I know that the campaign has closed but I still want to update everyone on how Houston is doing! Last week he went in for his neuter procedure and came thru like a champ. He was feeling so good he actually broke the Elizabethan collar from our Vet so we got him a fabric one instead. Now we call him our little flower. While he does seems to be bothered sometimes by the incision he is feeling good and eating his Blue Buffalo well. We will go back in on the 1st for a checkup.
He has gained even more weight now and looking great. His ear is still swollen and we'll talk to our great vet at Four Seasons Vet on the 1st. Hopefully some day it will heal enough that we can get in there enough to really clean it well.
Houston will also take his last round of heartworm preventative on the 10th next month before starting the final phase of treatment in June. This sweet boy is getting better and better!!
Thank you all once again for your kindness and generosity. We are so very grateful for good people in this world helping others and look to pay it forward in the future!
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet!
Since our last update we worried about his stiffness and the potential for needing bone taps. But patience prevailed and Houston is jumping and playing like a puppy!
Yesterday we visited his favorite people at Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital for a checkup. While we are still not sure exactly what caused the sudden onset joint trouble it seems to have 100% subsided. Still skinny but he has gained almost 10 pounds since we saw the vet last and we'll continue to work on getting him to a healthy weight. His hair is getting soft, his skin clean and free of flea dirt. His ear is looking better and better every day. We will continue on antibiotics with good ear cleanings very regularly. The second dose of heartworm and flea preventative will be next week and then we'll have another appointment on the 20th for a checkup and...gulp...will be neutered.
Mr. Houston is a loving guy and if he weren't so big he would be in a lap all the time. He is also mischievous and wants to be with his dog next door. He even had an unapproved sleepover at his neighbor friends house last week! Luckily we got him a tag with our number for his collar and our neighbors are very kind. We've come to realize that he will also run as fast as he can if he gets out the front door. Hopefully by removing all that testosterone from his body he will become a little less daring when it comes to running thru the street. He also loves to chew chew chew. We are teaching him which items belong to him and which items are not his. Our oldest son now wants Houston to sleep in his room every night. He is really becoming a wonderful family dog!
It has been a few days since we switched Houston's antibiotics to see if they were the cause of sudden onset stiffness/soreness. While he is resting more easily he still seems to limp and has weakness in his legs. So the antibiotics don't seem to be the culprit of his newer symptoms. Our thoughts now turn to joint taps to check for polyarthritis. The doctor may be able to identify the diagnosis without sending samples away to a pathologist, but if there is something "suspicious" or not confirmatory enough they would send the samples. We will decide next week at his appointment if we should move forward with this test. It is very baffling what might be causing his sore joints.
But this boy is always happy to slowly follow his human friends around. He is a very good boy inside and seems pretty comfortable lounging in the AC. He loves to lounge. Even though he might be sore and tired he has already learned to sit by no intention of his caretakers to train him (a by product of asking his dog friends to do it). He loves on his kid humans with kisses and laying next to them if they don't feel good. He is eating great and drinks lots of water. It seems his favorite position to sleep in is on his back, mouth open, snoring. Such a cutie.
We can't thank everyone enough for continued support through our slow recovery. And our amazing veterinarian Dr. Graham at Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital who has been so kind and patient with Houston.
We'll have another update for you soon as we will have a follow-up next week to see how Houston's inner ear infection is healing.
I wanted to go ahead and update ya'll on Houston's status. On Wednesday, 3/15/17, Houston was brought to Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital in an emergency. When his rescuer got home, he seemed very agitated, he was pacing and doing a kind of weird high step with his front legs, he seemed to be semi painful and was heavily breathing. When he arrived at the clinic, he was immediately brought to an exam room and the Dr. went in to examine him. He had calmed down a bit, but could still not stand still, was high stepping in place, panting excessively, and just seemed to be overall uncomfortable. Upon examination no life threatening conditions were found, and while that is great news, it still had everyone puzzled as to what was bothering this poor baby. To be able to do more testing, we set him an appointment to be dropped off the morning of 3/16/17, to be partially sedated for full body x-rays. After giving him some pain medications and drawing some blood to be sent off to the lab for testing, he went home and, according to his rescuer, slept well that night thanks to the pain medication.
Houston was dropped of at Four Seasons and testing began. His bloodwork was unremarkable. The X-rays showed clear evidence of heartworms with an enlarged right heart. Some inflammation of the joints were found, but could be caused by the heartworms. The only clear evidence of damage is an old ACL injury. Unfortunately, with no obvious reasons for his symptoms, we had to start at square one. The Dr. mentioned that it could be a reaction to the antibiotics he is on for his ears, so we switched those up and of course gave him stronger pain medications and also a joint supplement. Only time will tell if this fixes the problem. If it doesn't, further testing will be done.
As far as his ear goes, the swelling in the flap and inner ear are way down! The Dr. was able to see all the way inside today! It is still very yeasty and infected, so another round of treatment will be started, but there is a good chance that he will not need surgery on it!
So far, his bill has sky rocketed due to all of his new symptoms. If we end up having to do joint taps, which would be the next test if he does not get better, it will be so much worse. We still have to get him well from this, then treat his heartworms, and neuter him. He is such a strong and sweet boy though who is just happy to have a full belly, a warm bed, and people who love him.
Thank you to everyone who has donated and shared this page! We still have a very long way to go, but I know we can do it with everyone's help. Please continue to donate and share and I will continue to update ya'll on his status. And remember, every dollar counts!
Just a little update on Houston. He went to Four Seasons today and was sedated so his ear could be worked on. The after math looks incredible. It's like day and night if you look at the before pictures. His ear is still too swollen for the Dr. to look inside and there were wounds on his ear that were trying to heal over the infection, so they had to be opened again to drain. He's on steroids, antibiotics, and pain meds. He has an appointment next week to see the Dr. again and hopefully at that point she will be able to see inside that ear to see the damage. After his major infection is taken care of, we will start talking about a plan to treat his infestation of heartworms, then comes his neuter. He's such a strong boy and is always so sweet! Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! We still have a long way to go, but it helps out so much seeing how much ya'll care! Keep donating and sharing as much as you can, and remember, every donation counts!