Orion has been feeling pretty crummy lately.
2 weeks ago I lifted up his tail and found a butt riddled with perianal fistulas. We have 6-8 open holes and two different tunnels/tracks, and he was extremely inflamed and painful, on top of diarrhea. Rushed him straight to the emergency vet who put him on 14 days of Clavamox and a steroid topical ointment for his butt. So now Clavamox is done tomorrow, butt is very less inflamed and irritated, diarrhea is gone, and while the holes and tunnels/tracks are smaller and not oozing anymore, they are still there. His new vet (who just so happens to be my boss) recommended starting him on cyclosporine, so I am waiting on the pharmacy to ship that to me and we'll start a 6 week treatment of that for the fistulas.
So about a week ago I noticed that Orion had started drinking ridiculously excessive amounts of water and he was acting very sluggish and just off...Took him into the clinic I work for and my boss suggested we work him up, so we did. If you are familiar with Antech, we did a Pet Wellness Report. Full comprehensive bloodwork, thyroid, and urinalysis.
We drew blood and urine on him Monday afternoon (July 7th) I personally put his blood and urine, and his fecal sample out in the Antech pick up box Monday evening fully expecting the Antech driver to pick everything up, just like he usually does, and have results back Tuesday morning. Well I walk in to work Tuesday morning and discover that our stupid Antech driver picked up his fecal, but left his urine and blood in the box all night!
So of course I was obviously livid, Orion is very sick and I was counting on his blood and urine results to be back ASAP. So I called our Antech rep and expressed my extreme unhappiness with the driver, who at this point we can only figure he was just being careless, moving too fast and didn't check the box thoroughly, hence grabbing his poop but leaving the blood and urine. Our Antech rep assured me he would have a AM driver come pick his blood and urine up Tuesday morning...well surprise surprise, that never happened. SO I put his blood and urine out in the box AGAIN Tuesday night, and it finally did get picked up. So his blood and urine sat both outside and in the fridge in changing temperatures for over 48 hours.
Anyway, I got his entire work up done free of charge (bitching pays off sometimes!) but that's not my concern. My concern are 2 things:
First, his urinalysis. Showed he has a pH of 6.0 and 2-3 calcium dioxalate crystals in his urine. Problem is, I can't rely on those results being accurate, right? Cornell veterinary university's website clearly states that these particular crystals are more likely to form as artifacts in stored urine (which his was). My boss said none of this though...he immediately jumped to the doom and gloom. Said that it was a diet thing and Orion needed a diet change and the crystals forming are a result of the low pH which is a result of the food. I told him that we absolutely CAN NOT do a diet change on Orion. We fought for years and the ONLY thing he his stable, normal, and regular on is Acana Pacifica. Boss shrugged and said fine, we'll be doing surgery on him for stones then. (I know, great guy huh?) So that just exasperated me completely...Rest of urinalysis was fine, specific gravity low normal, negative for protein, glucose, ketones, etc.
Secondly, his thyroid. T4 came back extremely low, less then 0.5, when the normal canine range is 0.8-3.5 Antech recommended doing a Free-T4 test, boss said no that was useless and ordered a TSH instead. TSH came back and his TK9 (don't know what that is) came back as 0.121 with the canine range being 0.030-12.0 Boss said since it was in the normal range, even though it was low normal, that we don't need to treat his thyroid. But again, this is on blood that sat for over 48 hours. I don't know if that makes a difference...I've read many conflicting things. Some say TSH is useless and do Free T4 to determine accurate thyroid levels. Some say the exact opposite, Free T4 is useless. I'm so confused...
In the meantime, Orion still feels very icky and off and just not himself. Still drinking a ton, and peeing excessively (no infections btw forgot to mention). But he is eating completely normal, appetite has not changed at all, BUT he has lost 6 pounds in a significantly short period of time, and this is a dog who DOES NOT lose weight. He has been a steady solid 89 pounds for years. When I put him on the scale and it said 83 pounds I almost broke into tears...he's sick, and my boss is blowing him off...he's not concerned in the least bit about the accuracy of his blood and urine after sitting for so long. No concern about his T4 being so low.
SuperChem and CBC all came back completely normal. No abnormalities or extreme highs or lows.
So Monday we are going to his normal vet, the one who has seen him and treated him since he was 8 weeks old. I am getting all his blood, thyroid, and urinalysis redone and they can do everything in house while I'm sitting there so I can be assured that there will be no driver mishaps and blood and urine not sitting for hours and hours.
I can't help but wonder if all of this is linked to the Clavamox. He was having no symptoms until about a week into the Clavamox, but both emergency vet and boss assured me that Clavamox doesn't cause these kinds of side effects. But at this point I don't know who to trust...
I realize now that this has been just one giant long rant, but I am so drained, exasperated, frustrated, and concerned about my boy I just needed to vent. If anyone has any input, theories, experiences, as always I am greatly appreciative of your guys' wealth of knowledge and information. I know I don't post a lot on here, but I lurk everyday (to the point of I kind of feel like a stalker
) I just want my Ori feeling better, and I hope that Monday's appointment with his normal vet is much more productive in finding answers then the complete uselessness I went through with my boss...thank you so much for listening...