The Dude Abides

It’s been a while since I posted anything, and the last few weeks have absolutely flown by! We’ve had some highs and lows, but all in all looking back since the beginning of the month we’ve come a long way baby…

Apparently the combination of the easy to digest prescription food, some anti-nausea meds, and the Scralfate stomach protection was enough to get Monty over whatever was giving him tummy troubles earlier in October. Once the few days of Sucralfate ran out he seemed to lose some of his new found spunk and energy so after talking with the vet we have continued him with a long term prescription, and the difference before and after has been amazing. It drives me crazy thinking that for so long his insides were in such knots and we didn’t do anything about it!

We had planned a vacation to visit our friends Steve & Diana in Tampa this past August, but with how sick Monty was at the time we could not leave him and decided to eat the ticket change fee to reschedule. While Monty’s health has steadily improved there is still a litany of medications and pee trips daily so we had a little trouble convincing ourselves that burdening someone else with the responsibility was the right thing to do. Luckily we have some amazing friends here in Dallas and our normal pet sitters and good friends Stephen and Whitney didn’t bat an eye when we approached them — good people I tell ya… So in the end we managed to have our time in Florida 10/11-15 without too much guilt knowing he was in good hands. I spent a lot of time briefing them on what to look for and what to do for every conceivable medical condition from UTI to full on relapse and though I’m sure I overwhelmed them everything went really well which I was thankful for.

Fortunately, Monty being the trooper he is managed to stave off another UTI recurrence until a few hours after our return on Monday 10/15, so I was able to take and deliver to the vet a sample for culture and start administering antibiotic all the same afternoon. On 10/16 I had to travel to New Jersey for a few days on business so Christa took on primary Monty care duties. During that time the culture results came in and we were able to get a new (cheaper) prescription for a different antibiotic that we could keep him on longer than the normal 10 day treatment since it seemed like clockwork 10 days after the meds ran out he would have another UTI recurrence. He’ll be on the new med (Sulfamethoxazole) for a full 30 days to try to completely purge the Enterobacter infestation which is probably hiding further up in the kidneys, and will need a weekly walk-in eye/tear check at the vet’s office to make sure one of its side effects doesn’t damage the eyesight he has remaining.

Wednesday 10/24 was Monty’s monthly neurologist checkup, and I’m happy to report it was another positive step towards remission! He received another chemo treatment, but we have reduced the Prednisone dose again from 10mg (5mg twice daily) to just 5mg once per day. He has started to regain some coordination and strength in his hind legs, as well as some of the lost muscle mass along the spine, and definitely seems in very good spirits these days. The one downside to the visit was that they removed the last bit of the scab remaining from his spinal tap and decided the wound looked like it may be infected. Unfortunately the antibiotic he is on for the UTI does not target common skin microbes so we had to add a dose of Cefpodoxime for a few days just to be safe and not allow any other infection to impede on our progress.

It’s been 15 weeks since our life was turned upside down, and it has been one hell of a difficult journey. The fact is as I write this, the little dude is sitting at my feet staring at me, waiting patiently for a walk, and suddenly none of that matters anymore because he is here and content.

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