August 4, 2016

A little Piri update

Today is day 9 of Zeniquin, Piri's latest antibiotic which hopefully will rid of his ongoing battle with urinary tract infection (UTI). He's been on different antibiotics since early June (Baytril for 1 week and then Clavamox for 2 weeks) and the bacteria inside his stomach just doesn't want to seem to go away. 

Back in June, his urine culture indicated that the bacteria was sensitive to Baytril but it proved ineffective. Doctors were worried that Piri wouldn't do well on Clavamox, but he did superbly well until day 13 when he ended up throwing up twice. We stopped his treatment a day shy of completing it, which was deemed ok by our primary vet. Still, the bacteria remained. 

And so now he is on something called Zeniquin, which is supposed to be stronger. And this time our oncologist wants him to get a urine culture while he is still on Zeniquin. He will go in on Monday so they can collect his urine. 

Piri struggled a bit with Zeniquin in the beginning but about two days ago it seems like he's beginning to get a handle on it, although this morning he made like he was going to throw up but didn't. He has since gone back to sleep and looks comfortable, but then again Piri's been so stoic even during the roughest of times that sometimes I'm not even sure if he is comfortable or just looks that way. 

Along with UTI we have an issue with his pancreas.

His liver enzymes levels are still up (normal levels are 200 and Piri's was in the upper 300). It's been hard to give him bland food as the antibiotic has his appetite going in and out. Trying to balance a cancer diet, kidney diet and now a pancreatitis diet is becoming even more challenging. Each diet needs something, which the other restricts. But we try and make do.

Lately Piri's been eating boiled chicken tenderloins in the afternoon and when he takes his Zeniquin at 4:30 pm (thank goodness this is just a once a day pill), he eats it with his K/D prescription food, which, surprisingly, he prefers above all else (and I went through a ton homecooked meals and canned food before figuring this out --  different flavors from Fromm, Lotus, Castor & Pollux, Weruva, Taste of the Wild, Solid Gold). In the end, he just wanted his prescription food. 

He's been taking it on some days with supplements like Spirulina, milk thistle and also turmeric powder although since yesterday even if he smells just the tiniest scent of any of his supplements he won't eat his food. 

But, you know, we still plug on and make do with what we can.

And his cancer. 

Well, all we know is that from a check up in June, his cancer hasn't grown back in his mouth. Lately though Piri's been coughing a lot more and we're not sure if it's the antibiotic that is causing that or maybe his cancer did indeed spread to his lymph nodes. 

Piri is not a candidate for chemotherapy anymore because of his pancreatitis (which either has been caused by the high fat foods he was eating - high fat (but not like spam and hot dogs, aka - bad junk food) is encouraged for dogs with kidney disease and cancer - or possibly from the chemo drug), but even if his pancreas levels go back to normal we don't plan on putting him through the chemo treatment anymore. 

And so it's just a waiting game for us.. and making sure that he is comfortable and loved. And rechecks here and there to see if his cancer has grown back in his mouth. And booster shots for his melanoma vaccine every six months (he is due for his first booster in late October/early November).

Having senior dogs is a blessing but it can also be heartbreaking and hard. But they certainly deserve all the love and  care in their golden years. 

I love you, Piri. Hang in there, ok?

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