My thoughts have been jumbled in the past few days. So much going on. So much to do. And yet, I want to stay holed up in my bedroom, watching recorded shows on DVR and forgetting that there is an outside world.
At first, I started to type out a general “what’s been going on” post but then I scratched it. So I started over.
Poor Jackpot the dog is not doing so awesome.
It’s a post in itself to describe his condition so I’ll try to summarize.
In 2007 he was diagnosed with Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE). In particular, he had a bout with intestinal lymphangiectasia. It’s a condition where he loses protein through his stomach or intestine. The main protein, albumin, circulates in the bloodstream and is also responsible for actually keeping water in one’s bloodstream. Proteins are not easily replaced which is why it can be difficult to function.
Right before Christmas in 2007, Jack started having bouts of diarrhea. His stomach started to swell – as it turned out he had a distended abdomen due to water bulding up (since he was losing protein). He underwent an endoscopy, had a biopsy, and confirmed PLE.
Lymphangiectasia is unlikely to be cured and at best can be managed. So ever since then, we have been managing his condition by a mix of medicine (steroids like prednisone) and a prescription dog food. We take him periodically to get his protein levels checked. A couple of times, he would “relapse” in which would mean his protein level would dip below a certain level (read: bouts of diarrhea). Our wonderful internist would check him out and tweak his medicine or his food intake. We would wait anxiously but Jack would always bounce back into maintenance mode.
However, since the summer we have been struggling more than maintaining. Jack was put on a second medicine (azathioprine) which is also an immune suppressant. Then, right before Christmas not only did he relapse again but he developed an E Coli infection. More appointments, blood work, urine samples and new medicine. The new medicine didn’t work at all so we are trying a new medicine. Husband has been walking Jack in the evenings.
Jack is definitely moving slower. We have definitely noticed some distention in his midsection. He doesn’t appear to be in pain and he still is in good spirits. But, it breaks our hearts to see him not his old self. Jack is just over 10 years old (we rescued him in 2004) – time is not on our side. I hope he can bounce back again.