Monty was a fighter.
He gave us nearly twelve and a half years of unconditional love, slobber, and smelly farts. He made more than five years out of a two week GME prognosis.
Today the hardest decision was the right decision. Today Monty is at peace.
I’ll always remember him this way: a dog and his boy.
“A boy and his dog” – taken from a Facebook post dated May 13th 2012, two months prior to GME diagnosis
07.26.2005 – 11.15.2017
Clavamox, bad. After 2 doses followed by almost immediate vomiting and lethargy, I switched him back to Cefpodoxime for 7 days and everything seems much better.
Monty’s March 4th checkup with the neurologist went OK, so we decided to drop the Cyclosporine to every other day offset with the Prednisone every other day. Today he had another checkup and we opted for the full blood panel to see if there has been any improvement with his white cell count. Unfortunately this number ticked down another whole value in the last 2 months so we’re dropping the Leflunomide to 20mb/day to try to get that value rebounded. The other off thing in the last month or so is we’ve seen a little bit of a decrease in activity and spunk. Being overly sensitive to any perceived changes in behavior I brought it up with the neurologist and just to make sure there’s nothing lurking we decided on a course of a general antibiotic for 7 days. I was hesitant to use Clavamox again since his last bad reaction, but the doc felt it was the best general use one given the lack of anything specific to go on. Guess we’ll see how this goes.
It’s been a while since Monty reminded me to post anything about him…
The checkup in early December went well so he got his Cytosar injection and the Prednisone dose was reduced to 2.5mg/day. Then I went out of town for a few days in mid-December and he very suddenly out of the blue developed a corneal ulcer in his right eye, which of course is the only eye he has vision out of. Panic! So C took him to the family vet and managed treatment and by the time I was back everything was fine. Around Christmas time I tried again unsuccessfully to drop the antibiotic (Cefpodoxime) from his daily med dose, and while we lasted over a week this time his immune response ultimately wasn’t up to the task just yet. His next checkup just before the new year again went well, so he got another Cytosar injection and a further reduction of Prednisone to 2.5mg every other day.
Fast forward to today’s exam, and while his neurological responses were great his white count came back low so the decision was made to keep treatment as is and to not have a Cytosar injection. Hopefully it’s nothing, so we’ll wait and monitor until early March.
The good news is that the little dude has his energy and spunk back. All indications point to him feeling much better these days with the low Prednisone dose, and continues to surprise no one with his grit and determination through thick and thin.
Monty has been much more active & cognizant since the last step down of Prednisone, so overall October has been a good month. Today’s checkup included another Cytosar injection and a full blood work up in addition to the standard CBC, as well as a further reduction in Prednisone to 5mg/day. The test results showed improvement in liver health with the “slightly elevated” ALT/AST numbers coming down again over the last two months, so the supplement seems to be helping. He’s been eating a lot more lately which means several walks a day around town, and we’re now at the Prednisone dose threshold where we should start to see the negative side effects fade away for good.
It only took 4 days off antibiotics before Monty showed signs of new hot spots developing. That was fast…
Monty is extremely sensitive to the side effects of Prednisone (see Cushing’s syndrome), but it is also the only drug proven to keep GME at bay. It’s a delicate balance of disease treatment and symptom management we’ve been through before and will get through again.
Today’s neurologist checkup went well with the CBC panel coming back normal, so he had another Cytosar treatment. We’ve started a new daily supplement called Denamarin to help support his liver functionality and health with all of the medications he receives daily, and have introduced Leflunomide in the hopes of supplementing and eventually replacing the Prednisone that gives him such a hard time. While Leflunomide has not yet gained widespread acceptance as a GME treatment, Dr Allen Sisson (one of the leading doctors in the research and treatment of GME) has seen remission rates of up to 90% at 1.5 years when including the drug in long term treatment protocols. Additionally we decided to see if we can drop the daily antibiotic without any new UTI or hot spot issues in an effort to reduce the daily med load.
Changing to a new antibiotic last week has led to a HUGE improvement in Monty’s activity level, socialization, and awareness. He seems much more content and if smiles and licks are any indication he’s the happiest dog alive right now! Tomorrow is another checkup with the neurologist and we plan to discuss modifying treatment to lower the Prednisone dose due to his extreme sensitivity, but for now we’re happy he’s happy.
Worf: There is the theory of the Möbius — a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop.
Geordi Laforge: When we reach that point, whatever happened will happen again.
—STTNG, Orbital – The Moebius
Monty is trapped in the Moebius as another week off antibiotics leads us to a new hot spot. After a discussion with the neurologist yesterday it sounds like he’s going to be on antibiotics for as long as he’s on Prednisone, so we opted to change to a once daily dose of 100mg Cefpodoxime.
He’s had more bad than good days as of late, and it’s been hard to watch him be miserable. Given the tummy trouble antibiotics tend to give him we’re hoping this adjustment to a single overnight dose helps improve his activity and disposition during the day.
Sometimes I wonder what’s going through his mind; if he knows what he’s been through, what WE’VE been through with him. I’ve always enjoyed these quiet moments together in the park, it’s just lately they’ve become even more important to me because I know there’s one less to be had.