developments. I wasn't sure if this is better for the health section, or photos section, or the general, so I put it here. :)


First of all, he is absolutely the cutest, funniest, weirdest dog I've ever met. We love the living daylights out of him. I don't think there's a single day he doesn't make us laugh. I usually am gone during the year, but I've spent a couple months at home working so I've had the chance to really get to know him.


If anyone remembers his health saga, it was/is pretty extensive. Here's the link in case anyone wants a recap: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=37763. It was...not fun. Ultimately we were faced with a "put him on prednisone and cross your fingers or euthanize" decision. We obviously put him on pred and came with immune mediated polyarthritis as his diagnosis. On high doses of prep he started to become a normal dog.


We're starting to have seconds thoughts on this diagnosis, or that maybe there's still another layer. He still would have some serious breakthrough days. He'd be in obvious pain all day, and he'd just hide in the closet. He has horrible diarrhea during the bad spells, he usually has recurring vomiting, and barely eats. During a bad spell we'd just have to keep upping his prednisone until he started to turn the corner. It came to the point where he couldn't come to horse shows anymore. He loved going, but after a couple days of stress he'd reliably tank. We pretty much just dealt with it without too many second thoughts until he had a REALLY bad spell a few weeks ago. He went 6 or 7 days in absolute hell. He barely ate, diarrhea, vomiting, the whole nine yards. He also REEKS when he's sick, a sickly sweet smell, everything that can come out of his body smells awful. Breath, tears, vomit, everything. When he FINALLY came out of the spell (at 40mg or pred per day, compared to 10) we took him to the vet just to chat about him again. A very knowledgeable dog friend had suggested that we check his pancreatic enzymes. We asked the vet what she thought, and she thought chronic pancreatitis could fit the bill. We did blood work, and while it came back "normal", the numbers came back at 33 out of a normal 5-35. It was elevated enough that we put him on the enzymes 4 days ago, just to see what would happen. We also took him off of all kibble and have him on very lean, low fat foods.


Holy. Crap. I have no idea what dog we had in our house today, but I love him. He has NEVER been as good as he was today. His stamina was drastically improved, he tried to cuddle ALL day (he's not usually a cuddler), and he wanted to play with my sitter dog. He just was so incredibly bright and happy. I was doubting that the enzymes would help him, honestly. I just figured we'd have to just keep riding the waves. I don't want to get my hopes too high, but this was pretty astounding.


He's also just starting to become incontinent after all this prednisone. :( He just leaks a little bit, especially if he hasn't gone outside recently. This encouraged us to try to find another solution, as all attempts to wean him from the prednisone have crashed and burned.


But now, I'll post the cute video of him. He's so ridiculously vocal. He just likes shouting. The video is a very mild representation of his usual songs. Anyone else have a loudmouth like ours? This is also a good video to show his FUNKY build. I met a BC/corgi cross that could have been his brother, my mother was not pleased about that. :) He hovers between 28 and 30 pounds, he's a little squirt!



He has more than earned his name. We really are so lucky to have him. Somebody sure missed out on one great dog!

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The second we can get him off the pred, we'll be doing that! We couldn't even consider it before, even a very, very slightly lowered dose would start a bad spell for 3 days. I don't want to try immediately to lower it while the enzymes are still taking effect, but if all goes well, I'll start lowering his dose in 4 or 5 days. Excruciatingly slowly, I should add.

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I am so glad that Trooper is doing much better. I hope that he continues on this 'high' and that the enzymes will be the answer to his problems.


Go Trooper!


And kudos to you for standing by him and doing all you can to give him a quality of life.


Fingers crossed.

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