Updates on Medical fees for senior dogs with cancer and kidney disease

Ichigo's Story
Update posted by Hazel Hong On Oct 11

12 Sep: We brought him for a routine senior checkup. Results showed that his SDMA level was on the high side (11, with normal range being between 0 - 14) but still within normal range. We did a urinalysis on the spot which came back slightly diluted. We were told to bring him back in a months time to re-check his levels.

16 Sep: He started vomiting the night before and wouldn't stop even after there was no more food left in his system. We brought him to the vet the next day where he did an x-ray and SNAP test. X-ray showed gastrointestinal inflammation and the SNAP came back was abnormal which indicates presence of pancreatitis. He was then put on Hills i/d diet and recovered his appetite soon after. That episode did leave him pickier with his food but everything else was normal.

3 Oct: We went back to re-check his SDMA and urinalysis tests. SDMA came back 18, which was not good, and urinalysis showed that his urine wasn't very concentrated. We were told to up his water intake to at least 650ml/day.

9 Oct: Ichigo refused food for almost the whole day, I only managed to hand feed him in the morning after much coaxing. He was still drinking a healthy amount of water. I found green, smelly, mucus in his nose and it leaked out the whole night.

10 Oct: We did a follow-up blood test and found that his kidney levels were deteriorating, it showed elevated levels of CREA and BUN, and his urinalysis results were also not good. We immediately performed a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, as well as a leptospirosis test.

He was immediately brought over to VES to be hospitalised and he was put on IV fluids, and nausea and pain medication. The vet commented that he looked pretty miserable.

11 Oct: I got a call this morning, it's not good. He's still looking pretty sad and refusing to eat and no amount of head pats from the vets and vet techs could cheer him up. We had to consider doing a procedure to insert a permanent feeding tube through his neck into his stomach through his oesophagus. I told them to hold that off until we visited him in the evening. Ultrasound scans showed that he had pancreatitis, that there was something going on with one of his kidneys, and also that he was starting to show early signs of gallbladder mucocele.

We arrived at VES at 5 pm, he looked so sad when he first came out but his mood did seem to improve gradually. After 20mins, he seemed a lot more alert and interested in his surroundings. Doc then gave us the green light to discharge him and try to see if he'd feel more comfortable eating at home instead. We were so glad that he went straight for his water bowl and scarfed down quite a bit of food once we got home.

13 Oct: He's now more or less back to normal, though he seems a little more tired than before. I'm sure the hospitalisation and pain took quite a bit out of him. He's still eating well but we will have to give him at least 650ml of water every day, which we split over 6 feeds. Our only issue is that he will have to take more pee breaks, he doesn't want to do it at home, I'm not sure if we'll be able to eventually re-train him for that.

We will have to bring him back to check his levels in a week's time. Hoping that his condition would have stabilised by then.

25 Oct: A week after Ichigo was discharged, we realised that the nurses missed out on Ursofalk, the medication which would help with Ichigo's pre-gallbladder mucocele issue. We managed to get it when while bringing Tarou back for a pre-surgery check and he will be due for abdominal ultrasound in 2 weeks time for a re-check to see if the medication will resolve the issue.

He has been sneezing lesser as we decided to extend his antibiotic medication for another week. Hopefully, it will resolve on its own, otherwise, we may have to do further tests to find out what the issue is. Feeding is still a bit of a struggle, there are certain supplements or ingredients in his new diet which he doesn't seem to enjoy. But we have been managing to get at least 850ml of water in him daily.

We decided to begin administering 200ml of subcutaneous fluids into Ichigo daily (19 Oct). It allows us to lower the amount of water he has to drink to 700ml daily. We're at our 5th day and it's a little painful to see his initial discomfort but he does such a good job of remaining calm throughout the entire 15 minute session.

Yesterday's (24 Oct) kidney results weren't great, his SDMA has gone up to 42 from 37 (17 Oct). Creatinine is still above the normal range at 2.2mg/dL, and his BUN levels have also gone up to 61mg/dL from 51mg/dL. We took his blood pressure and it was really high 196. It could have led to the increase in his SDMA levels, we've hence started him on a medication to help with hypertension, and also stopped giving him meat and organ treats that are not part of his prescribed diet.

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